If you are satisfied with the size of your breasts but wish to restore a more youthful contour, you may be a candidate for a breast lift. If you have lost a considerable amount of volume in your breasts you may also want to consider having breast implants inserted at the time of breast lift surgery.
While a breast lift can be performed at any age it is recommended that the procedure be undertaken only when breast development has stopped. Childbirth and breast-feeding can have a significant effect on the size and shape of your breasts. Though some women decide to have their breasts lifted before having children, you should discuss any plans to breast-feed with Dr. Waslen.
In assessing you as a candidate for breast lift surgery, Dr. Waslen will carefully check the size and shape of your breasts, the quality of your skin, and the location of the nipples and areolas. If you are overweight, Dr. Waslen may suggest that you stabilize your weight before having surgery.
Preparing for Surgery
2 Weeks before surgery
- Avoid all aspirin containing products, all anti-inflammitory medications (ie: Ibuprophen such as Advil or Motrin), all products containing 400 IU's of vitamin E and all herbal products. These products can increase bleeding both during and after surgery and may lead to increased post-operative bruising, swelling and recovery time.
- Stop or at least cut down on smoking. Smoking constricts small blood vessels causing delayed healing, increased scarring and increased recovery time.
- Begin taking a multivitamin tablet daily, which can speed healing and shorten recovery time. It is recommended to continue your multivitamin for one month following surgery.
- Arrange for transportation to and from surgery. You must have someone responsible pick you up and remain with you for a minimum of 24 hours. You cannot take a taxi home on your own.
- It is recommended to restrict activity for approximately 2 weeks following surgery. It is advisable to make arrangements for assistance.
- Avoid dental appointments 2 weeks prior to your surgery as well as 2 weeks post operatively.
- Arnica capsules or pellets can be taken orally starting 2 days before surgery and can continue for 5 days post op. This homeopathic medication can assist in decreasing bruising and swelling due to surgery.
24 hours before surgery
- Avoid alcohol or smoking.
- Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery (no water, no gum). If surgery is booked after 12 noon, clear fluids may be allowed up to 6 hours before surgery (ie: black coffee/tea, clear juice, water). Our nurse will advise you on this when you are given your time for surgery.
Day of surgery
- Wear loose, comfortable button-up/zipper clothing (ie: jog suit, slip on shoes).
- Leave valuables at home (remove contact lenses, jewellery or piercing of any kind).
- Take any regular prescribed medications (ie: blood pressure medications) with a small amount of water.
There are variations to the incisions used for breast lift. The traditional method of lifting the breast uses 3 incisions: one around the areola, the second vertically from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease under the breast and the third along the natural curve of the breast crease.
After the excessive skin is removed, the nipple and areola are moved to a higher position. Skin that was located above the nipple pre-surgery is pulled down and together to give a new shape to the breast. Liposuction may also be employed to contour the axilla area or breast itself.
After breast lift surgery, it is often possible to return to work within several days. Often, normal activities can be resumed after several weeks. You may, however, continue to experience some mild discomfort during the first 8 weeks.
Some discoloration and swelling will occur initially after surgery, but this will disappear quickly. Most residual swelling will resolve within a month. After breast augmentation surgery, it is often possible to return to work within just a few days or a week.
Except in the event of implant deflation (which is a 1% chance with saline implants), the results of your breast augmentation surgery should be long-lasting. The typical lifetime of implants is thought to be more than 10 - 20 years.
- Some pain and nausea can be expected. This can be relieved with anti-pain and anti-nausea medications. Take them as directed. If you are coming from out of town, please have these medications with you.
- Begin taking antibiotic medication once home from surgery and continue until the prescription is finished.
- Any bandages worn post-operatively should be comfortable and not too tight. Adjust as necessary.
- Use cold compresses 20 min on and off during waking hours. Use a facecloth soaked in ice water and drape over face. Never place ice directly on skin.
- Maintain a regular fluid intake during the day. Gatorade is a good option. Restrict fluids after supper; increased fluid intake will increase swelling.
- Rest is important to minimize pain, nausea and swelling.
- Try to maintain an upright sitting position at all times (ie: 25-45 degree angle) for the first 2-7 days post-op. This will assist in the reduction of post-operative swelling and speed healing time.
- Begin a light nutritional regime and increase food intake as tolerated.
- Take anti-pain medications with food to avoid an upset stomach. Begin taking antibiotic medication once home from surgery and continue until prescription is finished. Eat yogurt while taking antibiotics. If diarrhea occurs, stop antibiotics and call our office for further direction.
Call (403) 228-1313 if you have any questions or concerns.
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Post-operative Day 1
- You may remove your bra and shower if you wish. Remove all gauze, but leave the white skin tapes intact for approximately 2 weeks post-op (you may notice a blister near the tape area, polysporin can be applied over the tapes as needed).
- Be aware of any unusual swelling or a sudden increase in pain. If either of these are noted, phone the office as soon as possible.
- Continue to maintain a regular fluid intake during the day, decrease after supper.
- Continue to maintain an upright position.
- Use cold compresses for 72 hours to decrease swelling (ie: ice cubes or ice chips in a bowl of cold water with facecloths).
- Be aware of decreased skin sensation. Do not apply excessive heat or cold to the operative areas.
- Do not smoke.
- Rest as much as possible.
- A nurse will call you by noon to assess how you are doing. At this time, you will be given further post-operative instructions as well as an appointment for your first post-operative visit.
Post-operative Days 2-7
- Gradually increase your activity level after 7 days post-operatively. As individuals, everyone's post-operative healing phases will differ. Generally speaking, gentle exercise may resume at 10 days with moderate exercise resuming after 3 weeks. It is advisable to abstain from a full exercise regime until 6 weeks post-operatively.
- Scar tissue (firmness or hardening of operative tissues) may increase up to 6 weeks with the resultant softening of the tissues.
- Approximately 75% of swelling will diminish within 3 - 4 weeks. Any remaining swelling can take from 6 months to 1 year to absorb.
- Best results are usually not seen until 3 months following surgery.
- The final stages of healing are usually not complete until 1 year post-operatively.
Risks & Safety Information
Because the nipples and areolas remain attached to the breast tissue, sensation in this area is preserved. While breast-feeding may still be possible, this cannot be guaranteed.
There are seldom complications from this surgery. However, some of the possible complications include; bleeding, infection, skin loss, nipple loss, skin numbness, scars and reactions to anesthesia.
The breasts may not be symmetrical or nipple height may vary after surgery. Loss of sensation in the nipples or breasts may be permanent though this is rare.
Several days after surgery you will be able to move about comfortably. You will be instructed to wear a support bra for a few weeks, until the swelling and discoloration of your breasts diminishes. Incisions will be red at first and will stay this way for many months following surgery.
Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk. It is important that you understand the risks involved with this procedure. An individual's choice to undergo a surgical procedure is based on the comparison of risk to potential benefit. Although the majority of patients do not experience these complications, you should understand the potential complications.