What is 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.
New statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show breast lifts have grown 70% since 2000, outpacing breast implants 2-to-1.
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:
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 surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
Breast lift procedure steps
Your breast lift procedure 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
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 your 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 the 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.
Step 5 – See the results
The results of your breast lift surgery are immediately visible. Get more information about breast lift results.
Breast lift results
The results of your breast lift surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade.
You can view breast lift before and after photos in our gallery.
Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover from surgery.
The final results of your breast lift will appear over the next few months as breast shape and position continue to settle.
Incision lines are permanent but will continue to fade over time. The results of your breast lift surgery will be longlasting.
Over time, your breasts can continue to change due to aging and gravity. You’ll be able to retain your new look longer if you:
Maintain your weight
Keep a healthy lifestyle
Following your physician’s instructions is essential to the success of your surgery.
It’s important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
Breast lift surgery and pregnancy
Breast surgery should be entertained after child bearing is completed.
Changes that occur in the breasts during pregnancy can minimize or reverse the improvement a breast lift provides.
Likewise, significant weight loss after breast surgery can negatively impact breast appearance.