Your Breast Lift Surgery Questions Answered by Dr Bish Soliman
Breast lift surgery is a widely sought-after procedure for various reasons. Women opt for this surgery for diverse reasons. Given that mastopexy is a complex surgical intervention, it’s completely understandable for patients to seek comprehensive information about the procedure. In this blog, Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Bish Soliman aims to shed light on all the details associated with getting a breast lift surgery, from getting ready for the surgery to expectations and durability of the results. Here is a list with the most common FAQs about breast lift surgery:
Popular FAQs about Breast Lift Surgery
How is breast lift surgery different from breast augmentation?
- Breast lift surgery and breast augmentation are distinct procedures addressing different concerns. A breast lift primarily focuses on repositioning and reshaping sagging breasts, without significantly altering their size. It involves removing excess skin and lifting the breast tissue. In contrast, breast augmentation is aimed at increasing the size of the breasts using implants or, in some cases, fat transfer. While a breast lift corrects sagging and improves contour, augmentation adds volume and fullness. These procedures can be performed separately or combined, depending on the patient’s desired outcome.
Can a breast lift be combined with other procedures like augmentation or reduction?
- Yes, a breast lift can be combined with other procedures such as breast augmentation or reduction. Combining a breast lift with augmentation is common for those seeking to lift the breasts while also increasing their size and fullness. On the other hand, combining a breast lift with reduction is ideal for individuals who wish to alleviate discomfort from overly large breasts while also addressing sagging. These combination procedures can address both the position and size of the breasts in one surgical session.
How long does a typical breast lift surgery take?
- The duration of a typical breast lift surgery can vary, but it generally takes about 2 to 3 hours. The exact time depends on the complexity of the procedure, the specific techniques used, and whether additional procedures, such as breast augmentation or reduction, are being performed simultaneously. The surgery is usually done under general anaesthesia, and patients may need to spend a short time in recovery before going home the same day.
Is breast lift surgery permanent?
- While breast lift surgery offers long-lasting results, it is not considered permanent due to factors like ageing, gravity, weight fluctuations, and hormonal changes that can affect the breasts over time. The surgery effectively resets the position of the breasts, but it does not halt the natural ageing process. Maintaining a stable weight and a healthy lifestyle can help prolong the results. However, some patients may choose to undergo a secondary lift years later to address further sagging.
At what age can someone undergo a breast lift?
- There is no specific age requirement for a breast lift, but it is recommended for individuals who have fully developed breasts. This development is usually complete by the late teens or early twenties. It’s important for patients to be emotionally mature and have realistic expectations about the results. Additionally, Dr Soliman often advises waiting until after having children and breastfeeding, as these can significantly affect the size and shape of the breasts, potentially altering the results of the surgery.
How do I know if I need a breast lift?
- You might consider a breast lift if you are experiencing sagging breasts, a condition known as ptosis. Signs that you might benefit from a breast lift include nipples that point downward and breast tissue that hangs below the crease of the breast. A simple test is to see where the nipples sit in relation to the breast crease; if they are below the crease, a lift might be beneficial.
Can a breast lift correct asymmetry in breasts?
- A breast lift can indeed help correct asymmetry in breasts. Many women have some degree of natural asymmetry. During a breast lift, Dr Soliman can adjust the position of the nipples and areolas, reshape the breast tissue, and remove excess skin to create a more balanced and symmetrical appearance.
Will a breast lift affect my ability to breastfeed in the future?
- A breast lift may potentially affect your ability to breastfeed, although many women are able to breastfeed after the procedure. The surgery involves repositioning the nipple and areola and may involve cutting around these areas, which can sometimes impact milk ducts and nerves. If breastfeeding is a significant concern, it’s important to discuss this with Dr Soliman before the procedure. He can tailor the surgical techniques to minimise the impact on breastfeeding capabilities.
FAQs about Preparing for Breast Lift Surgery
How should I prepare for my breast lift surgery?
- To prepare for your breast lift surgery, it’s important to follow Dr Soliman’s specific instructions, which include guidelines on diet, medication, and lifestyle. You should arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery and help you during the initial recovery period. It’s also advisable to prepare your recovery area at home, ensuring you have easy access to essentials like pain medication, water, and comfortable clothing. Avoiding smoking and alcohol, staying hydrated, and maintaining a healthy diet can also aid in your recovery. Additionally, you may need to adjust or stop certain medications as advised by Dr Soliman.
Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid before surgery?
- Yes, there are certain medications and supplements you should avoid before surgery as they can increase the risk of bleeding or interact with anaesthesia. These include aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen), and certain herbal supplements such as ginkgo biloba, garlic, ginseng, and St. John’s Wort. It’s crucial to inform Dr Soliman about all medications and supplements you’re taking, as he will provide specific instructions on what to avoid and for how long before the surgery.
Do I need to undergo any specific medical tests before a breast lift?
- Before a breast lift, Dr Soliman may require specific medical tests to ensure you’re fit for surgery. These tests can include blood work, a mammogram, and possibly a medical evaluation from your primary care physician. The exact tests will depend on your individual health profile and the surgeon’s protocols. These tests are essential for assessing your suitability for surgery and minimising the risk of complications.
