Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Regarded among the top plastic surgeons in the Carolinas, Dr. Ram Kalus and Dr. Craig Rowin have earned such distinction by making women feel confident about their breasts and their bodies through high-quality cosmetic enhancement. After undergoing breast lift surgery, a procedure designed to rejuvenate the breast shape and overall aesthetic, their patients are able to enjoy the benefits of more youthful breasts with improved contours, enhanced upper pole fullness, and less drooping or sagging, often resulting in greater self-confidence.

What is a Breast Lift?

Breast lift surgery, also called a mastopexy, is performed by removing excess skin and tightening the underlying, deeper breast tissue to raise and reshape the breasts. As one ages and experiences the effects of gravity and other influences, the skin of the breasts may lose some of its elasticity and cause a sagging appearance. Pregnancy and lactation, weight fluctuations, and heredity all have a significant impact on the breasts. Many women consider breast lift surgery when their breasts become pendulous, lose firmness, or have nipples and areolas (the dark pigmented skin surrounding the nipples) that fall or point below the breast crease— known as the “inframammary fold.” Some women opt for a breast lift with the addition of breast implants to replace volume that may have been lost with age or after nursing one or more children.

A breast lift should not affect the ability to breastfeed. If a patient has lactating function before surgery, this shouldn’t change after the procedure as long as the desire for future breastfeeding is communicated prior to the operation. Although the milk ducts and nipples can remain intact after a breast lift, be sure to discuss any plans for breastfeeding when consulting with Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin about breast lift surgery.

Am I a Candidate for a Breast Lift?

Good candidates for breast lift surgery have some degree of skin laxity and/or volume loss and wish to rejuvenate the look and feel of sagging breasts. While women wishing to restore their pre-pregnancy figure comprise a large portion of individuals seeking a breast lift, even young women whose breasts simply developed with some natural sag or droop, or may have been affected by gravity, aging, or genetic influences, can also achieve excellent results with the procedure. For women also seeking to increase or decrease the size of their breasts, a lift can be combined with a breast augmentation or breast reduction to comprehensively fulfill a patient’s aesthetic goals. Ideal candidates for a breast lift generally include:

  • Women who are near their ideal weight
  • Moms who are finished with childbearing and breastfeeding
  • Women whose nipples and areolas fall below the fold, or point downward
  • Women who are in reasonably good health to undergo a surgical operation

Volume changes in the breasts associated with pregnancy, nursing, and substantial weight loss can often cause additional breast sag and compromise the results of a lift. If these factors are applicable, it is generally advisable to undergo breast lift surgery after weight loss, childbearing, and breastfeeding are finished to achieve an optimal, long-lasting result. A discussion of your needs with Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin can help determine whether breast lift surgery will benefit you.

What are the Different Types of Breast Lift?

After a thorough examination and discussion, if you are a good candidate, our plastic surgeons will recommend a lift type or combination procedure that is best suited for you. The various types of breast lift include:

Periareolar Mastopexy

For minimal sagging, or in the case of areolas that look wider than desirable, the periareolar mastopexy may be indicated. In this procedure, the surgeon makes an incision around the entire areola. This will be the only incision and final scar necessary to tighten the breast. This procedure generally allows for less scarring because incisions on the edge of the areola are often inconspicuous and well concealed; however, this technique is not effective in achieving significant tightening. It can be an excellent choice for patients with limited breast sagging.

“Lollipop Incision” or Short Horizontal Scar Technique

The lollipop or short scar technique uses two incisions that resemble a lollipop, one around the areola and one vertically from the areola to the breast crease. Occasionally, there is a small horizontal component in the crease below the breast. The short scar technique eliminates the large transverse, or anchor-shaped, scar that results from traditional breast lifts, leaving the patient with less scarring and a very aesthetic and lasting result. This technique can be utilized for moderate sagging.

Full Mastopexy (“Anchor Type Incision”)

The full mastopexy, commonly referred to as a traditional breast lift, is used primarily for larger-breasted women with severe to extreme sagging. It is the most extensive of all mastopexy procedures and has a scar that is similar to that of a breast reduction. It is selected when there is simply too much skin to be removed through more limited incisions.

