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For many women, their breasts are an essential part of their self-image and sexual self-confidence. It would be wonderful if breasts stayed high and perky for our entire lives! But unfortunately, factors like age, genetics, weight gain or loss and breast feeding can have an impact on the way women’s breasts look and feel over time.
Breasts that were once firm and shapely often begin to droop and sag as women get older. But this doesn’t mean that women must live forever with sagging breasts.
Breast lift is an extremely common and safe way to restore firmness and shapeliness to the breasts, giving many women that extra boost of self-confidence.
During a breast lift (or mastopexy), the surgeon will make an assessment of the required lift and fullness that will be needed to achieve the woman’s ideal result.
They will mark a new position for the nipple, and make an incision along the breast. They separate the skin from the tissues, remove any excess breast fat and move the nipple to its new, higher position.
Then, the breast shape is constructed, whether with implants or existing breast tissue. Different techniques may be used during this procedure, depending on the woman’s body and desired results.
Before your surgery, preferable in your consultation, let your surgeon know if you are taking any medications, whether prescription or non-prescription. You should also tell them whether you have any allergies or medical conditions.
It’s important to stop smoking for at least 2 weeks before surgery, because this can affect how you react to the anesthetics. Smoking can also prolong the healing process post-surgery.
Also stop taking Aspirin, blood-thinning medications and vitamins and herbs for at least 2 weeks before surgery, as removing these will reduce the chance of post-operative bleeding.
Make sure you discuss at length with your surgeon what your expectations are for the outcome of the surgery. There should be no mysteries or surprises about what your breasts will look like. The doctors should explain the procedure to you so you will understand exactly what will happen.
This is also where you can tell your surgeon if you’d like to have breast implants along with your breast lift.
After a breast lift surgery, you can expect to wake up wrapped in elastic bandages, gauze dressings and a surgical bra. You won’t be able to move very much, and this is a good thing post-surgery.
The pressure bandages will come off a few days after surgery, but you’ll need to wear the surgical bra for several weeks until the swelling and bruising go down. This time period might be shorter; talk with your doctor about how long he wants you to wear it.
You can expect a bit of bruising, swelling and soreness in the breast area for up to a few weeks following surgery. Use cold compresses and ice packs to reduce pain during this time.
After about a week, the doctor will remove the stitches (unless they’ve used dissolvable sutures.)
It’s a good idea to use Vitamin E oil on the skin after surgery, because it might become very dry. This oil is also very helpful in helping to reduce the appearance of scars after surgery.
Avoid super strenuous activity for a few months after a breast lift. You especially want to avoid any activities where you raise or stretch your arms above your head because this can stretch out the tissue and increase scarring. So make sure to get help with chores like hanging up the washing!
You can expect to feel generally recovered in about two weeks time.
While there may still be signs of soreness and swelling after this time, they should subside and most people are back to work in 3 weeks.
There are risks associated with all kinds of surgery, so it’s important to understand these before going in for a breast lift.
You may experience swelling, bruising, bleeding and decreased sensitivity to the nipple after this surgery. Numbness may occur if there was nerve damage done to the nipple during its re-placement, but this should go away in time.
It can take up to 12 months for sensation to return to the nipple, as the nerves grow back.
Infection can occur at the incision site if you don’t take good care of the wound so follow all instructions by the doctor on how to take care at home.
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