What is a Breast Lift?
Do you long for the days of your youth or before pregnancy and nursing when your breasts were perky? The downward decline of the breasts is one of the most common and inevitable signs of female aging. Fortunately, there is a solution in breast lift. Also known as mastopexy, breast lift corrects breast sag (ptosis) by raising the breasts higher on the chest wall and reshaping them as needed to create a more attractive shape and appearance. But the benefits of breast lift go beyond more youthful and beautiful breasts. With perkier breasts, your bras will fit better and your clothes will hug your figure perfectly. You will look and feel sexier and even younger.
If you are self-conscious or unhappy about the appearance of your breasts, True Beauty San Diego Aesthetic Surgery & Medicine encourages you to learn how breast lift can elevate your breasts and self-confidence.
Is Breast Lift Right for You?
Breast lift addresses a number of cosmetic concerns caused by genetics, the natural aging process and weight fluctuations, including those brought on by pregnancy. Breast lift may be right for you if you have any of the following concerns:
- Shapeless, deflated breasts caused by excess, stretched out skin
- Downward-pointing nipples that hang below the natural breast crease line
- Asymmetrical breasts
- Stretched out or overly large areolas
Many women with shapeless, saggy breasts also wish to enhance their breast size. A breast lift with implants combination procedure can simultaneously create fuller and perkier breasts. Our True Beauty team can advise you on the best course of treatment upon evaluating your breasts, aesthetic concerns and goals.
Superior Incision Techniques for Breast Lift
There are three main types of incision techniques that can be used to perform breast lift. Our plastic surgeon, Dr. Brian Reagan, has spent years honing his surgical technique in order to deliver beautiful and natural-looking results. He will recommend the technique that best suits your unique needs.
The first incision technique involves an incision around the outer perimeter of the areola. Known as the donut-shaped incision, this incision pattern is usually reserved for women with little breast tissue and minimal breast sag who do not require an extensive amount of lifting.
The anchor-shaped incision (also known as the keyhole incision) is made around the areola, extending vertically down the breast and horizontally underneath the natural crease line. This technique is best suited for women with severe ptosis.
The lollipop-shaped incision pattern is made around the outer border of the areola and vertically down on the front of the breast. This is Dr. Reagan’s preferred incision technique, as it produces a better breast shape and typically less scarring than the other techniques.
What to Expect During Breast Lift
The key to aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting breast lift results is a superior surgical technique. Traditional breast lift involves removing excess skin and re-draping the remaining skin higher on the chest wall, bringing the breast tissue with it. But this technique falls short in several ways. First, it puts tension on the incisions, increasing the risk of unsightly scars. Second, the skin is more likely to stretch because it cannot properly support the breasts, causing the breasts to droop and sag once again.
True Beauty uses a breast lift technique in which the breast tissue itself is sculpted and positioned higher on the chest wall. The skin is then re-draped passively, resulting in minimal scars and a longer-lasting result. If needed, the areolas are resized and repositioned higher on the breast mound. Once the procedure is completed, the incisions are closed and a compression garment is placed to support the healing tissues.
Breast Lift Recovery
Dr. Reagan will provide you with a detailed list of instructions to follow during your recovery. Generally, the initial recovery phase takes one to two weeks. Many everyday activities, including work, exercise, bending and lifting objects that are heavier than 10 pounds, are off limits. Bruising, swelling and soreness are normal side effects that will subside over time. Dr. Reagan may prescribe oral pain medication to relieve any discomfort you may feel.
You will meet with our team at True Beauty several times for follow-up appointments. We will monitor your healing and if necessary, make modifications to make your recovery smoother. We will also advise you on when to take off your compression bra, and when it is safe to return to work, as well as resume exercise and other normal activities.
Brian Reagan, MD, FACS
Dr. Brian Reagan is a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of True Beauty San Diego Aesthetic Surgery & Medicine. Dr. Reagan is renowned for his surgical skills and commitment to patient satisfaction. Dr. Reagan has been featured on local media outlets, including ABC 10, and recognized as one of the “Best Plastic Surgeons in San Diego” by San Diego Magazine, and “Best Plastic Surgeons in La Jolla” by La Jolla Light Newspaper.
