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Age, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuation, and other factors can all take their toll on the breasts’ size, shape, and feel. As time passes, these influences can cause breasts to sag, soften, flatten, and sometimes shrink. A breast lift is designed to lift, firm, and reshape sagging breasts to provide a more youthful appearance. The procedure can also reduce the size of an enlarged or stretched areola, depending on patient desire.

What is Mastopexy?

A breast lift, medically known as mastopexy, is performed to lift, tighten, and reshape the breasts. As skin laxity increases and breast volume diminishes over time, a breast lift can be an excellent way to improve the overall breast contour and restore a younger-looking aesthetic. This procedure is designed to remove the loose, excess skin while tightening the remaining tissue, ultimately rejuvenating the breasts’ shape. While capable of achieving beautiful results on its own, a breast lift with implants is also a popular treatment choice if additional volume, or a larger breast size, is desired.

What are the Benefits of a Breast Lift?

The primary goal of a breast lift is to elevate the breasts to a higher position on the chest wall to provide more projection and reduce sagging. This is accomplished by excising excess breast skin to allow for the realignment and reshaping of remaining breast tissue. Breast surgery can achieve benefits such as:

  • Restored “youthfulness” in breasts
  • Increased breast firmness
  • Repositioning of the nipples to a more central location
  • Decreased nipple and areola size

Whatever your unique cosmetic concerns may be, plastic surgeon Scott Miller, MD will customize your treatment plan to help you obtain your desired outcome.

Who is a Good Candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?

Breast lift surgery can be beneficial for women with a substantial amount of breast sag, culminating from a loss of volume and/or increased skin laxity. The best candidates for surgery may include:

  • Women whose nipples face downward, or exist at the lowest point in relation to the breast crease
  • Patients who have no plans for pregnancy or nursing, as these factors can increase skin laxity and potentially create the need for further surgery
  • Individuals near their ideal goal weight, as significant weight loss after surgery can lead to additional breast sag
  • Women in good physical health to undergo surgery

While a breast lift can improve the look and feel of sagging breasts with results that appear natural, the procedure is not designed to add volume to the breasts or increase a patient’s cup size. However, if additional volume is desired, Dr. Miller can perform the breast lift and breast augmentation surgeries simultaneously with one procedure. A breast lift with implants is one of the most common combination surgeries performed and a large number of individuals seek enhancement for both breast volume and breast shape.

Degrees of Ptosis

“Ptosis” describes a condition in which the supportive tissues of the breasts weaken, ultimately causing the breasts to sag or become pendulous. Ptosis is typically categorized by severity, and understanding the extent of your breast sag can be very helpful in determining whether you may benefit from a breast lift. In general, the different grades of ptosis include:
If you’re still unsure whether your aesthetic concerns warrant mastopexy, Dr. Miller can help you decide if a breast lift is the right procedure to achieve your goals.

Types of Mastopexy

The type of incision used during your breast lift will depend on your breast size and the extent of breast sag to be corrected. Dr. Miller will walk you through each option before suggesting the most optimal technique to achieve your desired look.

How is the Breast Lift Procedure Performed?

Breast lift surgery takes approximately two hours and is done under general anesthesia. The incisions are placed around the areola and, when necessary, along the natural contours of the breast. Once the incisions are made and excess skin is removed, the nipple and areola—which remain attached to the underlying tissue—and breast tissue are lifted to a more youthful and natural position. The remaining skin is then aligned and tightened in order to reshape the breasts to a more rejuvenated appearance.

What is Breast Lift Recovery Like?

Following surgery, post-operative dressings may include gauze and a surgical bra—Dr. Miller will provide you with information about the necessary length of time these garments should be worn, as well as any other recovery instructions. It is common for patients to experience temporary bruising or swelling for a few days after the procedure. Medications can help manage these symptoms. There may be a temporary loss of nipple sensation, but this generally improves with time. Patients are usually up and around in a day or two. Sutures are removed within two weeks. Any scarring from incisions typically fade with time, and is easily concealed with a normal bra. Since incisions are placed around—and occasionally below—the nipples, they should not be noticeable in low-cut clothing or a bathing suit.

