What is a Breast Lift ?

What is a Breast Lift?

A breast lift is a surgical procedure for reshaping breasts that have lost their firmness and become lax over time. There are many factors that can influence the firmness of the breasts, namely excessive weight loss, advanced age and pregnancy. It is important to understand that the purpose of a breast lift is not to augment or increase the size of the breasts, but rather to recontour them in order to give them a more firm and youthful appearance.

How is a Breast Lift Performed?

The technique used to perform breast lift surgery depends mostly on the size of the patient’s breast, the location and size of the areola in relation to the size of the breasts, as well as the patient’s preference of technique. In most cases, a breast lift is performed by making three standard surgical incisions; the first in a circular fashion around the areola, the second in a vertical fashion from the bottom tip of the areola to the underside of the breast, and the third in a horizontal fashion meeting with the second incision and creating one complete keyhole-shaped incision.

These incisions allow the surgeon to remove extra skin which has contributed to the undesirable and sagging appearance of the breasts. The surgeon then repositions the nipple and areola to a more superior position of the breast after the extra skin has been removed. Often times, the areola is actually reshaped or decreased in size upon the patient’s request, particularly when the contour and shape of the areola have been affected by pregnancy. Following this, the remaining firm skin located higher up on the breast is actually brought down and placed underneath the breast to lift and strengthen the hold of the breasts.

What are the risks of a Breast Lift?

It is important to keep in mind that breast lift surgery is not without risks. The standard surgical risks apply when undergoing a breast lift, including hemorrhage, infection and allergic anesthesia reactions. From a cosmetic standpoint, however, it is important to be aware that breast lift surgery could potentially result in a variance in the alignment and positioning of the nipples and areola, a loss of sensation of the breasts and scarring. These types of cosmetic side effects are considered rare, but they can be addressed and corrected with further surgery.

Who is a candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?

In order to determine if you are a candidate for a breast lift, you will need to meet with a surgeon and have a thorough breast examination. Most patients can be considered candidates for the procedure if their breasts have become lax and lost their firmness or if the nipple and areola are anatomically positioned to point downward.

Most surgeons recommend that breast lift surgery not be attempted until after a patient is done having children, as the course of pregnancy and breastfeeding can still alter the firmness of the breasts even after a breast lift procedure. It is also important to note that breast lift surgery done on larger, heavier breasts may not render the typical results that smaller breasts would because of their excessive weight. In cases such as these, a breast reduction may be a better option before pursuing a breast lift.

Disclaimer: This information is intended only as an introduction to this procedure. This information should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor does it guarantee results of your elective surgery. Further details regarding surgical standards and procedures should be discussed with your physician.

By PlasticSurgeons.com Staff

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