What is a Breast Lift?
As a woman grows older, several factors including pregnancy, nursing, the force of gravity, or weight gain and loss may cause her breasts to sag. A surgical procedure called mastopexy, or breast lift, can raise and reshape sagging breasts and reduce the size of the areola (the darker skin around the nipple). Of course, no surgery can delay the effects of gravity forever, but mastopexy may be able to give you the enhanced appearance you’re looking for.
The breast lift procedure offers the following benefits:
- A more youthful breast appearance
- Improved nipple projection
- Enhanced overall breast contour
Who can Benefit from a Breast Lift?
Most women who seek a breast lift are dissatisfied with how their breasts look after pregnancy and nursing. Their skin has stretched, and they may have decreased breast volume or enlarged areolas. You will likely be most pleased with the results of this procedure if you are in good physical and emotional health, have small, sagging breasts (The operation can be performed on breasts of any size, but the results may not last as long in women with heavy breasts), and do not plan to have more children (While a breast lift shouldn’t interfere with future pregnancies, your breasts will likely stretch if you become pregnant. Most women choose to postpone their breast lift until they are finished having children).
The most common mastopexy technique involves removing a section of skin above the nipple and moving the nipple up into this new location. Excess skin and tissue will be removed through one of three incisions, including:
- Crescent incision: Created around the areola.
- Peri-areolar incision: Made around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease.
- Vertical incision: Created around the areola, down to the breast crease, and then horizontally along the crease of the breast.
If you’re having breast augmentation at the same time as your breast lift, the doctor will also place an implant under your breast tissue and/or under your chest muscles. This procedure takes two to three hours and is typically performed on an outpatient basis.
Breast Lift Recovery
Your breasts will probably be swollen and sore for a few days following your surgery, but your discomfort can be managed with oral pain relievers. Right after surgery, you’ll wear a surgical bra over gauze dressings which will decrease swelling. After a few days, you’ll begin wearing a soft support bra, which you’ll wear continuously for the next two to four weeks. The doctor will remove your sutures after a week or two. You should be able to return to work after a week or so, but you should continue to take it easy for about a month. After that, you can gradually resume your regular routine.
Is a breast lift covered by insurance?
A breast lift is considered a cosmetic procedure and is usually not covered by insurance.
Do I need a breast lift or just implants?
A breast lift elevates the breasts and gives them a firmer appearance but will not increase the size of your breasts. If you have significant excess skin and want to restore breast volume along with shape, you should consider a breast lift with implants.
Do you lose sensation with breast lift?
Although the loss of nipple sensation is a possible risk after a breast lift, most patients only experience temporary loss of sensation.
Do you still have feeling in your nipples after breast lift?
Our team of board-certified plastic surgeons has extensive experience performing breast lifts and they use the best techniques to prevent loss of nipple sensation. Although this is a possible complication, most patients still have nipple sensitivity after their breast lift.
Does a breast lift cost more than implants?
A breast lift is sometimes more costly than implants, but it depends on the complexity of each respective surgery.
Does a breast lift leave scars?
Like any surgical procedure, you will have scars after your breast lift but these are concealed in the natural folds of your breasts and around the areola. Once healed, your scars should not be noticeable.
Does a breast lift make your nipples less sensitive?
In most cases, loss of nipple sensitivity is a temporary side effect after breast lift surgery.
Does insurance pay for breast lift?
A breast lift is considered a cosmetic procedure so most insurance companies will not pay for this procedure.
How do you shower after a breast lift?
You should wait at least 48 hours after a breast lift to shower. When you shower, use lukewarm water, and mild soap, and be careful not to apply the soap directly on the incisions. Avoid scrubbing your breasts while in the shower and as you dry off.
How long do breast lift results last?
Breast lift results often last for 10 years or more. As we age, skin laxity or sagging skin is natural so your breasts will eventually start to sag again but this effect will not start for a long time after your surgery.
How long does a breast lift take?
Breast lifts typically take 2-3 hours to perform.
How long does it take for breast lift scars to heal?
Breast lift incisions should close within a couple weeks but it can take 6-12 months for the scars to completely heal and fade.
How much does breast lift cost?
The cost of a breast lift can be discussed in greater detail at your consultation.
How much is a mini breast lift?
The cost of your mini breast lift surgery can be discussed at your consultation.
How painful is a breast lift?
A breast lift is performed under general anesthesia so you will not feel any pain during surgery. After your breast lift, moderate pain is expected during the first few days and then discomfort will gradually be alleviated over the course of a couple of weeks.
How soon after breast lift can I exercise?
You should wait at least 6 weeks to exercise after a breast lift or until you have received approval from your surgeon.
Is getting a breast lift safe?
Although all surgeries come with possible complications, a breast lift is considered safe for most patients. Your doctor will determine whether you are a good candidate at your consultation.
What is a crescent breast lift?
A crescent breast lift is performed with an incision made along the top curve of the areola.
What is a partial breast lift?
A partial breast lift or mini breast lift is a surgical procedure that removes less excess skin and tissue for women who have a minimal amount of breast sagging.
What is a wrap around breast lift?
A wrap-around breast lift is a technique that uses compression wraps worn tightly around the breasts for several months after surgery to give the breasts more support.
What types of breast lifts are there?
At Plastic Surgery Associates, we offer several different types of breast lifts that use different incisions. This will be discussed during your consultation.
Will a breast lift reduce cup size?
Since a breast lift removes sagging breast tissue and excess skin, the breasts are often reduced by about one cup size.
Will a breast lift remove stretch marks?
If you have stretch marks on the bottom or sides of your breasts, a breast lift can remove them or minimize their appearance. By removing the excess skin below your breasts, a breast lift can also remove the stretch marks.
Will breast lift affect breastfeeding?
Most women are still able to breastfeed after a breast lift.
“The entire process was wonderful. The staff and Dr. Renucci truly care about their patients. I had a tummy tuck, liposuction to my flanks, and a breast lift. I am beyond pleased with my outcome.”Patient reviews
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For more information about the breast lift procedure and candidacy, give our Grand Rapids, MI office a call today. Our skilled and knowledgeable team will be happy to schedule your consultation to get started.Contact us