The breast lift is an aesthetic plastic surgery procedure to restore the shape and perkiness of saggy breasts. The procedure involves removal of excess, drooping skin from the breasts, reshaping of the breast tissue, and lifting of the nipple and areola to an elevated position. Also known as mastopexy, the breast lift surgery is undertaken by thousands of women in the US each year. Most women undergo the procedure after pregnancy, breastfeeding, and drastic weight loss. The breast lift is a major plastic surgery as it involves skin excision and tissue reshaping. It should only be performed by a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon. Breast lifting boasts a good record of delivering reliable results. Breast lift surgery not only delivers a youthful appearance, but also accentuates your femininity and enables you to fit well in your clothes. Firmer and raised breasts make you appear voluptuous and sexier towards the opposite sex, and majority of patients have expressed their satisfaction from the surgery. There has been a 70 percent increase in breast lift procedures in the US since 2000. According to the statistics of the American Society of Plastic Surgery, the breast lift surgery is outpacing breast enlargement procedures. With a breast lift, you can be sure to achieve a more rejuvenated breast profile and an attractive figure. Why the breasts become saggy The breasts can become saggy and loose for a number of reasons. Common reasons include: • Heredity/genes • Weight loss • Pregnancy • Aging • Breastfeeding • Gravity Pregnancy and breastfeeding often cast unwelcoming effects on the shape and size of breasts, making them loose, sagged, and stretched. The stretching and sagginess can also trigger the emergence of stretch marks. To restore the breasts to the desired shape and size, plastic surgeons recommend the breast lift surgery. Substantial weight loss is another powerful factor that instills aesthetically negative changes. After experiencing drastic weight loss, the breasts lose their perkiness and firmness. If your breast sagginess has been induced by weight loss, the breast lift procedure can help restore the youthfulness and aesthetic profile of your breasts. The procedure will involve removal of the excess skin. If you have abnormal or poorly shaped breasts due to genetic factors, the breast lift surgery may be a good option for you. If your nipples are pointing downward, or if you are not happy with the overall profile of your breasts, you should consult with a plastic surgeon to determine your eligibility for the breast lift surgery. Depending on the severity of the condition and your aesthetic desires, the plastic surgeon will recommend you the best plastic surgery intervention. Choosing a plastic surgeon If you are considering a breast lift surgery, the first step towards achieving the desired results is to choose the right plastic surgeon to undertake the procedure. During the initial consultation, be sure to ask a lot of relevant questions. A good plastic surgeon will make sure to address all of your questions and concerns. You should ask the surgeon about his/her experience, training, and certification in breast lift surgery. It is very important to select a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. You can also ask questions about the steps of the procedure, the incision techniques, the risks and side effects, and the recovery period. Ask to see before and after photos of your plastic surgeon’s work. Don’t just view before and after photos on your plastic surgeon’s website. Make good use of the consultation session to find out everything about the breast lift surgery. While reviewing the before and after photos, you should see the results of patients with the same body symmetry as yours, because doing so will help you ascertain whether your plastic surgeon is capable of delivering you the desired results. You also must make sure that your breast lift surgery takes place in a facility that is accredited and fully equipped for breast lifting. You can even visit the facility and meet the staff there before making your final decision. Be sure to prioritize the results and your safety during the surgeon selection process. Breast lift incision types/techniques There are a number of breast lift techniques depending on the patient’s aesthetic goals and breast condition. Your plastic surgeon will thoroughly examine and evaluate your breasts to determine the incision type best for you. The common techniques used for breast lifting include: Crescent lift: This technique is recommended only for patients with minimally sagging breasts that don’t need too much work done. It mostly involves the use of a small incision on the upper side of the edge of the areola. Donut lift: Usually performed in women with mildly sagging breasts. This technique can be combined together with breast augmentation. In some cases, it can be used in reducing the size of the areola. Vertical lift: This technique is normally employed when a patient needs removal of excess breast skin. It involves the placement of two incisions above and below the areola. It is also known as the lollipop breast lift. Anchor lift: This technique is effective for patients with considerable breast sagging resulting from excess skin and glandular tissues. Anchor lift involves the use of 3 incisions to reshape breasts. The only disadvantage of this technique is that it can lead to visible scarring. Recovery and aftercare Breast lift surgery is normally performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia and/or IV sedation. You will be discharged from the hospital a few hours after the procedure if your health remains stable. Before leaving the hospital, you will get recovery and aftercare instructions from your plastic surgeon or the hospital staff. You will be required to wear compression garments or surgical bras in order for your newly shaped breasts to stay intact and heal properly. You should ask your plastic surgeon how long the recovery period may take and when you will be able to resume your routine activities. You can expect some pain and discomfort during the recovery period. In most cases, the discomforts are mild to moderate and easily manageable with pain relief medications. The most common side effects of breast lift surgery include itchiness, numbness, and sensitivity around the nipples. Should these side effects continue for four weeks after the surgery, you should contact your surgeon. In order to recovery quickly and properly, make sure to follow these instructions during the first week after the surgery: • Avoid sleeping on your stomach • Avoid lifting heavy objects or engaging in strenuous activities • Take plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids • Avoid too much bending over and straining your body • Take slow and short walks to prevent possible blood clotting • Allow your body to relax • Avoid sex until your surgeon advises otherwise Continue to wear the surgical bra Possible side effects, risks, and complications Like all other surgeries, there are a number of side effects and risks associated with the breast lift procedure. You should make sure to ask your surgeon about the risks and side effects and what you can do to prevent or manage them. Below are some side effects and risks of the breast lift surgery: • Scarring • Infection • Bleeding • Reactions to anesthesia • Change in breast sensation • Blood clotting • Allergic reactions • Undesirable aesthetic results Nerve injury or damage Conclusion Breast lift is a plastic surgery procedure to treat saggy, loose breasts. The breasts can become loose due to pregnancy, nursing, gravity, genetic factors, illness, and use of certain medications. The procedure involves the excision of the excess skin from the breasts, in addition to reshaping and contouring the breast tissue and shifting the nipple and areola to an elevated position. After the surgery, your breasts will become perky, youthful, and tighter. The aesthetic results achieved with a breast lift will continue to serve you for a longer period if you stick with your plastic surgeon’s instructions during and after the recovery period. With an experienced surgeon, you can expect the results to be impressive and sustainable. Healthy patients who undergo breast lift surgery get better and long lasting results than patients with poor health. After the surgery and full recovery, be sure to regularly see your doctor for follow-ups, supervision, and evaluation to of your breasts. Contact your plastic surgeon in case of any concerns or complications after breast lift surgery.