Thoroughly research surgeons who meet certain criteria before settling on one. First, make sure the surgeon is certified from the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Be wary of other “boards” that are not legitimate. Your doctor should also be a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, both of which have a very high standard of criteria and maintenance. Then make sure that the surgeon has experience in the type of surgery you’re wanting. Ask to see a body of their work and before-and-after photos. Speak to other patients. Schedule a consultation and get a feel for the surgeon’s approach.
The first step in the breast implant surgery process is a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience performing various types of breast surgery. During this meeting, the surgeon will perform an examination of your breast tissue, discuss your goals for surgery and tell you what you need to know about breast implants. Based on his or her examination, the surgeon will determine whether you are a candidate for surgery.
Firstly about surgical technique. Breast lift and reduction employ similar surgical technique, it's just that with reduction you're removing more breast tissue (because the biggest aim of a reduction is.... to reduce the size of the breast). Does breast lift remove SOME breast tissue, the answer is yes, but the AIM of the lift is more to restore the youthfulness of the breast. Both women, one wanting a reduction vs a lift need their nipple/areolar complex repositioned "up". Only the woman wanting a reduction need the volume addressed.
You and your surgeon will decide together which incision choice is best for you: underarm incision, incision in the crease of the breast (inframammary fold), or through removal of the areola. Your doctor will take into consideration your beginning breast size and shape, breast tissue, and a number of other factors before recommending which options are best for you and your body.
Breast lift surgery, also called mastopexy, is a procedure to lift the breasts in order to rejuvenate a woman’s figure and provide a breast profile that is youthful in appearance. A breast lift raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. Sometimes the areola becomes enlarged over time, and a breast lift can reduce this as well.
Both breast reduction and breast lift surgeries are similar in that they both serve to reshape the breasts. Breast lift, through any of the various techniques, basically serves to reposition the breast and nipple on the chest to reverse the effects of time and gravity. The same changes that are noted in ptotic, or sagging, breasts are often seen in large breasts that require reduction: the nipple position is often low and there is excess skin (in addition to the excess breast tissue). The breast reduction then combines a lift with removal of extra tissue to create a breast that has a higher nipple position, reduced extra skin, and smaller and more balanced breast size.
As with any sort of surgery there are always risks involved. The two most common risks for breast implant surgery are bleeding and infection. In general, the risk of bleeding is very low, and if it does happen, it will typically happen within the first 24 hours. Infection on the other hand, can take up to one to two weeks to before it will show itself. However, we take every possible precaution such as; using sterile equipment, sterile gowns, gloves, masks and many other safety precautions. The risk of infection is typically anywhere from two to three percent. So yes, there are risks and they can happen but they are very rare. One other risk that needs to be mentioned is the risk of using anesthesia. So yes, it can happen, but it’s exceedingly rare.
The FDA has identified that breast implants may be associated with a rare form of cancer called anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, believed to be associated with chronic bacterial inflammation. Similar ALCL phenomena have been seen with other types of medical implants including vascular access ports, orthopedic hip implants, and jaw (TMJ) implants. As of February 1, 2017, the FDA has received a total of 359 medical device reports of breast-implant-associated ALCL (BIALCL), including 9 deaths. Most cases of breast implant-associated ALCL had implants in for many years prior to the condition, and are usually treated successfully by simple removal of the implant and the capsule surrounding the implant without the need for chemotherapy if no evidence of systemic disease exists. If women with implants present with delayed swelling or fluid collection, cytologic studies and test for a marker "CD30" are suggested. The American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) states, "CD30 is the main diagnostic test that must be performed on the seroma fluid as routine pathology or H&E staining can frequently miss the diagnosis."  Diagnosis and treatment of breast implant associated ALCL now follows standardized guidelines established by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
For my patients, I also provide a post-operative packet. This includes arnica and other ointments, gauze and tape, an ice pack, and nasal decongestant spray. If your surgeon does not provide these items to you before or after your surgery, they are all helpful during the healing process. I encourage my patients to get anti-nausea medication for the first few days following surgery as well.
Despite their differences, most patients who have these procedures to attain their specific goals are highly satisfied with their results. Both procedures are relatively easy to recover from and require 2 to 4 weeks of downtime. Even though both procedures address different issues, it is not unusual for women to encounter both excess breast tissue and sagging. Commonly, these women get the best results by receiving a combination of breast reduction and breast lift procedures. If you are considering a breast reduction, breast lift or a combination of the two, do your research and find a skilled board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss which one is right for your specific goals.