What is a Breast Lift?
This is an in-office, outpatient, breast surgery to lift sagging, deflated breasts aimed at creating a more youthful look. The procedure includes:
- Lifting the droopy skin and sagging breasts, then filling them with implants to achieve an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
- Correcting the pointing down of the nipples to a more correct forward position.
- Correcting uneven, asymmetrical, droopy breasts after pregnancy and after breast feeding in an effort to achieve a more visually pleasing lifted breast and nipples.
When are Breasts labeled as “sagging”?
A breast is considered saggy if one or both of the following scenarios are present:
- Nipple that is pointing downward instead of forward. In more extreme cases, the nipple may appear to be hanging from the bottom of the breast.
- Nipple that is located below the inframammary fold. Inframammary fold is a crease that is located between the breast tissue and the front of the ribcage. The “pencil test” is a rough method of estimating the position of the nipple.
If one places a pencil in the direction that is parallel to the floor into their inframammary crease, and the nipple appears to be below the level of the pencil, then the breast is considered saggy, and mastopexy will most likely be required to correct this.
Is there a nonsurgical way to correct sagging breasts?
Botox can actually be used to temporarily improve mildly sagging breasts. Ultherapy, which is a focused external ultrasound treatment, can tighten the skin surrounding the breasts, which in turn can help moderately lift the breasts. However, in most situations where the breasts are sagging and deflated, a breast lift surgery is the only way to permanently and effectively lift the breasts and restore that youthful appearance.
What does a breast lift accomplish?
- Lifting the breast to a more youthful position
- Placing the areola in a more desirable position
- Adding volume and lift with the use of an implant
- Giving a patient new personal confidence and self esteem
How is a breast lift completed?
Your surgeon will surgically lift the breast and surrounding tissue, including the areola, to restore the youthful appearance of your breasts.
What will happen during a breast lift surgical procedure?
Immediately prior to surgery several markings are placed on the skin of the breasts. These markings act as the surgeon’s guide during the procedure. After the effects of the general anesthesia set in, a local anesthetic is injected into the surgical site in an effort to fully anesthetize the surgical site and keep bleeding to a minimum. Thin incisions are made to gain access to the structures to be addressed. Then, as previously discussed, changes are made to raise the nipple-areola-complex to a higher and anatomically pleasing position. Breast implants are often inserted to provide the breast with additional fullness as needed and desired. The incisions are meticulously sutured with thin dissolving sutures. Steri-Strips and bandages are temporarily placed over the incisions.
How long will breast lift surgery take?
Typically, a breast lift takes about three hours. It can be less or more time, depending on the patient.
How many sessions are needed for optimal results?
Usually most surgical procedures are done only once, but there are some circumstances where follow-up surgery may be necessary in an effort to achieve ideal symmetry and appearance.
Where will the surgery be completed, in a hospital?
No, we have our own in-house surgical suites for your convenience, located in our Chicagoland clinics.
What happens after a breast lift?
Rest, no exertion is recommended. We recommend that you sleep with your head elevated for few days. Any aspirin and smoking are not recommended (this can’t be emphasized enough). Cold compresses should be applied periodically for 48 hours posts surgery, and your supportive bra should be worn for six-to-eight weeks after surgery.
When can I resume normal activities after a breast lift?
Normally between two and three weeks following your breast lift.
Frequently Asked Questions
After a breast lift will your breasts be smaller?
This is a common question. That may depend on whether a breast implant will be used during your procedure.
Are the breast lift scars permanent?
We try and hide the scars the best we can in creases, folds and the areola. But you must remember that any scar is permanent. Each patient heals differently. You know your body best. If your scars heal well, then the same will probably hold true with your breast lift surgery. The vast majority of our patients tell us their new breasts are more than worth the scars the surgery leaves behind.
Where are the incisions placed?
It will depend on the degree of sagging. Normally, one scar will be placed on the rim of the areola, while another scar will extend vertically from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease. In cases of severe sagging, another horizontal incision beneath the breast in the breast crease may be necessary.
How long will the breast lift results last?
Normally, surgical procedures produce a permanent change and should not require additional surgery. Office procedures like Botox and Ultherapy will require periodic maintenance treatments.
What are some of the risks associated with a breast lift?
Some mild risks are temporary bruising, pain, discomfort, swelling, scarring and potential asymmetry. Any other side effects are rare, and if they should occur, will most likely be temporary.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO PREPARE FOR A BREAST LIFT?
