A breast lift is a procedure that lifts and reshapes your breasts, giving you a perkier, more youthful silhouette. The procedure involves removing excess skin and repositioning the remaining breast tissues and nipples to restore a more youthful contour. If you have also lost breast volume, you may choose to have implants inserted at the same time to increase volume and fullness (unlike breast reduction surgery, minimal breast tissue is removed in lifting the breast).
You are a good candidate for a breast lift if you have drooping breasts and would like them to feel and look more youthful. A breast lift is commonly performed after pregnancy and breast feeding, significant weight loss, or as breasts age. If you plan on having children in the future, you should wait to have a breast lift. In addition, you should be reasonably healthy and a nonsmoker. You must be emotionally mature, understand your motivations for having this procedure, and have realistic expectations about what the surgery can achieve.
During your consultation, your surgeon will complete a careful examination and discuss your goals, concerns, and the treatment options that best address your particular situation.
General (occasional local anaesthetic if small lift)
Resume light activity next day.
Return to work 1-3 weeks.
The design of the lift can vary considerably depending on the shape and size of your breasts. The more droop to the breasts, the more skin needs to be removed to tighten them, which may mean longer incisions.
You will have a preoperative visit with a nurse to review the details of what to expect during your surgery and recovery. You may need to get some baseline blood tests and sometimes meet with an anesthesia doctor prior to surgery. You will be asked to stop taking all over-the-counter pain or fever medicines (except Tylenol) and blood thinners for two weeks prior to your procedure. As well, many herbal medicines can cause bleeding and so need to be stopped before surgery, such as ginkgo biloba, St. John's Wort, and high doses of fish oil, flax seed oil, or vitamin E.
You should discuss when you might return to work with your surgeon before your surgery as recovery time varies. Depending on the type of work that you do and the amount of physical labor involved, the time it takes to return to work can range from 1-4 weeks. Most women feel normal after 4-6 weeks. Sensation to the breasts and nipple areolar may be affected temporarily and the ability to breast feed is slightly reduced.
As in any surgery, risks include infection, scarring, delayed wound healing, bleeding or seroma (fluid collection), and anesthetic reaction. Complications specific to this surgery include asymmetry, numb skin/nipples, and fat necrosis (firm scar lumps in the breast). Complications in this procedure are relatively uncommon but will be discussed further at the time of consultation.