Having proportional, firm and shapely breasts is an important component of a youthful and attractive physique. Many women, especially after pregnancy and childbirth, develop drooping and pendulous breasts. They resort to wearing underwire bras which are uncomfortable and not good for breast health too.
If you have drooping, saggy breasts, your best solution is to get a breast lift surgery (or mastopexy). This surgery can give a firm, shapely and elevated breasts as you desire.
Breast lift surgery aims to raise the drooping breasts by tightening the structures supporting the breast and removing excess skin from the breast. This helps to recontour the breasts and provide an aesthetically balanced appearance of the body.
This surgery does not increase the size of the breasts. If you need larger breasts, your doctor may perform breast augmentation along with breast lift.
This surgery may be useful for women who develop saggy breasts due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, ageing, and drastic weight-loss.
There is a simple test to find out if breast lift is right for you - take a pencil and keep it under your breasts. If it doesn’t fall, breast lift might be a reasonable option for you.
You could opt for this surgery if:
- Your breasts have become saggy, flatter and longer
- Your nipple level is below the breast crease and they are pointing downwards
- One breast is lower than the other
- You are not planning to get pregnant in the next 6 months
- You are undergoing a rigorous weight loss regime
- You do not have conditions like diabetes, heart diseases that interfere with the surgery
PREPARATION BEFORE PROCEDURE
During the pre-surgical consultation, your doctor will ask you some questions to evaluate your health and order some tests (blood tests, X-ray) to check if you are fit for surgery. You would be explained about the risks and benefits of the surgery. Next, your doctor would do a detailed breast examination and would take some photos (with your permission) for future comparisons.
You may have to undergo a baseline mammogram before surgery and regular mammograms after surgery to check for any breast tissue changes.
Follow these instructions to have an uneventful surgery:
- Avoid smoking for at least two weeks before surgery, as it interferes with your ability to heal.
- Tell your doctor about the medications you are taking. You may have to discontinue certain drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen and some herbal supplements which increase the risk of bleeding.
- Tell your doctor if you have any drug allergies.
- Have a healthy and balanced diet.
Your surgeon will give instructions related to food and drinks before the surgery. Make sure you have somebody to drive you home after surgery. Also, it will be useful to ask someone to stay with you during the recovery period.
This surgery will be done under general anaesthesia.
There are many techniques of doing this surgery and the technique depends on the breast shape. Your doctor may choose to make an incision - only around the areolae, around the areolae and extending to the downward breast crease, or horizontally along the breast creases. Next, the surgeon would remove excess skin and reshape the breasts. The surgeon may also pull up the nipples to a higher position.
Once the excess skin is removed, the remaining skin is tightened, and the incisions are closed with sutures and skin adhesives. The incised skin is covered with bandages.
You will be allowed to go home on the same day. After surgery, you will have pain and swelling in the breasts for which you will be given medications. You may be asked to wear a support bra after surgery to keep your breasts well supported and allow them to heal. If you have non-dissolvable stitches, you will need to get it removed after two weeks. The actual effect of the surgery will be apparent after a few weeks.
Most women are able to do routine activities within 3-4 weeks of surgery. You may be asked to take rest and avoid driving for at least a week.
Follow these tips to heal faster:
- Avoid bending and lifting heavy weights
- Sleep on your back to avoid pressure on the breasts
- Avoid involving in sex for 2-3 weeks after the surgery
- Do not expose your breasts to direct sun
- Keep the incisional site clean and always check for pus or bleeding.
FACTORS AFFECTING COST
The cost for this surgery depends upon:
- The surgeon
- The facility
- The technique
- The anesthesia
As a patient, you should know if your surgeon is capable to bring about the desired changes in your body. Check if your surgeon is well qualified and has a decent experience.
Ask your family doctor to refer you to a good plastic surgeon. If possible, get in touch with other people who have undergone this surgery for suggesting a good surgeon. There are many websites online which give you patient testimonials and feedbacks about the surgeons, read them.
It usually takes 2-3 hours for this procedure. If you wish to get other procedures like breast augmentation done, it may take more time.
You may be recommended to take at least a week off work after surgery. After this period, you may resume daily activities and office work (if it is not physically straining).
Breast lift is a cosmetic surgery. This is not included in a standard health insurance plan. For more details, talk to your insurance provider.
As for any surgery, breast lift surgery also has some risks, such as:
- Bleeding and infection in the incision site
- Changes in the sensation in and around the nipple.
- Asymmetry of the breasts
- Fat necrosis