Introduction The breast lift aims to correct saggy breasts that are low on the chest wall. With age or due to other several factors, the breasts tend to start dropping and this leads to an unsightly appearance, as well as a considerable discomfort for the woman experiencing it. The cleavage is also affected by the lack of firmness. Many women decide to undergo a breast lift to correct the breasts and get a more youthful appearance. But when is a good time to get a breast lift and how is your candidacy for the procedure assessed? In this article, we will discuss about what the breast lift entails, as well as assessing candidacy. When is a breast lift required? Women of different ages can benefit from a breast lift; however, it is most common for women over 40 to require mastopexy. The procedure becomes an option when the woman notices that the breasts start sagging on the chest wall. The breast is supported only by the skin envelope and ligaments, and this explains their tendency to subside when the skin loses its elasticity quickly. The procedure will help women with saggy breasts get a nicer neckline and cleavage, have firmer and perkier breasts, have the breasts in the anatomically correct position on the chest wall, and have a firm skin on the cleavage. The breast lift can be performed together with breast implants or a breast reduction, depending on the particularities of each patient and the results she wants to achieve. The breast lift surgery is recommended for women confronted with issues such as: – Breasts that are low on the chest wall – Nipple and areola complex facing downwards – A major volume of the mammary gland is positioned under the inframammary fold – The breasts have upper poles that look empty – The skin on the breasts is stretched and has lost elasticity – The breasts have lost their shape due to sagginess Timing is important when considering a breast lift. The procedure can correct and enhance the size and shape of your breasts, but to sustain the results for longer, the patient needs to avoid weight fluctuations and ulterior pregnancies. An ulterior pregnancy would pose no risks for the mother or the body if the pregnancy occurred a year after the procedure and the breasts have fully healed; however, the aesthetic results can be significantly altered if a new pregnancy occurs. This is the reason why an experienced plastic surgeon will advise you to carefully weigh the pros and cons of undergoing a breast lift before knowing your family is complete. A breast lift should be scheduled when you know you can take time off from work for the recovery period, approximately two weeks after the surgery date and when you can find someone to help you around the house for at least one or two days. Assessing the candidacy for breast lift Maybe you have done your research online and you are certain you need a breast lift. The next step would be to see a plastic surgeon for a consultation. No matter how sure you are that you know exactly what you need to improve the appearance of the breasts, it is only after a proper medical examination and a consultation with the plastic surgeon that you will be deemed as an eligible candidate for the breast lift surgery. The plastic surgeon will take into consideration several factors when assessing your candidacy for the breast lift surgery, such as: – The anatomy of your breasts – Your desires and expectations from the surgery – Your current medical condition – Your current emotional condition – Lifestyle habits The plastic surgeon will perform a medical examination during the consultation. During this medical examination, he will check the condition of the tissues of the breasts. He will diagnose the breast ptosis and determine how severe it is. Depending on the level of mammary ptosis, the plastic surgeon will decide the best surgical plan to be followed. Generally speaking, the more severe the breast ptosis is, the more incisions will be needed to correct it. Also, depending on the anatomy of your breasts, the plastic surgeon might recommend additional procedures to be performed at the same time, such as a breast augmentation or a breast reduction. The desires and expectations you have from the procedure are an important factor when assessing your candidacy for the breast lift. An experienced plastic surgeon will be able to evaluate if your expectations are realistic and if you understand what results can be achieved. Having unrealistic expectations can deem you as ineligible for the procedure. For example, in assessing your candidacy, the plastic surgeon will need to make sure you understand that there will be permanent scars left behind after the procedure. Moreover, like any other surgical procedure, there are risks associated with the breast lift as well as potential complications that can occur after the procedure. A good candidate for the breast lift will understand and accept these risks. Your current health condition and your medical history will be another topic to be discussed with the plastic surgeon. The patient will be required to undergo certain tests before the procedure to give the surgeon the opportunity to rule out any potential contraindications; however, you will need to discuss medical history as well. Patients with a family history of breast cancer might be advised to avoid the procedure or undergo certain tests beforehand. At the same time, you should know that severe or chronic conditions such as lung, heart or blood conditions can be contraindicated for the breast lift. Aside from your health condition, it is also your emotional and mental condition that plays an essential role in deeming you as an eligible candidate. The patient needs to be emotionally stable and understand what the procedure involves to achieve satisfactory results. Patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and other disorders are advised first to seek professional help and get their condition in order and only then to schedule the procedure. The lifestyle habits of the patient are also important when assessing candidacy for the breast lift, and the plastic surgeon will if you smoke. Smoking is to be avoided for at least three to six weeks before and after the breast lift. The lack of proper oxygenation to the blood can trigger unwanted complications such as skin necrosis and delayed wound healing, among others. The patient will be advised to cease smoking before the procedure and remain a non-smoker for at least a month after the procedure. This will give the surgical wounds and tissues that were sectioned during the surgery some time to heal. A strict diet is also to be avoided before and after the surgery, as well as intense physical exercises and the excessive consumption of drugs or alcohol. It is important for the patient to understand the pre-operative behavior that needs to be adopted to ensure good postoperative results and a short recovery period. Conclusion The breast lift is the method preferred by many women to improve the appearance of their breasts after breast ptosis. The sagginess of the breasts can occur at different ages or in different stages of a woman’s life, and there are multiple factors that can trigger it. The reality is that once it has occurred, there is little the woman can do to correct the condition aside from undergoing plastic surgery. After a breast lift, patients mention that their overall appearance is youthful due to the breasts’ high position on the chest wall and their firmness. However, for patients interested in undergoing the breast lift, it is important to understand that they need to have their candidacy assessed before scheduling the procedure. Assessing the candidacy will take place during the pre-operative consultation with the plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon will take into consideration several factors such as the condition of the tissues of the breasts, the anatomy of the patient, the goals and expectations from the procedure, the health and emotional condition of the patient, and even lifestyle habits before deeming the patient as eligible for the breast lift.