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Is Breast Lift Surgery Safe?

Published by Nanni on Saturday, August 18, 2012

Photo credit by VishalKapoorMD

Breast lift surgery is surgery that is done when a woman would like to return her breasts to a higher and firmer position. This can be a result of aging, pregnancy or breastfeeding, or extreme weight loss. After losing a significant amount of weight, there can be excessive skin in the breast area. This skin often sags and misshapes the breasts, which is why some women choose a breast lift at this time. Others choose it after pregnancy or breastfeeding as both of these wreak havoc on the breasts for similar reasons. Also, milk ducts are always filling and emptying, causing the elasticity in the breasts to become almost nonexistent. But for whatever reasons, breast lifts are generally considered to be a cosmetic procedure. And for this reason, one of the biggest questions is whether or not breast lift surgery is safe.

Breast lift surgery is a very common procedure and can even be done in out patient clinics or cosmetic surgeon’s offices. However, general anesthetic must be used and because it’s a surgery of any kind, there are still some associated risks. Some of these risks are simply side effects that will disappear on their own a few weeks after surgery. Others however are more serious complications and it’s important to be aware of them.

One of the biggest side effects of breast lift surgery is nausea or a bad reaction to the general anesthetic. It’s important to tell your doctor of any allergies prior to the surgery to minimize this risk. Nausea is a very common side effect to general anesthetic and will wear off on its own once the medication is completely out of the system. Another very common side effect that comes with breast lift surgery is a burning sensation in the nipples. This usually goes away within a few weeks but your doctor should be told if it persists longer than that. Loss of feeling in the nipples however, is another side effect of breast lift surgery, and one that often does not go away. This is because if any of the nerves get cut during the procedure, they cannot be replaced and so, the feeling will never come back. While this is not a serious medical condition, it is something to be aware of.

There are more serious complications with breast lift surgery. Although these are more serious, they are also much rarer and are not likely to happen. Two complications that could occur are excessive bleeding or excessive pain. While patients will experience some of each of these after having a breast lift, they should both be controllable. If not, it’s important to tell a doctor right away. Either of these could be signs of internal bleeding, infection, or protracted healing.

Along with the common side effects and less common complications, breast lift surgery could also affect a woman’s ability to breastfeed. This is because during the procedure, milk ducts which lead to the nipple are usually removed. Because of this, women who want the procedure right after pregnancy are advised to wait until the baby has stopped breastfeeding.

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