What is it?
When the breast and/or nipple has sagged down, we then consider a mastopexy (“breast lift”) to tighten up and rejuvenate the appearance of the breasts.
Do I really need a lift?
The position of the breast and nipple is evaluated based on their relative position to the infra-mammary fold – the crease beneath the breast. As the nipple gets to the level of the fold or lower we begin to consider a lift. We also consider a lift to reposition a downward pointing nipple. Another consideration is to reshape a breast that may have become elongated or flattened out and has lost its natural projection.
Can’t I just put in a large implant?
Using an implant to get a lift may work temporarily, but is not a great long-term solution. Some issues may be that the breast and nipple “slide” off the implant over time and create a saggy look despite being fuller, or that the weight of the implant causing worsening looseness of the skin without the support of the lift.
What types of lifts are there?
There are different styles of lifts with different scar patterns based on the amount of lift and shaping required. The most minimal scar is periareaolar – a circular scar around the areola. Then there are lifts with increased degrees of scar, such as the vertical (“lollipop”) or inverted-T (“anchor). Our goal is to balance scars with the need for lift and shaping, and recommend the optimal solution for each patient.
How is the recovery?
This is an outpatient surgery, and overall limited discomfort/soreness. Most patients are able to return to work in 5-7 days.
What are the risks?
Overall mastopexy has a relatively low complication profile. A number of the risks are cosmetic, such as asymmetry, scars, shape, nipple position (too high, too low), wound healing problems, as well as changes in nipple sensation, possible loss of breast feeding ability, and need for further surgery. General risks for surgery include bleeding, infection, and complications with anesthesia.
What are reasons I might not be a candidate?
Smoking or any nicotine use raises the risk of skin necrosis, open wounds, infection, and even loss of the nipple. Thus we recommend abstinence from all nicotine products 6-8 weeks before and after surgery.
After pregnancy / breast feeding, we wait 3-6 months before proceeding with any breast surgery.
Relative contraindications may include medical comorbidities such as diabetes or heart disease, connective tissue diseases, chronic corticosteroid usage.
What if I want more volume as well as a lift?
Augmentation and mastopexy are commonly performed together. There can be some limitations based on size of augmentation, extent of lift, or other medical considerations. Based on these considerations we may discuss either adjusting the surgical plans, or recommend separating and staging the procedures to optimize the results.
In addition to silicone / saline augmentation, fat grafting to the breast is another option. This allows for natural volume addition without any foreign body. The main limitation is the volume increase that can be achieved, which is often in the ½ cup to 1 cup range.
What does a breast lift cost?
The cost can vary based on the type of lift / extent of the procedure. It can be as low as $5000 (including anesthesia and facility charges) for small lifts and as high as $8500 for very extensive lifts.