A breast lift procedure is designed to elevate sagging breasts and also modify and contour the breasts to make them aesthetically symmetrical and proportionate. This differs from a breast reduction which is usually done to correct over-sized breasts. The popularity of the breast lift is very evident as statistics reported from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show that it has grown in usage by 70% since the year 2000 (beating out breast implants). As with most – if not all – surgeries, a breast lift procedure involves incisions being made in the skin. While the severity may vary, incisions lead to possible scarring as the skin works to heal the wound and build new tissue. For the most part, it is possible to minimize the scarring.
Breast Lift Consultation Appointment
The first step to avoiding any complications is finding the right plastic surgeon that is not only experienced but certified. Finding the right surgeon and doing a fair share of research will better prepare you for the work that’s about to be done and should aim to create certain expectations. While the right surgeon can reduce any risk of complications, they should also be able to provide information regarding both protecting and treating your skin after your surgical procedure.
Consultations are required before any procedure of this nature as breast lift incisions and results can vary. When speaking to a surgeon about your expectations, the doctor should be able to recommend specific lift techniques that address sagging, size and shape. With each breast lift that is performed, there are different techniques to complete the job which makes the size of the incision vary and also lessen the chance for scars.
Types of Breast Lifts
- The scarless lift is considered the least invasive as electrical currents (or ultrasounds) are used as a substitute for incisions. The currents heats up fat cells and skin causing the tissue to tighten and firm the breast in order to create a lift and avoid scars all together. It should be noted that the scarless lift is only effective on women with minimal sagging.
- For the crescent lift, there is one incision made halfway across the edge of the areola which causes very little scarring. This is often suggested to women with minimal sagging or those lacking excessive breast tissue. The crescent lift is also reserved for women that are also undergoing breast augmentation.
- The donut lift is very similar to the crescent lift as it requires only one incision but this is made in a circle around the areola.
- A vertical (or lollipop) lift is usually done on women who want reshaping of the breasts while correcting sagging. It is actually regarded as the most common option for those getting a breast lift. Two incisions are made in each breast. One is made from the bottom of the areola to below the breast and the other is done around the areola.
- Most of the lifts mentioned so far can correct minimal to moderate sagging. However, the anchor lift is reserved for more significant sagging. This will lead to more incisions being made and more evidence of scarring. It is also the most effective option to correct sagging and reshape the breasts. A horizontal incision is made on the breast crease and around the areola edge.
Breast Lift Scarring
Scarring for breast lifts varies for many different reasons. Thin incisions can leave red, raised lines where the cut was made and fade from pink to white. They will flatten in texture and take up to a year to fully heal. People with really dark or really light skin tend to show much more scarring. Direct sun exposure will also make them become more noticeable. Lifts with incisions around the areola are easiest to conceal even when wearing low-cut or bikini tops. It is important that you give your scars time to fade or flatten. Exfoliating, scratching and tanning the areas of your incision will only make the scar worse so it is suggested that you avoid these behaviors.
Some people use home, or over the counter, remedies to minimize scar tissue forming but there are a few alternative ways to do so. A scar massage requires you to massage the area in circular motions as it decreases inflammation and pain while increasing collagen fibers that encourage flattening the scars. This should be done a couple times per day at 10 minutes at a time.
Silicone sheets are bandages that contain silicone and can help hydrate incisions. This reduces itching and pain after the surgery and can be used until the incisions are fully healed.
Scar gels are required to be used after you’re healed as well as for several weeks after that. It is important that your incisions are not exposed to the sun and this is where sunscreen comes in as it eliminates damage done by the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
There are scar removal procedures as an option if the scarring is severe but they can leave scars of their own in place of the ones that are removed. Scar removal procedures include punch grafting and tissue expansion. Both utilize tissue from other parts of the body to cover up the scar. When speaking to a dermatologist, be sure and inquire about laser therapy, chemical peels and dermabrasion. While breast lifts will lead to some inevitable scarring, there is no cause for concern of it being severe. It is important that you find a skilled surgeon to avoid these problems and give your skin enough time to heal.