Weight-loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, comprises a series of procedures that can help individuals with obesity lose weight. With the right lifestyle changes and new healthy habits, weight-loss surgery can be very effective, helping patients lose weight fast.
After patients lose a massive amount of weight, they might have saggy, loose skin in different parts of their body. This happens because the skin becomes less elastic when it stretches as we gain weight. As a consequence, when we lose weight, the skin can hardly shrink and adjust to the new shape.
Breasts can also be impacted by visible changes after weight loss: the skin gets droopy and saggy, with nipples pointing downward. There are different procedures that patients can undergo in order to make their breasts more aesthetically pleasing after massive weight loss.
In this article, we are going to give you an overview of what type of breast surgery you may choose to undergo and what you can expect.
Why have breast surgery after weight loss?
Surgery to reshape the breasts after a weight-loss procedure is typically recommended to individuals who are dissatisfied with how their breasts look after a successful path of massive weight loss.
While weight-loss surgery is a powerful tool to set you on track toward a healthier lifestyle, weight fluctuations can cause saggy skin, which can prevent you from enjoying your results fully. When the folds of excess skin sag, you may also have rashes, discomfort and hygiene issues. This can represent a major psychological and physical burden and it’s the most common reason why patients choose to undergo aesthetic procedures to improve their results.
Who’s a good candidate for breast reshaping after weight loss?
Good candidates should be in good health, non-smokers (or willing to quit), and with no serious illnesses and medical conditions. Moreover, breast surgery is generally recommended if you have a stable weight: your weight should have stabilised after weight-loss surgery and you should have more or less reached your ideal weight.
You should also have realistic expectations of what breast surgery can accomplish. While it can help you reshape and improve your breasts, fat accumulation is possible by regaining weight. In most patients, however, breast reduction is permanent, so there will be no growth of tissue that could make the breasts much larger. Moreover, consider that ageing is a natural process! But if you follow your doctor’s recommendations and take good care of yourself, you will maintain your results as long as you can hope for.
Patients who want to treat more areas of their body, including their tummy or back, may choose to undergo a body lift.
How can you improve the appearance of your breasts after massive weight loss?
There are different aesthetic procedures that can help you achieve a more beautiful, proportionate breast shape after weight-loss surgery, including breast reduction and breast lift surgery.
Both procedures aim to create a more beautiful, proportionate breast shape, greatly improving the contour of your body. Patients who have their breasts reshaped as a consequence of massive weight loss are happy with the results and can finally feel good in their own skin.
Breast reduction and breast lift can be combined and performed in one session. Your surgeon will assess whether this is possible in your case. Below, a short explanation of how each procedure works; the exact procedure may change if they are both performed at the same time.
How does breast reduction work?
Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a surgical procedure that aims to remove glandular and fatty tissue from the breasts. While many patients undergo breast reduction surgery to alleviate physical symptoms such as back, neck or shoulder pain, it can also have benefits from an aesthetic point of view: the excess skin is removed, breasts are lifted for a firmer look, and nipples are repositioned.
Breast reduction is performed under general anaesthesia and the duration varies from two to six hours, depending on each individual case.
The surgeon will make the incisions around the areolas and down each breast. Then, an inverted T or anchor shaped incision is made. Any excess fat, glandular tissue and skin are removed from your breasts. Then, your nipples and areola are repositioned, while the remaining breast tissue is reshaped.
Finally, incisions are closed and your chest is wrapped with bandages.
How does breast lift work?
Breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, is a surgical procedure that aims to raise the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue. There are many incision patterns and techniques for a breast lift. Your surgeon will choose the most appropriate one based on your case.
Overall, the procedure takes approximately 2-3 hours and is performed under general anaesthesia. The surgeon will start the procedure by making the incisions and will then lift and reshape the underlying breast tissue to achieve better contour and firmness. Then, the nipple and the areola will also be repositioned according to the new shape. Lastly, excess breast skin will be trimmed and removed. The surrounding skin will be tightened and incisions will be closed with stitches.
What Conditions Does Breast Lift After Weight Loss Help?
Significant weight loss can cause the underlying tissue of the breasts to become loose and deflated. This can lead to a number of conditions, including:
Sagging: Substantial weight loss can result in the loss of elasticity and sagging of the skin and tissues. To address this, a breast lift procedure can effectively reposition the breasts higher on the chest wall, providing a more youthful and lifted appearance.
