Aging, pregnancy, and weight fluctuations can cause the breasts to lose elasticity and firmness. Breast lift surgery improves sagging breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the supportive tissues. During this procedure, your breasts will be lifted to a more youthful position and made firmer to the touch for a more pleasing look and feel. Additionally, the nipple and areola can be repositioned or resized to enhance breast appearance further. Breast lift surgery does not change breast size, so Dr. Sung often combines this procedure with breast augmentation or breast reduction to achieve the breast shape you desire.
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The ideal candidates for breast lift surgery have realistic expectations of the procedure and are in generally good health. Women may consider breast lift surgery if they can relate to any of the following cosmetic concerns:
Breast lift surgery is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia that usually lasts about two to four hours. It typically takes place at a hospital, an office-based surgical suite, or an ambulatory center. Excess breast tissue is removed and reshaped to achieve the desired breast contour, and the nipples and areolas are repositioned or resized. Excess skin is removed to create more definition, and incisions are closed with stitches. Depending on the size, shape, and degree of breast ptosis (sagging), as well as the amount of excess breast skin, Dr. Sung will utilize one of the following three breast lift techniques.
The periareolar technique involves creating two circumferential incisions around the areolas. Through these incisions, excess skin is removed, and areolas may be reduced. This technique is most appropriate for patients with mild breast ptosis.
The lollipop technique involves creating two incisions on each breast: one incision encircles the areola, and one runs vertically down the breast from the areola to the inframammary fold. Through these incisions, excess skin is removed, the breasts are reshaped, and the areolas may be reduced. This technique is most appropriate for patients with moderate breast sagging.
The anchor technique involves creating three incisions on each breast: one incision encircles the areola, one runs vertically down the breast from the areola to the inframammary fold, and one goes across the inframammary fold horizontally. Through these incisions, excess skin is removed, the breasts are reshaped, and the areolas may be reduced. This technique is most appropriate for patients with severe breast ptosis.
Patients typically return home the same day of their breast lift surgery, although some may require an overnight stay for observation. Patients can expect to feel sore and tired during the initial stages of recovery, and bruising and swelling are also likely to occur. A surgical bra should be worn over the bandages for at least one week to minimize swelling, and then a support bra must be worn continuously for one month. Most patients return to work within one week, but patients should avoid strenuous activities for at least four weeks. Stitches are removed one to two weeks after surgery, and most postoperative discomfort should subside during the first few weeks of recovery.
Patients can expect to see immediate results from their breast lift surgery following the procedure. The breasts will continue to improve in appearance over the next few months as residual swelling subsides and scars fade. Breast lift results are considered to be permanent as long as patients do not experience significant weight fluctuations or pregnancy following the procedure.
Complications associated with breast lift surgery are uncommon, especially when it is performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. However, the risks of any surgery can include the following:
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