A breast lift is a surgery designed to restore a more youthful appearance to sagging breasts. Breasts may sag for a number of different reasons, but there are several ways to surgically correct the issue. Women who want their old breasts back after breastfeeding, women who notice significant sagging due to age and women who have never been happy with the position of their breasts can all benefit from this surgery. Dr. Patterson, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, is the top local surgeon for breast surgery, including breast lifts. Due to his extensive experience and remarkable talent for assisting patients achieve the best version of themselves, Dr. Patterson is now the go-to plastic surgeon for everyone in the Gulf Coast area.
The Breast Lift Process
The breast lift process may vary according to the amount of correction needed. The doctor will make small incisions to loosen the breast skin. The breasts are then lifted surgically and tightened into their new position on the chest cavity. The breast lift process is very straightforward and is focused mainly on repositioning rather than major reshaping. Improved breast symmetry is often a side effect of the surgery, as well.
Breast Lift Techniques
There are a couple of different breast lift techniques. The technique chosen depends upon the degree of change needed and the doctor’s recommendation for the best result. For patients who need a small level of correction, the periareolar lift technique is typically best. In this method, circular incisions are made in the areola area. This breast lift leaves slight scars that can be well concealed by the areola.
The vertical incision technique is often used for moderate corrections. It involves an areola incision, along with a single vertical incision that ends at the breast crease.
For a larger degree of correction, the Anchor or Keyhole technique is typically best. This technique involves an incision around the areola, along with a keyhole-shaped incision that encompasses the majority of the breast tissue. This larger incision allows Dr. Patterson to get access to the large amount of breast tissue needed to perform the breast lift.
Dr. Patterson will always choose the least invasive method possible, as long as the patient’s desired results can be achieved with that method.
Benefits of a Breast Lift with Dr. Patterson
The major benefits of a breast lift are twofold. First, the greatly improved appearance. A breast lift can take sagging unattractive breasts and turn them into youthful looking breasts that are unaffected by gravity. Along with this improved appearance can come a dramatically improved self-esteem level. Most breast lift patients say that when they looked better, it also made them feel better about themselves.
Planning Your Breast Lift Surgery
Step one to planning a successful breast lift is working closely with Dr. Patterson and the staff at Patterson Plastic Surgery. Patients should always be honest about how much time they have to devote to the surgery and recovery. This allows for the best planning and a realistic recovery timeline.
Preparing for Your Breast Lift Surgery
There are several ways that patients can prepare for breast lift surgery. Dr. Patterson provides patients with a preparation checklist, and it is vital that this list is followed closely. Patients should stop smoking prior to the surgery. Some medications should be stopped prior to the breast lift, as drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen sodium, and St. John’s Wort can cause dangerous blood thinning during surgery.
Breast lifts are performed under anesthesia. Dr. Patterson will make the smallest incisions possible, and then lift the breasts while tightening the skin. Breast lift surgery generally takes between one and three hours.
Recovery from breast lift surgery is usually fairly fast. Most patients can return to work within a week, as long as they don’t have a physically strenuous job. For the first 24 hours post-surgery, it is important to have someone at home with the patient. After that, most patients can do the general light movement around the house on their own.
Exercise After Breast Lift
Following breast lift surgery, vigorous exercise should be completely avoided for a full six week period. Even moderate exercise should be avoided for at least two weeks. Strenuous exercise can cause swelling and can inhibit proper healing. Light exercise is the best choice until fully healed.
Dr. Patterson provides patients with specific aftercare instructions. The more closely these are followed, the easier and faster the recovery will be.
- Wear button-down blouses that fit loosely to ensure maximum comfort during this recovery period.
- Leave gauze dressing on the breasts for 24 to 48 hours after the surgery. If minor bleeding occurs, gauze can be removed and replaced.
- Avoid moving the arms over the head for the first week after surgery. This can put strain on the stitches.
- Wear a heavy compression sports bra for a minimum of two weeks to reduce the swelling and pain. After that two week period, wear a medium compression sports bra for an additional four weeks.
- Avoid taking a shower for 24 hours after surgery, and avoid baths (or any full submersion) for a total of three or four weeks post-surgery.
- Pain may occur during the first few days, and could last slightly longer. This is normal and can be alleviated with pain relievers. Use narcotic pain relievers only when required, as they can have significant side effects. If the incision area itches, use an antihistamine like Benadryl.
- Patients normally retain surgical tape on the breasts for two to three weeks post-surgery. Patients should leave this tape in place and keep any creams or ointments away from it.
Dr. Patterson may recommend additional aftercare instructions for breast lift patients. Follow each of these instructions closely for the optimum results. While full healing does take time, a breast lift patient will ultimately have the sag-free, youthful breasts that they desire. Expect for the full breast lift results to be evident around six weeks post-op. Realistic expectations and a willingness to follow all care instructions closely will give the ultimate breast lift results.