While weight loss is a great achievement, it can have negative consequences as well. After drastic weight loss, your breasts may become saggy and loose, and your overall breast profile and shape may also be severely affected. A major portion of the breasts comprise fat, and your weight loss regimen will reduce the volume of fat in all parts of your body, including your breasts. Reduction of fat in the breasts makes the breasts saggy and loose.
Fortunately, loose and sagging breasts can be corrected with a breast lift surgery. Breast lifting is an effective plastic surgery procedure that can restore the youthfulness, perkiness, and firmness or your breasts. Also known as mastopexy, breast lifting involves excision of the excess skin from the breasts, contouring of the glandular tissues, and repositioning of the nipples and areolas. After the procedure, your breasts will appear tighter, raised, and sexier.
The effects of weight loss on the breasts
Women who experience substantial weight loss are left with saggy skin in different areas of the body, including the breasts. Since the breasts are very prominent and play an important role in defining the figure, femininity, and aesthetics of a woman, the patient can experience a plunge in her self-esteem due to saggy breasts.
It does not matter if your weight loss was caused by exercise, diet, child delivery, or bariatric surgery. Weight loss emanating from any intervention affects the shape and profile of the breasts. Additionally, change in the shape and size of your breasts may even make it difficult for you to wear your favorite clothes. Weight loss leaves you not only with saggy breasts but also makes your breasts flat, pendulous, or elongated. It is also possible that your areolas and nipples will start pointing downward, or your breasts will become uneven after massive weight loss.
If you want to restore the perkiness, firmness, symmetry, and overall shape of your breasts, the breast lift procedure is an effective option to achieve your goal. The breast lift surgery will remove the excess skin, contour the glandular tissue, and raise your nipple. After the surgery, you will experience a boost in your self-confidence, allowing you to have more clothing options and engage in intimacy with more confidence and renewed energy.
Candidacy for breast lift after weight loss
In order to qualify for the breast lift surgery, you must be physically, emotionally, and cognitively healthy. If you are suffering from any serious disease like heart problems, diabetes, respiratory issues, or blood disorder, you should avoid the breast lift procedure.
Secondly, you should have a stable weight. If you want to undergo breast lift immediately after massive weight loss, your plastic surgeon may recommend you to wait for a few months. This is very important, as your breasts need time to become stable after drastic weight loss.
Thirdly, you must have realistic goals and expectations. The procedure is effective but there is never a guarantee that the results will be 100 percent according to your expectations. Moreover, if you are a smoker, you must be ready to quit smoking before the surgery and remain a non-smoker for a few weeks after the surgery, because smoking negatively affects the healing process and may even trigger serious complications.
Breast lift techniques
There are a number of breast lift techniques your plastic surgeon may employ. What technique will be used depends on the specific aesthetic flaws in your breasts, your goals, and the surgeon’s preference.
For instance, if weight loss has made your breasts mildly saggy and your nipples are pointing slightly downward, your plastic surgeon may decide to perform a subtle breast lift surgery just to raise the nipple into a more natural position. In this case, only one incision will be placed on each breast.
On the other hand, if the sagginess in your breasts is extensive, a full breast lift surgery may be used. In this case, three incisions will be placed on each breast. The first incision will be placed around the nipple, the second vertically, and the third ‘anchor’ like incision will be used to re-contour and resize the breasts.
Weight loss not only leads to breast sagginess, but it can also lead to loss of breast volume and fullness, particularly in the upper pole region. In order to treat such a condition, your plastic surgeon may recommend a combination of breast lift and breast implants procedure. The breast lift will remove the excess skin and shape the breast tissue, whereas the breast implants will add projection and fullness to your breasts.
However, as a patient, you should have reasonable expectations from the breast lift surgery after losing weight. For instance, breast lift surgery after weight loss cannot restore your pre-weight loss breasts in their entirety, nor can it make it appear decades younger. Every woman has a unique anatomy and breast composition, which is why each patient requires a different surgical technique and approach during breast lifting. Your plastic surgeon will decide the surgical techniques and methods after examining your breasts and analyzing your aesthetic goals.
Types of breast lifting
Depending on the aesthetic flaws and your desires, a plastic surgeon can use one of the following types of breast lift procedures to contour your breasts:
1. Vertical breast lift
Vertical breast lift, also known as circumvertical mastopexy, is suitable for women with moderately sagging breasts that do not need too much work done. This procedure is effective when it comes to treating large breasts that have been affected by massive weight loss. It involves excision of substantial skin, where a vertical incision will be placed from the crease of the breast, running vertically downwards.
2. Anchor breast lift
This type of breast lift involves the placing of an anchor-shaped incision on each breast. It is suitable for women who require dramatic breast profile reshaping and resizing. Also known as inverted-T, the anchor breast lift also involves placement of three incisions on each breast. The first incision is placed on the outer edge of the areola, the second vertically towards the inflammatory fold, and the third horizontally along the breast crease.
3. Peri-areola breast lift
Also known as ‘donut’ breast lift, this procedure is suitable for women who have experienced moderate weight loss and don’t need too much breast lifting or reshaping. It involves placement of one incision around the areola’s edge. This type of breast lifting leaves behind minimum scarring.
In order to determine the breast lift type suitable for you, your plastic surgeon will assess your breasts and evaluate the type and intensity of aesthetic flaws in your breasts. If your plastic surgeon is board-certified and experienced, s/he will use their best judgment to select an effective breast lifting technique for you. It is also possible that your plastic surgeon may use multiple techniques to perform your breast lifting surgery. Be sure to communicate your aesthetic goals upfront to your surgeon.
Recovering from the surgery
In order to recovery safely from the breast lift surgery, you must follow your surgeon’s instructions to the letter. If you have been told to wear compression garments, make sure to wear them for the recommended time period. The recovery time may vary for different patients. It may take you between 4-6 weeks to fully recover.
However, you can resume work a week after the surgery, with the condition that you will not do activities that are labor intensive and involve much arm movements. You will experience some pain and discomfort during the recovery period that can be managed with pain relief medications. Be sure to avoid strenuous physical movements during the recovery period.
Breast lift is an effective plastic surgery procedure for patients who have experienced change in their breast contour after weight loss. Weight loss can change the shape of your breasts, making them saggy, hanging, and asymmetrical. The breast lift surgery involves the removal of excess skin from your breasts, in addition to contouring of the breast tissue and relocation of the nipples. After the procedure, your breasts will appear younger, perkier, firmer, and sexy.
Breast lifting is a major surgery, with a number of risks and side effects. In order to minimize your risks and get impressive results with breast lifting, be sure to choose a highly experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon to undertake the surgical intervention. You should also discuss the risks and possible complications of the procedure with your plastic surgeon during the initial consultation. Most of these risks can be prevented or reduced by following your surgeon’s instructions during the recovery period.