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What is a Breast Lift?

Are you wondering what exactly a breast lift is and why is it so popular? In this article, we’ll answer all of your questions to give you a clear idea about all the facts.

What is a breast lift?

A breast lift, also known by its medical name mastopexy, is a surgical procedure to change the shape of the breast. During the surgery, the surgeon raises the breasts to give them a rounder and firmer look. The surgeon may also remove extra skin from around the breast and reduces the size of your areola. 

Why do people choose to undergo a breast lift?

As you age, the breasts may lose their firmness and elasticity, makes them look sagging or drooping. Numerous other factors can emphasize changes to the breast, these factors include:

  • Weight gain or loss. A significant change in your weight can make the skin around your breast to stretch and lose its elasticity.
  • Pregnancy. The ligaments supporting your breast can stretch during pregnancy because your breast gets heavier.
  • Breast-feed. When you’re breastfeeding, the flow of milk may stretch your breast skin. It can leave you with “stretched out” looking breast because the milk-producing structure shrinks in size.
  • Gravity. The ligaments in your breast can stretch and sag because of gravity.

If your nipples point downward or your breast sag and you don’t like it, you can opt for a breast lift. Some women also undergo a breast lift because one of their breasts falls lower than the other. For some women, a breast lift is a way for them to boost their self-confidence and self-image. The procedure won’t change the size of your breast, but it can be combined with a breast augmentation or breast reduction

What you need to remember is that a breast lift is not for everyone. If you still want to get pregnant in the future, you need to delay getting a breast lift because pregnancy stretches your breasts. It is also advisable to undergo a breast lift after you are done breast-feeding. After a breast lift, you will still be able to breast-feed, but it might be hard for some women to produce enough milk.

How to prepare for a breast lift?

The first step of a breast lift is to consult with a plastic surgeon. During your first appointment, make sure you tell your surgeon your goals and the result you expect. It will be helpful if you bring photos showing the shape of the breast you desire. If you want to combine the surgery with a breast augmentation or breast reduction, make sure to tell your surgeon. Some surgeons will not do the two procedures at the same time for safety reasons and will schedule the breast augmentation/reduction in the following week or month. 

Your surgeon will describe your options and explain the whole procedure. Also, your surgeon will review your medical history and do a physical exam to determine if a breast lift is right for you. Some surgeons may take pictures to compare the before and after appearance of your breasts. Before a breast lift, you might also require to do the following.  

  • Avoid medications such as aspirin, herbal supplements, and anti-inflammatory medications because they can increase bleeding.
  • Stop smoking because smoking can slow your healing process and cause serious problems such as loss of breast skin or nipple.
  • Schedule a baseline mammogram to help the medical team see changes in your breast tissue.

What happens during a breast lift?

A breast lift can be done in an outpatient surgical facility or in a hospital. You may be given local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. First, your doctor will mark the position where your new nipple will be positioned. Then, you will be given anesthesia. Your surgeon will make an incision around your areola, horizontally along your breast creases, or extending downward from your areola to your breast creases. The incisions will be carefully made in places where they will be less visible. Your surgeon will then lift and reshape your breast. Afterward, your areolas will be moved to the correct position on the new breast shape and any extra skin will be removed to make your breast appear firmer. The whole procedure usually takes two to three hours and you can leave the hospital on the same day.

What to expect after the surgery?

After the surgery, your surgeon may cover your breasts with bandages and a surgical support bra. Your surgeon may also place small tubes at the incision sites to drain any excess fluid or blood. These bandages and drains will be removed during your follow-up checkup one or two days after the surgery. 

You may feel uncomfortable for a few days. Usually, you will need to wear a special bra or special dressing to support your breasts during recovery. It is completely normal for you to feel some pain, but your surgeon will prescribe pain medications to help you manage it. Your breasts will be bruised and swollen for about two weeks.

During the first few days, avoid bending, straining, or lifting. Sleep on your back because you need to keep pressure off your breast. Avoid any sexual activity for at least two weeks after the surgery. Keep your breast away from sun exposure while you are healing. Your surgeon will give you post-operative care instructions, which you need to strictly follow. Stitches are usually removed within two weeks, but some surgeons use stitches that will dissolve on their own.

The result is noticeable immediately after the procedure, but the shape of your breasts will continue to change for a few months until they settle to their final shape.

What are the risks?

Although a breast lift has a high success rate, it does have some risks and complications. The risks are:

  • Uneven breasts
  • Blood clots
  • Scars that are thick and painful
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Poor healing
  • Fluid or blood collecting in the breasts
  • Total or partial loss of the areola or nipple
  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia

Make sure you discuss all of the possible risks with the surgeon. If you do experience any of the above, contact the surgeon immediately. 

You can decide whether to undergo a Breast Lift procedure while on a Holiday trip in the Dominican Republic.