Aging doesn’t only reflect in face. Thus, the breasts are commonly an area of concern for women as they age. Tissues lose collagen and elasticity with age and lead to the sagging of the breasts.
This often results in women being unsatisfied with how their breasts look without a bra. Fortunately, MediExpert’s safe and effective breast lift procedure can assist you to overcome this situation by raising and reshaping your breast contour resulting in restoring a youthful appearance.
WHAT IS BREAST LIFT?
Breast lift is also known as ‘mastopexy’ which is a cosmetic surgical procedure performed to correct sagging and asymmetrical breasts, and involves repositioning of areolas.
Breast lift procedure is may be the best option for individuals who are satisfied with the size of the breasts, but desire to lift and reshape their breasts to a more aesthetically attractive position.
WHAT IS AN IDEAL BREAST POSITION?
Every women’s breasts are unique and they are differentiated by the size, shape, volume, pigmentation and texture.
Some of the typical features most frequently used to describe the ideal nipple is generally described as symmetrical, circular, same color, pointing up a little and proportionate with the breast size in overall.
Nonetheless, aesthetic preferences may vary by individual and also by gender. Therefore, we wanted to find out the aesthetically most preferred position of the nipple–areola complex (NAC) on the breast.
U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) carried out a study to find a decent answer to the question where a questionnaire was sent to 1000 women and 1000 men.
Following images showed breasts from two different angles that are total of 12 frontal view images with both breasts and 5 side view images with only one breast shown. All of the breasts had equal dimensions and proportions, with the exact areola size but different NAC positions.
WHAT CAUSES BREASTS TO SAG?
Breast lift procedures are performed to correct breast ptosis (sagging) as there is no non-surgical practice to reverse breast ptosis. Ptosis can be caused by several following factors:
- Natural aging process
- Genetics (Congenital)
- Massive weight loss
- Post-pregnancy and nursing
- Larger breasts
DEGREES OF BREAST PTOSIS
The degrees of breast ptosis that the surgeon will consider in determining the type of breast list to be performed are as follows:
PENCIL & BRA TESTS
Simple pencil test by placing a pencil under the breast under fold can be made as there is sagging in the breasts if the breasts hold the pencil.
Similar scenario to test sagginess of the breasts can be applied with the bra test as if the breasts fall once removing the bra, it means that the breasts sag.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIADATE FOR BREAST LIFT SURGERY?
The best candidates for breast lift surgery are women who are satisfied with the size of their breasts in general, but not with their firmness or shape. You may be a good candidate for breast lift procedure if you have one or more of the following conditions:
- Drooping breasts
- Flatter breasts after weight loss
- Deflated breasts from pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Breasts lack of firmness
- Breasts lack of fullness
- Breasts elongated in shape
- Breasts that have stretched skin
- Asymmetrical breasts
- Heavy and large breasts
- Pendulous breasts
- Downward pointed areolas and nipples
- Unsupported nipples sit below the breast crease
- Enlarged areolas
TYPES OF MEDIEXPERT BREAST LIFTS
After carrying out a detailed evaluation of your breasts and fully understanding your aesthetic goals, MediExpert surgeon will always use the least invasive patterns possible while at the same time select the most effective procedure in order to achieve your unique desired goals.
There are four main types of breast lift procedures which vary generally by the incision pattern used during the surgery.
It is also known as ‘Inverted T’ or ‘Full Lift’. Its name derives from the scar pattern made for this breast lift as it looks like an anchor. It is a traditional technique used for breasts with extensive sagging and mainly occurs following a massive weight loss. It involves total of three incisions in the following areas:
- around the edge of areola
- vertically from the bottom of the areola
- horizontally beneath the breast (along the inframammary fold)
This type of breast lift provides the potentially largest amount of excess skin removal and tightening as well as allowing the surgeon for a customized shaping. It is appropriate for women who require dramatic reshape for a severe breast sagging. This technique is also often used in combination with a breast reduction surgery.
