A breast lift is one of the most popular operations in the field of cosmetic surgery. It allows the breasts to look attractive again, if their appearance was affected after pregnancy or weight loss. Unfortunately, a breast lift is not considered medically necessary, so the cost of the operation is not covered by social insurance.
A breast lift is technically a “breast reduction”, with the exception that no tissue is removed and therefore the volume of the breast remains the same. This is especially important because breast reductions were carried out much earlier than breast lifts. There are almost as many methods of breast lifting as there are breast reduction methods. Unfortunately it is often assumed that a breast lift, as with other streamlining operations, only removes excess skin. For an aesthetically pleasing appearance, far more than the excess skin has to be removed. The priority is the repositioning of the areola (how far will it be moved up) and the reshaping of the drooping breast.
Most surgeons are familiar with 4-5 different techniques, which are implemented according to the anatomy of the breast.
For those seeking advice, it is usually very difficult to contribute to the choice of which surgical technique. To better understand the advantages and disadvantages of each method, I would like to name the most important parameters that play a role in a breast lift:
- Scars over
- Characteristics of the blood supply of nipple and areola
- Shape of the breast
- Durability of the OP-result/building an inner bra
- Preservation of the sensitivity/excitability of the nipples
In discussion with your surgeon, you should consider which of these aspects are particularly important to you.
When using scar-saving techniques, the inside of the submammary fold remains untouched, therefore showing a neckline is possible. Unfortunately, these methods can not be implemented in very low-hanging breasts, where the necessary lift-strain of the areola is very long (> 10cm). Furthermore, there are techniques that preserve the sensitivity of the nipple better than others, but have the disadvantage of poorer formability of the breast.
To improve the durability of the results, the last 20 years were spent developing methods that are characterized by the formation of an inner bra. Hereby the weight of the breast is redistributed from the skin to the inner bra to counteract the sagging of the breasts. I intensively concerned myself with this topic considerably and amended a long-proven method (B-technology) so that the formation of an inner bra is possible.
For most patients, the scars of course are important, but I would like to point out that an attractive breast shape from an aesthetic point of view is much more important than shorter scars.
When planning a breast lift, the following points are noted:
- The surgery should usually be carried out after completion of family planning. A pregnancy after a breast lift is possible, but it must be expected that the results will deteriorate due to the drastic size change again.
- Weight fluctuations of more than 5 kg may worsen the outcome as well, so you should ideally have the surgery at a time when you are at a weight with which you feel comfortable and think you can maintain.
For the person in question, a successful streamlining of the breast represents a significant improvement in quality of life and can improve self-esteem.
1. At what age and until what age can a breast lift be performed?
A breast lift should not be carried out prior to 18 years of age. Growth in size and breast growth should be completed. If the family planning is not yet completed, a method should be used which takes into account the sensitivity of the nipples and the ability to breastfeed. There is no upper age limit if you are medically and psychologically sound.
2. What are the methods of breast lift it and how do they differ?
There are many surgical procedures, which are all derived from the breast reduction. The differences concern the scars process, the characteristics of the blood supply of the areola, the preservation of the sensitivity/excitability of the nipples, the shaping of the breast and not least the durability of the surgical result. Depending on which of these aspects are particularly important for the patient, different techniques are selected. Please discuss with your doctor the pros and cons of his proposed methods.
3. Which possibilities of the scar process are there?
The scarring can progress as: an inverted T (anchor); from the areola going down and out; or from the areola running vertically down; or be confined to the areola. For the shaping of the breast the most effective course is the anchor-shaped scar. Scar-saving techniques can be used if the necessary lift-strain of the areola is not particularly long.
4. Can a large areola also be reduced with a breast lift?
A reduction of the areola, in the context of a breast lift, is possible any time and is routinely carried out when necessary at no extra cost.
5. Can a breast lift be carried out under local anesthesia?
A breast lift is usually an extensive procedure that should be carried out under general anesthesia. In rare cases when only a little work needs to be done, the procedure can be carried out using local anesthesia.
6. Will I lose the ability to breastfeed with a breast lift?
Generally not, however in rare cases, the ability to breastfeed can be affected.
7. Is sensitivity of the nipples lost after a breast lift?
There are methods that jeopardize the sensitivity of the nipples less than others, but have several disadvantages. If nipple sensitivity is particularly important, you should tell your doctor.
8. What complications can occur?
The most common medical complication is bleeding, followed by infections and impaired wound healing (necrosis of the skin and/or the areola). With proper implementation, these complications rarely occur. Aesthetic complications mainly include distorted breasts, asymmetric areolas and widened scars. Aesthetic complications can mostly be corrected, for serious medical complications (necrosis, etc.), this is unfortunately not always possible.
9. How long after the procedure can I resume normal activity?
In general, you can get back to normal after 7-10 days.
10. What are the long-term results after a breast lift?
In absence of weight fluctuations and pregnancies, the long-term results are generally very good. How long the result lasts and as from the time it starts to drop and/or bottoms out again, depends on the weight of the breast (gravitiy) and the individual properties of the tissue (loose or tight connective tissue) and the method used.