A breast lift (mastopexy) is a breast-enhancing procedure that may be performed alone or in combination with other cosmetic surgeries like breast augmentation.  By itself, breast lift does not involve the addition of saline or silicone gel implants.

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Best Candidates

All women, over time, experience changes in their breast shape. Weight loss or gain, pregnancy, nursing, the natural aging process, and genetics are all reasons that breasts may sag or lose their shape or firmness. Healthy woman looking to reduce sag and improve the shape of her breasts should look into a breast lift procedure as a viable option.

The Procedure

Your surgeon will advise either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation after reviewing your medical history and current state of health.

  • Incision

There are three incision patterns often used; a circular pattern around the areola; a circular pattern around the areola plus a line that runs from the bottom edge of the circle down to the crease in the breast; the same pattern, but with an additional horizontal incision along the crease of the breast.

  • Reshaping Of Breasts

Following the incision, the surgeon manipulates the breast tissue to enhance the shape and firmness of one or both breasts. The areola and nipple are raised to a height that would be more consistent with a youthful look. Extra skin around the areola may be removed to shrink the areola’s overall size. Excess skin is removed to decrease the compromised elasticity that comes with aging or pregnancy.

  • Closing Incision

The skin that remains will tighten when the incisions are closed, creating a much firmer breast. The scarring from the incisions around the areola will likely blend in with the areola’s natural coloring; the other incisions will leave visible scarring that usually subsides, though they will never fade completely.  The final step is sutures and adhesives or tape to seal the skin.

  • Recovery

The doctor will leave a thin tube under the skin for a short time after surgery to assist with fluid drainage. Medications for pain or to prevent infection may be necessary. Schedule a follow-up appointment with the surgeon before undergoing the surgery.

Risks

A breast lift, like any other surgery, comes with the risk of infection, pain, reactions to anesthesia, pulmonary or cardiac problems, blood clots, bleeding, and scarring.  There are several risks specific to breast lift surgery, however.

  • Damage to the nerves or ducts in the breast (which could interfere with breastfeeding), 
  • Changes in sensation of the nipple or breast,
  • Skin discoloration
  • Fat necrosis
  • Abnormality in breast contour and shape,
  • Asymmetry between breasts
  •  Loss of all or part of the nipple/areola
  • Extreme firmness of the breast. 

If you are unsatisfied with the results or if complications arise, you may need additional surgeries.