Loss of skin elasticity, gravity and other factors such as weight loss, pregnancy and breast-feeding ultimately affect the shape and firmness of breasts. Patients who are generally satisfied with the size of their breasts can have a breast lift to raise and firm them, resulting in a more youthful breast contour. Some patients may be unhappy that they have lost a significant amount of breast volume over time. In such cases, implants inserted in conjunction with a breast lift can increase breast size at the same time as the shape and position of the breasts are enhanced.
Before the breast lift operation it is very important to discuss the desired breast-size and shape with the surgeon since this will be the most important part of the preparation for the operation. In most cases the surgeons suggest having a breast augmentation operation together with the breast lift, because after the lift breasts are firmer and look slightly smaller. However, if enough breast tissue is available, there is no need for implants. Before the surgery having a mammogram (breast x-ray) and breast-ultrasound is advised, but in all cases the routine tests are done, such as laboratory-, breast- and preventing tests.
The aim of the surgery is to remove excess skin, reposition the nipple and areaola to its original position. Most common technique used in this surgery consists of three incisions: located around the areola, a vertical line downwards from the nipples and along underneath the breasts. These incisions outline the area from which breast skin will be removed and define the new location of the nipple. When the excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved to the higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is then brought down and together to reshape the breast and stitches are put in. If required, the size of the areola can be reduced as well during the procedure.
The duration of a breast lift surgery is about 2-2,5 hours and in all cases it is done under a general anesthesia. After surgery, an elastic bandage or a surgical bra over gauze dressings will be needed. The stitches are taken out after two weeks, and the wear of a special sports bra is advised for 4-8 weeks and during this time if its possible patients are recommended not to do any physical work.