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Nip and tuck: Risks and benefits of breast lifts for ladies

Jul 23, 2012, 9:01 a.m.

With age, women will experience a few undesirable changes to their bodies, but with modern cosmetic procedures these changes need not be permanent. While having a cosmetic procedure is a personal choice, cosmetic surgery risks and benefits should always be decided based on what is best for the patient.

Age causes women to lose some elasticity in their skin which causes sagging with the pull of gravity. The breasts are what a woman will notice first. Pregnancy, nursing and weight loss can also cause breasts to sag resulting in a loss of firmness and volume that once occurred naturally.

Many women choose a breast lift, or Mastopexy, which is a cosmetic procedure that safely lifts sagging, aging breasts. During the procedure the skin is reshaped and positioned to create a more youthful look. Women who are planning a pregnancy or a significant weight loss should postpone the surgery. While the benefits of a breast lift are obvious, the risks should be researched before making the decision to have the procedure.

Having a breast lift is normally considered an outpatient surgery and takes about three hours to complete. Recovery time takes about a week and tenderness and soreness could last about a month. Other risks include excessive bleeding or infection. Reactions to the anesthesia are also risks and may include breathing problems, reactions to medication, or heart problems. Women who smoke have a higher risk of delayed healing and infection. Each patient should consider their overall health and possible complications before considering surgery.

Women who have breast lifts may also experience scars that are visible for months and possibly uneven positioning or numbness of the nipples. Many women who have an elective breast enhancement surgery fear their breasts will be imperfect or that they might be disappointed with the outcome.

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A qualified physician will determine whether a patient is a good candidate for a breast lift and will usually require a mammogram before recommending the procedure. Most women experience a good outcome following a breast lift, heal quickly and feel good about their new youthful appearance. While scars are permanent, they will diminish and are rarely noticeable even with the most low-cut clothing. The reshaped breasts will be firm for years and most women discover that a support bra may not be necessary all of the time. The procedure will not interfere with regular mammogram testing and most women find their new shape lends added confidence.

When considering a breast lift or any other cosmetic procedure it is best to consult a qualified, certified surgeon for advice and consultation. Many women choose to get the advice of more than one surgeon before choosing. Knowing the risks and benefits is the first step to making the right choice.

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