A breast lift can rejuvenate your bust line, adding lift and firmness where aging and gravity has caused sagging and loss of volume. Board-certified Florida plastic surgeon Daniel Man, M.D., performs breast lifts on women in Boca Raton, FL, and the surrounding communities to raise and balance their breasts to a more normal position to help them look younger and have more self-confidence.
What Is a Breast Lift?
Also known as mastopexy, a breast lift is intended to correct sagging, unevenness, undesirable nipple placement, stretched areolas, and other effects that aging can have on your breasts. A breast lift is often done at the same time as a breast augmentation or reduction to achieve the desired look, shape, and feel of the breasts.
A breast lift can be an excellent solution for women who are dissatisfied with the position and appearance of their breasts, restoring a youthful look and feel. This helps women regain their self-esteem making them feel desirable and self-confident.
A breast lift raises breasts that sag, are pendulous, or that have lost volume. It can tighten the skin and adjust the position and location of the areola and nipples from downward facing to perky and upward facing. Lifted breasts create a more youthful look, leading thousands of women each year to successfully seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform their mastopexy.
Benefits of a Breast Lift
It is common for breasts to sag as women age, after pregnancy and nursing, or following a significant weight loss. A breast lift corrects sagging breasts and offers the following benefits:
- Returns breasts to a natural position
- Restores a youthful appearance
- Allows more clothing options
- Increases self-confidence
Is a Breast Lift Right for Me?
If you are like many women, you may choose a breast lift for any number of reasons. Most commonly, you may desire a breast lift because your breasts:
- Are the right size, but too pendulous
- Are lacking in substance and firmness
- Appear asymmetrical
- Have nipples that point downward
- Have areolas that are too large
Women seeking improved breast shape, symmetry, and projection, a more youthful look, and the confidence to wear what they want may find a breast lift to be the best option. Those who understand that most breast lifts don’t last a lifetime and those who have realistic expectations about what a breast lift can do for them are the best candidates for this procedure.
If your overall health is good, your expectations are realistic, and your attitude is positive, you are likely a good candidate for a breast lift procedure.
How Involved is a Breast Lift Procedure?
A breast lift procedure may address any or all of the following:
- Removing excess breast skin
- Shifting the areola and nipple to a higher location
- Reducing the sizer of overly large or stretched areolas
- Making asymmetrical breasts more similar in size and shape
The method used in a breast lift procedure depends on the amount of sagging in the breasts. There are three main types of incisions used for breast lifts:
- The Anchor: This is for a full breast lift for women with significant sagging and those having a breast reduction along with the breast lift. It consists of a careful circle around the edges of the areola, a vertical line down the lower face of the breast to the crease, and a curved line in the crease below the breast. This allows for the most significant amount of lift.
- The Lollipop: Also known as the keyhole, this consists of just the circle around the areola and the vertical line down the lower face to the crease of the breast. This is appropriate for women who have moderate sagging and who do not want implants.
- The Donut: Also known as the periareolar incision, this is appropriate for women with mild to moderate sagging, or women who are having breast implants along with a lift. It consists of the incision around the areola only.
- The Crescent: This is a less commonly used incision used for women who simply want their nipples raised slightly. It consists of a small incision at the top curve of the areola and a small piece of skin being removed so the nipple points at an upward, perky angle.
To help maintain comfort during the actual surgery, patients are given pre-op medications. The anesthesiologist will normally administer general anesthesia, so patients do not experience any sensation during the procedure. Local anesthetics and/or IV sedation may also be used.
Most breast lift procedures will take between one and two hours and longer if a breast augmentation or reduction is being performed at the same time. While many surgeons do breast lifts solely as an outpatient procedure at a hospital, ambulatory facility, or office suite, Dr. Man has created a center that provides patients with complete care, including the option to recover under the watchful eye of credentialed staff.
