What Is a Breast Lift?
A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, is a cosmetic surgery procedure that is intended to address breast ptosis (sagging) by removing inelastic skin and elevating the breasts to a more youthful position on the chest. The procedure can also reduce the size of the areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple). In some cases, Dr. Joseph DiBello—our experienced plastic surgeon—may recommend the use of breast implants inserted in conjunction with a mastopexy procedure to increase both firmness and size.
Who Is a Candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?
Women in good health who are experiencing moderate to severe sagging of the breasts (ptosis) are typically considered good candidates for breast lift surgery.
In addition to the effects pregnancy and breastfeeding can have on a woman’s breasts, the natural aging process and gravity also contribute to a less firm or youthful breast shape.
Pregnancy and nursing may have significant and unpredictable effects on the size and shape of your breasts. Nevertheless, many women decide to undergo breast lift surgery before having children and feel that they can address any subsequent changes later. Since the milk ducts and nipples are left intact, breast lift surgery usually will not affect your ability to breastfeed.
A consultation with Dr. DiBello will help you determine if you are a candidate for a breast lift alone or in conjunction with implants. At that time, Dr. DiBello will discuss his personalized approach to your surgery as well as important considerations involved in breast lift surgery.
How Is the Breast Lift Procedure Performed?
During a typical mastopexy procedure, excess skin is removed along the lower part of the breasts, breast tissue is elevated, and remaining skin is tightened under general anesthesia. Additionally, a circular incision is made around the nipple and areola, allowing them to be elevated to a more youthful position. If desired, Dr. DiBello can also modify the size and shape of the areola (the pigmented skin surrounding the nipple) at this time. The incision around the areola is then connected to a vertical incision down to the crease of the breast, creating a “lollipop” or racquet-shaped pattern. When there is excessive skin due to sagging and/or size, an additional horizontal incision along the crease of the breast (creating an “anchor” pattern) may be required for proper shaping. While many women are able to achieve mild to moderate breast fullness in the upper pole, a breast lift with implants may be recommended to patients who would like a more significant improvement in breast volume and shape.
Please view our breast lift 3D animation to get a better understanding of this procedure.
Do I Need a Breast Lift with Implants?
Deciding whether or not to include breast implants as part of your breast lift is a personal choice. However, Dr. DiBello will work closely with you and can make a recommendation, based on your individual aesthetic goals. A breast lift with augmentation is designed to help provide more fullness to the breasts if there is not much breast tissue available or if the patient is seeking a more pronounced volume increase. Women who do not want noticeable enlargement, but have insufficient breast tissue, can still attain a natural-looking result with smaller breast implants.
What Is Recovery After Breast Lift Surgery Like?
Breast lift surgery, with or without implants, is typically an outpatient procedure where you are able to go home after the surgery (under the overnight care of a family member or friend). No drains are involved, and the incisions are usually closed with absorbable stitches. Most breast lift patients are able to resume their regular routine approximately one week after surgery, although any high-impact or strenuous activity should be avoided for at least three weeks. Dr. DiBello will provide you with more specific guidelines according to your customized treatment plan. Any resulting swelling and bruising should progressively fade as your body heals, and medication can be prescribed to help with any potential discomfort during recovery.
As with all plastic surgery procedures, carefully following Dr. DiBello’s aftercare instructions and returning to our office for your follow-up appointments are crucial for achieving an ideal outcome.
Will I Have Breast Lift Scars?
Although it is impossible to avoid scarring after breast lift surgery, Dr. DiBello strategically places incisions in a way that can help scars remain relatively inconspicuous, once healed. The appearance of your scars will depend on the specific technique used during surgery; however, Dr. DiBello will provide you with detailed post-operative care information that can help scars heal successfully and fade as much as possible. Overall, Dr. DiBello’s breast lift patients are typically so pleased with their results that they do not mind any residual scarring.
Dr. DiBello and his staff are lovely. They are patient and understanding. They each give you their undivided attention. The office is elegant and clean. I am 110% satisfied and will absolutely return in the future when other needs arise. I highly will recommend anyone to look no further. Dr. DiBello is the one.
How Much Does a Breast Lift Cost?
The price of breast lift surgery can vary, depending on each patient’s unique treatment plan, but the average cost of mastopexy at DiBello Plastic Surgery is approximately $6,700 for a breast lift without implants and $9,500 for a breast lift with saline implants (including the cost of implants).
Please keep in mind that most breast lift prices listed online only include the surgeon’s fee. The average prices listed above include several factors that can impact the overall cost, such as Dr. DiBello’s fee, pre-admission testing, hospital fees, anesthesia, and more.
Following your consultation with Dr. DiBello, he can provide you with a more accurate price estimate, based on your specific treatment plan.
How Long Does a Breast Lift Last?
The effects of mastopexy can last for many years ahead. While the natural aging process cannot be avoided, a breast lift can, however, delay those effects. You may want to postpone your surgery until you’re absolutely ready in order to get the most out of your breast lift. It’s recommended that mastopexy be put on hold until you’re absolutely ready and have ensured you have no plans for pregnancy and/or breastfeeding. Nursing and pregnancy can often result in loose skin and excess breast tissue which can reverse the results of a breast lift. However, if you do have children and breastfeed after a breast lift, Dr. DiBello is able to touch up your breast lift results with a follow-up procedure, if necessary.
Can You Breastfeed After a Breast Lift?
It is possible for you to breastfeed after a breast lift, but to increase your chances you should make Dr. DiBello aware of your post-surgery goals. You also must consider that some women are unable to breastfeed for other reasons regardless of a breast lift. While Dr. DiBello makes every effort during each breast lift surgery to avoid milk ducts and maximize patients’ likelihood of being able to breastfeed, there are no guarantees. Many women have gone on to be able to successfully breastfeed after breast lift, but in general, it’s typically recommended that you seek a breast lift only after you’ve decided to not have children and/or breastfeed or you’ve already had your desired amount of children.