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Patients undergoing a breast lift procedure should expect one or more initial breast lift consultations with the surgeon prior to the procedure. Additionally, the procedure itself will involve a preparation phase, the anesthesia phase and the surgical phase. There will also be a recovery period, which will include a number of post-operative visits for the surgeon to evaluate the recovery progress.
The day of the breast lift procedure will be divided into three phases including preparation, anesthesia and surgery. During the preparation phase, the patient will be marked for potential incision sites and will be scrubbed with an antimicrobial agent to reduce the risk of infection at the incision sites. The surgeon will discuss the proposed incision location with the patient during the initial consultation. Likely incision locations for a breast lift include above the areola, around the areola or, in extreme cases, from the base of the areola to where the breast meets the ribcage.
During the anesthesia phase of the procedure, the patient is given a chemical substance to either numb the procedure area or put the patient to sleep. Anesthesia may be administered either orally or intravenously. Local anesthesia involves numbing the procedure area only, while general anesthesia entails putting the patient to sleep for the duration of the procedure. The patient and surgeon should discuss the options beforehand, but most breast lifts are performed under general anesthesia.
The surgical phase of a breast lift will depend on the extent of the work to be completed and the type of procedure to be performed. However, the general process for a breast lift include making the incision, removing excess skin and suturing the remaining skin to reduce sag and create a more youthful appearance.
Finally, breast lift surgery patients should understand there will be a recovery period following the surgery. It will likely involve wearing compressive bandages for a few days and refraining from some activities for three to four weeks. Most patients are well enough to return to work after approximately one week, but may have swelling which persists for up to six months.
During the initial breast lift consultation with the surgeon, the patient can learn more about the procedure and can discuss the expectations for the surgery. The breast lift consultation is a great time to examine before-and-after photos and ask questions about the procedure, as well as the potential for complications.