Introduction – Breast Lift
Shape and firmness of breast can be lost by loss of skin elasticity, gravity and factors like weight loss, pregnancy and breast-feeding.
Some patients opt for breast lift just to raise them and make them firmer to have a better breast contour, in spite of being satisfied with the size of their breasts.
In certain cases where the patients who have lost a considerable volume of breast, implants can be inserted along with a breast lift procedure in order to increase the size of the breast.
Surgical Procedure – Breast Lift
This is an operative procedure that may require hospital admission and stay. The operation may also be performed on day care basis. The surgery may be done under general anesthesia that renders the patient unconscious or under local or regional anesthesia that renders the operated arm numb and desensitized to the pain. In case of regional anesthesia the anesthesiologist may inject a numbing drug around the neck or shoulder thus desensitizing the nerves of the arm. The patient may be given soothing or relaxing drugs to help sedate them during the operation.
During the operation incisions are made underneath the inner arm area, from elbow to armpit. This site is chosen since once healed the surgical scar is least visible here. The skin is then separated from underlying tissues and excessive fat deposits and extra skin is removed.
Once the surgery is over the incision is stitched up and a small tube is placed within the incision. This helps to drain the excess fluid and blood that may accumulate at the operation site. The site is then bandaged. It may be a week before the stitches are removed. Till then movement of the arm is restricted by placing it in a sling.
A couple of conditions are to be checked before undergoing a breast lift procedure, such as- pendulous breast with a satisfactory size, breasts lacking firmness, nipples and/ or areolas pointing downward. These conditions are sometimes found to be genetically inherited. In some patients, the development of both the breasts happens to be dissimilar- causing a difference in the firmness, position, size or shape.
Breast lift surgery can be performed on large sized breast as well but the success need not be necessarily lasting for a long time as compared to procedures done on small sized breasts. Even though there is no age bar for getting a breast lift surgery done, cosmetic surgeons recommend a surgery only after the breast development has stopped.
Factors like pregnancy and breast-feeding show considerable and irregular effects on the shape and size of the breasts. Still many women choose to undergo breast lift before pregnancy and feel. They think that post- surgical consequences can be dealt later.
Procedure of breast lift generally does not disturb the ability to breast-feed, as milk ducts and nipples remain unharmed. Nevertheless, it is advised to consult your cosmetic surgeon beforehand. The particular technique chosen to perform breast lift is influenced majorly by individual factors and personal preferences.
Three incisions are commonly employed in a regular breast lift procedure, as given here-
- First incision around the areola
- Second vertical incision from bottom of the areola to the crease that is underneath the breast
- Third horizontal incision beneath the breast, along the natural contour of the breast.
The steps involved in breast lift surgery can be explained shortly-
- Excessive breast skin is removed.
- The nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position.
- A reduction in size of the areola can be considered, which may have been stretched in a sagging breast.
- Skin previously situated over the areola is pulled down to have the breast reshaped.
The surgery does not alter the attachment of the nipples and areolas with the underlying mounds of tissue, thus preserving sensation and the ability to breast-feed.
One might temporarily notice less sensation in the nipple and areola areas, post-surgery. It might take some time for breasts to gain more natural shape.
Surgical incisions are generally red or pink in color initially. Surgical incisions usually fade over the period of time. Nevertheless, patients undergoing this procedure should bear in mind the permanent visibility of the incision lines. In certain cases, only faint lines are noticed, whereas some patients may show more noticeable incision lines. Generally these incisional marks get easily concealed by clothing, even in low-necklines.
New breast shape achieved by the lift surgery remains quite unchanged unless disturbed by pregnancy or significant changes in the body weight. However, the shape and size of the breast, in virtually all women, gets ultimately altered by aging and gravity. If a particular patient thus becomes displeased with the appearance of her breasts, she may choose to undergo revised breast lift surgery to regain a better appearance and more youthful contour.
- Links of interest:
American Society of Plastic Surgeons website
British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons website
This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.