As we age, gravity takes a toll on our bodies, and a woman’s breasts are no exception. A breast lift is a great option for someone who is happy with their overall breast volume, but would like the shape changed so that the breasts are lifted and “perkier”. Depending on the different issues with the breast, this usually involves removing extra skin, reshaping the breast tissue so that the lift is more durable, and repositioning the nipple back up onto the most projecting part of the breast. Different incision shapes are used depending on how much skin needs to be removed. This can range from a “donut” around the areola if only a small lift is required, to a “lollipop” for a moderate lift, to an “anchor” pattern for a large lift. If you plan to get a breast lift in Houston, Lift Plastic Surgery is the best choice.
What happens during surgery? Before surgery your breasts will be marked in the pre-operative area to provide a roadmap for the proposed incisions and breast changes. During surgery, extra skin is removed according to the plan A rim of areola is also usually removed to make them smaller and more proportional to the breast as they have usually become larger and stretched with time. If needed, limited cuts in the breast tissue are also made to allow repositioning into a more favorable shape and to make the lift more durable. Throughout the surgery, we usually sit you up several times to make sure we are happy with the new breast shape and symmetry before finishing the operation. Sometimes we will also place special permanent sutures around the areola to prevent it from stretching and changing shape with time. The incisions are then closed with dissolvable sutures. Sometimes there will be a permanent suture at the bottom of the breast that is removed in the office after 3 weeks. Incisions are covered with tape and skin glue and you will be placed in a soft surgical bra. You are able to go home the same day.
What will my breast lift recovery be like? Postoperatively, you will have some mild discomfort. You will be able to shower the day after surgery. You must wear a soft supportive bra with no underwire at all times other than showering for the first month. After four weeks you can change to a normal bra as long as your incisions are well healed. No vigorous exercise or activity is allowed for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery and you should limit lifting your arms above your head. Expect that your breasts will be swollen, and this will gradually decrease over the next few months. Once your incisions are healed we will discuss scar management tips.
What are the risks? With any operation on the breast there is the potential for wound healing issues, changes in sensation, changes in ability to breast feed and, rarely, partial or total loss of the nipple/areola. These complications are more likely in larger droopier breasts and after massive weight loss. However, most patients do extremely well. Patients should realize that the results of a breast lift will not be forever permanent. Normal breast aging will continue to occur and shape will still change over time.