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Breast Lift Surgery / Mastopexy

Breast lift, or mastopexy, surgery raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.

  • What is breast lift surgery?

    Breast lift, or mastopexy, surgery raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.

    Sometimes the areola becomes enlarged over time, and a breast lift will reduce this as well. A breast lift can rejuvenate your figure with a breast profile that is more youthful and uplifted.

    A woman's breasts often change over time, losing their youthful shape and firmness. These changes and loss of skin elasticity can result from:

    • Pregnancy
    • Breastfeeding
    • Weight fluctuations
    • Aging
    • Gravity
    • Heredity
  • What breast lift surgery won't do

    Breast lift surgery does not significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast.

    If you want your breasts to look fuller, consider breast lift and breast augmentation surgery.

    If you want smaller breasts, consider combining breast lift and breast reduction surgery.

  • Breast lift candidates

    You may be a good breast lift candidate if:

    • You are physically healthy and maintain a stable weight
    • You do not smoke
    • You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts sag or have lost shape and volume
    • Your breasts have a flatter, elongated shape or are pendulous
    • When unsupported, your nipples fall below the breast crease
    • Your nipples and areolas point downward
    • You have stretched skin and enlarged areolas
    • One breast is lower than the other

    Breast lift surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.

  • Breast lift recovery

    During your breast lift recovery, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions after the procedure is completed.

    You'll need to wear an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling and support your breasts as they heal.

    A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.

    You will be given specific instructions that may include:

    • How to care for your breasts following surgery
    • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
    • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
    • When to follow up with your plastic surgeon.

    Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual breast lift recovery period.

    • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
    • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
    • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
    • Are stitches removed? When?
    • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
    • When do I return for follow-up care?
  • Breast lift results

    The results of your breast lift surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade.

    You can view breast lift before and after photos in our gallery.

    Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover from surgery.

    The final results of your breast lift will appear over the next few months as breast shape and position continue to settle.

    Incision lines are permanent but will continue to fade over time. The results of your breast lift surgery will be long lasting.

    Over time, your breasts can continue to change due to aging and gravity. You'll be able to retain your new look longer if you:

    • Maintain your weight
    • Keep a healthy lifestyle

    Following your physician's instructions is essential to the success of your surgery.

    It's important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.

  • Breast lift surgery and pregnancy

    Breast surgery should be entertained after child bearing is completed.

    Changes that occur in the breasts during pregnancy can minimize or reverse the improvement a breast lift provides.

    Likewise, significant weight loss after breast surgery can negatively impact breast appearance.

  • Breast lift risks and safety information

    The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you'll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of breast lift surgery are acceptable.

    You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any breast lift risks and potential complications.

    These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all of your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.

  • Breast lift and breast implant placement

    Some women may want to consider placement of a breast implant in addition to the breast lift. An implant can provide improved upper breast fullness or cleavage. Implants can be placed at the same time or as a second procedure, depending on the experience of the surgeon.

  • Your breast lift consultation

    During your breast lift consultation be prepared to discuss:

    • Your surgical goals
    • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
    • Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use
    • Previous surgeries
    • If you have a family history of breast cancer
    • The results of any mammograms or previous biopsies

    Your surgeon may also:

    • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
    • Examine your breasts and may take detailed measurements of their size and shape, skin quality, and placement of your nipples and areolas
    • Take photographs
    • Discuss your options
    • Recommend a course of treatment
    • Discuss likely outcomes of breast lift surgery and any risks or potential complications
    • Discuss the use of anesthesia during your breast lift
  • Preparing for breast lift surgery

    In preparing for breast lift surgery, you may be asked to:

    • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
    • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
    • Get a baseline mammogram before surgery and another one after surgery to help detect any future changes in your breast tissue
    • Stop smoking
    • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
  • Questions to ask your breast lift surgeon

    Use these questions as a guide during your breast lift surgery consultation:

    • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
    • Where and how will you perform my procedure?
    • What surgical technique is recommended for me?
    • How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
    • What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
    • How are complications handled?
    • How will my ability to breastfeed be affected?
    • How can I expect my lifted breasts to look over time? After pregnancy? After breastfeeding?
    • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my lifted breasts?
    • Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?

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