Such factors as pregnancy and aging can cause sagging of breast. But breast lifting can help to restore normal shape of boobs.
Full breasts of perfectly round shape is the ideal of beauty and femininity. But aging makes the skin lose its elasticity. Natural aging process affects not face only – breast is changed, as well.
Many women suffer from real psychological problems because of that. If breast sagging worries a woman so much that it starts affecting everyday life and sexual activity, breast lifting (mastopexy) should be considered. During such operation, a doctor lifts breasts and improves their form. The method used for breast lifting is chosen depending on patient’s overall health, and her ideas and demands.
Undoubtedly, breast lifting can improve well-being and self-esteem. However, such operation is closely connected with certain risks and complications. There’s no warranty that lifted breast will have the desired shape. Therefore, a doctor should discuss all risks and desired results with the patient and evaluate all pros and cons. In most cases, mastopexy is made because of aesthetics benefits, not due to health conditions. It means that a patient has to cover operation cost of 4000-6000 EURO. If implants are installed additionally, the price of the operation will be even higher.
The reasons to go through breast lifting
Aging makes up for breast sagging – many women have to face it. It happens due to the fact that the skin gradually loses its elasticity. However, the time when this process starts depends on different individual factors.
For example, very big and heavy breasts stretch the skin more than small mammary glands. Besides, the skin and connective tissues of some women can lose elasticity earlier than in others, and it’s often called “weak connective tissue”. Pregnancy also weakens connective tissue. Since breast consists of adipose tissue, it can lose its volume when a woman gets slimmer. Some women are worried about natural form of their breast, or too big areolas.
From medical standpoint, these symptoms are not problematic. Sagging breast can only lead to low self-esteem: a woman may start being ashamed of her body. Psychological issues are serious reasons for breast lifting. Sometimes problems in relationships and other psychological conflicts can serve as the reasons for breast lifting. In this case, a woman should discuss all options with her doctor and decide whether the operation can help her.
What should be taken into consideration before breast lifting?
First and foremost, the operation is made when patient’s breast is fully formed, and its growth has stopped. The procedure can be performed after pregnancy and breastfeeding only, because surgical invasion can complicate breast feeding. If a woman has just born a baby, she needs to wait for at least eight months after finishing breastfeeding until the breast fully restores.
During detailed consultations, a plastic surgeon may explain how different surgical methods are performed, and what the possible risks of skin lifting are. A woman can tell the doctor what her demands and wishes are. Together they can decide whether breast lifting should be made, and which methods of mastopexy are the most optimal.
How breast lifting is performed?
As a rule, skin lifting is performed in stationary conditions. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes from two to three hours. There are more than twenty methods of tissue cutting, and some of them are used for breast reduction. The surgeon selects an optimal reduction method, and the choice of it depends on several factors. First, patient’s demands and ideas are taken into consideration. Secondly, breast size, structure of the skin and connective tissue, and nipple position matter a lot. Anyway, the main aim of surgery is to restore normal breast shape leaving as little scars as possible. This is why breast lifting can be combined with breast augmentation (sometimes implants are used) or breast reduction.
Basic surgical methods
The technique of periareolary lifting leaves the least amount of scars. When this technique is used, a surgeon removes a small strip of skin in the form of a ring surrounding the nipple, and closes the wound above the upper skin layer with a thin suture. This method is good when a patient has excessive skin, and whedn the breast should slightly be lifted.
T-shape cut allows reaching maximum results of lifting. This method implies making a cut around areola from its lower edge to breast fold, and then inside and out, making a turned T. L-shaped cut to breast fold is made the same way, but it’s turned outside. When a surgeon makes a vertical cut only, this procedure is called M. Lejour’s technique, or I-shaped cut.
All these surgical methods imply removal of excessive skin, and the nipple is moved up. When it has been made, a doctor installs drainage tubes that help to remove blood and wound secretion, then the cut is stitched, and I-shaped cut and cut made by M. Lejour’s technique are closed with special sutures. As the result, a wavy scar forms that is naturally evened thanks to natural skin contraction. Finally, a woman has to wear a hermetical seal or a special bra that fixes breasts.
What happens after the surgery?
During the first days after the surgery, breast swells and aches. Until these symptoms subside, a patient needs to take pain killers. A few days after the operation, a surgeon removes drainage tubes. The woman is given a special bra that should be taken day and night during three weeks, then during three more weeks, but at daytime only. If there are no complications, a patient can go home a week after the operation.
During the first six weeks after the operation, a woman should sleep on the back and obtain from sports. Any other physical activity that imposes load on breasts, arm muscles and shoulders should also be avoided. During sexual intercourse, a woman should be careful with breasts, too.
If the surgery is made by a highly qualified surgeon with rich experience, risks of breast lifting are minor. As any other surgical procedure, mastopexy can cause complications. These include bleeding, poor wound recovery and infection. Serious complications, such as thrombosis, embolia or skin necrosis, occur very rarely.
Anyway, the skin around the operated area, especially around the nipple, becomes less sensitive than before. It happens due to the fact that the doctor cuts thin nerves on the skin. In most women, breast sensitivity restores during the following few months. However, in rare occasions, permanent loss of sensitivity or excessive high sensitivity can take place.