What is a Breast Lift?
Breast lift surgery reshapes and raises sagging breasts. Breast lift surgery can also be performed to reduce the size of the areola. If you have small breasts that have lost volume due to pregnancy or other factors, breast implants are inserted during breast lift surgery to increase both size and firmness.
Breast Lift Surgery
Breast lift surgery usually takes an hour and a half to perform and is done under general anesthesia. The type of incision and residual scar left on the breast will be determined by the amount of skin it is necessary to resect to achieve the desired lift. If you desire to enlarge your breasts at the same time as the breast lift surgery, an implant will be placed under the muscle of the chest wall.
For a woman requiring a substantial amount of tightening of the breast, an anchor-shaped incision is made, following the breast's natural contour. The incisions made during breast lift surgery will determine the new nipple location and outline the areas from which excess skin and tissue will be removed. After excess skin and tissue are removed, both the areola and nipple are repositioned and the breast is lifted and reshaped. Invisible stitches are often placed around the areola, down from the nipple to the underside of the breast, and along the crease below the breast.
After Breast Lift Surgery
After your breast lift surgery, Dr. Siwy will place an elastic bandage and you will switch to a bra after surgery. Your breasts will be uncomfortable, swollen, and bruised for a day or two. Any discomfort you experience can be relieved with oral medications.
One to two days after your breast lift surgery, the elastic bandage will be removed and a support bra will be worn while up and about. You will then wear a soft support bra 24 hours a day for three to four weeks. The invisible stitches will dissolve after a week or two. Initial swelling will tend to flatten the breasts, but your true shape will become evident as the swelling resolves. Most of the sutures are placed under the skin and will dissolve over time.
Moisturizer can be used if your breasts are dry after breast lift surgery. If you do use moisturizer, do not tug at your skin during application and keep the moisturizer away from stitch or suture areas.
Post-surgical swelling will cause some numbness to your breast skin and nipples, but this loss of sensation will fade during the next six weeks. Some patients report that this loss of sensation persists for a year or more and in rare cases this condition is permanent. If you experience any complications following your surgery, please contact Dr. Siwy’s office immediately.
Following breast lift surgery, you may be up and moving in a couple of days. Most patients do not return to work for a week or more following the surgery. You will need to avoid overhead lifting and strenuous activities for three to four weeks following breast lift surgery. Because your milk ducts and nipples will be left intact, breast lift surgery should not affect your ability to breast-feed. As with all surgery, we recommend no activity that causes increase in heart rate or blood pressure for two to three weeks after surgery.
As with any other surgery, breast lift surgery presents some possible complications or reactions to the anesthesia. Bleeding and infection following breast lift surgery are not common and can cause scars to widen. Breast lift surgery does leave permanent but minimally visible scars. Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers. It may be necessary for smokers to have separate breast lift and breast implant surgeries rather than performing them at the same time. Breast lift surgery can also leave you with unevenly positioned nipples, or a permanent loss of feeling in your nipples or breasts, but these occur in rare instances.