Over time, factors such as gravity, pregnancy, genetics, significant weight loss, and simply the natural process of aging can lead to the development of loose, excess skin in the breasts. For many women, these effects may cause undesirable breast drooping/sagging, as well as a loss of self confidence in one’s appearance. Also known as mastopexy, a breast lift can often be an excellent option for individuals who are experiencing these concerns and seeking to rejuvenate the look and feel of their breasts. Using advanced surgical techniques, our board-certified plastic surgeons—Dr. Stafford R. Broumand and Dr. Daniel Y. Maman—can perform breast lift surgery to remove excess skin, reshape, and elevate the breasts for a more youthful contour and projection.
What Can a Breast Lift Do for Me?
In addition to lifting the breasts to restore a more youthful, “perkier” aesthetic, mastopexy can be customized to address a number of other concerns to further enhance the appearance of the breasts. Depending on your unique needs and goals, breast lift surgery can generally help:
- Elevate the breasts to correct drooping/sagging
- Tighten/eliminate excess breast skin
- Reshape breast tissue for an improved contour
- Raise the nipple-areolar complex to a more natural position
- Reduce the size of the areola
Furthermore, if you are interested in increasing the size of your breasts in addition to having them lifted, our doctors can often perform a breast augmentation in conjunction with mastopexy. By combining these two procedures, patients may be able to achieve a fuller shape, improved cleavage, and a more rejuvenated overall appearance.
*Results May Vary
Considerations for Mastopexy
In order to achieve an ideal result, there are numerous factors that should be taken into consideration prior to breast lift surgery. The information provided below can prepare you for some of the matters that will be discussed in full detail at the time of your consultation.
Different Degrees of Breast Drooping
When evaluating breast drooping (ptosis), there are four different classifications. These include:
- Glandular Ptosis or Pseudoptosis – Breast tissue droops lower than the inframammary crease, but the position of the nipple-areolar complex remains above the crease.
- Grade I Ptosis – Both breast tissue and the nipple-areolar complex sag slightly lower than the inframammary fold.
- Grade II Ptosis – Both breast tissue and the nipple-areolar complex droop considerably lower than the inframammary crease.
- Grade III Ptosis – Considered the most significant form of breast drooping, the nipple-areolar complex is at the lowest point of the sagging breast, often facing completely downward.
The specific grade of breast drooping that our plastic surgeons determine a patient has will play a key role in identifying the most appropriate mastopexy technique to employ—a Benelli mastopexy, a vertical mastopexy, or an anchor mastopexy. To learn about each of these breast lift methods, please refer to the section below.
Breast Lift Techniques
There are three techniques traditionally used to perform breast lift surgery. These include:
- Benelli Mastopexy – The incision is made in a circle around the perimeter of the areola.
- Vertical or Lollipop Mastopexy – The incision is made around the outer edge of the areola and continues vertically down the underside of the breast (forming the shape of a lollipop).
- Anchor or Inverted “T” Mastopexy – The incision encircles the areola, continues down the breasts, and continues along the inframammary fold (resembling the shape of an anchor).
While each approach can yield excellent results for the right patients, our doctors generally prefer the vertical (or lollipop) mastopexy, depending on the individual’s anatomy. They feel this technique allows for optimal lifting and reshaping of the breast tissues, ultimately leading to an exceptional outcome that far outweighs any hesitations patients have in regard to scarring.
At the time of the consultation, each mastopexy technique will be discussed in full detail, and a specific approach can be selected based on your particular issues and concerns, breast measurements, and desired outcome. In the end, our plastic surgeons’ goal is to give you the best lift with the least amount of scarring possible.
Breast Lift Scars
The possibility of noticeable scarring following a breast lift (mastopexy) is a regular concern for many women interested in this breast enhancement option. Unfortunately, some degree of postoperative scarring is unavoidable, as incisions are needed to remove excess skin and elevate breast tissues to a more youthful, natural position on the chest wall. That said, Dr. Broumand and Dr. Maman do everything in their control to minimize the extent and visibility of breast lift scars based on the individual needs and goals of each patient. In addition, breast lift scars can usually be concealed by most articles of clothing and swimsuit varieties, and with proper scar care and management during the healing process, noticeable scarring tends to fade over time.
