What is a Breast Lift / Mastopexy?
A woman’s breasts may develop ptosis (sagginess) for a variety of reasons such as age, gravity, weight changes, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and genetics. A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a procedure performed to restore the youthful appearance and contour to your breasts. It may be performed in conjunction with breast augmentation to achieve a fuller and uplifted appearance and to replace lost volume.
Who is an ideal candidate for breast lift surgery?
The first question to consider is if you plan on having additional children in the future. If so, a breast lift will need to wait until after that child. Why? Your breast size will again fluctuate, plus breastfeeding will affect volume. This will nullify the results you will have gained with your breast lift.
If you aren’t going to have any more children, see if the following descriptions sound like your breasts. If so, a breast lift could be a good procedure:
- Your breasts have lost their shape or volume
- Your breasts sag
- The skin on your breasts is stretched
- Your breasts are flat, elongated, or pendulous
- Your nipples point downward
- Your breasts are asymmetrical
It’s important to note that a breast lift doesn’t affect the size of the breasts; it simply brings them back up to a higher position. A lift doesn’t change the fullness or roundness in the upper portion of the breasts. If you want to add fullness or size, adding implants to the breast lift procedure will accomplish that.
How is the surgery performed?
Every woman has different patterns of sagging in her breasts. The larger the degree of sagging, the wider the base of the breasts becomes. This usually makes the breasts the most flattened, as well. Dr. Belz uses three incision patterns for this procedure, depending on your unique needs. During your consultation, she’ll explain the incision she thinks is right for you. Here are three options:
Also called a small-incision mastopexy, a donut-shaped incision is made around the areola. This method creates minimal visible scarring but is only appropriate for women with minimal sagging who don’t need much excess skin removed.
This incision circles the areola and then drops straight down, ending at the breast crease. This method allows for moderate removal of excess skin and fat.
This method circles the areola, drops down to the breast crease and then extends outward in both directions, similar to the shape of an anchor. The anchor incision allows for the most skin removal and tissue adjustment, but it also creates the largest scar.
In each method, Dr. Belz lifts and reshapes the breast tissue to compensate for sagging and stretching. The nipples and areolae are moved to a higher position to match the new profile of the breasts; extra skin can be removed around the areolae to make them smaller. The final step is to trim away excess sagging skin. If you’ve opted to augment your breasts, at this point pockets are created and the implants are placed using the incisions made for the lift.
Breast Lift Before & After
"About 3 months ago I underwent a breast lift and augmentation with Dr. Belz, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how I look! My end result is extremely natural-looking and I am in awe everyday of how great of a job she did!!
The evening of my surgery, as I was recuperating at home, Dr. Belz called me personally to check on me and to make sure I was not having any issues. You will not find another surgeon who does that sort of thing!
Her office staff is also amazing, professional and they too always make me feel so comfortable and at home while in their office.
I have recommended Dr. Belz to many of my friends and family members and I would never allow any of them to chose any other surgeon! You will not be disappointed in choosing Dr. Jessica Belz, and I know I will forever be choosing her for any other cosmetic and/or none surgical procedures in the future!"
- Gina T.
What are the benefits of breast lift surgery?
No one is a fan of the sagging tissue across our body that is a part of the aging process. Everything is a little looser, a little flatter, and sags more than our younger days. When this occurs on the breasts, it can really be depressing for a woman — our breasts are central to our body image. A breast lift with Dr. Belz will return your breasts to a higher position on the chest. It will remove excess sagging skin and fatty tissue. It will make your breasts look younger again. And if you choose to add implants to your lift, you can add the volume that you may be always wanted as well. Bottom line? These are satisfying procedures for women to push back the march of time.
What does a breast lift achieve?
These surgeries really have two goals. First, return the breasts back to a higher position on the chest, the position they held before pregnancy, breastfeeding, and aging took their toll. Second, remove the excess, sagging skin that has allowed the breast mass to accumulate toward the bottom of the breasts. Overall, higher, firmer breasts are the goal. Smaller areolae are usually also a goal.
What is the recovery process after surgery?
This surgery typically involves some lengthy incisions, especially if Dr. Belz uses the anchor incision. This will dictate a more involved recovery. For the first couple of days after your surgery, you’ll need pain medication. You will wear a surgical support bra for the first few days at home. A softer support bra that will need to be worn 24-hours-a-day for one month will replace this. Patients sometimes don’t follow this 24-hour plan, but Dr. Belz stresses the importance of it because it is critical to keep any stress off of your incisions during your initial month of healing.
The swelling will last a couple of weeks and will depend in part on your incision type. Most patients can return to work in about one week, but any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting needs to be avoided for six weeks after surgery. This is especially important for the activity that causes your breasts to move. By being prudent with this advice, your scar tissue can reach its maximum strength. This will also allow the scarring to fade more dramatically with time.
What will my scarring be like?
Breast lifts done with the lollipop or anchor incision methods create noticeable scarring on the bottom of the breasts. This will fade with time but is an inevitable part of this surgery.
Are Breast Lifts Painful?
Recovery does involve some pain, especially the first couple of days. This is inevitable with the amount of excess skin that Dr. Belz removes along with the tissue she repositions. Laying low and letting your body heal is helpful for your initial pain. Stay in bed. Sleep as much as you can. Let others do what needs to be done around the house.
Are Breast Lifts Safe?
These are major surgery, so breast lifts involve all of the risks inherent with surgery: excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, infection, reaction to anesthesia, and the like. Thanks to the experience and training of Dr. Belz and her team, these are rare.
The main risk with breast lifts is overly visible scarring. You will have scarring unless Dr. Belz uses the areola incision, but if you work hard to keep your breasts supported your incision scars can be very fine and they will continue to fade over time. However, if you don’t wear your support bra and get back to impact-related activities too soon, this can distort and enlarge your scars.
Is a breast lift covered by insurance?
This is considered elective surgery, and it is not covered by insurance.