You will first need a thorough consultation, where one of our breast specialists at the Liposuction and Cosmetic Surgery Institute will examine and measure the breasts. Then a mammogram will be performed to gain a precise knowledge of the anatomy of the and health of the breasts. Any associated medical problems such as diabetes and hypertension must be under control and proper physicians should be seen preoperatively. All blood thinning medication such as aspirin and Motrin should be stopped 10 days prior to the procedure. Also, patients should abstain from alcohol and tobacco before and after the procedure, as these products can affect the final outcome and healing of the scars.
CAN YOU BREASTFEED AFTER BREAST SURGERY?
Yes, it is a common misconception that you cannot. You can breastfeed after breast lift surgery since the surgery does not entail compromising the breast glands.
DO YOU NEED ANOTHER BREAST LIFT AFTER HAVING A CHILD?
Usually, no, unless there has been an extreme weight gain during pregnancy.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WAIT AFTER HAVING A BABY TO HAVE BREAST LIFT SURGERY?
Since your breasts will be shrinking after you stop breastfeeding, it is best to wait at least six months until old swelling and engorgement of the glands in the breast have finally subsided.
YOU HAVE LARGE DILATED VEINS ON YOUR BREASTS AFTER PREGNANCY, CAN YOU GET RID OF THEM?
Yes, the process is called varicose vein sclerotherapy. Please read about sclerotherapy in the vein section of this website. We have treated thousands of patients on-site with scleroptherapy, and the results are immediate. The injection is performed with a very tiny needle and the material injected is as sclerosing solution. Other than possible slight and temporary bruising, it is a painless, noninvasive procedure.
IF I WANT TO LOSE MORE WEIGHT SHOULD I WAIT THEN DO BREAST LIFT?
It’s up to you. Many of our patients will go ahead and have the breast lift and implant surgery while they are slowly losing weight but some may elect to lose the weight and then have the mastopexy
WHO IS NOT A CANDIDATE FOR A BREAST LIFT?
All patients qualify, except for those who are pregnant, breast-feeding, on blood thinners or are experiencing any type of infection.
SINCE GRAVITY IS RELENTLESS, WHY SHOULD YOU EVEN BOTHER WITH A LIFT?
Yes, gravity is here to stay. But we can offer an effective way to fight gravity, thanks to a breast lift.
HOW MUCH DOWNTIME COMES WITH A BREAST LIFT?
Normally a minimum of one week for initial recovery but expect closer to two weeks for all swelling and bruising to subside.
DO MY SCARS AFTER BREAST LIFT SURGERY FADE AWAY?
Your scars will gradually fade away and blend in with the adjacent skin. While they may never completely go away, they will fade and blend in significantly.
WHAT ARE THE AGE REQUIREMENTS FOR A BREAST LIFT?
There is no age limit, as you are never too old for beautiful breasts, as long as you are in good health.
However we normally like to wait until you’re at least 21 years old because the breasts have normally matured at that point, but if your breasts are sagging, you’re a candidate. We do not treat anyone under the age of 18.
WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS USED WHEN A BREAST LIFT IS PERFORMED?
Usually general anesthesia is used for a breast lift.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT BREAST SAGGING ESPECIALLY AFTER PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING?
Unfortunately, not much. There are supportive bras that can help lessen the sagging, but even the effects of these bras are minimal. Only surgery can restore your breasts to that youthful look after pregnancy. Do not fall into the trap and try creams, lotions and/or supposed miracle pills. They simply will not work.
WHAT IS A DONUT LIFT?
A donut lift pertains to the location of the incision, which is circumareolar, meaning the incisions are at the 360° periphery inside the areola of both breasts.
WHAT IS A LOLLIPOP LIFT?
This is a lift with a lollipop shaped incision with a round circle area lower incision plus every vertical component descending from the lower part of the areola straight down the breast crease. This procedure is best for those with a moderate sagging of the breasts
WHAT IS AN ANCHOR LIFT?
This is a very common incision for those with moderate to severe sagging of the breasts, and like the lollipop incision plus a horizontal component inside the breast crease. This gives the incision an anchor look.
ARE THERE MANY KINDS OF SAGGING BREASTS?
Yes, true ptosis is apparent when the level of the nipples are below the inframammary crease. The other form of ptosis, pseudo-ptosis, is visible when the nipples are above or at the inframammary crease but the bottom of the breast is still sagging.