Crescent lift involves a short incision just along the upper half of the areola. It is frequently used for women who are suffering from a mild degree of breast ptosis and corrects minimal sagging. It is the least invasive type of a breast lift procedure as minimal scarring is left. It is commonly applied for younger women and women with smaller breasts. It is typically performed in combination with breast augmentation procedure.
It is also known as ‘Donut’ lift or ‘Benelli’ lift (the name of the surgeon who invented this type of procedure) that involves two circular incisions around the perimeter of the areola which are then brought together. It is appropriate for women with conical breasts, for those experiencing nipple position drooping or for mild to moderate sagging.
The main benefit of this procedure is minimal scarring left and the scar is only located around the areola resulting in even sized, shaped and well positioned areolas. . It is a less invasive type of breast lift and also commonly used in combination with breast augmentation procedure.
It is also known as ‘Vertical lift’ that involves two incisions where one being around the areola and other one vertically extending down from the areola towards the inframammary fold creating the ‘lollipop’ shape. It is generally used for women who are suffering from a moderate degree of breast ptosis and have too much drooping for the periareolar lift, but not enough for the anchor lift. It is a very popular type of breast lifts as it allows surgeons plenty of room for the excess skin to be removed and the entire breast to be reshaped which then scars can be easily hidden.
WHICH BREAST LIFT TECHNIQUE IS THE MOST SUITABLE FOR ME?
MediExpert has a customized approach in terms of meeting the specific aesthetic goals of each particular patient by using least invasive incision patterns possible. The technique used in the breast lift procedure will mainly be determined by the following factors:
- Breast size and shape
- The degree of breast sagging
- Size and position of the areolas
- Skin quality
- Skin elasticity
- Amount of extra skin
BEFORE THE SURGERY
Following needs to made prior to the surgery in order to ensure that the patient is healthy enough for the procedure:
- Stay away from smoking and drugs
- Undertake blood tests
- Maintain a mammogram schedule and another one after the surgery to detect any possible changes
- Ensure that the patient is psychologically healthy
- Avoid all sorts of blood thinners, herbal supplements and certain anti-inflammatory drugs
- Any other medications will also be checked thoroughly as they might lead to complications
- Be at a healthy weight
STEPS IN A BREAST LIFT PROCEDURE
As breast lift is s highly customizable procedure, incision alternatives will be discussed thoroughly to determine the most appropriate option in order to meet the specific aesthetic goals of each patient. The following steps are taken in a common breast lift procedure.
1. ADMINISTRATION OF ANESTHESIA
A typical breast lift procedure is performed under a general anesthesia. However, in some cases intravenous sedation is also applied. MediExpert’s surgeon’s will provide the best solution consulting with the patient.
2. OPENNING INCISIONS
Following the anesthesia, MediExpert surgeon will make the required incision(s) using the breast lift technique chosen beforehand. Incision involves the area which the breast skin will be removed and defines the new location of the nipple and the underlying tissue. When excess skin is removed, nipple and areola are relocated to a higher position. The skin formerly surrounding above the areola is then brought down and then breast is shaped accordingly. Stitches are commonly located around the areola and vertically down from the nipple area towards the breast crease.
Implants can also be inserted in a pocket directly under the breast tissue during a breast lift procedure for a women who desire larger breasts (breast augmentation)
3. CLOSING THE INCISIONS
After the surgeon is fully satisfied with the shape and symmetry of the breasts, incisions are then closed with multiple layered sutures. Surgical tapes and skin adhesives may also be used to closed the skin to complete the procedure.
BENEFITS OF BREAST LIFT SURGERY
Breast lift surgery can offer plenty of benefits and can indeed be a life-changing procedure. Some of the benefits are as follows:
- More youthful appearance
- Fuller appearance
- More feminine look
- Restoring the lost volume of sagging breasts due to aging, pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Firmer breasts that not sag
- Self-confidence is boosted as women feel more comfortable and confident for their body
- Bras and clothing will fit more nicely
- Shopping for your clothing will get easier
- Clothes and bras will fit better
- Love life is improved
- Increased self-esteem
WHAT IS EXPECTED IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE SURGERY?
