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Breast Lift – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Breast Lift Procedure?

A breast lift procedure, also known as mastopexy, involves repositioning the nipple-areola complex and removing excess skin, before reshaping the breast in a more aesthetically pleasing and higher position.

What are the incisions like in a Breast Lift?

Individual factors and personal preferences will determine the specific incision pattern selected for your breast lift, however, for any technique used, your surgeon will place the incisions following your breast’s natural contour(s) to minimize scarring.

What is Breast Ptosis?

Breast sagging, medically known as breast ptosis, is identified in different degrees that include:

  • Grade 1—Mild ptosis that occurs if your nipple lies slightly above or directly in front of the breast fold
  • Grade 2—Moderate ptosis that occurs if the central point of your nipple is 1-3 cm below the top of your breast crease
  • Grade 3—Severe ptosis that occurs if the central point of your nipple and your areola is more than 3 cm below your breast crease
  • Pseudo–Ptosis—This type of ptosis occurs when the nipple is still above the inframammary crease, but the breast appears to droop because of a large, flattened breast lobe

What causes Breast Ptosis?

A woman’s breasts often change throughout their lifetime, and these changes and loss of skin elasticity can result from:

  • Significant fluctuations in weight
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Illness
  • Gravity
  • Heredity
  • Aging

What will a Breast Lift do?

A breast lift procedure can accomplish any or all of the following by:

  • Lifting your sagging or drooping breasts
  • Reducing the size of your areola
  • Repositioning your nipples
  • Reshaping your breasts
  • Restoring the contour of your breasts
  • Lifting your breasts after the loss of breast volume
  • Correcting asymmetries in your breast

What can’t a Breast Lift do?

Breast lift surgery cannot significantly change the size, or round out the upper portion of your breasts.  If you want your breasts to look fuller, many women consider a breast augmentation with lift; and if your breasts are too large and you want smaller breasts, a breast lift combined with a breast reduction may be right for you.

Why should I consider a Breast Augmentation with lift?

Breast enlargement will not correct sagging breasts, and a breast lift alone will not increase the size of the breast.  A breast lift combined with breast augmentation is called an augmentopexy, and together, the procedure will sculpt your breasts into the size that you want, create firmness, correct the position and shape, and add volume, without the need for multiple procedures.  A breast augmentation with lift is a good choice for women who have breasts that have deflated after pregnancy or massive weight loss. During your consultation, your surgeon can help you decide which breast procedure will help you achieve the look you desire.

How long does a Breast Lift Surgery procedure take to perform?

Depending on the extent of the procedure(s) you are having, time requirements vary from patient-to-patient, but in general the surgery can take from 1-4 hours.

What are the possible side effects from Breast Lift Surgery?

Breast lift surgery side effects can include temporary discomfort, bruising, and swelling.  Your breasts may also be temporarily numb, and you will be required to wear a surgical bra home from surgery to minimize swelling and speed up the healing process.

Will I lose nipple sensation from my Breast Lift?

Most patients do not experience nipple sensation loss, however, in a small percentage of cases, patients do experience some or complete loss of nipple sensation.

How do I know if a Breast Lift is right for me?

Breast lift surgery is a highly individualised procedure that you should choose for you: not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit into what others consider an ideal image.  After a thorough consultation with your surgeon you will be able to make an informed decision if a breast lift is right for you.

How long will the results from my Breast Lift Surgery last?

Breast lift plastic surgery results can last permanently, although the procedure does not stop aging, gravity, and weight changes, which can alter the results, and eventually create the need for breast lift revision surgery.

What is the recovery like after Breast Lift Surgery?

Because a breast lift can be more complex than other breast surgery procedures, it may require additional recovery time.  To heal properly, you will be instructed to refrain from professional or physical activity for at least one week and any pain should resolve in 2-3 days, which is controlled with pain medication if necessary.  Regular exercise must be avoided for at least one month (or until your surgeon approves), and most women are able to resume their normal routine 4-6 weeks after their breast lift surgery, although this depends on the results of your healing.

When will I be able to return to work?

Most women take at least one week off from work for their breast lift, and when you return to work, your surgeon will restrict you from lifting more than 10 pounds the first week, and no more than 25 after that until your incisions have completely healed.

Will I have to spend the night in a hospital?

Breast lift surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and you will be required to stay in hospital for a minimum of one night.  Following a routine check up by your surgeon, normally the next morning, you will be released to a family member or friend to drive you home.

I hear that knowing Breast Anatomy is important when considering any cosmetic breast procedure.  What are the main components of the Breast?

The breast consists of:

  • Milk glands (lobules) that produce and supply milk
  • Special ducts that transfer milk from the lobules to the nipple
  • The nipple
  • The areola (the pigmented region surrounding the nipple)
  • Fat
  • Connective (fibrous) tissue

What will my consultation be like?

During your consultation, your chosen surgeon will ask you about your desired breast shape and size, and you should be prepared to discuss anything about your breasts that you would like to see improved, as this will help him understand your expectations and determine whether they can be realistically achieved.  If your feels a breast lift would benefit you, he will explain the procedure and discuss how your breasts, nipples, and areolas will be repositioned.  Your medical history will be evaluated, the surgical options will be decided upon, and after your thorough consultation, your breast lift surgery will be scheduled.

What will determine if I am a good candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?

You may be a good candidate for breast lift surgery if:

  • You have breasts that are satisfactory in size but they droop or sag
  • You have breasts that lack substance or firmness
  • You have breasts that have lost shape and volume
  • You have nipples and areolas that point downward
  • You have nipples that fall below your breast crease
  • You have breasts that have become flatter, elongated, or pendulous
  • Your breast skin is stretched
  • You have enlarged areolas
  • You have one breast that is lower than the other
  • You are physically healthy
  • You maintain a stable weight
  • You do not smoke
  • You have realistic expectations
  • You have breasts that have become flatter, elongated, or pendulous over time

Can I have a Breast Lift if I plan to get pregnant in the future?

It is generally recommended that you wait until you are finished having children to have a breast lift, as pregnancy and breast-feeding may have significant and unpredictable effects on the size and shape of your breasts resulting in changes your breast lift results. Nevertheless, many women decide to undergo breast lift surgery before having children, and since the milk ducts and nipples are left intact, breast lift surgery usually will not affect your ability to breastfeed.

How long will my scars be obvious?

Although every surgery involves some degree of scarring, all of our Reconstructive Consultant Plastic Surgeons are committed to taking every necessary precaution and aggressive measure possible to minimize scar visibility.  A special tape will be placed on the incisions to promote a thinner, less defined scar, and he will apply a solution to treat the skin and aid in healing.  Other options may include IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) laser treatments, to improve any marks on the breast.

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