Should I stop smoking before my breast lift surgery?
- Yes, it’s strongly recommended to stop smoking at least six weeks before your breast lift surgery. Smoking can significantly impair healing and increase the risk of complications, such as infection and poor wound healing. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the surgical area, hindering the body’s ability to heal. Discuss with Dr Soliman the optimal time frame for quitting smoking before the procedure.
How long should I take off work for my breast lift surgery?
- The amount of time you should take off work after a breast lift surgery varies depending on the nature of your job and the specifics of your procedure. Generally, it’s recommended to take at two weeks off. If your job involves physical activity or heavy lifting, you may need more time. Dr Soliman will provide personalised advice based on your individual circumstances and the extent of your surgery.
What should I wear on the day of my surgery?
- On the day of your surgery, wear loose, comfortable clothing that is easy to put on and take off. A button-up or zip-front top is ideal, as you won’t have to lift it over your head when dressing and undressing. Also, choose comfortable, flat shoes and avoid wearing jewellery, makeup, or any hair products. Comfort and ease are key considerations for your attire on surgery day.
Is there a recommended diet to follow before the surgery?
- While there’s no specific diet to follow before breast lift surgery, it’s important to eat a balanced, healthy diet leading up to the procedure. This can help enhance your body’s ability to heal and recover. Focus on consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Staying hydrated is also crucial. Avoiding excessive alcohol and reducing salt intake can help minimise swelling post-surgery.
How should I prepare my home for recovery after surgery?
- To prepare your home for recovery after breast lift surgery, set up a comfortable recovery area with easy access to essentials. This includes having plenty of pillows for elevation, a place to store medications within reach, and easy access to a telephone and charger. Stock up on easy-to-prepare meals and snacks, and ensure necessary items are at a comfortable height to avoid stretching or straining. It’s also helpful to have entertainment options like books, magazines, or a TV remote close at hand.
Can I eat or drink before my breast lift surgery?
- You’ll be instructed to not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight the night before your surgery. This fasting is necessary to reduce the risk of complications such as aspiration during anaesthesia. But Dr Soliman may provide specific instructions based on the time of your surgery and your individual needs. It’s crucial to follow these instructions precisely.
Should I arrange for someone to drive me home after the surgery?
- Yes, you should arrange for someone to drive you home after your breast lift surgery. Anaesthesia and pain medications can impair your judgment and reflexes, making it unsafe to drive. Additionally, you may be in discomfort or pain, which can also affect your ability to drive safely. Having a friend or family member to assist you not only with the drive home but also with basic tasks for the first day or two post-surgery is highly advisable.
FAQs about Breast Lift Surgery and Anaesthesia
What type of anaesthesia is used for breast lift surgery?
- For breast lift surgery, general anaesthesia is most commonly used. This type of anaesthesia ensures that you are completely asleep and unaware during the procedure, providing a pain-free experience.
How long will I be under anaesthesia during the surgery?
- The duration under anaesthesia for a breast lift surgery ranges from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure and whether additional surgeries, like breast augmentation or reduction, are being performed simultaneously. The anaesthesiologist closely monitors the patient throughout the surgery to ensure they remain safely anesthetised until the procedure is completed.
Are there any risks associated with anaesthesia for breast lift surgery?
- As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with anaesthesia, though they are relatively rare. These risks can include allergic reactions, respiratory issues, and in very rare cases, complications leading to heart problems or strokes. The risk is higher in patients with pre-existing health conditions, smokers, or those with a history of adverse reactions to anaesthesia. A thorough pre-operative assessment by the anaesthesiologist helps to minimise these risks.
How long does it take to recover from anaesthesia after surgery?
- Recovery from anaesthesia varies among individuals, but most patients start to wake up within 30 minutes to an hour after the surgery is completed. It can take several hours for the grogginess and effects of the anaesthesia to fully wear off. Some patients may experience side effects like nausea or dizziness for a short period.
Are there any side effects of anaesthesia I should be aware of?
- Common side effects of anaesthesia include nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, sore throat, dizziness, and shivering. These side effects are temporary and resolve within a few hours to a day after surgery. Your anaesthesiologist will take steps to minimise these side effects, and medications can be provided to alleviate them if necessary.
FAQs about Recovery after Breast Lift Surgery
What kind of post-operative care is required following breast lift surgery?
- After breast lift surgery, post-operative care is crucial for a smooth recovery and optimal results. This includes following Dr Soliman’s instructions on wound care, which involves keeping the surgical area clean and dry, and applying or changing dressings as advised. You’ll be prescribed pain medication to manage discomfort and antibiotics to prevent infection. It’s important to rest and avoid strenuous activities, especially those that involve lifting or straining, for the recommended period. You’ll also have follow-up appointments with Dr Soliman to monitor your healing process and address any concerns.
Are there any specific activities I should avoid during my recovery?