Nipple and areola position: As the breasts sag due to weight loss, the nipples and areolas can also descend to a lower position. Through a breast lift, the nipples and areolas can be repositioned to a more aesthetically pleasing location on the breasts, enhancing their overall symmetry and attractiveness.
Disproportionate size: Weight loss often leads to a reduction in breast volume, causing them to appear deflated or flat. By undergoing a breast lift, one can restore fullness and shape to the breasts, enhancing their overall appearance.
By undergoing breast lift surgery, individuals can address these concerns and achieve a more aesthetically pleasing and harmonious breast appearance.
Why is Breast Lift After Weight Loss Required?
The physical appearance of individuals undergoes a significant transformation following substantial weight loss. The diminished fat volume leads to unsatisfactory body contours, projection, and skin elasticity. In fact, many individuals find their breasts resembling pancakes, with distorted and sagging characteristics. These unappealing breast shapes can also result in discomfort, including back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as difficulties in finding well-fitting clothing.
Fortunately, a breast lift procedure presents a viable solution to reshape the breasts into a more youthful and rounded form. This surgical intervention effectively repositions the breasts and nipples to a more natural position, ultimately achieving a more comfortable and proportionate breast size that cannot be attained through weight loss alone.
What Preparation to Do Before Breast Lift Surgery?
Here are some valuable tips on what a person should do before breast lift surgery:
Medical Evaluation: The individual should prioritise a medical evaluation, as the surgeon will likely require them to undergo lab testing or a medical assessment before proceeding with the surgery.They may be asked by the surgeon to adjust their current medications or take specific medications in preparation for the procedure.
Employ a Healthy Lifestyle: In the weeks leading up to the surgical procedure, it is crucial for the person to embrace a healthy lifestyle by consuming nutritious food and engaging in regular exercise. This will significantly enhance their body’s ability to heal effectively and swiftly after the surgery.
Schedule a mammogram: It is advisable for the individual to schedule a mammogram before the procedure as recommended by their surgeon. Additionally, they may need to undergo another mammogram a few months after the surgery. These screenings will enable the medical team to monitor any changes in their breast tissue and accurately interpret future mammograms.
Quit smoking: If the person is a smoker, it is imperative for them to quit smoking before undergoing surgery. Smoking restricts blood flow to the skin and hampers the healing process.
Maintain a healthy weight: If the individual has gained weight in the past year, it is essential for them to consider making dietary changes or engaging in an exercise program to facilitate weight loss, as maintaining a healthy weight can have a positive impact on the surgery’s outcome.
Meet your doctor: Before the procedure, the person should communicate their medical history with the plastic surgeon during a consultation. It is crucial to discuss any past medical conditions and medications they are currently taking. The surgeon may also conduct an examination, measure their body, mark the area with a pen or marker, and capture photographs for reference.
Following the surgeon’s instructions diligently is of utmost importance to ensure the best.
What Should I Expect After Breast Lift Surgery?
After undergoing a breast lift surgery, patients can expect the following:
Swelling and bruising: The breasts will experience swelling and bruising.
Pain and soreness: Some discomfort and tenderness may be felt around the incision sites, which will appear red or pink.
Numbness: It is common to experience numbness in the nipples, areolae, and surrounding skin.
Dressings and bandages: Immediately after the surgery, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions to promote proper healing.
Recovery time: The typical recovery period ranges from one to three weeks. Bed rest is not necessary, and light movement and activity are encouraged.
Final shape: Achieving the desired shape of the breasts may take between 6 to 12 weeks. Initially, the skin will feel tight, and the upper portion of the breasts will appear fuller while the lower portion may seem flattened. However, over time, the upper portion will flatten, and the lower portion will fill out, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing shape.
Follow-up appointments: It is likely that follow-up appointments with the surgeon will be scheduled to monitor healing progress and address any concerns that may arise.
It is important to note that the recovery process may vary for each individual. Therefore, it is crucial to follow the surgeon’s specific post-operative instructions to ensure optimal healing and achieve the desired results.
Breast reshaping after weight-loss surgery: Recovery and expectations
After breast surgery, patients usually stay at our clinic for 1 or 2 days. Right after surgery, it’s normal to feel some pain in your breasts. Your doctor will prescribe painkillers to support your recovery. You will have to wear a compression bra for a few weeks after the procedure. You should not carry any weights or do intense workouts for about 8 weeks. Avoid direct sun exposure for about 6 months.
While results will be visible right after the procedure, full recovery may take a few months.
Our specialists at KCM Clinic will give you detailed instructions for your recovery in order to improve results and avoid possible complications.
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