Breast Lift Information
Dr. BYUN’s unique breast lift procedure aims to lift sagging breast tissue, without excising or adding tissue. Typically, recipients are women who have had their nipple fall beneath the breast or have had a collapse of breast tissue due to weight loss, aging, or pregnancy. Elevation of both the nipple and breast tissue does result in a scar. In the months following surgery, the tissue may slightly sag again due to the skin’s tendency to settle, but sagging will be far from its original state.
Complications are very rare but may include nipple loss, infection, scarring, loss of nipple erectile ability, and nipple numbness. Numbness could potentially be permanent and could restrict ability to breastfeed in the future.
Surgery is performed on an out-patient basis under either local or general anesthesia and takes about two and a half hours. Discomfort following surgery is minimal, as sutures dissolve internally and dressings are removed in seven to ten days. Showering and bathing, along with driving, can be resumed after five to seven days. Physical activity should be limited for 2 to 3 weeks. Dr. BYUN will schedule three or four post-operative appointments to monitor your recovery.
It is pertinent to find out the pros and cons of the different types of breast reduction and breast lift techniques, which include, but are not limited to, Periareolar Lift, Vertical Mammaplasty, Wise Patterns, etc. Many patients do not know the risk factors associated with certain procedures; for example, some techniques result in more decreased nipple sensation than other techniques, and some doctors can cause a “boxy breast” appearance. Consultations are a great opportunity for Dr. BYUN to review your history, analyze your goals, and examine your tissues. He will then recommend the best surgical approach to fit your specific goals and anatomy. Dr. BYUN and our team always encourage patients to do their research in order to learn more about the right way, and the best way to do your breast reduction / breast lift and then be able to make an informed decision on the surgeon you choose.
3 Signs You Might Benefit From a Breast Lift
Breasts can play an important role in how feminine and sexy a woman feels. But pregnancy, nursing, weight loss, and aging significantly affect the breasts’ appearance over time. Mastopexy, or breast lift has helped countless women recapture perky, youthful-looking breasts. The procedure is designed to restore breasts to their former glory. If you are wondering whether you could benefit from a breast lift, the best way to know for sure is to meet with a qualified, experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Michael BYUN for an examination and consultation. Here, Dr. BYUN reveals three signs that YOU may benefit from a lift.
Saggy or Droopy Breasts Bother You
The first telltale sign that you could benefit from a breast lift is that you have issues with your breasts sagging or drooping. It is natural for the breast skin to lose elasticity, and for breast tissue to stretch out over time. Rapid weight fluctuation and hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and nursing can exacerbate the sagging. A breast lift tightens the skin and elevates the tissues higher on the chest wall to restore the breasts to a more youthful and perky position.
Your Breasts Look Flat, Elongated, or Shapeless
Pregnancy, weight fluctuations, and the natural aging process can rob you of the beautiful breast shape you once enjoyed. What were once round or teardrop-shaped breasts can look flat or shapeless after kids or losing weight. This might cause you to feel embarrassed when wearing swimsuits or other styles of clothing because you do not want to attract attention to your breasts.
Not only does a breast lift elevate the breasts, it also reshapes the breast tissue to create a more appealing shape. A breast lift alone does not significantly affect breast size, but you can always choose to have saline or silicone implants placed during your breast lift.
Your Nipples and Areolas Point Downward
Another obvious sign you could benefit from breast lift is that your nipples and areolas point downward or sit at the bottom of your breasts (below the breast crease, where the breasts meet the torso).
During a breast lift, the nipple-areolar complex is lifted higher on the breast mound in a more youthful arrangement. If desired, oversized areolas can also be reduced in size.
Breast Lift FAQs
Will Breast Lift Increase The Size Of My Breasts?
Increasing size is not a primary goal of breast lift, although women can choose to have breast implants placed in conjunction with a lift procedure. Because a breast lift elevates the breasts on the chest and reverses sagging, it can create the appearance of larger volume. In addition, by improving symmetry and restoring a perky look by returning low or downward-pointing nipples to a natural location, this lift creates a youthful profile that is more dramatic in its projection, shape and proportion.