WHAT DOES PTOSIS OF THE BREASTS MEAN?
Ptosis is simply the medical term for sagging breasts.
WHAT DOES A BREAST LIFT COST?
The breakdown of the starting costs is as follows (other factors can affect price, so it’s best to schedule a consultation to get a definite price):
- Surgeon’s professional fee: $4000, which includes all pre and post operative visits
- The facility fee is $2800, which includes the operating room time and the surgical supplies
- For anesthesia, recovery room, medications and surgical supplies expect about $2500.
- Receiving a saline or silicone implant will also affect the price, somehwere between $1000 and $3000
These are our customary prices. Occasionally we have special pricing for our VIP clients. To become a VIP client simply text “LIPODOC” to the number 36000 and follow the instructions.
CAN A BREAST LIFT FIX UNEVEN BREASTS?
You were born with uneven breasts, one looks perfect and the other one sags and looks completely different than the other one. Can this be fixed?
Yes, at the liposuction and Cosmetic Surgery Institute of Chicago we have encountered many asymmetrical breasts. This can be corrected by lifting the sagging breast and placing implants in one or both breasts to create as close to symmetry as possible. We never promise complete symmetry between breasts, but the professionals at the Liposuction and Cosmetic Surgery in Chicago have become proficient in getting once asymmetrical breasts as symmetrical as possible.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM A BREAST LIFT?
- Anyone whose breasts have drooped as a result of weight loss.
- Anyone who lost the youthful shape and volume of the breasts after breastfeeding.
- Anyone looking to increase self-esteem and general feeling of well being.
- Anyone who experiences genetic, excessive skin laxity of the breasts.
- Anyone who develops breast sagging after hormonal decline.
- Anyone who suntanned frequently, which resulted in excessive laxity of the breast skin.
- Anyone with an eating disorder who has lost and gained weight multiple times in her life
WHAT ARE THE SURGICAL PROCEDURE OR INCISION OPTIONS?
There are basically three different surgical approaches aimed lifting and volumizing sagging breasts.
- The doughnut incision. This is an incision around the areola, usually reserved for patients with only mild sagging.
- The lollipop. This approach is for mild to moderate sagging. It implements a vertical incision to help lift the areola into a more natural looking place.
- The anchor. This procedure is for a more extreme deflation and sagging breast. It utilizes an anchor shaped incision, which is just like the two above, but it has a horizontal inferior incision inside the breast crease.
HOW COMMON IS BREAST LIFT SURGERY?
Breast lift mastopexy is a common cosmetic breast surgery. In the USA alone more than 100,000 breast lift surgeries are performed every year. The number of breast lift surgeries performed at the Liposuction and Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Chicago have increased dramatically in the past decade
BREAST LIFT WITH IMPLANTS?
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the breast lift with breast implant procedure.
How do I know that I need an implant or not?
The only way to know is to have a thorough consultation and breast examination with one of our breast specialists at the Liposuction and Cosmetic Surgery Institute.
If my breasts are sagging a lot can I get away with just breast implants?
Unfortunately, no, our surgeons would be doing you a disservice. Breast lift mastopexy in conjunction with small to moderate breast implant is what we recommend.
You want your breasts firmer and larger after the breast lift, can it be done?
Yes, many patients desire to have fuller larger and firmer breasts after breast lift surgery. In those situations a previously predetermined breast implant is inserted in the breast at the time of the breast lift mastopexy.
Can you have a breast lift without any implants?
Yes, but it depends on your ideal result. If you’re looking for full, firm, youthful breasts, we recommend getting an implant.
You heard you can lift sagging breasts with just implants? Is this true?
Partly true. It is possible, but it certainly depends on the degree to which the breasts are sagging and how much lift you desire.
When do I know that breast augmentation alone with implants will not correct my sagging breasts?
Usually when the nipples are at or below the inframammary crease (this is the lower fold of the breast where the lower part of your breast meet your chest wall), you know a breast lift is necessary.
You want your breasts after the lift a little smaller, not larger, can that be done?
Yes, of course, this depends how much skin we remove and what size implant we use, if we use an implant at all.
If you lose weight after a breast lift with implants what will happen to your breasts?
It depends how much weight. If you lose more than 50 pounds, you may notice more sagging, and your implant may be visible. In this case, a revision surgery is necessary.