Initially, you'll talk to a plastic surgeon about a breast lift. During your first visit, your plastic surgeon will likely:
- Review your medical history. Be prepared to answer questions about current and past medical conditions. Tell the doctor if you have a family history of breast cancer. Share the results of any mammograms or breast biopsies. Talk about any medications you're taking or have taken recently, as well as any surgeries you've had.
- Do a physical exam. To determine your treatment options, the doctor will examine your breasts — including the placement of your nipples and areolae. He or she will also consider the quality of your skin tone. Breast skin that has good tone will hold the breasts in a better position after a breast lift. The doctor might also take pictures of your breasts for your medical record.
- Discuss your expectations. Explain why you want a breast lift and what you're hoping for in terms of appearance after the procedure. Make sure you understand the risks and benefits, including scarring and changes in nipple or breast sensation.
Before a breast lift you might also need to:
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- Schedule a mammogram. Your doctor might recommend a baseline mammogram before the procedure and another mammogram a few months afterward. This will help your medical team see changes in your breast tissue and interpret future mammograms.
- Stop smoking. Smoking decreases blood flow in the skin and can slow the healing process. If you smoke, your doctor will recommend that you stop smoking before surgery and during recovery.
- Avoid certain medications. You'll likely need to avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, which can increase bleeding.
- Arrange for help during recovery. Make plans for someone to drive you home after surgery and stay with you as you begin to recover. You might need someone to help you with daily activities, such as washing your hair, during your initial recovery.
- Thorne CH, et al. Grabb and Smith's Plastic Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2007:1.
- Disa JJ. 100 Questions & Answers About Breast Surgery. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett Learning; 2005:167.
- Efrain A. Understanding Cosmetic Procedures: Surgical and Nonsurgical. Clifton Park, N.Y.: Thomas Delmar Learning; 2006:159.
- Breast lift surgery. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-lift.html. Accessed May 21, 2012.
- Rinker B, et al. The effect of breastfeeding on breast aesthetics. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2008;28:534.
- Riordan J, et al. Breastfeeding and Human Lactation. 4th ed. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones & Bartlett Publishers; 2010:309.
- Jacobson SR (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 29, 2012.