What Is The Difference Between A Breast Augmentation And A Breast Lift?
A Breast Lift focuses on restoring a youthful profile to the upper body by raising the breasts and reversing sagging. By elevating the position of the breasts on the chest, the procedure can create the appearance of larger volume, even though a small amount of tissue is normally removed during the surgery. In addition, by improving symmetry and restoring a “perky” look by returning low or downward-pointing nipples to a natural appearance, a Breast Lift creates a profile that is more dramatic in its projection, shape, and proportion.
Are The Results Permanent?
You’ve turned back the clock with your breast lift, but you haven’t stopped the aging process entirely. You can be confident, however, that your breasts will look perky and youthful for a long time, in the absence of a new pregnancy or dramatic changes in weight. The smaller your breasts, the more likely that you will retain your new profile. If in the future you find that your breasts have begun to sag, there is no risk to repeating the procedure.
Will I Have Scarring?
Breast lift involves an incision and the removal of skin, so some scarring is inevitable. Dr. BYUN always uses the least invasive techniques, resulting in the shortest scars. For most breast lift procedures, there will be a scar around each areola and a vertical scar that reaches under the breast. Dr. BYUN will discuss with you steps you can take during the recovery process to ensure that that your incisions heal quickly and cleanly, minimizing the appearance of scars.
Did Breastfeeding Change The Integrity And Profile Of My Breasts?
Breastfeeding does not contribute to sagging of breasts, but it can seem that way when drooping appears once breastfeeding is stopped. In reality, it is the entire process of pregnancy that puts strain on the breasts. During this time, breasts naturally swell to a larger size. When this happens, the skin stretches. Once your infant is no longer breastfeeding, the milk-producing gland shrinks and the breasts return to their usual size. Skin may not be flexible enough to shrink back to a correspondingly smaller size, so sagging can result. Because pregnancy and nursing are two of the factors that cause the breast tissue to sag, it is a good idea to wait until you are reasonably sure you won’t have more children before having breast lift.
What Is Breast Ptosis?
Ptosis is the grade classification system surgeons use to describe the degree of sagging in the breast. To determine this, surgeons look at the position of the nipple relative to the fold or crease at the base of the breast.
- GRADE 1 PTOSIS – the nipple and crease are at the same level.
- GRADE 2 PTOSIS – the nipple drops below the crease, but higher than the breast gland area.
- GRADE 3 PTOSIS – the nipple is located in the lowest part of the breast.
How Much Downtime Can I Expect After Breast Lift Surgery?
The support bra you will wear when you first return home, and the small tubes that will drain blood and fluids from incisions, will be in place for several days, initially limiting your freedom. For an office job, you should be able to return to work within one week.
What Should I Expect With Swelling?
After surgery your breasts will appear bruised and will be swollen for up to four months. In addition, you can expect the usual discomforts of surgical recovery, including pain and sometimes localized numbness. Dr. BYUN will prescribe medication to relieve pain, and provide guidance on ways to limit your physical activity. Although you will need to avoid most physical stress, walking is recommended as a practical way to reduce your risk of developing a blood clot. Walking and drinking plenty of fluids can also help reduce swelling of the breasts.
Why Is My Swelling Lasting Longer On One Side?
This is very common. The function of your Lymphatic System (which acts as a highway of Arteries, Veins, and Lymphatic Channels) is to filter out fluid from particular areas of the body. Lymph Nodes, Bone Structure & Tissue Shape are different from right to left, so when it comes to draining, the “clearance rate” of the swelling is also entirely different on each side. The heart is located on the left side of the body and distributes blood throughout the body using different paths & pressures. The drainage of the heart is not completely linear; thus, another reason why Lymphatic Clearance is different on each side.
How Soon Can I Get On A Plane?
Every case is unique. Typically, short distances (short domestic flights) are okay. However, we recommend that you wait until you see Dr. BYUN’s team at the one (1) week follow-up appointment for final approval. Please keep in mind that extra swelling can occur due to pressure changes in the plane.
