Breast lift, also known as mastopexy, is an operation to correct the appearance of breast(s) that sag due to loss of elasticity secondary to many factors, including but not limited to aging, hormonal factors, pregnancy, breastfeeding, genetics and weight gain and loss.
In order to lift the breast, the excess skin is removed and the ligaments that suspend the breast are repaired. The breast and the surrounding supportive tissues are reshaped, volume of the breast is enhanced and the breast is lifted, resulting in natural conic form.
If you feel that your breast(s) sag or if your nipple is located below the inframammary fold or points downward, you may consider a breast lift.
If you consider a breast lift, please consult our plastic surgeons for techniques of breast lift, expectations, potential risks and results.
Why is breast lift procedure done?
Childbearing, breastfeeding, genetic features, weight gain and loss as well as aging causes loss of elasticity and volume in breast(s). When ligaments that support breast weaken and they are defeated by the gravity force, sagging of breasts is inevitable.
For some patients, sagging is secondary to the reduction of breast tissue due to significant weight loss followed by weight gain.
Breast lift is performed to eliminate these cosmetic problems.
Therefore, breast lift offers a solution for following conditions;
- Sagging breasts accompanied by loss of elasticity and volume
- Nipples located below the inframammary fold or pointing downwards secondary changes in breast tissue
- Asymmetry of breasts
Breast lift is planned according to the degree of sagging. Therefore, breast lift alone can eliminate mild sagging, but size of breast may get smaller secondary to breast lift, if sagging is severe and volume of breast tissue is insufficient. For this reason, it may be necessary to combine breast lift with breast augmentation. Again, breast life surgery causes reduction of breast in women with naturally large breasts.
Accordingly, breast lift surgery is an extremely personalized procedure and you need to consult a plastic surgeon before you decide and plan a breast lift.
If you clearly express your expectations when you discuss with your plastic surgeon before the surgery, your satisfaction with the outcome of the surgery will be maximized.
Potential complications of breast lift surgery are relatively rare.
Although all possible measures that modern medicine allows are taken to prevent occurrence of risks, it is no means possible to warrant that the risks will be completely eliminated.
Possible risks are listed below:
- Bleeding and blood accumulation beneath the incision line (hematoma)
- Loss or change of sensation in breast and/or nipple
- Abnormal scar tissue formation
- Changes in the shape of the breast
- Fluid accumulation in the incision area (seroma)
- Unsatisfactory result (asymmetry, displacement of nipple, failure to obtain the desired shape)
Our expert surgery team will employ all practices to minimize the risk of complications and our plastic surgeons will preoperatively inform you about risks listed above and all other potential complications and will address all your concerns.
The first phase of preoperative preparation is same in all Medicana Hospitals. After you decide to have a breast lift surgery and discuss with our plastic surgeons, following examinations are performed to decide whether it is an option for you:
- Review of health history
- A detailed physical examination
- Necessary laboratory tests and radiology studies
- A mammography may be required to facilitate postoperative follow-up of your breasts.
- Assessment by anesthesiologist and other laboratory tests and radiology studies to minimize anesthesia-related complications
After it is verified that the surgery does not pose risk, you will be asked to quit smoking, if you are a smoker, and to stop taking certain medications that increase risk of bleeding. All other prescribed and over-the-counter medications, herbal products and supplements will also be questioned and you will be informed to continue or stop taking them.
A preoperative discussion with your plastic surgeon about breast lift is very important. You are asked to think about a series of issues and you are also informed in detail about the procedure. All details of the procedure, potential risks and healing period are explained.
You will also be instructed to stop eating and drinking at a particular time before the surgery and you should strictly follow this instruction in order to undergo the surgery at the scheduled date.
Moreover, it is reasonable to plan discharge, post-discharge accommodation and travel at this phase in order to manage postoperative period better.
Surgery and Early Postoperative Period
A breast lift or mastopexy is performed by an expert plastic surgery team under general anesthesia. Therefore, you will be unconscious during the surgery and you will feel nothing, including pain. The procedure takes approximately 3 hours.
In the surgery, the excess skin is removed and the brown area around the nipple (areola) and the nipple are also reduced and transferred to the original or optimal position. In this surgery, both the excess skin is removed and the breast tissue is shaped.
For breast lift surgery, a wide variety of incisions and techniques are used depending on the degree of sagging. Your plastic surgeon will determine the best method for your condition and you will be informed about all the details (breast reduction, requirement to breast implant, definite place of the incision, other relevant details) before the surgery.
After the breast is reshaped according to the preoperative plan and the sagging is eliminated, the incision is stitched and the operation is completed. Incisions are covered by appropriate dressing materials.
After a breast lift, you usually do not need to stay at hospital and you are discharged within the same day. However, your plastic surgeon will inform you whether you need to be observed or you should stay at the hospital.
After you recover from anesthesia and you are ready to walk, you will be mobilized by or under supervision of our healthcare professionals.
You may feel pain and recognize swelling in your breast(s) after the surgery. Or, you may even notice bruising in skin of the breast. These are expected symptoms that will spontaneously disappear within several weeks.
The scar tissue that forms along the incision line will fade over time, but its color will never be identical to your skin tone.
Your plastic surgeon will want you to visit the hospital one or two days after the surgery. Bandages placed after the surgery will be removed at this visit.
In the post-operative period, you will need to wear sports bra to support the breasts.
Although you will feel minimal pain, your plastic surgeon will prescribe pain killer pills to manage the pain.
If your plastic surgeon used non-absorbable stitches and placed a drain to prevent accumulation of excess fluid and/or blood beneath the incision line, your doctor will instruct you the date they will be removed (usually the first postoperative follow-up visit).
Size and shape of the breast will gain a natural appearance over the time. In order to get the best result as soon as possible, you should strictly follow your doctor's instructions throughout the healing period (sports bra, wound care products that accelerate wound healing, sexual intercourse, sun exposure, avoiding from strenuous physical activity, etc.) Therefore, please ask all your questions to your plastic surgeon before you leave the hospital.
You may recognize a very slight asymmetry between two breasts. A minor retouch may be required to reposition your nipple and areola, if necessary.
You should visit your plastic surgeon for follow-up visits that are scheduled before you are discharged.
If you experience warmth and redness in your incision line or breast, or if you have a fever or any symptoms that you think are due to surgery after you are discharged, contact your plastic surgeon immediately.
Results of a breast lift will be evident soon after the surgery. However, it takes some time to achieve final volume and shape of your breasts.
This surgery does not help skin problems and tissue quality of breasts. This surgery aims only lifting your breasts to make breasts appear firm and toned.
If you clearly inform your plastic surgeon about your expectations before undergoing a breast augmentation, your satisfaction with outcomes will be maximized and the risk of implant removal or revision surgery will be minimized.
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