While many patients only require around one week of downtime before they return to their normal routines, individuals should refrain from aerobic exercise until they receive confirmation from Dr. Miller—typically six weeks post-surgery. When swelling dissipates and recovery is complete, many women find a renewed sense of self-esteem and self-confidence as a result of their cosmetic breast enhancement.

How Long Do Breast Lift Results Last?

The outcome of mastopexy is designed to last many years, even decades. While the natural aging process will continue and cause the skin to lose elasticity over time, the longevity of a breast lift can be maximized by staying active and keeping your weight as stable as possible. This reduces weight fluctuation — a primary factor that causes the supportive tissue of the breasts to stretch and become less elastic over time. It’s also recommended to only pursue breast lift surgery when you have no plans to become pregnant or breastfeed in the future. Having children causes an array of body changes that can potentially alter your results, or even recreate the same concerns previously treated with a breast lift. With all this in mind, postponing a breast lift until after you’ve reached your ideal weight and completed your family can allow you to enjoy your rejuvenation for as long as possible. The procedure can also be incorporated into a Mommy Makeover if you would like to address more than one region of the body post-pregnancy.

Will I Have Breast Lift Scars?

Like all surgical procedures, scarring is inevitable after breast lift surgery; however, mastopexy scars are easily hidden underneath a bra or bikini top. There are a few different locations for breast lift incisions depending on a patient’s current shape and goals. Dr. Miller will let you know what type of scar to expect with regard to your unique treatment plan when he examines you in person.

In general, the periareolar technique leads to a scar around the borders of the areola, allowing it to blend into the natural change in pigmentation. If moderate skin laxity is present, an additional incision extending from the areola down towards the breast crease may be made to lift and reshape the breasts. Patients with moderate to severe breast sag may require an additional horizontal incision along the natural contour of the breast fold for an anchor-shaped scar. The shape and size of your scar will fade over time. Dr. Miller will provide detailed instructions about how he minimizes scarring as much as possible.

How Much Does a Breast Lift Cost?

The cost of a breast lift depends on the extent of your concerns and the technique required to achieve your aesthetic goals. Each patient will have a different cost estimate depending on the details of their treatment plan, but a personalized quote will be provided once Dr. Miller sees you in a consultation. In addition to accepting major payment methods, we offer the option of paying for your treatment in installments through plastic surgery financing with CareCredit®. This highly reputable healthcare lending institution can help make your surgical expenses more manageable by presenting an array of low- to no-interest payment plans, which qualified applicants may choose from to find the option most conducive to their budgetary needs. If you have any questions about our accepted payment methods, please don’t hesitate to contact our practice to speak to a member of our team.

Do I Need a Breast Lift with Implants?

Some patients interested in a breast lift may also benefit from the addition of implants, which can be placed at the same time as a breast lift in a joint procedure. Commonly referred to as a breast lift with implants, this combination surgery is performed to achieve a more youthful breast appearance while also making the breasts larger and more symmetrical. Saline or silicone implants are placed to additionally enhance the volume and shape of the breasts. Many patients who opt for a breast lift with implants have lost fullness or firmness in their breasts due to pregnancy, age, weight fluctuation, or other factors. Regardless of the reason, a breast lift with implants can often provide the ultimate rejuvenation for women who experience a loss of shape in the breasts.

If you wish to increase your breast size in conjunction with improving the projection and positioning of the breasts, this procedure may be an effective solution to achieve all your cosmetic goals at once. Dr. Miller can discuss the details of a breast augmentation mastopexy with you during a consultation if desired.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

To learn more about the breast lift procedure, or to schedule a consultation, please contact Miller Cosmetic Surgery today.