Breasts lift, or mastopexy, is a cosmetic procedure that removes skin around the breasts to raise or lift the breasts in order to improve their appearance. There were 92,724 breast lift procedures done in 2015 in the United States.
Understanding Breast Lift Procedures
Women may choose to have breast lifts instead of breast augmentations if they want to improve the appearance of the breasts without increasing their size.
Breasts lifts may be done to:
- Improve confidence
- Reduce the effects of ageing
- Change the appearance of natural breasts
- Even out one breast due to natural or post-surgical differences
- Improve breast shape after weight loss
Women may also choose to have breast lifts after pregnancy and breastfeeding, which can stretch and sag breasts.
During a breast lift procedure patients will first be put under general or intravenous anesthesia. Doctors will make incisions around the areola, straight down from the areola, or horizontally around the breast. Breast tissue may be removed in a crescent shape about the areola, in a donut shape around the areola, or below the areola, and surrounding tissue will be raised and tightened to lift the breasts.
Breast Lift Risks
Doctors should make patients aware of all material risks of breast lift surgery before performing the procedure. Risks of breast lift surgery include:
- Infection—sings of infection include pain, redness, swelling, fever, and skin hot to the touch
- Asymmetrical breasts
- Fluid buildup
- Excessive bleeding
- Improper healing
- Loss of sensation in the breast or areola
- Excessive scarring
- Unsatisfactory results
While many small cosmetic injuries can occur during breast lift surgery, not all injuries amount to medical malpractice. To have a viable malpractice case, patients will need to show that negligent treatment resulted in unnecessary and serious physical, mental, and financial harm and distress.
Is a Breast Lift Procedure Right for You?
In deciding to undergo this procedure, it is important to understand the possible aesthetic results of the procedure and to have realistic expectations about the outcome. Doctors should inform patients of all material risk and possible outcomes of the surgery. They should help patients manage their expectations. Generally, patients will not be able to file malpractice cases for dissatisfactory results if no serious injuries occurred.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a breast lift surgery in 2014 was $4,377. Most patients will have to pay for this procedure out of pocket since the majority of health insurance companies will not cover elective cosmetic procedures unless it is used for restorative purposes, like reconstructive mastectomy surgery.
Like all cosmetic surgeries, the high costs of the procedures can attract both skilled and unskilled doctors. Qualifications for cosmetic and plastic surgeons vary. As such, it is important for patients to inquire about the doctor's qualifications and hospital privileges awarded to their surgeons.
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) recommends that patients screen their surgeons before choosing one. The ABCS advises patients to ask surgeons about the number of times they have completed the procedure in question and recommends that patients look at before and after pictures to assess the surgeon's prior results.
Breast Lift Malpractice
Unfortunately, many doctors get away with minor negligent injuries to patients during cosmetic surgeries. Most medical malpractice attorneys, will not take on minor cases of injury during cosmetic procedures due to the high cost associated with litigating these cases.
If your breast lift surgery was mishandled by a health care provider, the attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian can help. We have a primary care physician on staff who can help evaluate your case. We are dedicated to providing our clients with the best service and we will not charge fees until you get the results you deserve.