Aging is a fact of life, but with breakthroughs in science and medicine, it doesn’t have to be evident. More and more women are looking to breast lifts and augmentations to help them recapture that perkier and more youthful look, and recent studies show that women choose a breast lift over breast implants two to one. If you are searching for a safe and effective way to give your look a boost, or even just look better in a swimsuit, visit Dr. Masood Ansari at My Cosmetic Clinic in Balmain, New South Wales.
What Is a Breast Lift?
Also called a mastopexy, this is a surgical procedure performed to give the breast a more youthful and firm look and feel. During the procedure, an experienced plastic surgeon will shape the existing breast tissue and skin to make the breasts tighter and more firm, while also lifting sagging nipples. If you hope to have a more natural and youthful look, or if you need to improve sagging, drooping, or even some mild asymmetry (unevenly sized breasts) then this procedure could be the answer for you.
Depending on your personal needs as a patient, your medical professional will determine what type of breast lift will work best for you. It is important to choose a cosmetic surgeon who will take the time to meet with you and go over your specific wants and needs to ensure you get the results you are seeking. The three most typically used procedures are explained below.
This procedure is for women with minor ptosis or sagging. During this surgery, the incision will follow your natural areola shape to tighten the skin slightly and move the areola up. It is also effective in minimizing large areolas. Also called the crescent lift, this treatment causes minimal scarring, and is typically performed with a breast augmentation.
Vertical Breast Reduction
For moderate ptosis, a vertical breast reduction will be performed along with the periareolar procedure. Besides the incisions that follow the areola shape, an additional incision is made that runs vertically down from the areola to the natural fold underneath the breast.
This is also known as a lollipop lift because of the shape of the incisions. This option can be used if there is an extensive reshaping required and if excess skin must be removed.
Inverted T Incision
This type of lift builds upon the other two options and is used when a significant amount of lift is desired. Besides the periareolar and the vertical incision, this lift includes a horizontal incision within the natural fold beneath each breast. It is called an inverted T lift because of the shape of the incisions.
This method is highly effective for women who have loose and excess skin from a significant weight loss or women who are experiencing severe breast deflation because of pregnancy and breastfeeding. This is also the procedure typically performed for breast reductions.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
If you are in good overall health with no serious pre-existing conditions, you could be a great candidate for this service no matter your age. As noted, most women seek this service after losing a significant amount of weight, to address aging concerns, or after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Typically an experienced cosmetic surgeon will ensure that you possess good elastic skin so that results are more likely to be what you expect, and it is important that you are not prone to keloid, or large raised scarring tissue.
The Pencil Test
If you are considering a breast lift but don’t know if you are a good candidate, you can try the pencil test in the privacy of your own home. While consulting with an experienced surgeon is the only way to know if this procedure is right for you, this is a simple way to determine whether to schedule a consultation.
Start by taking a pencil and place it underneath each breast in the natural fold between your chest and breast. Let your breast rest against the pencil and let it go. If the pencil falls to the ground after you release it, then you more than likely need do not need this service just yet.
If the pencil stays under the breast without being supported, then you should make an appointment to see a cosmetic surgeon to determine if you could benefit from this surgery.
Can a Breast Lift Be Combined With Other Procedures?
To reach your desired results, your medical professional might recommend combining this procedure with augmentation. During augmentation, your doctor will add either silicone or saline breast implants to give them a fuller and larger look. If you are experiencing ptosis but also lack volume, combining a lift and augmentation will give you your desired results.
Preparing for This Procedure
Before scheduling your surgery it is important to meet with your surgeon for a consultation. During this appointment, your doctor will assess your current health, perform a physical exam, and then determine the best course of action needed to achieve your surgical goals. Be prepared to provide an extensive medical history during this consultation. This will include any history of breast cancer, mammogram and biopsy results, current medications, and past surgeries.
During this consultation, your doctor will require a physical exam. This exam will help determine the best procedure needed to get the desired results. Your doctor will also want to photograph your breast for your file and to track the success of the results. During this appointment, your doctor will also discuss your surgical objectives and go over all risks and the results you can expect from the procedure.
Additional Items Your Doctor May Require
While these are typically outpatient surgeries with minimal risks, your doctor will want to glean all the information they can to ensure your safety and best results. Some additional information your plastic surgeon may require is a pre and post-surgery mammogram. This will give your doctor a baseline to fully understand any changes in your breasts.
Your doctor will also specifically list any medications you must stop taking before and immediately following surgery. These will include aspirin, herbal supplements, and anti-inflammatory drugs, as these medications can increase bleeding.
In most cases, your doctor will recommend you stop smoking before you schedule your procedure. Smoking will decrease the blood flow to your skin and could slow the healing process. This could also lead to more visible scarring later. It is also important that you are at your healthy and desired weight before undergoing surgery. Major changes in weight can significantly alter your results.
What to Expect After a Breast Lift
As noted, in almost all cases this is considered outpatient surgery, however, your doctor will use either a general anesthetic or a local pain blocker with intravenous sedation. Either is a great option for keeping you pain-free and asleep during the procedure. Most patients can switch to Tylenol after only a few days following their operation.
You will have deep tissue sutures that will dissolve in a matter of months and surface stitches that will be removed within a few weeks. When you are released you will typically have “steri-strips” or a suture-friendly tape placed over the incision sites.
You should be prepared to take it easy for the first few days after your procedure and have someone lined up to help you with day-to-day tasks. While you will be walking the day after surgery, any strenuous activity such as exercising should cease for at least four to six weeks.
Returning to Normal
Most patients can return to work and their normal routines one week after surgery. While walking is encouraged, exercising should discontinue for at least four weeks, or until your doctor recommends. Sports bras should be worn after surgery and for the following eight weeks. Under-wire bras should be avoided for the first two months after surgery.
Since most procedures involve incisions near and around the areola, there is typically a temporary loss of sensation or numbness in the nipple area. In most cases, sensation in these areas will return fully within one to three months after surgery. Consult with your doctor if you are experiencing a loss of sensation after this time. While scarring will be evident at first, these scars will diminish and become almost invisible, in most cases, by a year after surgery.
It is important to sleep on your back right after surgery and for the first week. Avoid sexual activity for the first one to two weeks or until your doctor recommends. Typically patients experience a loss of sensation in the areola area for up to three months after surgery, and this is perfectly normal. Consult your doctor if you experience this numbness after that time.
How to Maintain Results
It is important to think of this service as a clock reset for your breasts’ aging. While this procedure will give you tighter and more youthful-looking breasts, continued aging, pregnancy or breastfeeding after your procedure, and weight gains or losses can affect your results.
There are some simple things you can do to prolong this new youthful look. Quit or do not start smoking, as this will age your skin and make scars more visible. You can also protect your scars from sun damage by always applying sunscreen. It is also important to maintain a healthy weight.
The Safety and Risks of This Procedure
Overall a breast lift is a safe procedure with minimal risks. Breast lifts have been used safely for a long time, and if you choose a surgeon who is certified by the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), you know you will be in good hands.
Members of the ASPS undergo extensive medical training, much of it in plastic surgery specifically. Any risks specific to you in undergoing a breast lift will be discussed with your ASPS-certified doctor, and together you can make an informed decision about the right choice for you.
While no one can turn back the hands of time, the right doctors can give you a more youthful and firmer look. If you are considering a breast lift or any other beautification procedures, come see the medical experts at My Cosmetic Clinic in Balmain, New South Wales. Dr. Masood Ansari is a cosmetic surgeon with extensive training and knowledge about all facets of cosmetic health and wellness, and he can help you reach all of your aesthetic goals.