Give Your Bust Line a Boost
Restore the shape of your breasts to a more youthful contour
They may not be discussed as frequently as breast augmentations, but breast lifts are still an enormously popular cosmetic procedure – a woman’s breasts change over time and tend to lose their natural shape, be it because of weight loss or gain, pregnancy, breastfeeding, gravity, ageing and genetics. A breast lift can often rejuvenate a woman’s figure.
“A breast lift or a mastopexy is a surgical procedure that elevates and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and fatty tissue to re-contour and maintain an improved appearance,” explains Dr Trelles, plastic and laser surgeon at state-of-the-art dentistry, plastic and aesthetic laser surgery clinic Vilafortuny. “It’s important to note that breast lift surgery will not improve the size of your breasts, but it will give them a fuller appearance.”
Dr Trelles goes on to recommend that if patients desire larger breasts they should opt to combine a breast lift with breast augmentation, and if they desirer smaller breast, they should opt to combine a breast lift with breast reduction.
So are you a candidate?
A breast lift is appropriate for non-smoking women, who are in overall good health and are able to maintain a healthy body weight. A breast lift can be used to address various aspects of your breasts’ appearance:
- Sagging breasts.
- Breasts that have lost shape and volume.
- Breasts with a flatter, elongated shape.
- Nipples that, when unsupported, fall below the breast crease.
- Nipples and areolas that point downward.
- Stretched skin and enlarged areolas.
- A breast that is lower than the other.
The initial consultation
“During your initial consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss expectations, desires and potential outcomes. Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your body and ask questions about your health and lifestyle,” says Dr Trelles.
He further notes that during this consultation, patients should be prepared to discuss: reasons for treatment, expectations, existing medical conditions including allergies, current medication and use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, personal and family history and results of previous mammograms or biopsies. Additionally, your doctor may also need to evaluate your overall health and risk factors, discuss potential complications, examine and measure your breasts and photograph them for medical records, discuss options for incision location, anaesthesia and outcomes.
Preparing for the procedure
Prior to your breast lift, the Vilafortuny team will give you instructions on what you will need to do before surgery. There are several steps you may need to take before your surgery including:
- Lab testing and/or medical evaluation.
- Mammogram before surgery to help detect any future changes in your breast tissue.
- Begin taking certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid taking any anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin.
- Arrange for transportation home after the procedure.
What to expect
“Vilafortuny performs breast lifts on an outpatient basis,” notes Dr Trelles. “We have plastic surgeons that are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. An ABPS board-certification requires advanced fellowship training and demonstrated expertise in plastic surgery.”
Dr Trelles further advises to expect the following:
Anaesthesia will be administered immediately prior to and during your procedure. Choices of anaesthesia include intravenous sedation and general anaesthesia – our plastic surgeons will recommend the best choice for you.
Several different types of surgical incisions can be used during a breast lift, depending on factors such as the current position of your breasts and nipples, degree of sagging, amount of excess skin and fat to be removed, your preference and your surgeon’s preference.
Type of lifts
You and your plastic surgeon will decide on this before your procedure. There are three main types of lifts to consider: a Donut Lift in which an incision is made around the perimeter of the areola of each breast; a Lollipop Lift in which an incision is made around the areola and then vertically down to the crease of the breasts; and an Anchor Lift in which an incision is made around the areola, vertically down to the crease of the breasts, and then horizontally along the breast crease.
Reshaping your breasts
After the surgical incision is made, your plastic surgeon will reshape your breast tissue to improve contour and firmness. Depending on your desired results, they may also:
- Reposition your nipple and areola to a natural, more youthful height.
- Reduce the size of areolas by excising skin at the perimeter.
- Remove excess skin to compensate for a loss of elasticity.
Once the desired amount of excess skin has been removed and the remaining tissue has been tightened, the incisions are closed using sutures, skin adhesive, or surgical tape. Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts.
What to expect after
Your plastic surgeon will be available to address concerns and questions after the procedure and will provide written instructions regarding:
- Post-surgery care to follow at home.
- Prescriptions for medication.
- Follow-up appointments.
- Post-surgery mammogram.
“After the procedure, your breasts will be bandaged to reduce swelling and provide support. You may experience some soreness during the first few days after surgery – pain medication can be prescribed to help ease these symptoms. Recovery time, meanwhile, varies: most women can return to work after one week. Surgical incisions are generally concealed along natural breast contours. Even though scarring is inevitable, the incision lines will diminish over the next few months,” says Dr Trelles on what to expect after the procedure.
He adds: “There are risks associated with any type of surgery: bleeding, infection, adverse reaction to anaesthesia are rare, but they can happen. Following pre- and post-surgery instructions will help you to avoid any risks or complications.”
The final results of your breast lift surgery will become apparent over the weeks and months following the surgery, as your breasts form to their new contour and position. Once healed, most women experience improved confidence after a breast lift. As long as you maintain your weight and live a healthy lifestyle, your new look should be long-lasting.