Thank you for your question. There are three types of surgical techniques for breast lifts. The most common is the vertical technique, which does involve the scar down the lower pole of the breast. However, surgical scars typically heal more cleanly than accidental trauma. After twelve months, many of my patients have thin, almost imperceptible lines. I also offer a comprehensive scar care regimen after surgery to optimize the appearance of the ultimate scar.
The surgical technique used during your breast lift procedure will also influence the appearance of your scars. Your surgeon will explain the typical scarring associated with each technique, including the standard (anchor) breast lift surgery, doughnut mastopexy, and laser bra lift techniques; together, you can determine which is appropriate for you.
You may notice an improved body contour immediately (for instance, if you have your saddlebags suctioned), but your results will be disguised initially by swelling. Swelling should improve dramatically after six weeks and continue to go down over the next six months. If you think you’ll need more lipo to get the result you want, wait at least six months for the swelling to subside, then evaluate the situation with your surgeon. Just keep in mind that you’ll continue healing and seeing better results for up to a year.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes fat via suction. It’s typically done with a thin tube, called a cannula, attached to a vacuum. No matter how healthy your diet or how often you work out, you can still have pockets of unwanted fat that resist your best efforts. With liposuction, an experienced surgeon can remove fat, contouring your hips, thighs, stomach, abs, waist, chin, or other areas.
In addition to a breast lift, many women also consider having other procedures performed at the same time to enhance the overall result. For example, a “mommy makeover” is a combination of different surgical procedures reserved for women who have been pregnant and want to look like they did before the pregnancy. This may include a tummy tuck, liposuction surgery and breast enlargement or breast reduction. There is also a cost savings of having multiple procedures done at the same time.
“Adding a breast implant to the procedure sometimes allows the surgeon to shorten or even eliminate scarring, since the implant will then take up some of the slack caused by the breasts’ sagging,” says Fort Worth, TX plastic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Heistein. “Some breast augmentation patients may even be candidates for a radiofrequency treatment called BodyTite, which can provide a slight lift without requiring additional surgery.”
Liposuction is often combined with other procedures to provide more comprehensive results. At Macleod Trail Plastic Surgery, our experienced surgeons may recommend enhancing liposuction outcomes with other surgical procedures if this will help achieve your cosmetic goals. A mommy makeover, for example, may combine a tummy tuck and breast augmentation with liposuction for women whose bodies have changed after having children.
Most doctors on RealSelf say that a good compression garment is essential to minimize swelling and bruising, help the skin smoothly adhere to the underlying tissue, and speed up healing; but some don’t think it’s necessary. Doctors who recommend compression garments often have patients wear them 24/7 (with a break for showering) for at least two weeks and then gradually reduce the number of hours they need to be worn over a period of three or more weeks. As a bonus, doctors say, compression helps ease discomfort. Follow your doctor’s instructions. Some surgeons recommend lymphatic massage starting at about four weeks post-op, to help drain fluid and bring down swelling. “I don’t suggest self-massage, because you can counteract the surgery,” Dr. Mesa says. “But going to a massage therapist who specializes in post-surgical massage does make the healing process faster and prevent irregularities.”
A major key to making sure that the breast lift process is as comfortable as possible is planning ahead of time. Much of the post-operative discomfort is due to swelling. While wearing a compression bra should help manage some of the swelling and help reduce pain, there are other things that can be done to reduce swelling and make your recovery easier.