Breast Lift FAQs
How long do breast lift results last?
The results of breast lift can last for many years. However, be advised that the breasts will continue to age as normal after surgery, and that the effects of gravity, lifestyle habits and aging can and will affect the improved position and contour of the breasts. The best way to prolong your results is by maintaining a healthy and stable weight. Because future weight gain can sabotage the effects of breast lift, you should plan to have breast lift after you are sure you are done having children.
Not smoking, proper sun protection, eating healthily and exercising are also recommended for maintaining your youthful and perky breasts.
Does a breast lift make your breasts bigger?
Breast lift involves removing excess skin and fat to improve the position and contour of the breasts. For this reason, the breasts may decrease in size, but only slightly. Breast lift is not an appropriate procedure for increasing the size and volume of the breasts. If you desire a substantial boost in breast size, breast augmentation — or breast augmentation combined with a lift procedure — may be a more suitable option.
Will a breast lift impact nipple sensation?
Some patients do experience decreased nipple sensation after breast lift. This is generally temporary but in some cases may be permanent.
Can a breast lift affect my ability to breastfeed?
Breast lift does not affect the ability to breastfeed. However, we recommend postponing breast lift until you are done nursing your baby. Weight fluctuations resulting from pregnancy and breastfeeding can stretch the breast skin and alter the cosmetic effects of breast lift.
Is breast lift scarring visible?
Like all surgical procedures, breast lift does leave a degree of scarring. However, Dr. Reagan is a skilled and trained surgeon who utilizes superior incision techniques that result in minimal visible scarring. Post-op care of your scars as they heal is also key. Our team will provide you with a list of instructions to follow to help your scars heal and fade properly and quickly.
What is the cost of breast lift?
The cost of breast lift surgery varies patient to patient. The final cost of your procedure will depend on several factors, including the extent of surgery, when breast implants are being placed and the type of implants used. We can provide you with an accurate breakdown of the cost after meeting and evaluating your case in person.
Did breastfeeding change the integrity and profile of my breasts?
Breastfeeding does not contribute to sagging of breasts, but it can seem that way when drooping appears once breastfeeding is stopped. In reality, it is the entire process of pregnancy that puts strain on the breasts. During this time, breasts naturally swell to a larger size. When this happens, the skin stretches.
Once your infant is no longer breastfeeding, the milk-producing gland shrinks and the breasts return to their usual size. But because the skin may not be flexible enough to shrink back to a correspondingly smaller size, sagging can result.
What is ptosis?
Ptosis is the term surgeons use to describe sagging of the breast. To determine the degree of ptosis, surgeons look at the position of the nipple relative to the fold or crease at the base of the breast:
With Grade 1 ptosis, the nipple and crease are at the same level.
In Grade 2 cases, the nipple has dropped below the crease but is still higher than the breast gland area that projects over the fold.
In Grade 3 ptosis, the nipple is the lowest part of the breast.
How much downtime can I expect after breast lift surgery?
The support bra you will wear when you first return home, and the small tubes that will drain blood and fluids from incisions, will be in place for several days, so this will initially limit your freedom.
For an office job, you should be able to return to work within the week.
What should I expect with swelling?
After surgery your breasts will appear bruised and will be swollen for up to four months.
You can expect the usual discomforts of surgical recovery, including pain and sometimes localized numbness. Dr. Reagan will prescribe medication to relieve pain, and provide guidance on ways to limit your physical activity.
Although you will need to avoid most physical stress, walking is recommended as a practical way to reduce your risk of developing a blood clot. Walking and drinking plenty of fluids can also help reduce swelling of the breasts.
Can breast lift be performed in conjunction with other procedures?
Yes, it can. Breast lift is often a key part of mommy makeover, a group of procedures that may also include:
This suite of surgeries targets the changes the body often undergoes as a result of one or more pregnancies. The goal is to restore a youthful, firmer profile — while fortifying self-confidence.
Learn More about Mastopexy
True Beauty is committed to making your breast enhancement journey as safe, comfortable and successful as possible. To learn more about breast lift, schedule an in-office consultation. Contact us by calling (858) 454-SKIN (7546) or sending us an email today.