How a Breast Lift Is Performed

Individual factors and personal preferences will determine the specific technique selected to lift your breasts.

Where are the incisions placed?

A common method of lifting the large breasts involves three incisions. One incision is made around the areola. Another runs vertically from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease underneath the breast. The third incision is horizontal beneath the large breast and follows the natural curve of the breast crease.

After the plastic surgeon has removed excess breast skin, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position. The areola, which in a sagging large breast may have been stretched, can be reduced in size. Skin that was formerly located above the areola is brought down and together beneath it to reshape the breast.

The nipples and areolas remain attached to underlying mounds of tissue, and this usually allows for the preservation of sensation and the ability to breast-feed.

 

Incisions following the breast's natural contour define the area of excision and the new location for
the nipple and areola. Skin in the shaded area is removed, and the nipple and areola are moved to a higher position.

 

Skin formerly located above the areola is brought down and together beneath it to reshape the breast.

What are some variations to the common breast lifting technique?

There are many variations to the design of the incisions for breast lift surgery. The size and shape of your breasts, size of your areolas, and extent of sagging are factors that will help your plastic surgeon determine the best technique for you.

In some instances, it may be possible to avoid the horizontal incision beneath the breast. Sometimes a technique may be used that avoids this horizontal incision as well as the vertical incision that runs from the bottom edge of the areola to the breast crease.

If you are a good candidate for a modified technique, your plastic surgeon will discuss this with you.

If you and your plastic surgeon have decided that it is desirable to enlarge your breasts at the same time as they are lifted, this will require insertion of breast implants. If this is an option that you wish to consider, your surgeon will review the necessary information with you and may provide you with a brochure on breast augmentation.

Understanding Risks

Fortunately, significant complications from breast lifts are infrequent. Every year, many thousands of women undergo successful breast lift surgery, experience no major problems and are pleased with the results. Anyone considering surgery, however, should be aware of both the benefits and risks.

I understand that every surgical procedure has risks, but how will I learn more so that I can make an informed decision?

The subject of risks and potential complications of surgery is best discussed on a personal basis between you and your plastic surgeon, or with a staff member in your surgeon's office.

Some of the potential complications that may be discussed with you include bleeding, infection and reactions to anesthesia. Following a breast lift, sometimes the breasts may not be perfectly symmetrical or the nipple height may vary slightly. Minor adjustments often can be made at a later time. Permanent loss of sensation in the nipples or areas of breast skin may occur rarely. Revisionary surgery may sometimes be helpful in certain instances where incisions may have healed poorly.

You can help to lessen certain risks by following the advice and instructions of your plastic surgeon, both before and after surgery.

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