- During your recovery from breast lift surgery, it’s important to avoid activities that could strain your incisions or impair healing. This includes heavy lifting, vigorous exercise, and any strenuous physical activities for at least 4-6 weeks post-surgery. You should also avoid sleeping on your stomach or sides, as this can put pressure on your breasts. Driving is not recommended until you are off pain medications and can comfortably wear a seatbelt. Dr Soliman will provide specific guidelines based on your individual case.
How much pain or discomfort should I expect after the surgery?
- After breast lift surgery, it’s normal to experience some pain and discomfort, especially in the first few days post-surgery. The level of pain varies from person to person but is manageable with prescribed pain medication. You may also experience soreness, swelling, and bruising, which should gradually subside over a few weeks. Following Dr Soliman’s care instructions and attending follow-up appointments are important for managing pain and ensuring proper healing.
What are the signs of complications I should look out for during my recovery?
- During your recovery, be vigilant for signs of complications, such as excessive swelling, severe pain not relieved by medication, redness around the incision sites, unusual discharge or bleeding from the incisions, fever, or signs of infection. Additionally, if you notice any sudden changes in the shape or position of your breasts, contact Dr Soliman immediately. Early detection and treatment of complications are key to a successful recovery.
How should I care for my surgical scars?
- Caring for your surgical scars is an important aspect of recovery. Initially, follow Dr Soliman’s instructions on keeping the incisions clean and dry. Once the incisions have healed, you can start using silicone gel or silicone sheets, which are known to help reduce scarring. Avoid exposing the scars to direct sunlight, as UV rays can darken them. Gentle massage and moisturising can also be beneficial. Remember, scar maturation can take up to a year, and they typically fade over time.
Is it normal to experience changes in breast sensation after the surgery?
- Yes, it’s normal to experience changes in breast sensation following breast lift surgery. You may notice numbness or increased sensitivity around the nipples and incision areas. These sensory changes are usually temporary and gradually improve over weeks to months. However, in some cases, changes in sensation can be longer-lasting or permanent.
What type of support garments should I wear during the recovery period?
- During the recovery period, it’s important to wear a support garment, such as a surgical bra or a compression garment, as recommended by Dr Soliman. These garments help reduce swelling, provide support to the healing tissues, and maintain the new shape of your breasts. Avoid underwire bras until Dr Soliman advises that it’s safe to do so. The duration for which you need to wear the support garment varies, but it’s for several weeks post-surgery.
FAQs about Results after Breast Lift Surgery
What kind of results can I realistically expect from a breast lift?
- Realistically, from a breast lift, you can expect your breasts to have a more uplifted appearance. The procedure corrects sagging, raises the position of the nipples, and reshapes the overall contour of the breasts. It’s important to have realistic expectations: while a breast lift can significantly improve breast shape and position, it doesn’t significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of the breast. Each person’s results will vary, and it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the potential outcomes.
How long will the results of the breast lift last?
- The results of a breast lift are long-lasting, but they are not immune to the effects of ageing and gravity. The improved breast shape can be maintained for many years. Factors such as skin quality, age, and lifestyle choices (like smoking and sun exposure) play a role in the longevity of the results. Maintaining a stable weight and a healthy lifestyle can help prolong the effects. However, over time, some degree of sagging is natural, and additional procedures may be considered in the future to maintain the desired appearance.
How does ageing affect the results of a breast lift?
- Ageing can gradually affect the results of a breast lift. As you age, your skin loses elasticity, and the tissues of the breast may become less firm, potentially leading to some degree of sagging or changes in breast shape over time.
Can I undergo a breast lift more than once if needed?
- Yes, it is possible to undergo a breast lift more than once if needed. Some women choose to have a second breast lift years later to address additional sagging caused by ageing, hormonal changes, or weight fluctuations. But it’s important to have realistic expectations and understand that each additional surgery may come with increased risks and complexities.
How does weight gain or loss impact the results of a breast lift?
- Significant weight gain or loss can impact the results of a breast lift. Weight fluctuations can affect the size and shape of your breasts, potentially leading to changes in their appearance. Gaining weight may cause your breasts to enlarge and potentially sag again, while losing weight might result in a decrease in breast volume and possible additional sagging. For the most stable results, it’s advisable to undergo a breast lift when you are at a stable weight that you feel confident in maintaining.
Further Reading about Breast Surgery with Dr Bish Soliman
- Read Dr Bish Soliman’s Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Surgery Page
- Read Dr Bish Soliman’s Blog about Recovery after Breast Lift
- Read Dr Bish Soliman’s Blog about What Will My Scars Look Like after Breast Lift Surgery?
- Read Dr Bish Soliman’s Blog about Breast Lift Surgery Consultation: 5 Things To Know Before Meeting With Dr Soliman
- Read more about Getting Back to Exercise after Breast Lift Surgery (Mastopexy)
- Read Dr Bish Soliman’s Blog about Solutions for Breasts that Lack Volume after Weight Loss
- Read more about Preparing for Breast Lift Surgery
Medical References about Breast Lift Surgery
- Breast lift – Mayo Clinic
- Breast Lift with and without Implant
- Mastopexy Revisited: A Review of 150 Consecutive Cases – Oxford Academic
- Breast Lift – American Society of Plastic Surgeons
- Breast Lift (Mastopexy): Surgery & Recovery