Age and time do not just affect the aesthetics of the face and neck. Cosmetic changes inevitably occur throughout the body to some degree as we age. For many women, aging brings on a specific concern: aging breasts. Time, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and weight gain and loss can all contribute to droopy, sagging breasts that no longer have the shape, size, and lift they once did. For women experiencing these changes, there can be negative changes in confidence and self-esteem, which can affect overall quality of life. Fortunately, there is a procedure specifically designed to help restore youth and lift to the bust: a breast lift.
Breast lift surgery tightens and lifts the breast structures and skin for a more youthful, lifted, and shapely appearance. Many women choose this surgery once they have raised their children and/or are dissatisfied with the cosmetic changes caused by aging. Benefits include a more youthful bust with improved contour and increased confidence and self-esteem. Many women also choose to combine breast lift surgery with augmentation for both increased lift and volume. The procedure can also be performed with breast reduction surgery for patients who have too much volume in the breasts. This is a customized procedure that can create comprehensive and unique results for each patient.
If you are interested in restoring the beauty of your bust with a breast lift, you will first need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Alvarez at our Miami offices. The consultation is an important part of planning your surgery, and you should come prepared to discuss your goals and concerns.
The first purpose of the consultation is to establish your goals and assess your expectations for the procedure. Dr. Alvarez will go over the surgery with you and help you determine whether or not a breast lift is a good fit for your needs. He will also assess your overall health and make sure breast lift surgery will be safe for you.
Another purpose of the consultation is getting to know Dr. Alvarez. It’s important that you find a doctor you can trust, and your consultation is the crucial first meeting. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions, learn more about the procedure, and get honest answers and advice regarding any concerns you might have.
Breast lift candidates are women who would like to improve the shape, lift, contour, and overall appearance of the breasts due to aging, weight fluctuations, or childbearing and breastfeeding. Good candidates should be in general good health and have realistic expectations for the procedure. Breast lift surgery cannot always restore the breasts to their original appearance, but the procedure can produce marked improvement in almost every qualified patient. Patients who are interested in getting a larger cup size should consider augmentation instead, or breast augmentation combined with breast lift.
Breast lift surgery is typically an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia.
Depending on the amount of lift required, there are several incision patterns that can be used. The most minimal incision possible will always be used, if the desired results can be achieved. The first type of incision is isolated around the areola (the skin surrounding the nipple) and is very discreet. This is used for breast lifts that require only subtle adjustments. For more extensive lifts, an incision extending down from the areola may be added. For very extensive lifts, another incision may be added underneath the breasts, close to the breast crease. Whatever the incision used, Dr. Alvarez is very careful to minimize damage and scarring from the procedure.
Once the incisions are made, excess skin will be removed and tightened, and the breast will be contoured and supported for a lifted, perky, and shapely appearance. Once the breast is shaped, the nipple and areola will be repositioned to maintain a natural appearance. Finally, the incisions will be closed. The procedure takes about 1-3 hours to complete on average.
Dressings will be put in place following surgery, and typically a support/compression bra will need to be worn to help the incisions heal. Sutures will stay in place for about 7-10 days on average following surgery, but the compression garment will typically need to be worn for at least several weeks. Initial recovery should take about 1-2 weeks, after which normal activities (including non-strenuous work) can slowly be resumed. Prescribed pain medication can be used to help relieve discomfort during the recovery period. Swelling and some pain are normal during the initial healing period.
Lifting, strenuous exercise, and other high-impact activities must be suspended for at least several more weeks, according to surgeon instructions. Soreness and swelling will slowly subside over the weeks and months following surgery until the incisions are fully healed. It is important that patients follow all surgeon instructions as closely as possible during healing to help ensure good results and prevent complications.
Choosing the Right Surgeon
As with any plastic surgery procedure, your choice of surgeon will be a deciding factor in the safety of your procedure and the quality of your results. With this in mind, it is important to choose a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Alvarez, who will tailor your procedure to meet your specific needs. Spend some time meeting with prospective surgeons before you make a decision—you’ll want to choose a surgeon you have confidence in.
Are the results of breast lift surgery permanent?
While breast lift results can be long-lasting, they cannot stop the aging process or prevent any future changes to the breast tissue. The passing of more time, further pregnancies and breastfeeding, and weight fluctuations can all contribute to changes in the breasts following a breast lift. However, leading a healthy lifestyle and choosing the right surgeon can help make the results last longer. Patients can choose to have a second lift in the future if they wish.
Will a breast lift make my breasts smaller?
While very little tissue (mostly skin) is removed during the breast lift surgery, the dramatic changes in contour can make the breasts appear smaller. If you are concerned about losing volume, then you may want to consider combining breast lift surgery with breast augmentation. If you would like less breast volume, you may want to consider breast reduction to have more tissue removed.
Is breastfeeding possible following a breast lift?
It depends. While Dr. Alvarez works very hard to maintain the function of the breast during a breast lift, there are no guarantees that breastfeeding will be possible. Many women are able to successfully breastfeed after breast surgery, but it is impossible to tell before the surgery.
What are the risks of breast lift surgery?
Of course, though breast lift surgery is elective and typically safe, complications can occur (though it is rare). Possible risks include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Poor healing
- Asymmetry/contour irregularities
- Changes in sensation
- Fatty tissue necrosis
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Loss of areola/nipple
Minimize your chances for complications by choosing a qualified surgeon like Dr. Alvarez and following all his instructions as closely as possible.
How much scarring will there be after breast lift?
All surgery produces some scarring, and breast lift procedures are no exception. While incisions are made to be as discreet as possible, there is generally some visible scarring (at least vertically down from the nipple). This will fade somewhat over time, but it is up to the individual patient to decide if the results of a breast lift are worth the visible scars. Most women think the aesthetic gains are worth this small concession.
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Alvarez today! Call 305-600-4146 or fill out the contact form in this page.