Breast Lift – Female breasts are prominent structures but do not have any internal strong framework. They are only supported by internal collagen rich fibers and sheets of fascia. Sagging with time is therefore a universal problem. Breast sagging may be accelerated by weight fluctuations, size fluctuations due to pregnancy and breast feeding, weakness of collagen due to genetic reasons, excessive size, not wearing proper supports etc. Correction is done by breast lift or reduction-lift or augmentation-lift as the case may be.
Who is a candidate?
Women who have sagging breasts.
Women who want to improve their breast shape.
Healthy women without underlying breast disease.
Women who will tolerate breast scars.
- Higher breasts (lifted).
- Tighter breast envelope (increased skin tightness).
- Improved breast symmetry.
- More pleasing breast shape.
- More youthful appearance.
The surgery is performed usually under general anesthesia, in some cases deep sedation and local anesthesia is sufficient. Surgery begins with careful markings of the proposed cuts and future nipple position. Cuts are made around the nipple-areola complex (NAC), vertically on the lower half of the breast and sometimes under the breast fold. The NAC diameter often requires reduction to a ‘normal’ size. In a pure lift, only excess skin is removed and the gland tissues are tightened and lifted. In a reduction, excess skin and gland are resected. In an augmentation lift, the steps of breast augmentation are followed, an implant inserted and then the gland and skin are reshaped over the implant mound. The minimum scar will be around the NAC. This scar is almost invisible. Majority of women request this method but unfortunately it is only suitable for a selected minority requiring a small lift. The majority will require the vertical cut or even the vertical plus the horizontal ones below breasts. Scars fade with time but never disappear.
Temporary bruising and swelling are seen. Loss of nipple sensitivity may happen; it may be partial or total, temporary or permanent. The scars may stretch with time and require a revision. The breast itself can sag again for the same reasons that it sagged in the first place.
Potential complications include infection, delay in healing, opening up of a part of the incision, collections of serum or blood, asymmetry, distortion of NAC. Major complications are rare, minor ones are easily managed. A small percentage of patients will need minor revisions.