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What Happens in a Breast Lift Procedure?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast lift procedures have increased in popularity by about 70% since the year 2000. In addition to this rise in popularity, breast lifts have also become a more popular operation than breast implant procedures. Also called a mastopexy, the lift can be performed alongside breast reductions or breast augmentations to achieve a particular final look. With so many more women opting for breast lifts, it is a good idea to learn why people choose to have this procedure and what to expect during and after it.
Reasons for getting a breast lift
There are a variety of motives a woman may have for wanting her breasts lifted:
- Dramatic weight loss resulted in misshapen breasts
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding changed the look of the breasts
- Unhappiness with natural breast shape
Many women who experience sagging, drooping or uneven breasts seek lifting procedures. It is recommended to make an appointment with an experienced plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon for a personalized evaluation.
Steps to breast lifting
There are several important parts involved in the journey to lifted breasts. While the individual path of each person will be unique due to individual physical needs, surgeons typically follow similar procedures.
The patient should research a few qualified surgeons, either online or through recommendations from family and friends. A good surgeon ought to have experience in performing breast lifts, take a physical exam of the patient and talk about what the patient can expect. Some patients believe lifts will reshape the breast, but this may not be the case. For fuller breasts, a surgeon often recommends augmentation be done simultaneously.
In the weeks or months before the breast lift surgery date, the patient may be given a list of items to do. These can involve quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption and weaning off of particular medications. Cigarettes, medicines and alcohol can affect the blood flow, which can cause complications during surgery. Patients may also be asked to lose a certain amount of weight through diet or exercise before undergoing surgery.
Based on the individual evaluation of the plastic surgeon, incisions are made around the areolae, horizontally along creases of the breasts and downwards from the nipples to the breast creases. This is done to create a higher placement of the breasts on the torso. The surgeon may reshape the breast tissue, depending on what the breast needs for lifting. The nipples are usually moved to a higher location on the breast. When the procedure is complete, stitches or surgical tape are often employed to close the wounds for healing.
After the two- to three-hour procedure, the patient is sent home to recover. With tissues wrapped in gauze and a supportive bra, the patient may experience bruising, swelling and soreness for a limited period of time. Doctors often recommend pain medication to be taken in the first week of recovery. Scarring is usually minimal.
There are many reasons for wanting a breast lift procedure. To understand what is recommended for a particular individual, it can be a good idea to seek professional advice from a knowledgeable plastic surgeon before booking an operation.
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