Dr. Man does his best to minimize scars by following the natural contours of the breasts. The incisions will be closed with deep sutures that encourage the breast tissue to fuse tightly, making the breasts firm and enhancing the lifespan of the breast lift. Most scarring fades with time. Nipples and areolas remain connected to the underlying mounds of breast tissue, which will normally preserve sensation and retain the ability to breastfeed. Dr. Man uses the latest techniques to avoid damage to the skin and underlying tissues and encourage rapid healing with the least amount of scarring possible.
Before Breast Lift Surgery
Dr. Man provides detailed instructions on how to prepare for your surgery. These instructions may include (but may not be limited to):
- Having a complete physical
- Having a mammogram
- Stop smoking at least six weeks before surgery
- Stop taking aspirin or other NSAIDs that can cause bleeding
- Reducing alcohol consumption to three drinks per week or fewer
- Staying hydrated
- Setting up support systems for after surgery, as your mobility will be compromised
It is important to follow Dr. Man’s instructions before and after the breast lift procedure to avoid any complications.
After the lift is completed, sutures will be used to close the incisions, and in some cases, drains may be placed to prevent swelling from excess fluid. Surgical dressing in combination with a special bra will be used to support and protect the breasts.
Immediately following the procedure, patients are taken to the recovery area to be closely monitored until the anesthesia wears off. They are given necessary medications to prevent infection and minimize discomfort.
Additionally, patients must have someone with them for the first 24 hours after the surgery. If necessary, patients may stay overnight at our facility during the first 24 hours to be cared for by our staff to make sure no complications arise. Our nurses are all ACSL certified, and our facility has specialized recovery options, including chest wall cooling methods to reduce pain and swelling, a hyperbaric chamber, and oxygen treatments to speed healing.
How is the Recovery from a Breast Lift Procedure?
To promote swift healing and reduce swelling and discomfort, patients are encouraged get out of bed, move around, and eat a good dinner after the procedure. A surgical bra with gauze inserted to cover the incisions is worn the first three days. If necessary, drains may be placed depending on the amount of fluid being generated by the healing process.
Patients may shower the day after surgery and begin light exercise including walking a little bit every hour or so after the surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots. It is often difficult for patients to raise their arms above chest level.
We recommend that patients have help at home for the first week especially if there are small children at home. This helps prevent overdoing things and slowing down the healing process.
Patients typically return to work within a week, depending on the nature of their jobs; however, it is imperative to avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activity. If after the initial period of discomfort has passed something causes pain to flare up, discontinue that activity until more healing has taken place. By six weeks after surgery, patients feel much more comfortable with range of movement and any discomfort should be almost completely gone.
Dr. Man provides patients with specific details about the recovery process, based on individual needs and the surgical process of each case. If patients have any questions or concerns, have a high temperature, or if one or both of your breasts are excessively swollen, tender to the touch, painful, red, or inflamed, please contact us immediately.
Patients have follow-up appointments three to five days following surgery and again in two weeks (this routine can be modified for out of town patients). At that point, they return for additional follow-ups for stitch removal, which can vary depending on the speed of healing. These appointments involve reviewing exercises to ensure the breast areas stay supple during healing and discussing further post-operative activity.
Under normal circumstances, breast lifts can last for decades. However, there are several factors that can lead to a need for additional procedures. Situations that may lead to changes in the breasts include:
- Pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing
- Aging and gravity
- Weight gain or loss
- Hormonal changes
- Heavy breasts that were not reduced
How Much Does a Breast Lift Cost?
The cost of a breast lift varies with each patient depending on the extent of the procedure and whether it is combined with other procedures. During a consultation with Dr. Man, the costs are discussed as well as your payment options including financing.
What Do I Do Next?
If you are considering a breast lift, we recommend you schedule a consultation with Dr. Man. During this appointment, he goes over your full medical history, current overall health, and your goals. At that point, he evaluates your breasts and discusses possible treatment options with you. His evaluation involves him examining, measuring, and photographing your breasts to give you the best recommendation. This is also an excellent time to ask as many questions as you need to determine if this is the right option for you.
Daniel Man, M.D., is a board-certified Florida plastic surgeon who performs breast augmentation on women living in and around Boca Raton, FL, to give them larger breasts and a shapelier appearance. Please contact us to set up your consultation today.