Can a Breast Lift be Performed in Conjunction with other Procedures?
Yes, it can. A breast lift is often a key part of the mommy makeover, a group of procedures that may also include:
- Liposuction, to shrink specific areas of stubborn fat
- Tummy tuck, to repair the abdominal wall and remove excess folds of skin
- Breast augmentation with implants, to restore or enhance volume
This group of surgeries targets the changes that one’s body often undergoes as a result of one or more pregnancies. The goal is to restore a youthful, firmer profile — while fortifying self-confidence.
BYUN Post Operative Information & Care Instructions for Breast Lift
MEDICATIONS TO HELP WITH NAUSEA
ZOFRAN (or OTHER ANTI-NAUSEA MEDICATION): Take one (1) Zofran tablet (or other anti-nausea medication) as prescribed on your way home from surgery.
MEDICATIONS TO HELP WITH INFECTION
KEFLEX (or OTHER ANTIBIOTIC MEDICATION): Start the antibiotics as prescribed (make sure to consume food when taking any antibiotics as it can cause nausea). It is crucial to complete the ENTIRE course of antibiotics.
MEDICATIONS TO HELP WITH PAIN
TYLENOL & MOTRIN: Start with two (2) extra strength Tylenol (take every 6-8 hours). You may take Motrin instead of Tylenol if preferred. Do not take Tylenol and Norco within the same 6-8 hour window. Taper off medication as tolerated.
NORCO (or OTHER PRESCRIBED PAIN MEDICATION: If pain is not controlled with extra strength Tylenol or Motrin, take one-two (1-2) tablets of Norco instead (take every 6-8 hours). DO NOT DRIVE if you’re taking Norco as it can cause drowsiness and other side effects. Norco has Tylenol in its composition – AVOID TAKING NORCO WITH TYLENOL and/or MOTRIN in the same 6-8 hour window.
METHODS & MEDICATIONS TO MINIMIZE BRUISING AND SWELLING
ARNICA TABLETS & BROMELAIN (over the counter): Take one (1) week before and continue for one (1) week after surgery.
ICE THERAPY: Fifteen (15) minutes on, fifteen (15) minutes off. Icing is most important in the first forty-eight (48) hours post-surgery. Icing will still be effective after that forty-eight (48) hour period and is still recommended.
COMPRESSION: Firm but gentle wrapping with ace bandages.
METHODS TO ENHANCE RECOVERY
PROTEIN INTAKE: Protein can be ingested in any form; powder, shakes, bars or foods high in protein.
HYDRATION: Increase water intake (i.e., Pedialyte hydration packets to put in water) & Electrolyte drinks (i.e., Vitamin Water).
CLEANING WOUNDS TWO (2) to THREE (3) TIMES A DAY: Not cleaning enough can cause infection while cleaning too much can take away good, healing tissue and prolong recovery.
MINIMIZE STRESS: Stress leads to inflammation and can delay healing.
METHODS TO DECREASE NAUSEA
HYDRATION: Hydrate the day before with clear fluids. NO FOOD or WATER 8 hours prior to surgery, but you may hydrate before the 8 hours.
MEDICATIONS, CHEWS & FOODS
Take anti-nausea medications (Zofran, or other prescribed anti-nausea medication).
Try ginger candy or a flat ginger ale drink.
Avoid strong scents and smells, or food odors.
Eat slowly and in small portions.
Do not lie down flat after your meal for two (2) hours.
Return to normal foods slowly (please refer to the steps below):
- Start with CLEAR LIQUIDS (water)
- Move into a SOFT DIET (applesauce, pudding, etc.)
- Return to a REGULAR DIET
IMPORTANT: A full diet can be introduced ONLY when the others are successfully tolerated.
IMPORTANT: Start with room temp food – the hot temperature of the food may cause nausea.
ACTIONS TO AVOID AFTER SURGERY
AVOID HEAT THERAPY: Heat expands the tissue and can ruin the surgical work.
AVOID TOO MUCH ACTIVITY: Increasing heart rate and blood pressure can worsen swelling and fluid build-up.
