A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, raises the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. Breast lifts do not typically use any kind of implant as part of the procedure, but a lift can be combined with breast augmentation if necessary.
Recent statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show breast lifts have increased by 70 percent since 2000, making it one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States.
What benefits can a breast lift give me?
A breast lift can offer the following benefits:
- Improved, more youthful breast appearance
- Reduced areola size
- An enhanced self-image that boosts self-confidence
What happens during a breast lift procedure?
Breast lifts are typically an outpatient procedure that can be conducted in a day surgery setting under general anesthesia.
Breast lifts can be achieved through a variety of incision patterns and techniques. The appropriate technique for you will be determined based on:
- Breast size and shape
- The size and position of your areolas
- The degree of breast sagging
- Skin quality and elasticity, as well as the amount of extra skin
There are three common incision patterns for this type of surgery: Around the areola, around the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease (lollipop) or around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease (anchor incision).
After your doctor makes the incisions, the underlying breast tissue is lifted and reshaped to improve breast contour and firmness and the nipple and areola are repositioned to a natural, more youthful height. Enlarged areolas can be reduced by removing skins at the areola perimeter. Excess breast skin is removed to compensate for a loss of elasticity.
After your breasts are reshaped and excess skin is removed, the remaining skin is tightened as the incisions are closed.
Some incision lines made during breast lift surgery are concealed in the natural breast contours; however, others are visible on the breast surface. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time.
What should I expect during recovery?
It is normal to experience soreness, swelling and bruising at the operation site. You’ll need to wear an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling and support your breasts as they heal. Drainage tubes may be used to drain out any excess fluid and blood for a few days. Physical activities must be limited to prevent complications, and any sign of infection must be reported to the surgeon immediately.
Is a breast lift right for me?
To determine whether or not a breast lift is the right procedure for you, schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. During your visit, your doctor will speak with you about the goals you have for your appearance. In addition to deciding on your treatment plan, your doctor will also ask you about your medical history. Bring a list of medications, supplements and vitamins you take, and have a list prepared of the questions or concerns you may have, as being open with our specialists is key to a safe and successful surgery.