Breast lift, also known as mastopexy, is a surgical procedure performed to raise and reshape breasts that have sagged as a result of aging, pregnancy, weight loss, gravity, or other factors. By trimming excess skin and tightening supporting tissue, patients can achieve an uplifted, youthful breast contour. After surgery, the breasts are higher on the chest and firmer to the touch. The nipple and areola can also be repositioned or resized during this procedure to further enhance the appearance of the breast.
Since a breast lift does not change the shape or fullness of the breasts, many patients choose to combine this procedure with a breast augmentation or reduction in order to achieve their desired results.
CANDIDATES FOR BREAST LIFT
A breast lift is a safe and effective procedure for many women seeking to enhance the appearance of their drooping breasts, although there are certain restrictions on eligibility. The ideal candidates for a breast lift are women with:
- Sagging breasts
- Breasts that have lost shape or volume
- Breasts that are flat or elongated
- Nipples or areolas pointing downward
- One breast lower than the other
In addition to sagging breasts, it is also important for women considering this procedure to be in good overall health, maintain a stable weight, and have realistic expectations for surgery. It is recommended that women still planning to have children postpone this procedure, as pregnancy and nursing can counteract the effects of a breast lift.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A BREAST LIFT?
The passage of time isn’t kind to our breasts. Our skin and support muscles and tissues slacken. The changes in size due to pregnancy and breastfeeding, or simply to the gain and subsequent loss of weight, cause the breast tissue to become stretched. It usually cannot tighten back down to its former degree of tautness, so the breasts flatten and sag. In some cases, the changes can be enough so that the nipples point more toward the ground than outward.
A breast lift with Dr. Turk can reverse these changes. These procedures are very effective for returning the breasts to a higher position on the chest. Breast lifts remove excess, sagging skin and, if necessary, excess fatty tissue. In most cases, Dr. Turk also relocates the nipple/areola complex higher on the breasts. The breasts become firmer and are rejuvenated.
When a patient also wants to return volume, often lost due to pregnancy and breastfeeding, Dr. Turk adds implants to the breast lift. This returns volume, particularly to the upper breast.
HOW IS A BREAST LIFT DONE?
For breast lift procedures, Dr. Turk uses different incisions depending upon the patient’s unique circumstances. With a breast lift, the incision locations and the extent of the incisions vary depending on the degree of sagging and how much excess skin needs to be removed. During your consultation, Dr. Turk will discuss your options, including the incision type he thinks is best for you. There are three options:
- Areolar incision — A donut-shaped incision is made around the areola. This is also known as a small incision mastopexy. This method can be used with women with smaller breasts who have minimal sagging and minimal excess skin. It creates mostly invisible scarring, as the incision is hidden by the areola.
- Lollipop incision — This starts with the donut-shaped incision, but it then extends downward, ending at the breast crease. In cases of moderate sagging and skin excision, this method should provide adequate access.
- Anchor incision — This follows the lollipop incision but then extends in both directions along the breast crease. Obviously, this incision provides the most access for removing fatty tissue and trimming excess skin. It also creates the longest scars.
Once the incision has been made, Dr. Turk lifts and reshapes the breast tissue to counteract how the breast mass has moved lower on the breasts. If he uses the lollipop or anchor incisions the nipples and areolae will be relocated to a higher position on the breasts to match the new profile. Dr. Turk can also make the areolae smaller if this skin has stretched. The final step is to trim away excess sagging skin. If you’ve opted to have augmentation along with your breast lift, the implants are inserted at this point after Dr. Turk creates a breast pocket for each implant. Adding implants to a breast lift is simple because Dr. Turk can use the same incisions he has already made to insert the implants.
RECOVERY FROM BREAST LIFT
After a breast lift, patients will likely experience bruising, soreness, and swelling for a few days. The breasts will likely be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a surgical bra for about a week, followed by a support bra worn continuously for a month. Any stitches will be removed after one or two weeks. Most patients will be able to return to work within a week, although exercise and other strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month. Your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions for your individual recovery.
RESULTS OF A BREAST LIFT
The results of a breast lift are visible immediately after surgery and will continue to improve as swelling subsides and scars fade. Most patients who maintain realistic expectations and thoroughly discussed their goals prior to surgery are satisfied with the look of their lifted breasts. While results are not permanent, they will allow patients to enjoy a younger-looking appearance for many years to come.
ARE BREAST LIFTS SAFE? WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL SIDES EFFECTS?
Breast lifts are involved in surgical procedures. There are the usual risks involved with any surgery: poor wound healing, infection, excessive bleeding, reaction to general anesthesia, and the like. For the breast lift, there is a risk of loss of nipple and/or breast sensation, as the nipples usually are moved. This usually passes as the nerves adjust over time.
If you’ve opted to have augmentation, this doesn’t add any additional risk to the surgery. This is because the incisions are already made. There are the later risks of augmentation that include capsular contracture, implant rupture, and rippling, but those are long-term risks and are not related to the surgery.
IS A BREAST LIFT PAINFUL?
Due to the incisions made with breast lifts, especially the full anchor incision, these recoveries will involve some pain during your recovery. This mainly resolves after the first two to three days. Dr. Turk prescribes pain medication to mitigate the discomfort.
HOW MUCH DOES A BREAST LIFT COST?
Breast lifts at Naples Cosmetic Surgery vary in cost due to the individual situation of the patient. As described above, incision lengths and locations can be relatively simple (around the areola) or fairly lengthy (the full anchor incision). These differences can affect the cost of the procedure. Also, whether or not you decide to add implants to your breast lift changes the cost.
During your consultation, Dr. Turk will understand your goals for the procedure. At that point, we can give you the estimated cost of your surgery.
ARE BREAST LIFTS COVERED BY INSURANCE?
Breast lifts are typically deemed to be “elective procedures” by insurance companies. Because of that, they are not covered by health insurance plans. At Naples Cosmetic Surgery we do provide payment options, however.
What Our Patients Say…
“I don’t hand out five stars unless well deserved. Dr. Turk and his staff are well deserving of my satisfaction and admiration!! I use Dr. Turk to keep me young-looking. Believe me, he knows what he is doing. I have used others in the past and was disappointed at best. No more and never again will I use anyone else!! He is a terrific surgeon and is an expert when it comes to using today’s fillers.”
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION TODAY!
If you’re interested in learning more about breast lifts please contact us for a consultation at 239.348.4357 or fill out our contact us form below. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.