Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Breast lift surgery (medically referred to as a mastopexy) can be the ideal operation for breasts that have become affected by excess, inelastic skin that creates a “drooping” appearance. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Semira Bayati, MD, offers advanced breast lift procedures that can rejuvenate the breasts for a firmer, more youthful appearance.

What is a Breast Lift?

A breast lift is a surgical procedure designed to eliminate excess skin and raise the breasts to a higher position on the chest. Breast ptosis (sagginess) and drooping of the breasts is a very common condition that can be caused by genetics, breastfeeding, weight loss, the natural process of aging, and even simple gravity. Breast lift surgery can address these concerns by eliminating the drooping effect by firming the skin and lifting the breasts to a more desirable position. This procedure is one of the most popular surgical cosmetic enhancement options available and has helped millions of women renew their breasts with beautiful results.

What Can Breast Lift Surgery Do for Me?

Breast lift surgery offers a number of benefits for patients wishing to rejuvenate the the breasts, including:

  • Reduce the appearance of sagging and drooping
  • Bring the breasts and nipples to a higher, more youthful position
  • Improve breast shape and contour
  • Diminish the size of the nipples and areolas (the pigmented area surrounding the nipples) if desired
  • Move the nipples to a more central location on the breasts

Breast Lift and a Mommy Makeover

While breast lift surgery can be beneficial for virtually any woman who is suffering from breast ptosis, it can be particularly advantageous for individuals who have experienced significant changes to their breasts following pregnancy and/or breastfeeding. In fact, a breast lift is often chosen by patients for inclusion in a Mommy Makeover procedure for a comprehensive skin and body rejuvenation. Mommy Makeovers involve a customized combination of advanced treatments that can renew the breasts, body, and skin with results that truly revitalize one’s overall appearance.

Learn more about Mommy Makeover procedures.

Who is a Candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?

The best candidates for breast lift surgery are typically those who are experiencing moderate to severe breast ptosis and would like to achieve more youthful breast contours. Patients should also be in relatively good overall health and have realistic expectations for the final results.

There are several different degrees of ptosis, and Dr. Bayati will evaluate your particular situation during an in-depth initial consultation:

Grade 1 Ptosis

Breasts that are sagging below the point where the breasts meet the chest (inframammary fold), with nipples located at the fold.  

Grade 2 Ptosis

Breasts that are sagging below the inframammary fold, with nipples located below the fold.

Grade 3 Ptosis

Breasts and nipples that are both sagging below the fold with the nipples at a downward projection.

At times, the loss of volume from weight loss or breastfeeding leads to a droopy appearance in the breasts. In these cases, volume replacement in the form of breast implants might be necessary in conjunction with a breast lift to restore the proper shape and volume to the breasts. Dr. Bayati can recommend the proper combination if breast augmentation is also necessary to help you achieve your goals.

How is the Breast Lift Procedure Performed?

Breast lift can be performed a number of ways, depending on each patient’s needs and goals. Traditionally, a surgical incision is placed around the nipple/areola region and extended down toward the crease where the breast meets the chest. The amount of lift necessary often determines the extent of the incision; Dr. Bayati will be able to provide you with more details about the technique that’s best for you once you have been examined at the initial consultation.

Once the incision has been made, Dr. Bayati will remove excess skin, tighten the remainder, and lift the breasts and nipples to a higher position, shaping and recontouring them to yield a firmer, more “perky” appearance. The ideal location for the nipples is based on the height of the patient and the shape of the breasts; in most individuals, it should be at or above the crease under the breast.

Breast lift surgery is typically completed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia.

What is Breast Lift Recovery Like?

Most people can return to work approximately one week after surgery. A surgical bra may need to be worn temporarily to help the breasts heal after the procedure. Swelling and bruising will likely be present following breast lift surgery; however, discomfort can be controlled with medication during recovery. Heavy lifting and upper body exercises should be avoided for at least four weeks.

How Much Does a Breast Lift Cost?

