What is breast lift?
Breast lift is a surgical procedure to raise, reshape and reposition the sagging breasts to restore a more pleasing youthful contour. This procedure also reduces the size of the areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple) as needed.
Why do breasts sag?
The breasts lose its shape and begin to sag as the skin loses its elasticity due to pregnancy, nursing, force of gravity and aging.
Can a breast lift restore the breasts’ volume?
In case of lose of volume along with sagging breasts, it is recommended that a patient to also have breast implants (as what it is done in breast augmentation) to increase firmness and size. Lots of women seek breast augmentation because pregnancy and nursing have left them with less volume and stretched skin in their breasts.
Is it always necessary to have a breast lift to correct sagging breasts?
No. In some cases, undergoing a breast augmentation is enough to correct the problem.
When is the right time to have a breast lift?
It can be performed at any age specially when sagging breasts starts to bother the patient a lot but it is recommended that this be undertaken when the breast development has stopped. Second consideration is the plan to have more children. While there are no special risk affecting future pregnancies (since breast lift usually does not interfere with breast feeding), it may be a good idea to postpone it since pregnancy will most likely stretch the breasts and offset the result of the procedure.
How is the procedure done?
Breast lift is an out-patient procedure which takes about 2 to 4 hours under general or local anesthesia with sedation. The surgeon marks the areas of the skin to be removed above and below the areola. The nipple complex stays attached to a central pedicle of the breast tissue and repositioned at a higher level. The excess skin is removed and the breasts are re-shaped.
Will there be any visible scar?
Sometimes, the horizontal and vertical scar may be avoided. Usually, incisions take about a year to fade.
What is recovery like?
There will be swelling, minimal bruising and mild to moderate pain. The breasts will be tender and feel tight. Nipple sensation is temporarily reduced but should return to normal after a couple of weeks. Prescribed antibiotics and pain relievers shall be taken to prevent infection, reduce the swelling and address the discomfort.
How soon can a patient go back to work?
Most of the patients return to work after 5 to 7 days. Resumption to a full sports activity usually takes about a month.
How soon can results be seen?
Significant improvement can be seen right after the surgery. The final result will be evident at 3 to 6 months when all the swelling has resolved.
Who are the candidates for this procedure?
Good candidates for this procedure are those who are generally healthy, emotionally and psychologically stable, with realistic expectations, and want to correct the following droopy and sagging breasts. Candidates are advised to disclose their medical history, illness and medications during the consultation.
What are the possible complications?
Complications are very rare with this procedure. Occasional risks include asymmetry, nerve injury, bleeding, unfavorable scarring and infection.