Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A breast lift addresses sagging and uneven breasts, decreased breast volume and drooping nipples and stretched areolas (the darker area surrounding the nipples), recreating a youthful shape and lift to your breasts. If there is too little or too much breast volume, a breast augmentation or breast reduction might be recommended in addition to a lift. Also known as mastopexy.
- Pregnancy, nursing, gravity, weight gain or loss, normal aging, and heredity have taken a toll on the shape of your breasts, resulting in sagging or excess skin
- If your surgeon thinks that breast implants alone are unlikely to achieve the contour you desire
- If the tissue surrounding the nipple or areola has become stretched
Silicone gel-filled breast implants: Breast augmentation by fitting silicone implants not only increases the size of the breasts, but also makes them firmer and gives them more volume. It imparts a natural feel ant touch. The implants have undergone thorough scientific testing to demonstrate their high level of safety.
Autologous fat transfer: This procedure entails removal of fat by liposuction from an area of your body in which there are abundant fat cells, such as your thighs, abdomen and hips. After a process of preparation and refinement, the fat cells are injected into your breast. Advantage is that volume enhancement is by own tissue and risks and complications of implants are completely avoided. However, a percentage of fat injected gets dissolved by the body and size reduces subsequently. Hence this requires multiple sittings to achieve a final result.
Your plastic surgeon might combine any of these breast augmentation options with a breast lift if there is any sagging or drooping of your breasts.
Your anatomy and health profile as well as your personal preferences will help you and your surgeon determine:
- The best type of surgery
- Your optimal breast size
- The type of implant and incision location that will best fill your needs.
Factors that influence the size and type of breast augmentation recommended for you include:
- Your medical history
- Your goals for breast enhancement
- Your existing body frame and mass
- Your existing breast tissue
- Your preferences related to size and incision placement.
The goal of your aesthetic plastic surgeon is to help you achieve the best results and to make your surgical experience as easy, safe and comfortable as possible.
Most breast lift patients go home on the day of their procedure.
Discomfort after this procedure lasts an average of 3 to 7 days. Some patients will require drains for 2 to 5 days when implants are also being inserted at the same time.
Breast lift patients should begin walking and stretching on the day of the procedure. Patients should avoid exercise for 4 to 6 weeks and upper chest exercises for 12 weeks. Most women can return to desk work after 7 to 14 days.
Breast lift patients wear a compression garment for 2 days, followed by a comfortable sports bra. Patients should avoid wearing push-up and underwire bras for 6 to 8 weeks.
Different techniques for removing breast skin and reshaping the breast determine the location of the incisions and resulting scars. Your surgeon will select a technique based on your breast size and shape, areola size and position, degree of breast sagging, skin quality and elasticity and how much extra skin you have.
Dr. Date will select a technique to match each patient’s specific breast rejuvenation needs. He will discuss the best method to meet particular goals during a consultation. Typically, this procedure involves the following
- Your plastic surgeon will remove excess breast skin and shift the nipple and areola to a higher position.
- If your areola has become stretched, it can now be reduced in size.
- Skin that was formerly located above the areola is brought down and together, beneath the breast, to reshape the breast.
- Your surgeon will remove excess skin and close your incisions, tightening the skin, sewing the breast back together and placing sutures deep in the breast tissue to support the new breast position for a longer period of time.
- Scars are usually hidden under the breasts, although some light scarring may be seen on top of the breast.
- The nipples and areolas remain attached to underlying mounds of tissue, and this usually allows for the preservation of sensation and the ability to breastfeed.
These vary according to the type of incision your aesthetic surgeon suggests for you. Your surgeon can conceal some incision lines in natural breast contours, but others will be visible on the breast surface. A common method of lifting the breasts involves three incisions:
- Around the aureolas
- Extending downward from the areolas to the breast creases
- Horizontally along the breast creases
Although incision lines are permanent, in most cases they will fade and significantly improve over time. Every effort is made to place scars in hidden areas and minimise them, with the goal of achieving the desired results with the shortest possible scar.
