Are your breasts not as perky as they used to be? You may be considering getting a breast lift or even breast reduction surgery. However, just like any other surgery, you need to outweigh the benefits versus the risks. Consult a plastic surgeon in the Houston area and discuss your situation to see what type of surgery is right for you. There are certain factors you should consider beforehand. Here are five things to consider before breast lift or breast reduction surgery:
1. Has it been 6 months since you stopped breastfeeding your last child?
Breastfeeding itself has no impact on the amount your breasts may sag after having a child. However, hormones associated with pregnancy and childbirth cause breasts to grow and swell. After labor or when breastfeeding stops, the breasts shrink back to their pre-pregnancy size, which can cause sagginess. When considering a breast lift, you may want to wait until after you have your last child and when breastfeeding has stopped for at least six months. This allows your breasts to completely return to their previous size and ensures you get the best and most long-lasting result from surgery.
2. Have you reached your goal weight?
If you’ve gained weight and intend on losing it, you may want to wait until you reach your goal weight before having a breast lift. Gaining weight causes your breasts to increase in size due to the accumulation of fat. When you lose weight, the fat in your breasts goes away and causes them to sag and droop. There’s no way to tell how much your breasts will sag until after you’ve reached your goal weight. Once you’ve lost the weight, it’s time to talk to a surgeon to discuss your options. Also, once you’ve lost weight, it’s important to maintain the weight to prevent further drooping and to prolong the lifetime of your surgery results.
3. Are you a smoker?
If you’re a smoker, your breasts are more likely to droop. Smoking causes elastin, a protein that keeps skin firm and elastic, to break down, after which the breasts will begin to droop. If you’re uncomfortable with the amount of sagging in your breasts, you should stop smoking. Quitting prevents your breasts from sagging further and will improve the results of surgery. In fact, your surgeon may not want to perform surgery until you quit smoking.
4. Do you just want the size reduced?
If your breasts are large, you may think that a simple breast lift will make them perky again. However, depending on the size of your breasts, a breast reduction may also be necessary to completely lift your breasts and reduce sag. Also, you may be happy with your breasts after a breast reduction alone and may not need a lift depending on the results of the reduction. Talk to a plastic surgeon about the results you hope to achieve to determine if a breast lift or a breast reduction is right for you.
5. Do you have physical features that indicate a breast lift is necessary?
Even if you’re self-conscious about the amount of sag in your breasts, sag is normal, especially for large breasts. Certain physical features of the breasts, not the appearance of sag itself, will help a surgeon determine if a lift is necessary. Here are the physical appearance that surgeons look for in breasts:
- Nipples that point down instead of forward
- No visible skin between the bottom of the breast and the areola
- Large areola
- If there is more than 7 cm from the top of the crease between the breasts and the nipple
Once you’ve taken these factors into consideration and answered these questions, it’s time to talk to a plastic surgeon in Houston.