Many factors can affect the shape of breasts, for example pregnancy, weight loss or simply aging, which can make them sag or droop. The upper part of the breast is no longer full and a deep breast fold forms; often the nipples may even move below the breast fold. In this case, a breast lift may be the answer. The nipple is moved upwards, and an implant inserted to make your breasts full again. A breast lift will leave more scars than ‘normal’ breast augmentation. But nonetheless, most women are very pleased with the result.
Everything about the treatment will be discussed during your first consultation: the method that suits you best, the result you might expect, possible risks and follow-up care. During a consultation, you will always receive honest advice and clear information about the treatment and the period thereafter.
During this consultation, the plastic surgeon will assess whether you are a suitable candidate for a breast lift. The surgeon will ask for information about your current state of health, medical history and any medication you might be using.
If you use medication or drugs, you must tell the plastic surgeon. You must not take any blood thinning medications (such as Coumarin, Marcoumar, Sintrom, Ascal, APC, dissolvable aspirin, children’s aspirin, and the like), for up to two weeks before your surgery. We also recommend that you stop smoking 6 weeks before the surgery is due to take place because smoking constricts the blood vessels, which can cause problems reducing wound healing. If you are overweight, you must lose weight before your surgery. This will improve the result of the operation and reduce the risk of infection.
For a small lift of up to two inches, an incision will be made around the areola; for moderate sagging or weakness, an incision will be made around the areola and straight down into the breast fold; and for strongly sagging breasts or weakness, an anchor-shaped incision will be made. The excess skin is removed and the nipple moved up. The shape of the nipple will also be corrected if required.
If the surgeon is going to insert implants, the breast lift will be carried out first, the implants inserted and in conclusion, the incision will be closed in the breast fold.
The skin will be sutured using subcutaneous stitches and sealed with adhesive plasters. Due to improved techniques, drains will often not be required. The surgery will be performed under a general anaesthetic on an outpatient basis and if required, an over-night stay. The procedure takes approximately one and a half to two hours.
After the surgery
After the surgery, we recommend that you wear a sports bra. We recommend you wear it for 4 weeks, day and night, and subsequently for another 2 weeks during the day.
You must also try to rest as much as possible during the first 2 weeks after your surgery. Do not perform any sports or carry out physically demanding activities. The wounds will have healed after approximately 2 weeks. After which, you can begin to carry out light work. You can start doing heavier work and sports after 4 to 6 weeks.
This surgery often produces very good results for most people. However, a breast lift will leave visible, anchor-shaped scars. Naturally, our experienced plastic surgeons will do their best to hide these scars in the existing skin folds. The final scar is different from one person to the next.
As with other types of surgery, a breast lift has risks. The wounds may become infected, but this is rare. Infection is usually associated with people who have too much subcutaneous fat. It is, therefore, important that the patient is of a normal weight before the surgery. Post-operation bleeding can sometimes occur. This will mean that you will require another operation so the surgeon can close the bleeding blood vessels. Specific risks for a breast lift involve areas of the skin at the edges of the scar becoming rippled and gathered. This may mean that recovery could take longer, but this will not have a negative effect on the final result. Other risks include numbness of the nipples, reduced or halted lactation, the formation of hypertrophic (= significantly thickened) scars and a return of the sagging or drooping breast. You should also be aware that the nipples will not always be completely symmetrical. When implants are placed, there is a low risk of capsular contraction.
A breast lift is considered to be cosmetic surgery and will in general not be reimbursed through health insurance. So generally, you will have to pay for the surgery yourself. The plastic surgeon will give you advance notice of the costs.
If there is a medical requirement for a breast lift to be carried out, the decision about reimbursement for the surgery will be taken by your health insurer’s medical adviser. The plastic surgeon will submit a claim to your insurance company, if required.
The breast lift subject consists of general information, which is meant to complement the consultation with your plastic surgeon. The general information cannot always be applied to each individual situation. If you have any questions after reading this information, the plastic surgeon would be happy to discuss them with you during your consultation. It may be good idea to write your questions down in advance.