Post operative period is extremely important for a quicker healing and recovery period. Following are most likely to be expected within the first few days after the surgery:
- You will be kept under observation for few hours to make sure that there is not any clotting or excessive bleeding
- You are most likely to feel exhausted
- Incisions may remain covered with gauze dressings up to a week
- You may experience less feelings in the breasts and nipples for few days
- You will be asked to wear a supportive surgical bra for the first few days and a support bra for about a month afterwards
- Swelling is considered normal which will gradually diminish over the next weeks
HOW LONG IS THE BREAST LIFT PROCEDURE?
As the duration of the surgery may vary from patient to patient , it takes generally between 1-4 hours depending on the technique performed and the extent of the procedure.
IS THERE ANY AGE LIMIT?
Patients must be over 18 to undergo the procedure.
IS BREAST LIFT A PAINFUL PROCEDURE?
There is no pain during the surgery as it is performed under anesthesia, whereas there is some degree of pain after the breast lift procedure which can be considered as mild to moderate. Pain is manageable and subsides within only a few days time which is easily controlled by prescribed pain relievers in order to reduce any possible discomfort. There is no discomfort after the recovery period so that the patients can truly enjoy the pain-free aesthetic benefits.
After recovery, there should be no discomfort, so you can enjoy your aesthetic benefits pain-free.
WILL I LOSE SENSIVITY IN MY BREAST?
Although most of the patients do not complain about the changes of sensation in the nipples, there is a possibility that sensation may be a little different than of prior to the surgery. In very rare cases, some or complete loss of nipple sensation may occur especially in the nipple area. Our surgeons will do their utmost to maintain the normal sensation in the breast though.
WILL I HAVE PERMANENT SCARS AND ARE THEY NOTICEABLE?
Some degree of scarring at the incision site is inevitable after a breast lift procedure, however our surgeons will perform the most advanced incision techniques into the areas where body can conceal and will take all the aggressive possible measures for the scarring visibility to be minimized. There are several factors affecting the appearance of scars. Some of them include:
- Skin elasticity
- Skin tone
- Past sun exposure
- Technique performed
- Ability of the surgeon
- Body reaction to heal
- Alcohol consumption
- Following surgeon’s instructions both in pre and post operatively
It is difficult to provide a specific timetable for the healing of the scars as there are several stages of healing in the months after the surgery and it may take up to a year for the scars to fully mature and in some cases might be much less than that depending on the variable factors given above.
Eventually, most of the patients find the scarring as minor and for many a small amount of scarring is outweigh the dramatic improvement in their breast appearance.
HOW LONG IS THE RECOVERY TIME?
After the surgery; swelling, bruising and temporary soreness are normal and should gradually subside within the first week or so. You may be a little uncomfortable especially in the first couple of days, however pain should not be severe which can be managed by prescribed pain medication to reduce any possible discomfort.
Although recovery period may vary depending on number of reasons including patient’s healing capacity and the technique performed, initial recovery period after a breast lift procedure is generally within 2-3 weeks following the surgery where light exercises can be resumed. Incisions will be healed considerably after 3-4 weeks and the final look will be clear, whereas it may take up to one year for the incision lines to fully set into their final look.
WHEN CAN I HAVE SEX AFTER THE SURGERY?
Sexual activity must be avoided for the first three weeks following the surgery.
SHOULD I NEED TO STAY IN THE HOSPITAL AFTER BREAST LIFT?
Breast lift surgery is generally an outpatient procedure meaning that patients are likely to be discharged from the hospital following a couple of hours observation period. It is important to ensure that a family member or a friend will drive you to your residence or alternatively we will be pleased to arrange your drop off organization.
WHEN WILL THE STITCHES BE REMOVED?
Stitches are generally dissolvable type. If not, the stitches will be removed within 7-10 days after the surgery.
WHEN CAN I GO BACK TO WORK?
Most of the patients can return for a desk job within 2-7 days. It may take between 4-5 weeks to return work for a physically demanding job.