Combining Mastopexy with Breast Implants
The mastopexy procedure is designed to lift and reshape the breasts for an improved contour and more youthful projection. While a breast lift by itself can remove excess skin and correct breast sagging, it will not restore lost volume and/or increase the size of the breasts. As a result, individuals seeking to enhance the volume of the breasts in addition to elevating their position on the chest wall may benefit from combining their mastopexy with implants.
Known as a breast lift with implants, breast augmentation with a lift, or an augmentation-mastopexy, this combination procedure offers the full advantages of a breast lift while also restoring lost volume and/or enlarging breast size (depending on the patient’s specific desires). The end result can be a significant improvement in the overall contour, fullness, and projection of the breasts. For a more comprehensive overview of this popular breast enhancement treatment, please visit our page on breast lift with implants.
When to Schedule Breast Lift Surgery
Dr. Maman and Dr. Broumand aim to ensure that every breast lift patient has a comprehensive understanding of the procedure prior to proceeding with surgery. Whether this takes a single consultation, several visits to our office, or even an appointment during which a friend or family member is present to provide support, we want to see you as many times as you need to feel fully comfortable in your decision to schedule your procedure.
In the event you do decide to move forward with surgery, our doctors can usually perform your mastopexy within a few days of your consultation, assuming you are in good physical health and have no unmanaged medical concerns and/or lifestyle habits that may inhibit proper healing. That said, it is both normal and completely acceptable for patients to take months or even years to contemplate receiving a breast lift (or to simply have the time to devote to the process). No matter how long it takes, our plastic surgeons will provide any support they can and never pressure you into rushing your decision—no one should schedule surgery until they are 100% comfortable with the treatment, the expectations, and our practice as a whole.
How Is Breast Lift Surgery Performed?
When the day of surgery has arrived, you will come to the same office you visited for your consultation(s). After greeting you warmly, our staff will get you settled and introduce you to our operating room team, some of whom have worked alongside our plastic surgeons for more than 20 years. Next, your doctor and our staff will run through the preoperative process and lead you to the operating room to change into your surgery attire, take care of pre-op signatures, and confirm everything is in line and ready to move forward. Throughout this entire process, every bit of focus is centered on ensuring you feel completely safe and as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
To begin the mastopexy procedure, your doctor will employ the incision pattern that was predetermined during the consultation. Once this incision has been made, excess skin is removed, and breast tissues are internally shaped and elevated to a higher position on the chest wall. When the desired contour and position is achieved, residual skin is pulled taut and carefully reattached beneath the curve of the breasts. Performed under general anesthesia, the mastopexy procedure takes about one to two hours to complete, but this timeframe may be extended for individuals who are receiving a breast lift with implants.
Once breast lift surgery is complete, you will wake up feeling extremely well, similar to waking from a restful nap. Our operating room team and board-certified anesthesiologist will be there to greet you, and they will aid you in walking to a recovery room under your own power while helping to make sure you are free of any pain. You will remain in this recovery room for approximately one hour, and once our staff ensures you are comfortable enough to return home, they will get in touch with a friend or family member to coordinate for you to be picked up and taken back to your house the same day.
Breast Lift Recovery
After breast lift surgery, some soreness and swelling can often be expected, though these symptoms should gradually subside over time. Any potential discomfort is usually described as mild and can typically be managed effectively with medication. To help facilitate the healing process, a supportive bra will need to be worn for a specified period of time, and any rigorous activities and/or heavy lifting should be avoided for a minimum of four weeks. That said, the majority of patients are able to return to non-strenuous work and daily routines within about one week of surgery. Due to its location, any postoperative scarring can generally be concealed by most articles of clothing, including many bra and bikini varieties.
Become More Informed About Mastopexy
As it does with all plastic surgery procedures, patient education plays a vital role in the success of mastopexy. During the consultation process, Dr. Broumand and Dr. Maman will cover every aspect of the mastopexy procedure in full detail, making sure you are comprehensively informed about all available techniques as well as what to expect prior to, during, and after treatment. There is no such thing as an insignificant and/or embarrassing question, and our doctors encourage you to speak up or express any concerns you may have at any point in time. Our team understands that the amount of information regarding breast lift surgery can be overwhelming to digest in a short period, and we are more than happy to progress through your cosmetic journey at the pace you desire. The choice to undergo mastopexy is solely yours, and we are here to provide the information and tools necessary for you to make an informed decision without any pressure.