Breast lift surgery is customized for each individual, and therefore the total cost of the procedure will vary. Factors such as the surgeon’s fee, operating facility and anesthesiologist’s fee, the complexity of the procedure, and other issues are taken into account. The total price is also dependent on other potential procedures included in the treatment plan that may be necessary for the most balanced and comprehensive aesthetic outcome possible. Patients who choose to include additional treatments with their breast lift surgery often opt for liposuction in areas such as the love handles or pubic region. Liposuction for excess fat in the armpits and back (for fat deposits that hang over the back of the bra) are also common adjunctive treatments included in a breast lift treatment plan.

After your treatment plan is created, a member of our team will produce an estimate of the total cost and go over your options with you. Our practice accepts a variety of payment methods, and we work with plastic surgery financing companies such as CareCredit® and Alphaeon Credit, which offer qualified applicants an array of low- and no-interest payment plans that can help make treatment as financially convenient as possible.

Will My Breast Lift Scars be Visible?

The exact nature of residual scarring from breast lift surgery ultimately depends on the technique that is utilized. As with most surgical procedures, there will be some noticeable scarring; however, Dr. Bayati is extensively experienced with breast lift surgery and will work diligently to minimize the appearance of scars. Breast lift scars should also fade to some degree over time, and there are treatments available that can help lessen their appearance. Most patients are so satisfied with the overall results of breast lift surgery that they do not mind the scars.

Is a Breast Lift Without Surgery Possible?

While there are a number of tips and publications that claim certain exercises and other methodologies can help give the breasts a lifted appearance, breast lift surgery is really the only technique available that can eliminate excess skin and significantly reduce breast ptosis and a sagging appearance. While exercise can always be helpful to keep the body in shape and maintain good health, it cannot ultimately diminish the excess, inelastic skin that is characteristic of breast ptosis and it will not be able to lift the breasts to a higher, more youthful position.

Additional Breast Lift Frequently Asked Questions 

Will insurance cover breast lift surgery?

In most cases, insurance will not cover breast lift surgery as it is considered an elective surgery and not a medical condition that needs to be treated. Fortunately, our practice accepts a number of different payment methods to make the cost of this procedure as convenient for your budget as possible. Options include plastic surgery financing plans via third-party agencies that offer qualified applicants the ability to pay for their breast lift surgery in a series of installments. 

Will I need breast augmentation with my lift? 

Whether you will need breast augmentation (the addition of breast implants) in addition to your breast lift will ultimately depend on your overall aesthetic goals. If you desire a larger breast size and enhanced volume along with the reduction of a sagging appearance, it may be advantageous to combine these procedures. If it is determined that your goals can be met with both a breast augmentation procedure and a breast lift surgery, your treatment plan can be tailored to meet your specific needs. 

How painful is a breast lift?

While there will likely be some discomfort following breast lift surgery, it is important to note that most patients do not experience excessive or intolerable amounts of pain as the breasts heal during the recovery process. Pain medications, even just over-the-counter options, can often help relieve discomfort, and residual swelling can be managed by adhering to post-operative instructions provided by our team. A compression garment worn during recovery can also promote healing and help make the recovery period as smooth as possible. 

How can I reduce swelling after a breast lift?

In many cases, patients will be provided with compression garments that are to be worn following breast lift surgery to control swelling and help with the final results. Refraining from strenuous activities as directed, taking an occasional light walk, and resting can also be helpful in the management of swelling. Additionally, limiting foods and beverages that are high in salt and eating a diet that contains plenty of fruits and leafy greens (many of which contain anti-inflammatory ingredients) can often help mitigate swelling and ease the recovery process. 

What type of bra should I wear after breast lift surgery?

Generally speaking, most patients should avoid bras that feature an underwire for several weeks following the procedure. Sports bras and soft bras with thicker straps that open in the front are often recommended as they may provide more comfort and accessibility. Wearing these types of bras can often be helpful long after breast lift surgery as well since they typically promote increased support and may help slow the development of breast ptosis in the future. 

“I appreciated your kindness, caring, and professionalism which was extended to me during my recent surgery. You did such a wonderful job. I can’t even see the scar. All the staff put me at ease at a time when I was a little anxious. Thank you all again for being so great!”~ Breast Lift Patient, Orange County

Contact Dr. Bayati for more details on breast lift procedures, or to schedule a consultation.

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