Breast lift guidelines and safety measures

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The breast lift is one of the common plastic surgery procedures in the US. The intervention effectively treats saggy and loose breasts, making them firmer, youthful, perky, and sexier. The procedure does not only enhance your aesthetic appearance by reinstating your feminine features, but also lets you fit properly into your bras, swimsuits, and other clothing. As a result of these improvements, you can expect to get a boost in your self-esteem and an improvement in your overall quality of life.

The breast lift involves surgical extraction of the excess, saggy skin from the breasts, apart from tightening the loose breast tissue and lifting the nipple and areola to an elevated and youthful position. If your areolas are expanded or large, they can be decreased during the intervention. Like all other surgeries, the breast lift involves a number of risks and complications.

Signs you need a breast lift

The best way to find whether you need a breast lift surgery is by consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon. However, there are certain signs that indicate you need a breast lift.  If your breasts have lost their shape, becoming loose and hanging after pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is a sign you need a breast lift. During pregnancy, your body experiences a number of changes. The skin becomes stretched out and often gets damaged due to multiple pregnancies. A breast lift will restore your youthful and firmer breasts after pregnancy.

Secondly, the breast lift can effectively treat breast sagginess resulting from weight fluctuations. Weight gain means the breasts increase in size, which causes the skin to stretch out. Considerable weight gain means the skin elasticity will be damaged. Now, when the patient experiences weight loss, the breasts fail to go back to their original position because the skin has already been damaged. Weight fluctuation also causes the breast muscle to become loose. A breast lift surgery can treat your saggy breasts, making them perkier and firmer.

There are also many patients who get saggy breasts due to genetic factors. For example, some teen girls may get saggy breasts. If you have a genetic tendency to developing saggy breasts, a breast lift surgery can fix the condition.

No matter what the cause of your breast sagginess, the breast lift can help you get beautiful breasts. However, since the procedure entails risks, you should undergo surgery only if the condition is affecting your self-esteem and life in negative ways. Also, be sure to weigh the benefits of the surgery against the associated risks and go under the knife only if the benefits are greater than the risks.

Breast lift types

Plastic surgeons use a number of incision techniques to perform the breast lift procedure. Which technique is best for you depends on a number of factors, such as your present breast contour and volume, the volume of skin to be removed, the extent of breast sagging, and your aesthetic goals and expectations. The common breast lift types as categorized on the basis of the incision technique are explained below.

Crescent lift

This breast lift is best where the breast sagginess is minimal and the patient wants to get minimum postoperative scarring. This type of breast lift is performed by placing a small incision that runs midway over the top half of the areola’s end. Typically, the crescent lift is recommended when the patient also want to augment the breasts, apart from lifting them.

Periareolar lift

Also known as the donut lift, the periareolar lift is effective when the breast sagginess is mild. This breast lift involves the placing of a spherical incision that runs over the areola’s edge. This type of breast lift is also recommended when the patient wants to combine the breast lift with a breast augmentation. Moreover, the periareolar lift can also effectively decrease the size of an expanded or stretched-out areola.

Vertical lift

The vertical lift (more popularly known as the lollipop lift) is recommended for a patient with moderately saggy breasts. This incision technique is effective when it comes to drastically contouring the breasts. With this type of breast lift, the plastic surgeon can easily remove the excess skin from the breasts and re-contour the whole breast with scars that are simple and can be perfectly camouflaged. This breast lift involves two incisions. One of the incisions goes over the edge of the areola, and the other runs steeply from the base of the areola to the inframammary fold.

Inverted T lift

The inverted T lift is also known as the Anchor lift. This technique is used when the goal is to re-contour the breasts and restore their firmness and youthfulness dramatically. If the sagginess in your breasts is drastic, the inverted T lift is for you. This technique lets the plastic surgeon excise a good portion of the saggy skin and tissue, thus delivering better aesthetic outcomes. However, on the downside, this technique requires three incisions.

The first incision goes around the end of the areola, the second runs steeply from the areola’s base to the breast fold, and the third is placed lengthwise along the inframammary fold. In most cases, this breast lift type is used where breast reduction and breast lift are performed as a combo procedure. This technique leaves more visible scars on the breasts.

 Recovery after breast lift and safety measures

The breast lift surgery is normally performed on an outpatient basis and under general anesthesia or IV sedation and local anesthesia. The procedure can be completed within 1-2 hours. The patient may be allowed to go home a few hours after the procedure if her health remains stable after the surgery.

After the surgery, you will find that your breasts have been dressed. Your breasts will be swollen due to the surgical trauma and you may experience some degree of pain and discomfort for the first 24-72 hours following the intervention. Oral pain relief medications will help ease your discomfort.

Even though you can stand up and take short walks around your home right after the surgery, you should avoid taking more walks or engaging in physical activities. For the first few days, be sure to take sufficient rest. Your body needs rest to recuperate from the surgical trauma. Furthermore, avoid sleeping on your front for the first 2-3 weeks after the procedure. Instead, sleep on your side and back. Sleeping on your front can apply undue pressure to the breasts, which can cause complications.

Majority of patients are able to resume work within 7-10 days following the breast lift procedure; however, if your work involves strenuous activities, you should take a few more days off work. Physical activities like stretching and bending can apply pressure on the breasts. You should avoid physically demanding activities like running, exercises, weight lifting, jumping, etc. for six weeks following the operation.

By the 6th week, your body will fully recuperate from the trauma. You can now resume physical activities. The results of the surgery will completely evolve by now. You can see that your breasts have become firmer and perkier.

The risks

The breast lift is a major surgery. Like other plastic surgery procedures, the intervention involves a number of risks. Some of the risks are general surgery risks while others are unique to the breast lift itself. The good news is that serious complications after breast lift are rare. During the consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon, make sure to discuss the risks and ways to decrease them.

There are some patients who are allergic to anesthesia. They may experience anesthetic reaction during the breast lift. If you have a history of anesthetic reactiveness, be sure to discuss it with the surgeon during the consultation session. Secondly, there is a risk of hematoma and seroma after the procedure, which means fluids or blood discharged from the body may get trapped under the skin at the surgical site. This can be avoided if the surgeon places drain cannulas on the surgery site.

Other risks associated with the breast lift include infection, excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, change in or loss of skin sensation that can be permanent or temporary, abnormal scarring, blood clotting, general dissatisfaction with the aesthetic outcomes, and allergic reactions.

In order to decrease these risks, be sure to choose only a board-certified and highly experienced plastic surgeon to undertake the operation. Also discuss the risks with the doctor, follow the surgeon’s instructions, make a risk/benefit analysis, and be very careful throughout the recovery process.

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The breast lift is a popular and effective plastic surgery procedure in the US. Every year, hundreds of thousands of women undergo the intervention to treat their saggy, loose, and hanging breasts. The surgery involves removal of the excess skin from the breasts and tightening of the breast muscles. After the procedure, the breasts become perkier, firmer, and youthful.

There are many risks associated with a breast lift. Make sure to discuss the risks during the consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. You should undergo surgery only if the benefits are greater than the risks.

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