Breast lift surgery, also known as “mastopexy,” corrects sagging, pendulous breasts by removing excess fat and skin and tightening the breast tissue. The breasts are raised to a higher position, made firmer, and shaped into more attractive and youthful contours.
Reasons to Undergo Breast Lift Surgery
Having youthful, uplifted breasts with an attractive shape can improve a woman’s confidence and self-image. The following circumstances are often unavoidable and can result in a breast appearance that is less than desirable and detracts from a woman’s confidence.
As we age, our skin loses collagen and elastin – structural proteins that keep the skin firm and tight. As these proteins deteriorate over time, the skin stretches more easily and loses its ability to return to its original form. This leads to thin, loose breast skin that cannot support the tissues and often results in sagging breasts.
Weight gain causes the breast skin to stretch to accommodate for the increase in volume due to excess fat cells. After weight loss, the skin is often unable to shrink back completely because it has been stretched too much and/or for too long, resulting in breasts with loose, wrinkled skin and an unattractive shape.
Similar to weight gain, pregnancy causes the breasts to swell and the skin to stretch to accommodate for the increase in size. After pregnancy and breastfeeding, the breasts generally return to their normal size but are left with loose skin that allows them to droop down.
Breast Lift Options
- Ideal For: Slight sagging
- Technique: A crescent of tissue above the top of the nipple is removed
- Benefit: Least invasive; produces inconspicuous scarring
- Ideal For: Minimal sagging and slight nipple asymmetry
- Technique: A doughnut-shaped area of tissue around the nipple is removed
- Benefit: Produces inconspicuous scarring around the nipples
- Ideal For: Moderate sagging and stretched nipples
- Technique: A lollipop-shaped incision around the nipple and down to the breast crease is used to remove excess tissue
- Benefit: Effectively lifts low-hanging breasts
- Ideal For: Severely sagging, pendulous breasts
- Technique: A lollipop-shaped incision that also extends along the breast crease is used to remove excess tissue
- Benefit: Provides the most significant lift to the breasts
Common Breast Lift Concerns
During the procedure, medications will be administered for your comfort. Minimal pain and discomfort generally exist after the procedure and can be controlled with prescribed medication.
Most patients are able to return to work within a week of their surgery, but they should avoid strenuous activities for several weeks. Your doctor will give you specific instructions to follow to ensure you have the safest and most effective recovery.
The location of the incisions and resulting scars will depend on the degree of correction needed. With all incision techniques, the scars will be as inconspicuous as possible and continue to improve over time.
Duration of Results
The resulting uplifted breast position and improved breast shape will be long lasting. However, the breasts will continue to age naturally and may be affected by weight fluctuations.
Have additional questions about the breast lift procedure?
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who are the best candidates for a breast lift?
A. The best candidates for a breast lift are those who have drooping or sagging breasts. Ideal patients are also in good physical health, do not smoke, and have realistic expectations about the procedure.
Q. What complications can occur with a breast lift?
A. As with any surgery, there are risks and complications that can develop after a breast lift. Although rare, the more common complications include bleeding, infection, and numbness. Following your surgeon’s instructions will help reduce your risk for complications and ensure you have the safest recovery possible.
Q. How much does a breast lift cost?
A. The cost of a breast lift will depend on several factors, including how much ptosis (drooping) is present and the surgical technique to be used.
Q. Is a breast lift covered by health insurance?
A. Most health insurance companies do not cover the costs of a breast lift, as this procedure is usually for cosmetic purposes only and not medically necessary.