Breast Lift Surgery:
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.
Sometimes the areola becomes enlarged over time, and a breast lift will reduce this as well. A breast lift can rejuvenate your figure with a breast profile that is more youthful and uplifted. A woman’s breasts often change over time, losing their youthful shape and firmness. These changes and loss of skin elasticity can result from pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight changes, aging, gravity, and heredity.
Breast lift surgery does not significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast. If you want your breasts to look fuller, consider breast lift and breast augmentation surgery. If you want smaller breasts, consider combining breast lift and breast reduction surgery.
Some women may want to consider placement of a breast implant in addition to the breast lift. An implant can provide improved upper breast fullness or cleavage. Implants can be placed at the same time or as a second procedure, depending on the experience of the surgeon.
Breast Lift Cost:
A surgeon’s fee will be based on his or her experience, the type of procedure used, and geographic location.
Most health insurance plans will not cover breast lift surgery, its related complications or another surgery to revise the appearance of your breasts, but many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.
Breast lift cost may include:
- Anesthesia fees.
- Hospital or surgical facility costs.
- Medical tests.
- Post-surgery garments.
- Prescriptions for medication.
- Surgeon’s fee.
When choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area for a breast lift, remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
Breast Lift Candidates:
You may be a good breast lift candidate if:
- You are physically healthy and maintain a stable weight.
- You do not smoke.
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts sag or have lost shape and volume.
- Your breasts have a flatter, elongated shape or are pendulous.
- When unsupported, your nipples fall below the breast crease.
- Your nipples and areolas point downward.
- You have stretched skin and enlarged areolas.
- One breast is lower than the other.
Breast Lift Preparation:
In preparing for breast lift surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation.
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications.
- Get a baseline mammogram before surgery and another one after surgery to help detect any future changes in your breast tissue.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.
Breast lift surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient or ambulatory surgical facility, or a hospital. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
Breast Lift Procedure Steps:
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The Incision
There are three common incision patterns:
- Around the areola.
- Around the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease
- Around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease
Step 3 – Reshaping Breasts
After your doctor makes the incisions:
- The underlying breast tissue is lifted and reshaped to improve breast contour and firmness.
- The nipple and areola are repositioned to a natural, more youthful height.
- If necessary, enlarged areolas are reduced by excising skin at the perimeter.
- Excess breast skin is removed to compensate for a loss of elasticity.
Step 4 – Closing Incisions
After your breasts are reshaped and excess skin is removed, the remaining skin is tightened as the incisions are closed. Some incision lines resulting from breast lift 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.
Many women desire the smallest scar possible. However, your plastic surgeon will recommend the incisions which best suit your anatomy. Listen to your surgeon and do not diminish your result by demanding an incision that will not be appropriate for you. Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts. Sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape may be used to close the skin.
5. Step 5 – Results
The results of your breast lift surgery are immediately visible. Get more information about breast lift results.
Breast Lift Recovery:
During your breast lift recovery, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions after the procedure is completed. You’ll need to wear an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling and support your breasts as they heal. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
You will be given specific instructions that may include:
- How to care for your breasts following surgery
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
- When to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Breast Lift Risks and Safety Information:
Breast lift risks include:
- Anesthesia risks.
- Bleeding or hematoma formation.
- Poor healing of incisions.
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent.
- Breast contour and shape irregularities.
- Breast asymmetry.
- Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis).
- Fluid accumulation.
- Potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola.
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications.
- Possibility of revisional surgery.
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all of your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.