Women have several plastic surgery options for breast enhancement. Mastopexy, or a breast lift, creates a youthful look by raising sagging breasts. The procedure gets rid of excess skin, lifts the nipple to a more forward position, and reshapes the existing tissue to give an overall more perky appearance. A breast lift can help with asymmetry and make clothing and swimwear fit more comfortably. For women who think they may be interested in a breast lift, Lubbock Dr. Jane Rowley recommends preparing for the procedure and following all pre- and post-operative instructions. She wants all of her patients to have a comfortable and smooth experience on the day of their breast lift, and getting ready beforehand is one way you can make sure that happens.
Preparing for Your Breast Lift
At your preoperative doctor visit, you will discuss your medical history, previous surgeries, and any medications or supplements you take. You will have a physical exam of your breasts so the doctor can determine your skin tone, positioning of your nipples, and other details for your breast lift. Lubbock patients should communicate clearly with their doctor about their surgical expectations and why they want a breast lift. It is always important to consult with your doctor before any procedure so you can understand exactly what the procedure can or cannot do and what the expected recovery will be. You may be asked to have a mammogram done before your surgery to establish a baseline for tracking changes in your breast tissue. To better understand what to expect from your breast lift, watch the video below.
Preparing for Your Surgery
Not only will preparing for your surgery help ease your mind as the day approaches, the right preparations can also have a positive impact on your recovery. You will need to follow any pre-surgical instructions from the doctor carefully. As the patient, you play an active role in your successful recovery; your surgeon will not force you to make the proper preparations. It is up to you to follow the instructions you are given so you have the best chance at a safe, successful surgery. Here are a few things your doctor may advise you to do as you get ready for your procedure.
Stop Taking Supplements
Many people take vitamins and supplements regularly to improve their health and well being. While this is normally beneficial to your health, it may not be a practice that you should continue during your plastic surgery journey. It is important to let your doctor know about anything you take because some supplements and medications can negatively affect your surgery. Be sure to avoid any anti-inflammatory drugs or herbal supplements as they can increase your risk of bleeding.
If you use nicotine in any form, you will need to stop for several weeks before and after your surgery. Even though you may have been able to continue smoking when you went through a different surgical procedure in the past, the rules are different for plastic surgery patients. Nicotine can affect your healing by decreasing blood flow to the skin.
What to Bring
You will be told what things you will need to bring and what type of clothes to wear after your breast lift. Lubbock patients may be advised to bring prescribed medications with them to the surgery center. You will also need to bring identification and your hospital payment, if you have not paid in advance. Be sure not to wear any jewelry, makeup, or lotions on your surgery day.
Your Ride Home
You will not be permitted to leave the surgery center by yourself if you have been under anesthesia, so be sure you have a ride home. You will want to make arrangements for someone to help you after your procedure as well. Ask a family member or trusted friend to stay with you for the first day or two, as you will need to spend that time resting and may need some help caring for yourself.
The First Few Weeks
For the first two to three weeks following their breast lift, Lubbock patients can usually expect to bruise, swell, and have some postoperative pain. Incisions can feel sore and you may experience numbness in your nipples. All of these symptoms are normal, but they will vary from patient to patient as pain tolerance and recovery times differ for each individual. If pain management is difficult or you have any concerns about your recovery, contact your doctor.
During the first few weeks after your surgery, it is critical to give your body the opportunity to heal from surgery for the best results of your breast lift. Lubbock patients should ease gently back into parts of their normal routine as they start to feel better. Some things you can do to help your recovery be successful include:
- Wearing a compression bra for the recommended amount of time
- Staying elevated at a 25 to 45-degree angle, even when sleeping
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach
- Avoid any activity that involves lifting, bending, or straining
The First Few Months
It may take a month or two before all swelling is gone and you start to see the final results of your breast lift. Lubbock is full of fun things to do, but be patient with your body and you should be able to resume normal activity 4 to 6 weeks after your surgery. It’s important not to overestimate how good you are feeling too soon after your surgery and jump back into your daily routine too quickly. Remember that your body needs time to heal properly, so give yourself permission to slow down and take it easy. Numbness in nipples is usually gone in the first couple of months after surgery.
With a procedure like mastopexy, many patients are concerned with the amount of scarring they will see. Several incisions are necessary during a breast lift to achieve the desired outcome, so the procedure naturally results in more scarring than some other cosmetic surgeries. Patients with less sagging in their breasts may only need one incision around the areola. Others with more sagging will need a vertical incision from the areola to the bottom of the breast, and possibly a third along the breast crease. The good news is, these scars are well hidden under swimwear and usually fade well with time. Here are some things you can try to help minimize your visible scarring after having a breast lift in Lubbock.
