Loss of skin elasticity, gravity and other factors, such as weight loss, pregnancy and breastfeeding ultimately affect the shape and firmness of your breasts. Patients who are generally satisfied with the size of their breasts can have a breast lift to raise and firm them, resulting in a more youthful breast contour. Some patients may be unhappy that they have lost a significant amount of breast volume over time. In such cases, implants inserted in conjunction with a breast lift can increase breast size at the same time as the shape and position of the breasts are enhanced.
You may be a good candidate for a breast lift surgery if you have one or more of the following conditions:
- Breasts that are pendulous
- Breasts that lack substance or firmness
- Nipples and areolas that point downward, especially if they are positioned below the breast crease
Sometimes these conditions may be inherited traits. In certain cases, the breasts may have developed differently so that one breast is firm and well positioned while the other is not., resulting in differences in the size of your breasts as well as their shape. Breasts that are large and heavy can be lifted, but the results may not be as long lasting as when the procedure is done on smaller breasts. In this situation, breast reduction is recommended.
Breast lift surgery can be performed at any age after puberty, but plastic surgeons usually recommend waiting until breast development has stopped. Childbirth and breastfeeding may have significant and unpredictable effects on the size and shape of your breasts. Many women, however, decide to undergo breast lift surgery before having children and feel they can address any possible subsequent changes later. Since the milk ducts and nipples are left intact, breast lift surgery possibly may not affect your ability to breastfeed; however, you should discuss this with Dr. Minniti. During your consultation, you will be asked about your desired breast shape and size as well as anything else about your breasts that you would like to see improved. This will help Dr. Minniti to understand your expectations and determine if they can realistically be achieved.
You should come prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries, and medications that you currently take. You should tell Dr. Minniti if you plan to lose a significant amount of weight, particularly if you have noticed that your breasts become smaller with weight loss. Dr. Minniti will examine your breasts, taking measurements and photographs. The size and shape of your breasts, the quality of your skin, and the placement of the nipples and areolas will be carefully evaluated.
The most common method of lifting the breasts involves three incisions: one around the areola, one that runs vertically from the areola to the bottom of the breast at its crease, and one that runs along the crease. Depending on how much skin excess exists, and whether there is mostly vertical excess, horizontal excess or both, a breast lift will be designed to address those issues to maximize the shape of your breasts. After the surgeon reduces excess skin, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position, and the areola is usually reduced in size. The nipple and areola remain attached to the underlying tissue, preserving the sensation.
There are many variations to the design of the incisions for breast lifting. In some instances, it may be possible to avoid the horizontal incision beneath the breast. Sometimes a technique may be used that avoids the horizontal incision as well as the vertical incision. The size and shape of your breasts, as well as the use of breast implants to enlarge and fill the breasts, are factors that will help Dr. Minniti determine the best technique for you.
Risks & Complications
Fortunately, significant complications from breast lift surgery are infrequent. Every year, thousands of women undergo successful breast lift surgery, experience no major problems, and are pleased with the results. *
*Individual results may vary
Some of the potential complications that may be discussed with you include bleeding, infection and reactions to anesthesia. Following this surgery, sometimes the breasts may not be perfectly symmetrical or the nipple height may vary slightly. Minor adjustments can be made at a later time, if desired. Possible loss of sensation in the nipples or breasts may occur rarely. Incisions that have healed poorly may be revised as well. In the event of injury to or loss of the nipple and areola, they can possibly be satisfactorily reconstructed using skin grafts.