A: It’s difficult to answer “how much” sensitivity you can expect to lose after breast lift surgery but most patients report that they are able to retain complete or near complete sensation. During the initial postoperative period, there may be a temporary loss or decrease in sensation primarily due to swelling. As the swelling subsides, the sensation will return. There is the potential that you may experience a change in the sensitivity of your nipples and the skin of your breast. On occasion, patients have reported that their nipples are “supersensitive.” In this case desensitization, exercises can be performed to diminish the sensitivity. This involves gently rubbing the nipples with cotton ball and then progressing to a more course material.
How much you’ll swell really depends on you and on your surgeon’s technique—not so much the type of rhinoplasty you had. Dr. William Portuese, a facial plastic surgeon in Seattle, says that “The amount of swelling after a rhinoplasty procedure depends upon the type of rhinoplasty performed [open versus closed], the thickness of the skin, the amount of alteration required to the nasal tip, and the patient’s variability with the healing process itself.” He notes that “Some patients require taping and steroid shots in the tip of the nose to reduce swelling in that area for the first several months after the procedure.” According to Dr. Miller, “A very clean open rhinoplasty can result in minimal swelling, while with a closed procedure that isn’t performed in the ideal tissue and cartilage, you can have a lot more swelling. If the dissection travels through soft tissue or muscle on top of the cartilage, more bleeding and swelling will develop.” He notes that most people can also expect some bleeding from days two to five, but it should lessen with each passing day.
Case 21: For our patients who are in image-centered occupations such as modeling or acting, nasal refinements often focus on small changes that will enhance the overall look and remove subtle cues about the nose that preoccupy or distract the eye. This successful model had a look that really worked for her but had always felt that her tip and nostrils were too wide, flared, and slightly droopy. Creation of a slightly narrower and more structured tip draws unwanted attention away from her nose and, instead, enhances her overall look.
A Bra Lift with Laser (Laser Bra Lift): Some doctors will want to use a laser bra lift as an insurance policy that your breasts won’t sag. It’s actually not really an alternative to breast lift surgery as it is an extra procedure. In the laser bra surgery, the laser is used to create a bra-like effect that protects the surgical results of the breast lift. Laser energy will always stimulate the production of new collagen fibers, which give you more support of any tissues. Always look at the before and after pictures to see whether or not you think there is enough improvement.
Case 94: This patient was seeing the early signs of facial aging including loss of skin tone and elasticity, early jowling, and heaviness under the chin. A lower facelift along with fat transfer to the under eye and cheek area substantially improved the contour and even apparent texture of her skin, making her look noticeably younger. In addition, the overall effect was completed with a rhinoplasty focused on reducing the width, rounding, and thickness of her tip and nostrils which is a challenge in the setting of thick skin.
Case 43: Rhinoplasty in this pretty professional woman was all about removing the bump she had hated for years and correcting the tip droop and asymmetry that had worsened with age. Relatively small changes here have created a real sense of refinement while maintaining her long, elegant profile. A lower face and neck lift along with facial fat transfer helped to round out the enhancements in her already beautiful appearance.
An “Internal” Bra: This is one of the most interesting procedures, as it is a mesh type of bra that is inserted surgically to lift your breasts. The mesh bra provides a little extra structure although over time the mesh is broken down and absorbed by your own tissues. This procedure is called the Breform, and you can expect a surgery of about four hours in the hospital with a few nights in recovery before you are released. The Breform is inserted through a scar in the nipple area or in the crease under the breast.
Case 33: For this young woman, the nose felt boxy and unrefined in comparison to her more defined facial features. Goals of rhinoplasty included lifting and definition of the tip along with subtle hump reduction to create a more sleek and streamlined nasal contour. Achievement of these goals creates a nose that harmonizes rather than dominating other features.