In most cases, a breast lift is performed to improve one’s self-confidence, with the view of improving breasts that have a tendency to sag. Moreover, if a patient’s nipples point downwards, then a breast lift might also be able to help. If you are considering undergoing the breast lift process, it is worth taking the time to read our compressive guide first. We’ll cover everything you need to know prior, during and after the procedure.
In a nutshell, a breast uplift is performed to improve the shape of the breasts, to meet the specific desires of the patient. By removing undesired loose skin from the breasts and reshaping them, surgery can make them look more youthful. There is a plethora of reasons why you might be considering a boob lift, however the underlying factors normally centre on the issues of droopy breasts or lost volume.
This can occur, for example, as an after effect of giving birth, as well as a result of breast feeding. Moreover, droopy breasts can also occur in direct correlation to significant weight loss. Regardless of the underlying reason, this normally occurs because the fibroid ligaments and skin within the breasts becomes stretched. As a result, the breast tissue struggles for support.
As support for the fibrous ligaments cannot be recreated, a breast lift involves reshaping them. It does so by removing any surplus skin, followed by a modification of the breast tissue and finally, amending the position of the nipples. Alternatively, some surgeons may proceed to work on the areola, by reducing its size. Although a breast lift can be performed on breasts of all shapes and sizes, optimum results are for those with small and saggy breasts.
As support for the fibrous ligaments cannot be recreated, a breast lift involves reshaping them
Why do patients have a breast lift?
There are a number of key reasons why a patient may require a breast lift, however the follow are the most common.
- A loss of firmness and elasticity of the breasts is a common occurrence of age. Subsequently, the shape of your breasts can change over time.
- Fluctuation in weight. When the body experiences a prolonged period of weight fluctuation, it can result in a loss of elasticity and stretching of the breasts.
- The ligaments that most commonly support your breasts may begin to stretch as they get heavier, which is usually experienced during pregnancy. These effects are further amplified when engaging in breast feeding.
- The breasts can sag and stretch over time as gravity plays its part.
In terms of their specific appearance, there might be a number of specificities that you are looking to amend during the breast lift procedure. We have listed some of the most common below.
- You notice that your nipples drop below your breast creases, which occurs when they are unsupported.
- There is an element of disproportionality between your areolae (this is the dark area surrounding your nipples) and your breasts.
- Your breasts appear flatter or they’ve lost volume and shape, resulting in sagging. Both your areolae and nipples appear to be pointing downwards.
- A particular breast has fallen lower than the other.
Who is a breast lift suitable for?
Although a breast lift is a common cosmetic procedure, there might be instances where you are not suitable For example, if you are currently pregnant or considering pregnancy soon, then it might be best to the delay the procedure. The reason for this is that your breasts might stretch during pregnancy, meaning that any previous results of the procedure could be offset.
Issues may also arise when undergoing a breast lift procedure if you are planning to breast feed. In some instances, Mastopexy might result in the patient producing less milk than they would have done, had they not undergone the procedure. However, as the breast tissue is not separated from the nipples, a breast lift might still be suitable. The surgeon will go through this with you during the consultation period.
Preparing for Breast Lift Surgery
Prior to undergoing a breast lift, you will need to go through a stringent consultation period with the surgeon. When you first visit, the surgeon will initially take some time to review your medical history. This will involve a range of questions surrounding any current or previous conditions you have experienced, as well as any family links to breast cancer.
Moreover, you should also inform the surgeon of any previous surgeries you have undergone, both medical and cosmetic. After this, the surgeon will then proceed to perform a physical examination. Notably, this will focus on the breasts and the positioning of your areolae and nipples.
The surgeon will also be keen to analyse your skin tone. The reason for this is that the positioning of the breasts post-surgery are better experienced with certain skin tones. Upon completion of the physical examination, the surgeon will then ask you about your expectations.
Once this has been ascertained, the surgeon will be able to explain the type of results you can expect to achieve, as well as the risks associated with this particular procedure.