CAN I DRIVE AFTER THE SURGERY?
It is typically 2-3 days are required to start driving after the surgery.
WHEN CAN I START EXERCISING?
Short walks following the surgery is encouraged to reduce the risk of blood clots. Most patients are able to resume light exercises within 2 weeks after the surgery, whereas upper body exercises, heavy lifting and yoga can be resumed after 6 weeks.
WILL I BE ABLE TO BREAST FEED FOLLOWING A BREAST LIFT?
Some women are unable to breastfeed whether they have underwent a breast lift surgery or not, whereas some women have not breastfed before the surgery so they do not really know whether they can. For those women who had practiced breastfeeding prior the surgery, there is some possibility to experience breastfeeding rather more difficultly and there may be a minor risk of not being able to breastfeed after the procedure. Although it is a rare risk, it is recommended to undergo a breast lift procedure when done with having children and breastfeeding.
SHOULD I WAIT TO UNDERGO A BREAST LIFT UNTIL AFTER HAVING CHILDREN?
Pregnancy and breastfeeding can both alter the shape and position of the breasts dramatically. MediExpert usually recommends the patients to wait to undergo a breast lift, until they’re not planning to have more children in order to achieve long lasting results.
CAN BREAST LIFT COMBINED WITH OTHER SURGERIES?
Multiple surgeries can absolutely be performed including a breast lift as many women desire to improve more than one aspect of the breast and sometimes different parts of the body as well.
Breast lift is mostly combined with breast augmentation or with breast reduction surgery . Moreover, other common combinations with breast lift are liposuction , abdominoplasty and facelift . These multi-surgical procedures are referred to as 'mommy makeover' and can be customized to meet each patient’s aesthetic goals.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS HAVING MULTIPLE SURGERIES?
There is not any hard scientific data supporting that the risks and complications are higher than those of the two surgeries performed separately.
On the contrary, there are benefits of having these surgeries at once as initially it avoids the risks of two surgeries, anesthesia applied one at a time and advantageous in terms of saving time and money accordingly.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE OF BREAST LIFT FROM BREAST AUGMENTATION?
Breast lift and breast augmentation is confused very often, but they are entirely different procedures. Breast lift is an effective solution for drooping and sagging breast and the procedure relocates the breasts to a higher position. On the other hand, breast lift solely will not change the overall size of the breasts significantly, it can assist for the breasts to look rounder, firmer and fuller. In addition to that, if a larger or smaller breasts are required, then a breast lift with breast augmentation or reduction may be the appropriate combined procedure.
HOW LONG WILL THE BREAST LIFT RESULTS LAST?
Breast lift is a very effective surgery that can deliver long-lasting results as most of the patients enjoy their results for many years. On the other hand, each patient is unique and responds to a procedure differently. Therefore, it is not quite straightforward to provide an exact period as in reality it all depends on many factors affecting the durability of the results such as body type, surgery technique, skin, age, genetics, lifestyle, dietary habits, weight fluctuations as well as having pregnancy and breastfeeding after the surgery.
In general average period for the breast lift procedure to be effective is between 10-15 years, but there are also many patients who are satisfied with their results more than that. Again it really depends on the certain factors that can contribute to the longevity of the results.
POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS AND RISKS OF BREAST LIFT
Although modern techniques for breast lift are very safe, as with any other surgery there are some risks involved. Some of the rare complications from a breast lift procedure are as follows:
- Breast asymmetry
- Anesthesia complications
- Unevenly positioned nipples
- Loss of sensation in the nipples or breasts
- Problems with wound healing
- Fluid accumulation
- Skin and fat necrosis
- Partial or total loss of areola and nipple
- Blood clots
WHEN CAN I SEE THE FINAL RESULTS?
Changes to your breasts will be visible immediately after the surgery, however these changes will not be the final results. It may take a few months for swelling to subside as well as settling of breasts to position and shape. Although the breasts will look great after 2 months period, it generally takes around 5-6 months to see the final shape and appearance of your breasts when the swelling is completely gone and breasts are settled in its position.