- No tension: Be gentle with your wound sites, especially during the initial healing stages. Pulling or stretching the incision sites can worsen the scar and cause unnecessary pain. Avoid activities that put tension on the scar, such as heavy lifting or strenuous exercise.
- Massage: When your doctor gives you the green light, you may be able to begin scar massage. Gently press your fingertips on the scar and move them in a circular motion. Start with light pressure and gradually apply more as you feel comfortable. You may prefer to use a lotion or cream during your scar massage. For this technique to be beneficial, perform scar massage multiple times a day, for five to ten minutes each time. Scar massage minimizes a scar’s visibility by boosting the production of collagen and making the scar more flexible and soft.
- Sun protection: It is always smart to shield your skin from the sun, but it is even more important after plastic surgery. The sun’s harmful rays can make scars appear darker. It is highly recommended to wear a full-spectrum sunscreen on the incision area to protect it from the sun.
- Keep it moist: Moisturizing a scar is a good way to keep it from becoming overly hard. Some patients see positive results with the use of vitamin E oil, as it may help with inflammation and skin hydration. Be sure to test the oil on a small area of your skin first, because it can cause skin irritation in some people. If vitamin E does not work for you, try another moisturizing product like Aquaphor or Vaseline.
- Scar healing products: There are many products on the market that claim to promote scar healing. While there is no magic ointment that will completely erase scars from a breast lift in Lubbock, some of them may work to help scars heal and fade. Silicone sheeting is a popular choice for patients and has been known to reduce scar visibility. You can purchase silicone sheeting at your local drugstore. After wearing the strips consistently for a few months, you may be able to see positive results.
- Proper nutrition: Adequate water intake, healthy eating, and regular exercise can go a long way toward healing plastic surgery scars. Fueling your body with foods rich in vitamins can help build and repair body tissues and keep the immune system healthy. Aim for 5 to 6 small meals and 64 ounces of water a day. Although sweets may be tempting, try to limit your sugar intake. Instead, curb your sweet tooth by enjoying plenty of seasonal fruits.
Combining Procedures for Dramatic Enhancements
What if your breasts are not the only area that you would like to improve? Tummies and other body parts can cause dissatisfaction in your appearance just like a sagging bust. If you have another area or two you would like to address with plastic surgery, you may want to consider combining procedures. Some patients may wish to have a breast lift with liposuction or tummy tuck for what is commonly called a “mommy makeover”. Here are a few options to think about when planning a mommy makeover.
- Breast implants: You can choose to get breast implants with a breast lift. Lubbock women who want both procedures should consult with their doctor about their expectations for the final outcome. If you select an implant size that is too large, your lifted breasts may not be able to support its weight and still maintain their perky appearance. However, an experienced plastic surgeon such as Dr. Rowley can help you choose a size that will complement your breast lift beautifully.
- Breast reduction: If you feel your breasts are too big, or if they cause you physical discomfort, you can have a breast reduction with your lift. Back, neck, and shoulder pain are common among women with large breasts, and plastic surgery is the most effective way to address their symptoms. While a breast lift corrects sagging of the breasts, a reduction reduces their size. Together, the procedures can give you a smaller, perkier, more proportionate breast size to fit your lifestyle.
- Tummy tuck: Loose belly skin is a common problem for women who have had children or lost a significant amount of weight. Even when you reach your final goal weight, the excess skin can still cause cosmetic issues. A tummy tuck removes the excess skin and tightens the abdominal muscles to create a smoother, flatter midsection.
- Liposuction: When combining liposuction with a breast lift, Lubbock patients can achieve more dramatic results. For example, if you have areas of stubborn fat that persist despite proper diet and exercise, liposuction can help. The outer thighs, hips, and chin (submental) region all typically respond well to liposuction.
It is important to remember that patients who combine procedures may require a little longer time for recovery. However, a mommy makeover can be a great way to save time and expenses on your plastic surgery experience. If you are interested in enhancing more than one area of your body, discuss with your doctor which options are best for you.
Putting Our Patients First
Dr. Jane Rowley is a board-certified plastic surgeon with more than 20 years of experience helping her patients achieve their aesthetic goals. She takes the time to discuss your goals thoroughly, to explain the procedure, and give a clear expectation of what is involved with your expected recovery. At Rowley Plastic Surgery, we put our patients’ needs first and make their care and comfort our highest priority. Schedule your no-obligation consultation for your breast lift in Lubbock today.