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What is Breast Lift Surgery?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Breast lift surgery is a popular elective procedure that is done to tighten and reshape sagging or asymmetrical breasts to give them a more youthful, attractive appearance. Women who experience breast changes due to aging, weight loss or gain, child rearing, and other causes can discuss breast lift surgery options with their plastic surgeons. The procedure can be performed in several different ways, and each patient has unique needs and preferences. Breast lift surgery has a very high success rate and few risks of major complications.

Before performing a breast lift surgery, a plastic surgeon schedules a consultation with the patient to explain options, set goals, and describe realistic outcomes. He or she evaluates the patient's breasts, checking the elasticity of the skin and developing a plan for the operation. The patient's current medication use and complete medical history are reviewed as well to make sure that she is a good candidate for surgery.

On the day of the procedure, a patient may be given a dose of general anesthesia or a local numbing agent depending on her preferences. The surgeon then makes one to three skin incisions underneath the areola and along the bottom crease of the breast. Excess skin is cut away and the breast and nipple are situated in their new positions. Sutures are used to close the incisions and secure the position of the breast. Following surgery, wounds are dressed and the patient is given painkillers before she can be taken home.

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Thanks to highly-skilled surgeons and modern techniques, the chances of complications following breast lift surgery are minimal. There is still some risk involved, however, and a surgeon can explain potential problems before and after the procedure. Internal or external bleeding that requires medical attention occurs in a small number of patients. Very rarely, a woman may lose sensation in one or both nipples if accidental nerve damage occurs. Finally, there is a slight chance that milk ducts can be damaged, leaving a patient unable to breast feed if she chooses to have a child in the future.

It may be difficult to achieve perfect symmetry in a single procedure. One breast may be positioned slightly higher than the other, or one nipple may point in a different direction. A visible scar underneath the areola or crease of the breast may be prominent if a large amount of skin needed to be removed. If a patient is displeased with the outcome, additional surgeries can usually correct the problem. Most women are very happy with their initial surgeries, however, and do not need to undergo future procedures.

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