Breast cosmetic procedures have always been popular. Even if you’re happy with the appearance of your breasts, sometimes, life events — such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, and weight fluctuations — can leave them looking somewhat deflated. Then there are also practical reasons for modifying their size — such as chronic pain or poor self-image. Regardless of your reasons, there are several options to achieve a look you would prefer. Two of the most common procedures are breast lifts and breast reductions. But, what do each of them entail? And how do you know if either one is right for you?
What is a breast lift?
A breast lift (mastopexy) is a procedure that’s done to restore firmness to breasts that have sagged. The most common reasons for the droopiness include breastfeeding several children, losing large amounts of weight, or simply, gravity doing its job with the passage of time. The firmness is achieved by removing excess skin and breast tissue. The result is an even, youthful look. It’s crucial to note, however, that a breast lift will not increase the size of your breasts. In fact, it is common for women who undergo the procedure to end up with a smaller cup size.
Breast lifts are an outpatient procedure — meaning that you will be able to go home on the same day, once the anesthesia wears off. It usually takes about three hours to complete. In the alternative, some women are opting for less invasive procedures, such as a laser breast lift, which uses high-powered laser beams to tighten breast tissue through thermal heating. However, do keep in mind that these types of procedures still require surgery — and as such, you will need downtime for recovery.
Are breast lifts safe?
Generally, breast lifts are considered to be a safe procedure. However, as with any visit to an operating room, it carries a risk of complications, including:
- Poor healing
- Changes in breast sensation
- Fluid accumulation
These types of complications are rare. In addition, prior to undergoing the procedure, your doctor will provide you with instructions to reduce the risk of any of them occurring — such as quitting smoking, stopping certain medications, and/or controlling an underlying medical condition.
Breast Lift Recovery
After a breast lift, your breasts will be swollen and bruised for approximately six weeks. You will be instructed to wear a surgical support bra, and you will have to avoid heavy lifting for up to six weeks. Depending on the circumstances, you may have to wear drainage tubes near the incisions.
Who is an ideal candidate for a breast lift?
An ideal candidate for a breast lift is someone with saggy breasts or nipples that face downward. It’s also practical to wait until you’re done having children, to avoid the need for additional surgery after another pregnancy and breastfeeding. In addition, it’s crucial to have a discussion with your doctor about your reasons for having the surgery — it has to be because you want it; not to meet someone else’s or society’s expectations of what’s considered attractive.
What is a breast reduction?
A breast reduction surgery (also known as reduction mammaplasty) is done to remove excess fat and tissue from the breasts. This type of procedure is beneficial for women who suffer from chronic back, neck, and/or shoulder pain due to the heaviness of their breasts. It’s also a good alternative for those who regularly develop rashes or skin irritation under their breasts, as well as those who feel self-conscious about disproportionately large breasts. I can be performed at any age — even if the patient is a teenager. However, it’s recommended to wait until the breasts have fully developed in order to avoid having to undergo a second procedure.
At Innovations Medical, we perform it with a laser that tightens the skin and lifts the nipple to a better position. The scarring is minimal, reducing recovery time and the risk of complications when compared to traditional breast reduction surgeries.
Are breast reductions safe?
Just as with breast lifts, breast reductions are generally safe. However, they also carry a risk of complications, including:
- Loss of sensation
- Difficulties breastfeeding
Prior to undergoing the procedure, your doctor will provide you with instructions that can help reduce the risk of complications. This may include losing weight, controlling an underlying medical condition, and/or quitting smoking.
Who is an ideal candidate for a breast reduction?
An ideal candidate for a breast reduction is someone for whom the size of their breasts interferes with daily life. This includes nerve and/or muscular pain, skin irritations, difficulties finding comfortable clothing, poor self-image, or wanting to no longer receive unwanted attention. That said, if your reason for opting for the surgery has to do with body image or someone else’s impression of it, it’s crucial to talk to your doctor about mental health and having realistic expectations about the results.
If You’re Thinking About Cosmetic Enhancements, Contact Innovations Medical
If you’re looking to reshape your body and boost your self-confidence, Innovations Medical is here for you. We’ll answer your questions and resolve any concerns you have about cosmetic procedures. We’ve been helping our patients look their best since 2005, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.