What are the risks associated with a breast lift?

Although breast lift surgery is not the simplest of plastic surgery procedures, it is usually low risk if performed by a certified plastic surgeon using the established techniques. However, as with any surgery, there are risks involved. Most signicantly, there is a risk of bleeding, infection, or a rejection of the sutures. Following the surgeon’s recommendations closely will greatly reduce your risk of complication.


What do I need to have in mind before deciding on a breast lift?

If you feel that a breast lift may be beneficial to you, you should both research the topic well and speak openly with your surgeon. Often individuals have valid and justified reasons for wanting surgery although this may not be apparent to other people. It is therefore important to prepare well for the initial interview by having considered and delineated the reasons for wanting the surgery and to have realistic expectations regarding the outcome. During the interview, you must prepare yourself for the surgeon to be honest about your options and what you can expect from the surgery. It is also essential during this interview that you give the surgeon a basic medical history and information regarding any heredity breast diseases in your family and your use of tobacco, alcohol and health supplements. Also keep in mind that breast feeding after surgery is not guaranteed.


How do I prepare for a breast lift?

Before your surgery, your surgeon will give you information on how to prepare for the surgery, including information on fasting, smoking and prescription drug use. Being near your ideal weight is best for the success of this surgery. If you are a smoker, you should take a break for sometime before and after the surgery. Prior to the surgery, you should arrange for someone to pick you up and stay with you for a few days after the surgery.


Where is the surgery performed?

Breast lifts are usually performed under general anaesthesia without overnight admission on the 6th floors of Domus Medica. On rare occasions hospitalisation is preferred, Dr. Stefánsson and Dr. Einarsson performs their surgeries at St. Jósefsspítali Hospital in Hafnarfjörður.


Will I require anaesthesia?

Breast lifts are always performed under anaesthesia. The anaesthetic is administered by an anaesthesiologist who is present during the surgery until a few hours after you have woken up. Anaesthesia has improved greatly in recent years, resulting in safer surgeries with shorter recovery times and lowered likelihood of nausea.


What happens during the surgery??

There are several different methods and techniques used for breast lift surgery, the choice of which is largely determined by the shape and size of the breast. The two most common methods leave an anchor shaped scar on the breast which surrounds the nipple, goes straight down from the nipple and into a crease under the breast. This cannot be avoided in most cases of breast lift surgery. Excess tissue is removed and the skin tightened, making the breast higher, firmer and reshaped. During the surgery the nipple and areola are reduced and moved higher up on the breast. In some cases the breast is emty enough that satisfactory results cannot be achieved without the use of a silicon implant. If an implant is used while the breast is lifted, it can be placed directly under the breast gland or under the chest muscle. Please see the section on breast augmentation for more information on implants.


How long does the surgery take?

Breast lifts usually take two to three hours. Waking up from the anaesthesia takes another one or two hours and is monitored by an anaesthesiologist and trained nurses.


How will I feel immediately following the surgery?

When waking up from the surgery, you will feel pain in the incisions and wounds but this can be managed with the appropriate pain medications. You should expect recovering from the anaesthesia to take two to three hours. You must arrange for someon to pick you up from the hospital. Prior to being discharged, bandages are placed on the incision and breast which are changed three to six days after the surgery.


How long will it take to fully recover?

Plenty of rest and relaxation is imperative in the first two weeks following the surgery while the wounds are healing. Most women that have received a breast lift can return to work after two weeks although they are not fully recovered by this time. In the first four to five weeks after surgery, you should avoid any physical exertion such as heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. Six weeks after surgery you should be able to return to exercise, swimming and other demanding physical activities.


How long will it take to fully recover?

Plenty of rest and relaxation is imperative in the first two weeks following the surgery while the wounds are healing. Most women that have received a breast lift can return to work after two weeks although they are not fully recovered by this time. In the first four to five weeks after surgery, you should avoid any physical exertion such as heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. Six weeks after surgery you should be able to return to exercise, swimming and other demanding physical activities.