AVOID MASSAGING THE SURGICAL SITE: unless told to do so by our medical team.
AVOID TAKING BANDAGES / ACE WRAP(S) OFF: DO NOT remove bandages until after forty-eight (48) hours, or as instructed by our medical team. If ACE wraps are not worn correctly, original surgical results may not be maintained.
AVOID LAYING ON ONE SIDE: Laying on one particular side can cause an increase in swelling on one side of the body, can worsen asymmetrical appearances, and delay the healing process.
ON THE WAY HOME: Take anti-nausea medication.
UNTIL ONE (1) WEEK FOLLOW UP: Start antibiotics (take with food like yogurt, applesauce, or crackers), and start pain management.
PAIN MANAGEMENT OPTIONS:
Tylenol Extra-Strength & Motrin: one (1) to two (2) tablets / capsules, alternating every six (6) to eight (8) hours.
For Intolerable Pain: Norco, or other prescribed pain medication (take with food and as directed).
DO NOT drive and DO NOT mix Norco with Tylenol and Motrin.
If taking Norco, take with stool softener, as Norco can slow down digestion.
AFTER SURGERY: Start stool softener as directed: Colace, Miralax, or fiber supplements. Apply Ice to and around the surgical area.
MONITOR SWELLING: The first three (3) days are the worst, the majority of swelling subsides in three (3) weeks.
Elevate legs above heart level.
Start foot exercises – ten (10) times every hour (60 min), this helps to prevent clots.
Start breathing exercises – ten (10) times every hour (60 min), take a deep breath in, hold for ten (10) seconds and exhale.
Perform these exercises at your own pace, helps prevent lung collapse and pneumonia from general anesthesia.
WOUND CARE: To be done two (2) days after surgery – at your forty-eight (48) hour postoperative visit.
BANDAGES & DRESSING:
- Remove gauze and ACE bandage. DO NOT remove anything directly on the skin.
- Apply Bacitracin / Neosporin to incisions three (3) to (4) times daily to prevent infection and scar depression.
- Once bleeding or oozing has stopped, stop application of ointment.
- Keep the incision clean and dry – use saline and gauze to clean, NO RUBBING.
It is OK to touch the dressing and adjust if it causes any discomfort.
If the dressing is soiled before the two (2) day mark, replace it with a new, clean gauze / ACE bandage.
IMPORTANT: If you have the urge to vomit, sneeze, or cough let it out.
IMPORTANT: If you’re continuously vomiting, call the office.
WHAT TO AVOID AFTER SURGERY
AVOID Lifting Arms Above Head or Behind Back
AVOID Sleeping on your Stomach
AVOID Chest or Arm Exercises
AVOID Strenuous Activity for at least two (2) weeks
DO NOT Lift Objects over 10lbs
Be Kind to Yourself and Trust the Healing Process
BE PATIENT – swelling can take a few weeks to months to decrease.
SORE THROAT feeling from the Endotracheal Tube placed by the Anesthesiologist, resolves within in one (1) to two (2) days, using ice chips or hot tea will help to soothe sore throat.
PLEASE NOTE – If surgery is more than five (5) hours, the anesthesia team may insert a catheter to monitor your body fluid during surgery, the catheter is removed at the end of surgery, discomfort is normal and present for twenty-four (24) hours.
SENSATION, NUMBNESS and TINGLING is NORMAL – new nerves awaken and grow after muscle repair, it may take up to six (6) months to one (1) full year for normal sensation to return.
BLEEDING within the first twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours is NORMAL.
BRUISING can appear away from the incision, this is NORMAL – bruising will change colors as it heals.
PUCKERING after surgery is NORMAL and a great sign – this shows that your muscles are adhering to the tissues, do NOT massage the puckered areas.
In The Media
Six things to be aware of before going under the knife.
Dr. Michael BYUN is a serious doctor with seriously comprehensive experience unlike many of his peers, setting him heads and shoulders above the rest.
Chicago magazine profile of Dr. BYUN.