Combining a Breast Lift With Other Procedures

All of the mastopexy techniques can be combined with a breast augmentation. In a procedure that combines a breast lift and breast augmentation, the surgeon adds breast implants for a fuller and more enhanced appearance. For some women, breast implants are an excellent complement to a breast lift. Plus, a breast lift can also be performed as part of a comprehensive mommy makeover— an innovative enhancement option that can allow moms to restore their pre-pregnancy figure by combining multiple treatments to address a range of concerns. Because pregnancy and nursing can cause the breasts to sag, decrease in volume, or become flatter and softer, a breast lift is typically a great addition to a mommy makeover treatment plan. During your evaluation, our plastic surgeons will explain all of the risks and benefits of these combination surgeries and help you determine the options that are best for your needs.

How is the Breast Lift Procedure Performed?

Typically an outpatient procedure, basic breast lift surgery takes about one to three hours. If you are combining a breast lift with another treatment, the operation can take longer. This surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin will lift and reshape underlying breast tissue; reposition the nipple and areola; reduce enlarged areolas, if necessary, and remove excess breast skin. Expert levels of care will be taken to provide a natural-looking result and minimize the appearance of scarring.

What is Recovery From a Breast Lift Like?

After your surgery, you will wear a surgical-type sports bra to reduce swelling and support your breasts as you heal. It is common to experience temporary bruising or swelling after the procedure, but this typically subsides as your recovery progresses. Any discomfort can generally be managed with oral pain medication. Our doctors make every effort to avoid the use of narcotics altogether while still ensuring your maximum comfort and safety. Following the operation, patients should rest for the remainder of the day, but light activities can usually be resumed within a few days. Exercise and aerobic activities will need to be avoided for four weeks. Many patients plan for approximately one week of downtime to ensure an adequate amount of time for the healing process, but specific post-operative instructions depend on the complexity of your procedure. Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin will provide detailed recovery information at the time of operation. Depending on your line of work, one to two weeks out of work may be recommended in most cases.

Over the next few months, your breasts’ shape and position will gradually settle into place and incision lines should fade and improve. Following the procedure, many women enjoy a more rejuvenated and shapely breast appearance with restored firmness and breast projection.

What Will My Scars From Breast Lift Surgery Look Like?

Dr. Kalus and Dr. Rowin work diligently to make your scars from breast surgery as inconspicuous as possible. At any rate, the shape and size of a mastopexy scar will either blend into the borders of the areola; resemble a lollipop-shaped mark that encircles the areola and descends toward the breast fold; or appear like an anchor combined with a well concealed scar around the areola and along the breast crease. This will depend on the extent of lift required to achieve your desired look. During your consultation, our plastic surgeons will inform you of which incision will likely be necessary during your mastopexy.

With that said, the majority of patients report that scars flatten and fade to a large degree over time after the recovery process is complete. Proper wound care can typically optimize the healing of your scars and, therefore, decrease their visibility after surgery.

How Much Does a Breast Lift Cost?

The breast lift procedure is customized to address the needs and aesthetic concerns of each patient. Therefore, the cost of mastopexy is similarly tailored according to the unique details of an individual’s treatment plan. Factors that typically influence the price of a breast lift include:

  • The extent of lift necessary to achieve one’s cosmetic goals
  • The surgical technique used
  • Whether breast implants were utilized
  • The expertise of the surgeon
  • The geographic location of the procedure

While the expenses associated with a breast lift vary widely, the national average cost of mastopexy is approximately $7,925. After Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin see you in a consultation, our office will be able to provide you with a more accurate quote of your breast lift costs, including the surgical fee, anesthesia costs, and facility fees. Our practice accepts all major payments, as well as plastic surgery financing from CareCredit®. Offering a number of flexible payment plans that can be chosen to suit your personal budget, this reputable healthcare lending company allows qualified candidates to pay for their treatment over time once they are approved through the easy application process. For more information on how to apply, or to learn more about the price of a breast lift, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our practice.

If you are interested in breast lift surgery, or a combination breast surgery, contact Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin at Plastic Surgery of the Carolinas to schedule an appointment for a consultation.

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