Breast tissue can change a great deal during your lifetime. Not only does it fluctuate in size with changes in your monthly cycle, pregnancy, and nursing, but advancing age combined with the effects of the previous childbearing, weight gain, or loss can quickly lead to sagging and drooping. If your breasts have lost volume, have excess skin, or sit lower on your chest than you would like, and your confidence has taken a dive, you may be considering breast lift surgery. Breast lift surgery can restore the volume of your breasts and reposition them so that they sit higher and perkier on your body. Here’s what you need to know about this popular cosmetic surgery treatment.
Before you can undergo breast lift surgery, you will first need to have a consultation with our cosmetic surgery team. This is carried out to ensure that you are healthy, that you have realistic expectations for your procedure, and that your breasts meet the physical characteristics that make you a suitable candidate for the procedure. Good candidates typically have breasts where:
- A significant amount of natural shape has been lost
- There is a significant loss of volume
- The nipples fall below the crease of their breasts
- The nipples/areola point downwards
- The breasts are asymmetrical, with one hanging lower than the other
- Their areolas are disproportionate to the shape and size of their breasts
Candidates must be in good general health and not pregnant or breastfeeding. Breast lift surgery is also not usually recommended for people who may wish to go on to have further children in the future, since pregnancy and nursing could detrimentally alter the position of the breasts, reversing the effects of the initial breast lift procedure.
Many people are surprised to learn that there are different types of breast lift and that not all varieties are suitable for all patients. At your consultation, your surgeon will decide which is most appropriate based on your individual needs. All breast lift procedures are performed under general anesthetic, meaning that you will be asleep for the duration of the surgery. There are three main types of breast lift. These are:
Usually carried out consecutively with breast augmentation surgery (which is where implants or natural body fat is used to increase the size and volume of the breasts), the donut lift is only recommended for patients with mild sagging and drooping. There is a single incision made around the areola, and this is used to both lift the breast and remove excess skin, improving the position and shape of the breast tissue. The scar sits around the areola and is very discreet.
This is the most common type of breast lift that is performed without augmentation and is recommended for patients with moderate sagging and drooping. In addition to the incision around the areola, a further incision is made down to the inframammary fold, creating the impression of a lollipop. This allows for more significant lifting and reshaping.
This breast lift procedure is recommended for patients with very large, heavy breasts. Three incisions are made – the lollipop incisions of the lollipop lift and an incision along the length of the inframammary fold. This enables your cosmetic surgeon to completely transform the shape and position of your breasts. Most patients who have the Anchor Lift technique will also require their areolas and nipples to be repositioned higher on the breasts.
Breast lift surgery is a surgical procedure, and you will need to ensure that you take sufficient time off of work to rest and recover and for your body to heal. Your surgical team will be able to advise you exactly how long this should be depending on your individual circumstances, but most patients can resume the majority of their activities within 6 weeks of their procedure.
One of the most important things to be aware of is that your chest will be covered with bandages and a compression garment immediately following surgery. This compression garment helps to control swelling and keeps your breasts in their new position whilst the incisions heal. You may be instructed to wear this for 6 weeks or more. You’ll also be prescribed pain relief to help with your discomfort and this should be taken as directed.
It’s crucial that you follow all aftercare instructions provided by your surgical team as this will minimize your risk of complications and help ensure your recovery is as fast and straightforward as possible.
If you would like more information about breast lift surgery, or to schedule your consultation, visit Kenneth Bermudez MD at our office in San Francisco, CA. You can also call (415) 712-1800 for further inquiries.