What is a breast lift?
A breast lift, or mastopexy, is the cosmetic procedure that corrects the breast ptosis of a woman caused after pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, rapid weight fluctuations or the excess of skin due to the loss of elastin, restoring at the same time the nipple in its original position. Sometimes it might be combined with a breast augmentation or reduction for the creation of a more attractive breast.The breasts are organs representative of a woman’s nature, that have significant impact on her mental state. Firm breasts provide confidence and emotional security. Those features make women more attractive to the male audience and impact significantly her social and personal surroundings.
- Who is it for?
There are no age restrictions. Any woman who could be feeling negativism and discontentment due to the shape or the volume of her breasts can go forth with the operation and have the imperfection or the deformity rectified. All that is required is that the interested party has reached the age of 18 and enjoys good health, without other serious medical reasons present.
- The first visit at the doctor’s office
The first visit to the Plastic Surgeon aims at unfolding the desires and the motives of the interested party and to pinpoint the realistic basis of her expectations. The interested party must be self-aware and mentally stable. Following that, some measurements and pictures are taken so that the results can be compared with the previous state after the operation. The Plastic Surgeon is obliged to, at this stage, inform the interested party of any complications and of the expected results. After an alignment of opinions, follows a conversation pertaining to the procedural matters of the operation.
- Are breast lifts painful?
Since most of the time the operation is performed with the use of general anesthesia, the patient doesn’t feel any pain. Later, though, postoperatively, there is a mild pain, which is manageable and subdued with appropriate painkillers.
- What kind of complications might arise?
Breast lifts are rather popular in a global scale. More and more women chose to follow through with the procedure despite the relative complexity that it is defined by, since it is safe, and the complication emergence rate is rather low. Complications such as hematoma, inflammation and asymmetry can be dealt with without fear by informing the Plastic Surgeon in a timely manner and the provision of appropriate treatment.
- What kind of medical tests will be needed before a breast lift?
A preoperative check-up is conducted for preventive reasons, to avoid any complications during the operation. Initially, smoking and anticoagulant cessation are recommended, and the interested party’s medical history is retrieved. Those are followed by a series of tests such as general blood tests, a blood coagulation test, a biochemistry test, a cardiogram and a chest x-ray. In some cases, a mammography or ultrasound may be requested.
- How long does a breast lift last and what kind of anesthesia is required?
The duration of the procedure varies depending on the degree of the problem that has been identified and the type of technique or techniques that the Plastic Surgeon will use. Generally, the duration ranges from 1.5 to 3.5 hours. Breast lifts are usually performed with a simultaneous augmentation or reduction. For this reason, it is advisable to use general anesthesia to protect the patient. However, if the ptosis or sagging of the skin is relatively small, surgery can be done, more rarely, by using local anesthesia with conscious sedation.
- During the operation
Breast lifts are complex procedures that require skill and precision from the part of the Plastic Surgeon. Initially, the excision point located below the nipple and along the submaxillary fold is drawn. Excess skin is removed, and the nipple is repositioned at a higher point in a non-ptotic position. In most cases we use the adipose tissue itself to strengthen mainly the upper pole of the breast. The skin is then stretched to achieve the erection of the breast and to obtain a more well-shaped appearance, symmetrical to the rest of the body. Finally, sutures are performed in the surrounding area, which are usually absorbable. Otherwise, they are removed after 2 weeks. If the breast lift is combined with a breast augmentation, then the appropriate implants are placed.
- After the operation
If general anesthesia is opted for, the patient needs to stay overnight in the clinic for a day and leave the next, after the drainage has been removed. However, if the use of local anesthesia with conscious sedation is chosen instead, the patient can leave after a few hours. For a period of one month the patient will continuously wear an elastic bra, which contributes to faster healing. In the beginning, at the affected area, edemas (swelling) and ecchymoses (bruising) will appear, which will be reduced as days will pass, and the scars will show a redness that will subside after 3 to 6 months depending on the rate of recovery.
- Do breast lifts affect breastfeeding?
The mammary glands are not affected during the operation. With special care and appropriate handling, the woman who wishes to become pregnant will be able to breastfeed undisturbed in the future. That is why it is necessary to choose a specialized Plastic Surgeon who will properly assess the condition and will not inadvertently injure the mammary glands.
- In how many days can one return to their daily activities?
As time goes by, the patient will feel more and more euphoria and will feel able to return to her daily activities. In the beginning, of course, and specifically for about 2 months, she should avoid strenuous activities that require high physical exercise and agility. This will prevent any injury to the area and recovery will occur sooner. Returning to work can be done after 1 or 2 weeks, depending on the nature of the work.
The shape, a well-formed, firm breast with a youthful appearance, which balances other asymmetries in the body, increases self-confidence and gives a sense of rejuvenation and emotional fullness. For the result to remain stable and permanent, the candidate needs to pay attention to her diet and follow a healthy lifestyle without large deviations in body weight.