Your surgeon will provide thorough preoperative instructions, answer any questions you may have, take a detailed medical history and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery.
In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:
- Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding.
- Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing surgery to promote better healing.
- Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery and critical outcomes.
- Keep alcohol consumption at less than two to three drinks per week.
- You must not lift, drive or do laundry and cleaning for the first two weeks.
- Rest and sleep on your back continuously in an inclined position (25 to 45 degree angle) for the initial postoperative days or while significant swelling remains. You can achieve elevation with wedge pillows with an incline design or by sleeping in a recliner chair.
- Avoid hot showers, hot tubs and saunas for two to three weeks.
- Decide what you will wear for the first few days; pick items that open in front. Wear slip-on shoes so you don't have to bend.
- You may be asked to wash your body with antibacterial soap prior to surgery.
- Make sure not to wear cosmetics (including nail polish), lotions, perfumes or other substances.
- Dress in or bring soft, comfortable clothes that you'll be able to wear after the surgery, including a top that opens in the front and shoes that slip on.
- Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure.
- General anaesthesia is commonly used during your breast reduction procedure, although local anaesthesia or intravenous sedation may be desirable in some instances.
- For your safety during the surgery, various monitors will be used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.
- Your plastic surgeon will follow the surgical plan discussed with you before surgery. Once the operation has begun, the surgeon may decide to combine various techniques or change a technique to ensure the best result. It is important that you feel comfortable and trust your doctor to make these decisions.
- After your procedure is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored.
- Following the surgery, a bulky gauze dressing (bandage) will be wrapped around your breasts and chest or you might wear a surgical bra. Drainage tubes may be attached to your breasts.
Recovery will be smoother if you follow all patient care instructions provided by your surgeon. Your surgeon will also provide detailed instructions about the normal symptoms you will experience and any potential signs of complications.
- Incision care. Your incision sites will be checked, and your stitches removed in approximately 10-14 days.
- Suture removal Keep your incisions/suture line dry. Your surgeon may have placed Steri-Strips on top of your incision line and sutures, or you may have sutures internally and tissue glue externally to bind your incision edges.
- Monitoring your temperature. An elevated temperature could mean an infection and hence it should be monitored for 2 weeks.
- Soreness and pain. You will feel tender, stiff and sore for a few days and will more than likely not want to move too much. This will subside. Be sure to take your required medications and follow the precise instructions provided by your surgeon.
- Swelling: Post surgical swelling is always present though the breasts will be noticeably smaller than pre operative size. Most of the swelling will disappear by 2-3 weeks. This can be hastened by increasing your fluid intake (preferably water), having normal to low sodium intake, and movement, such as light walking.
- Bruising may be seen especially if liposuction has also been done. Other common side effects during recovery include numbness or changes in nipple sensitivity, itching around incision sites, and increased firmness or fullness in the breast tissue. These side effects should subside over the next few weeks, with some residual effects lasting up to three months after surgery.
- Sleeping and good bed rest contributes greatly to pain relief and reducing swelling. The propped up position is recommended. This helps relieve pressure on your treatment area, reducing swelling and pain.
- Bathing. You may be asked to take sponge baths until your incisions are completely closed and your sutures are no longer in place. You may not be able to wash your hair for a while, because you will not be allowed to raise your hands over your head.
- Activity. Even though you may not feel like it, your surgeon will probably advise you to walk and move around as soon as you can to prevent blood clots and swelling. You will be instructed not to exercise or engage in strenuous activities for at least 4-6 weeks. Your full range of motion should return between six to ten weeks, depending on how well you have healed.
Every procedure involves inherent risks. Although serious complications are extremely rare, Dr. Date educates every patient about potential risks. Those risks can include scarring, the opening of the wound, discomfort for several days, bruising around the surgical sites, infection, bleeding, nerve and vessel injury, skin necrosis, deep venous thrombosis (clotting), and general anaesthesia-related issues.