Your Guide to Breast Lift

Breast Lift / Mastopexy

What is a Breast Lift?

A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, is a surgical procedure to correct a “sagging” appearance of the breasts that may occur following pregnancy, weight loss, effects of gravity with time or decline in skin quality as we age.

Breast lifts encompass a variety of techniques and approaches that are designed to reposition the breast tissue, relocate/elevate the nipple and remove excess skin. 

The primary goals with a breast lift procedure aim to restore a more youthful, aesthetically pleasing appearance and fullness to the breasts.

Can a breast lift be done at the same time as breast augmentation?

In order to achieve optimal aesthetic results, a breast lift may need to be combined with other breast procedures.  Some individuals may desire a small reduction to improve the aesthetic appearance of their breasts and relieve symptoms resulting from larger breasts, while others may desire placement of an implant to restore lost volume, particularly in the upper and medial portions of the breasts.  These can be done safely at the same time, but best results may be achieved by performing them at separate times.

The risks and benefits of performing additional breast procedures at the same as your breast lift will be discussed in detail during your consultation so that you can make a truly informed decision. 

Is breast lift surgery for me?

Breast lift surgery is an excellent choice for those who are unhappy about the appearance of their breasts due to sagging or loss of youthful contour.  The changes in the breast that occur with sagging are:

  • nipples and areolas fall below the breast crease or are pointing downward
  • areola is enlarged
  • breasts are flatter and have elongated appearance
  • skin is stretched

If any of these changes apply to your breasts, and you are in good health with realistic expectations and do not smoke, breast lift surgery may be an excellent choice for you.  Call Allure Plastics today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Walker and see how breast lift surgery can restore your youthful contour. 

Who is not a candidate for breast lift surgery?

While breast lift surgery is an excellent therapeutic option for healthy individuals with appropriate expectations, there are some conditions that can increase your potential for a poor outcome.  These include but are not limited to:

  • those who are planning future pregnancy
  • smokers
  • bleeding or clotting disorders
  • conditions which result in poor wound healing capability
  • history of keloid scarring
  • unrealistic expectations

Can you tell me more about the breast lift procedure?

Breast lift (also known as mastopexy) may involve a variety of techniques that address the skin, the breast tissue and the nipple and areola.  The technique chosen will be based on your individual anatomy and desired outcome.

Breast lift surgery first involves the planning and placement of the skin incisions.  The resulting scar pattern may be around the areola or it may include a vertical incision from the areola to the breast crease.  In some individuals, breast lift requires the addition of a horizontal incision in the breast crease.  While some may shy away from the operation due to fear of scars on the breast, it is important to understand that these scars tend to fade over the first 1-2 years.  The trade-off is a much improved aesthetic appearance and contour to the breasts, and almost all patients are very happy with the final scar appearance. 

The breast tissue is then dissected and at this time is lifted and reshaped to give the breast the best aesthetic contour.   Following this, the nipple and areola are relocated (not detached) to a more desirable position on the breast mound.  If needed, excess skin is removed at this time and all incisions are closed under the skin with absorbable suture so that no suture removal is needed at follow up appointments.

The procedure can take between 2 and 4 hours, depending on technique chosen and addition of additional procedures such as breast reduction or placement of implant to add volume to the breasts.  Results are immediately seen!

Although you will experience some discomfort, it is generally mild to moderate and very well controlled with oral medications.  Most individuals will go home the same day as the operation. 

What should I expect in the recovery period following breast lift?

Breast lift surgery is well tolerated by the vast majority of patients.  Pain is moderate and is well controlled by oral medications.  Most patients go home the same day.

Prescriptions will include oral medications for pain and nausea (which is a common occurrence after general anesthesia), and may include an antibiotic, particularly if a small drain is used in your case to assist with fluid removal or if an implant is used to augment the size of your breasts. 

While some individuals return to work only a few days after breast lift surgery, strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided for the first month.  You will also be asked to wear a supportive bra during this time period, which will both help control swelling and support the breasts as they heal.  This bra will be need to be worn 24 hours per day for the first month. 

If small drains are used in your case, you should expect these to be removed on day 4 or 5 when you will be seen for your first follow up appointment.  There are generally no sutures to be removed as Dr. Walker uses absorbable sutures that are buried beneath the skin. 

What results are expected from breast lift surgery?*

Following breast lift, your will have immediate improvement in breast contour and aesthetics.  Your breasts will be lifted to give a more youthful contour and your nipples and areolas will be relocated to a more pleasing aesthetic location.  These effects are lasting although recurrence of sagging may recur as you continue to age.  However, the degree of sagging is generally less than it was initially.

Scars will fade noticeably over the first 1-2 years and tend to continually improve with time, leaving only a slight color change.  The vast majority of patients are pleasantly surprised with the final scar appearance and are overwhelmed by the improvement in the aesthetic appearance of their breasts!

*Individual results may vary