What is Breast Lift?

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A breast lift restores a firmer, perkier, and more aesthetically pleasing shape to sagging breasts. This not only can improve a patient’s appearance by restoring her youthful, feminine proportions, but  also help bras and swimsuits fit more comfortably and attractively.


By removing excess, stretched out skin, reshaping the breast tissue, and raising the nipple & areola into a more forward position, a cosmetic surgeon can create a more youthful breast contour. Stretched, large areolas can also be reduced during breast lift surgery, creating an overall better proportioned, natural looking breast.


Cosmetic surgeons use a variety of incision techniques for breast lift surgery; the exact technique used will vary based on a patient’s existing breast tissue, the amount of excess skin to be removed, and her personal goals. Your cosmetic surgeon will recommend the type of breast lift that will achieve optimal results with the least conspicuous scarring possible.


Crescent Lift: Minimal Scarring to Correct Minimal Sagging

Cosmetic surgeons may use the “crescent lift” technique for women who have a very small amount of sagging to correct. This involves a small incision running halfway around the top half of the edge of the areola. Usually, a crescent lift is only done when a patient is also having breast augmentation, and even in these cases the crescent incision type is less frequently used.


Peri-Areolar or “Donut” Lift: Corrects Mild Sagging with a Single Scar

Women who are experiencing mild sagging, yet still will benefit from a breast lift, are often good candidates for a peri-areolar lift. This involves a circular incision running around the edge of the areola, and like the crescent lift, is commonly performed in conjunction with breast augmentation. This lift can also be effective in helping reduce areola size. The resulting scar traces the edge of the areola.


Vertical or “Lollipop” Lift: Corrects Moderate Sagging & Provides More Extensive

This type of breast lift is commonly used, as it allows a cosmetic surgeon to remove excess skin and reshape the entire breast with modest, easily hidden scars. A vertical lift involves 2 incisions: one around the edge of the areola, and one running vertically from the bottom of the areola to the inframammary fold, creating a “lollipop” shape.


Inverted T or “Anchor” Lift: Dramatic Reshaping to Correct Extensive Sagging

If you have considerable sagging, pendulous breasts, an anchor lift, which allows a cosmetic surgeon to remove a significant amount of excess skin and sagging tissues, may yield the best results. This technique involves 3 incisions: one around the edge of the areola, one vertically from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease, and one along the inframammary fold, hidden in the breast crease. Your cosmetic surgeon may also use this technique if you are having a breast reduction with lift. While the anchor lift comes with some visible scarring, these typically will fade significantly with proper care, and are easily hidden by a bikini top.


Combining a Breast Lift with Augmentation

In some cases, a breast lift alone may not achieve a patient’s desired results. If you feel your breasts look “deflated” or have lost volume due to aging, weight loss, or pregnancy, your cosmetic surgeon can place breast implants during breast lift surgery to restore fullness and shape to the breast. If you have always wanted larger, lifted breasts, a breast augmentation with lift can help you achieve both with a single procedure and recovery.


Indications:

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Women who want:

  • To restore a better breast shape following pregnancy & breastfeeding. Pregnancy can bring some unwelcome changes to the breasts, often leaving them stretched and sagging. A breast lift, with or without implants, can help undo these changes and restore a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.

  • To improve breast contour after significant weight loss. Losing weight often means losing breast volume. A breast lift can help restore a more proportional, youthful breast shape by removing excess skin.

  • To enjoy a beautiful, perky breast shape for the first time. A small but growing number of breast lift patients have had drooping breasts since their teens. Breast lift surgery can help a woman get the breast profile she has always wanted.


Treatment Timeline:

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Breast lift surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure using general anesthesia or local anesthesia + intravenous sedation. The procedure takes about 1-2 hours to perform, depending on the extent of surgery. You will be able to go home shortly after surgery to continue your recovery.

 

Many patients return to work within the first week after breast lift surgery, depending on the nature of their jobs, and resume most daily activities after a week or so.

 

Results:

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Having a breast lift is similar to resetting the clock for sagging. Your breasts will still undergo natural changes due to the aging process, although with proper care you should not experience your previous level of sagging for many years. However, it is important to understand that certain life events, such as future pregnancy or weight fluctuations can negatively affect your results. If you are planning to have more children or you would like to lose weight, it is best to achieve these milestones before having a breast lift.

 

When performed by a qualified cosmetic surgeon, a breast lift is safe and rewarding procedure with long-lasting results. The best way to learn more about breast lift surgery is to meet with a board certified cosmetic surgeon for a consultation.

 

Things to Do:

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  • Your breasts will be bandaged or placed in a surgical bra.

  • Your cosmetic surgeon will prescribe pain medication to help keep you comfortable, and many patients find they can switch to Tylenol after the first few days.

  • While you’ll be able to get up and walk around the house the same day of surgery, take it easy for the first few days

  • Expect to sleep on your back for the first several weeks or more after surgery. If you normally sleep on your side or stomach, invest in some extra pillows to help keep you from turning over

  • You will need to limit exercise other than walking for the first 2-6 weeks after a breast lift


Side Effects:

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  • Most patients experience some soreness and swelling after breast lift surgery.

  • Residual soreness and swelling should gradually subside over the first several months after a breast lift, and most patients are permitted to begin wearing underwire bras again after about 8 weeks.