How is this procedure done?

There are two types of breast lift procedures-the modified lift (Benelli) and the full lift. Your surgeon will help you decide upon the appropriate procedure for your specific needs.

Full Lift: The first incision is made around the dark area surrounding the nipple (areola) to allow a repositioning of the nipple to a higher, more attractive level on the breast. The nipple itself is not removed, however. Then, a second incision is made horizontally under the breast fold (inframammary crease). The third incision is made vertically from the areola's edge to the crease, creating an inverted t-shaped surgical opening. Excess skin is trimmed to tighten, firm and recontour the breast for your desired projection. Then, the incisions are closed with small stitches (sutures) placed beneath the skin. Bandages are applied to the breast for support.

Modified (Benelli) Lift: A circular incision is made around the dark area surrounding the nipple (areola). Excess skin is removed to tighten and recontour the breast. If desired, large areolae can be reduced in size to more proportionate with your new breast size. The incision is closed with small stitches (sutures) and supportive bandages are applied to the breast.

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How do I prepare for my breast lift?

Photographs, which do not include your face, are important aids in planning and performing your breast lift. They become a permanent part of your patient record and are taken before and several months after your procedure. During your preoperative consultation, you will be given specific directions to help you prepare for your procedure. Instructions generally include taking vitamins, cautions about taking certain medication and drinking alcohol, the shaving process and use of antibacterial soap. You must not eat or drink anything eight hours before your procedure. Do not smoke ten days prior to and two days after surgery. If you take daily medication, ask your surgeon if it is safe to take prior to your procedure. If you have any sores on your body, if you have a cold, sore throat or allergic condition, inform your surgeon so you may be examined again prior to your procedure.

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How long does the procedure take?

Operating time is generally two to three hours.

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What form of anesthesia is used?

You will require general anesthesia, given by an expert anesthesiologist M.D. (medical doctor). This will allow you to "sleep" throughout the entire procedure.

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Can I return home the same day?

Yes. Breast lift is done on an ambulatory basis. However, it is necessary that you have someone to pick you up after the procedure, take you home, and stay with you for at least 24 hours.

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What precautions should I take during my recovery?

After surgery, small bandages are secured over your incisions. You will be placed in a surgical bra immediately following your procedure. It is necessary to wear this bra day and night (removing for bathing) for up to four weeks or until you see your surgeon at your first postoperative visit. You will receive specific instructions to follow during your recovery including rest and sleeping positions, raising your arms, bathing and showering techniques.

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How long before I can return to normal activity?

Most women return to their usual activities in one week. However, you must not lift anything for the first two weeks and do no heavy lifting for the first four weeks.

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What are some of the complications that can occur with a breast lift?

In a full breast lift, your scars are placed in the natural skin demarcation lines around the dark area around the nipple (areola), down the breast from the bottom of the areola to the crease underneath the breast. In most patients, the scars from the incisions will be pink for about six months and gradually fade thereafter. The scars are rarely troublesome. Nevertheless, you should know that all scars are permanent and their height, width and final color are not totally predictable.

As with any surgical procedure, small nerves to the skin are interrupted during surgery. Portions of the nipple area may feel numb or have a less than full feeling. Sensitivity generally returns over several weeks, but some diminished feeling may last indefinitely. This does not usually interfere with erotic sensation.

If you sunbathe, or utilize a tanning bed, you must not do so until any numbness of the breast is gone (to avoid burning). After this point, you must protect the incision site with a sunscreen of SPF 15 or more for at least six months.

No procedure is without risks; however, the majority of complications known to be associated with breast lift are minor when the procedure is performed by an experienced board certified plastic surgeon. Nonetheless, it is important to enter into your procedure aware not only of the benefits, but also of the possible complications. Talk to your surgeon about every question and concern you may have.

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What can I expect immediately after my procedure as well as later on?

When you "awaken" after your procedure, you will experience some discomfort for a few hours when the anesthesia wears off. Your surgeon will give you medication to relieve any discomfort. Most women require very little pain medication after the first 24 hours. Your breasts may be swollen and bruised for approximately one-two weeks. Please note that the loss of elasticity that caused the original sagging of the breast can recur. Occasionally women lose part of their improvement over variable periods of time.

Rarely, a woman will request another procedure to lift the breasts again. The vast majority of women maintain their enhanced, rounder and more youthful shaped breasts. Be sure to address any questions or concerns to your surgeon immediately. Your health and happiness are the most important considerations any time.

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