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What is a Breast Lift?

Breast Lift Procedure
Woman after a breast lift

A woman’s breasts can begin to sag for any number of reasons; age is the most common as gravity does its job. Gaining or losing weight, changes in the skin or a pregnancy can all cause the once perky breasts to need a little lift. A breast lift is also called a mastoplexy and it is the only type of plastic surgery which repositions the breast back in the proper place. The ultimate goal of a breast lift surgery is to make sure that the breasts are restored to their higher and more youthful position. Since most of the time, sagging occurs because of overstretched skin; a breast lift will remove the extra skin and tighten up the underlying tissues so that the breasts can be supported at a higher, more aesthetically pleasing position.

Possible Reasons for Sagging Breasts

Over the years, a woman’s breasts are going to change and end up losing the shape and firmness that was so common during the years of her youth. Breasts can lose the elasticity of the skin for several reasons. Pregnancy or breastfeeding can cause the breasts to sag, as can age, gravity or even heredity. For some women, the areola enlarges over time. A breast lift can help to rejuvenate a girlish figure. A breast lift does not change the size of the breasts but just rounds out the upper portions. Many women who desire for their breasts to look fuller will consider having a breast lift along with a breast augmentation. And on the other hand, some women choose to have a breast lift along with a breast reduction.

Who is a candidate for a breast lift?

Before scheduling the procedure, the cosmetic surgeon will discuss with each client if they are a good candidate for a breast lift or if another form of plastic surgery would be more beneficial. A good candidate for breast lift is someone who is in overall good health and at a stable weight. Smokers are not a good candidate nor are those who have unrealistic expectations. Women who are bothered by their sagging breasts or they can visibly see that they have lost their shape or volume may be a good candidate. Breasts which tend to be flatter, elongated or pendulous make good candidates as well. A breast lift may be a beneficial option for those whose nipples lie beneath the breast crease when the breasts are unsupported; or for those whose nipples or areolas are pointing in a downward direction. A good candidate for this cosmetic procedure may also realize that one of her breasts sits lower than the other.

The Actual Procedure

A breast lift is typically done in a hospital setting such as an outpatient surgery facility. Sometimes it is done in the personal operating room of the cosmetic surgeon. Before the procedure is performed, the client will meet with the surgeon, nursing staff and anesthesiologist. The plastic surgeon will make a mark where the nipple is going to be placed and then the anesthesia or sedative will be administered. While the patient is medicated, the plastic surgeon will take out all of the excess skin and lift the breast tissue up into the location where it should be situated. For those who are getting breast implants at the same time, they will be inserted at this time and then the incision will be closed and the breasts will be bandaged. It is typical to have small drains in the breasts for up to 48 hours following the procedure. Recovery can take on average 4 to 6 weeks. Clients will have to refrain from lifting heavy objects during this time.

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