Steps to take before surgery
If at this point of the consultation you want to proceed, then the surgeon will outline a range of steps you can take to prepare for surgery.
- It is highly recommended that you avoid smoking in the weeks prior to surgery, ideally a good 6 weeks of no smoking. The reason for this is that smoking can cause the blood flow to decrease, subsequently hindering the recovery process.
- Healthy weight. The surgeon will also be keen to suggest a healthy diet, alongside regular exercise, prior to surgery. Optimum results are experienced when the patient has a healthy weight.
- Pre-arrange transportation. Upon completing the procedure, you will most likely feel somewhat uncomfortable. It is highly advisable that you arrange for somebody to collect you from the surgery. Moreover, upon returning home, it would be ideal if somebody can help you with your daily tasks, to ensure that you can concentrate on the recovery process.
- The surgeon might suggest that you stop taking certain medications to prevent the risks associated with increased bleeding. This normally centres on anti-inflammatory drugs, however certain herbal supplements will also need to be discussed.
- In order to asses any changes in your breast tissue, the surgeon might need to perform a mammogram. If the surgeon feels it necessary, the mammogram might need to be repeated a few months after the procedure.
About the breast lift procedure
In terms of the breast lift procedure itself, the surgical process can depend on the type of results you are looking for. As a result, the specific techniques employed by the surgeon to remove breast skin and/or reshape the breast tissue can vary from patient to patient. Moreover, the exact number and location of incisions will also vary, as will any resulting scars. In most cases, the surgeon will make incisions in one the following three manners.
- Incisions made to the breast creases – horizontally
- Incisions around the darker area around the nipple, otherwise referred to as the areolae
- Incisions made vertically from the areolae, extending down to the creases around the breast
Regardless of the method the surgeon utilizes, you will need to undertake the operation under general anaesthetic.
Once the anaesthetic is administered, your breast tissue will then likely be reshaped, which the surgeon will achieve by placing stitches within your breasts. If deemed appropriate for your desired results, the surgeon might also need to reduce the size of your areolae. Some forms of breast uplift operations require the surgeon to move the nipples to a slightly higher position and/or remove any surplus skin from the breast.
Finally, prior to closing the previously made incisions, the surgeon will then bridge the breast skin closer together. Although there is no fixed rule as to how long a breast uplift procedure usually takes, in most cases this will average between 2 to 3 hours. By enlarge, after this operation, you will stay overnight at the clinic for observation and will be able to go home in the morning of the following day.
When will I notice the results of my breast lift?
In most cases, you should be able to see a change in the appearance of your breasts immediately after surgery. However, a complete change in shape may occur over the following few months. It is important to note although any associated scars are permanent, they should begin to whiten and thin over the course of the following 1-2 years.
As your breasts will become rounder and more firm after the procedure, you might notice a slight reduction in bra size. As dropping is a natural aside effect of aging, the results of your breast lift might not be permanent.
Common concerns (Risks)
As with all surgical procedures, there will always be an element of risk that you need to consider. Although these will be explained to you by the surgeon during the consultation period in more detail, we have listed some of the most common below.
- Breast feeding complications. Although a breast lift does not prevent an individual breast feeding per-say, there is the risk that milk production quantities might become limited.
- Sensation of the breast and/or nipples. Whilst in most cases sensation of the breast and/or nipple area returns, a breast lift might result in certain sensation losses remaining permanent.
- Although scarring associated with a breast lift is permanent, in most cases these will begin to fade in the following 1-2 years.
- Loss of areolae or nipples. Although extremely rare, breast lift complications can results in a loss (full or partial) of the areolae or nipples. The reason for this is that during surgery, there is the risk that an interrupted blood supply can damage the breast tissues in the aforementioned areas.
If you have any common concerns that have not been covered within our breast lift guide, please feel free to contact the surgery directly. The surgical team will be able to answer any questions that you may have.