There are several options available to women who are not comfortable with the size or shape of their breasts, but are not often sure about the procedure best for them. This article details the procedures for breast lift and reduction and the probable dangers involved in the operation.

Breast Lift

A woman’s breasts can sag because of a multitude of reasons – pregnancy, breastfeeding, or even due o loss in firmness due to old age. Mastopexy, otherwise known as a breast lift, is a surgery that can lift and change the shape of breasts that have lost their original firmness. Surgery also allows a woman to alter the shape and width of her areola – the dark skin around the nipple.

Each woman has a distinctive breast shape. To counter this, some breast lift procedures are accompanied by breast implants as well to provide the proper enhancement or reduction in size. When you consult a surgeon before opting for surgery, he will fill you in on details regarding such procedures.

Breast Reduction

If you wish to reduce the size of your breasts, a doctor will advise you to opt for a reduction mammaplasty, commonly known as a breast reduction procedure. In an operation for breast reduction, he surgeon shapes the breast into a higher position, making it appear more youthful. Extra tissue from the breast, and the breast skin is cut away to reduce its size. The amount tissue removed determines the improvement to the breast shape.

General information

Both mastopexy and reduction mammaplasty procedures require the patient to be put under general anesthesia. The amount of sagging of the breast determines which of several prevalent methods is employed during surgery.

Steps involved:

   * Removal of skin and tissue from the underside of the breast and around the areola
   * Tightening the skin around the breast
   * Lifting the nipple to provide a more youthful appearance to the breast
   * Insertion of breast implants to provide firmer, fuller breasts

Judicious use of traditional and modern incision methods decreases the chances of permanent scarring due to surgery. Procedure called the ‘anchor incision’ is a favored technique. This involves making an anchor-shaped incision on either side of the areola and vertical downwards on the breast and on its underside.

Another procedure named ‘vertical mastopexy’ is a common surgical method. The incision in this procedure is made around the areola and in a straight line down the center of the breast.

When the incision is made only around the nipple, the procedure is termed a ‘doughnut mastopexy’. This is used in mild reduction cases for women with smaller breasts where only minimal removal of skin is required.

Potential Risks of Surgery

Improper healing and the psychological impact of scarring are the most common fall-outs of such surgical procedures. If you have a tendency to develop keloids, or scarring problems, the scars resulting from the surgery could be raised and red for several months following the surgery.

Though bleeding and infection are rare complications, they are not unheard of, and if such conditions arise, it is advisable to consult your doctor as soon as you can, as it can result in widened and ugly scars.

Asymmetrical positioning of nipples and irregularities in breast sizes are a possible outcome of the surgery. The areola may also be insensitive to tactile sensation immediately following the surgery.

If you intend to conceive in the future, and wish to breastfeed your baby, it is necessary that you speak to your surgeon about this before you proceed with this operation. It is not uncommon for women to be unable to breastfeed after cosmetic surgery on the breasts. It is matter of some gravity to most women and it must be given due thought before a decision regarding such a major procedure.

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