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Breast Lift

  • Length of Treatment:2.5-3 hours
  • Anesthesia: IV Sedation
  • In Patient / Out Patient: In most cases, outpatient
  • Potential Side Effects/Risks: Temporary numbness, discomfort, swelling, bruising, dry skin. Permanent scarring.
  • Time off Work: Usually one week
  • Physical Activity: About one month
  • How Long Results Last: Variable. Gravity, aging, and pregnancy can all affect result duration

What Is a Breast Lift?

Many factors can contribute to the sagging of the breasts – weight fluctuations, pregnancy, nursing, the aging process. But no matter what their cause, sagging breasts can make many women feel self-conscious, insecure, or embarrassed about their bodies. Dr. James E. Vogel and Dr. Carrie Houssock can perform a breast lift to restore what nature has taken away or enhance the original breast shape—all while improving the patient’s spirit. Breast lift surgery, medically referred to as mastopexy, is designed to reduce sagging, raise the position of the breasts on the chest wall, and remove excess skin. The lift is created by tightening the envelope of breast skin and elevating the nipple position. The areola size can also be reduced with this procedure.

What Are the Benefits of Breast Lift Surgery?

A breast lift is primarily used to correct any sagging of the breasts, improving their overall shape in the process. The advantages of breast lift surgery may include:

  • Removal of excess skin
  • Elevated position of the breasts
  • Repositioned nipples
  • Resized areolas
  • A firmer, “perkier,” more youthful appearance

While a breast lift can dramatically improve the shape and firmness of the breasts, the procedure is not designed to add volume or increase the size of the breasts. Patients seeking to enhance the look of their breasts in these ways may be good candidates for a breast lift combined with breast augmentation. For these patients, breast augmentation is performed at the same time as their lift to provide fullness in the upper portion of the breast and to compensate for the loss of volume that occurs with the removal of breast skin. Augmentation and lifting of the breast, when done simultaneously, is called augmentation mastopexy.

Who Is a Candidate for Breast Lift?

Women who seek breast lift surgery typically wish to address sagging caused by pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations, significant weight loss, or simply the natural aging process. A breast lift can correct moderate to severe sagging of the breasts as well as rejuvenate the appearance of the nipple-areolar complex. Dr. Vogel and Dr. Houssock typically recommend women wait until they have finished breastfeeding and have maintained a stable weight before scheduling a breast lift. While pregnancy after breast lift surgery is considered safe for the child and the mother, our plastic surgeons also recommend women wait until they no longer plan to have anymore children, as pregnancy and breastfeeding can compromise the results of the procedure. A breast lift with or without augmentation can also be combined with other procedures for optimal contouring effect – for example, many patients that undergo breast lift also choose to supplement their results with liposuction or a tummy tuck.

What Happens During the Breast Lift Procedure?

Our plastic surgeons customize each breast lift depending upon the patient’s unique goals and concerns. There are a number of techniques that can be used, though most procedures will begin with an incision hidden along the edge of the areola that will extend downward toward the breast crease. During the procedure, any excess skin will be removed, the breasts will be lifted to a more youthful position on the chest wall, and the position of the nipples can be adjusted as well as the size of the areolas. Afterward, the breasts should have a firmer, perkier appearance with a more youthful shape.

What is the Recovery after Breast Lift Like?

Patients can expect mild swelling, soreness, and bruising in the days immediately following breast lift surgery. Oral pain medication can be used to easily manage these side effects, which should begin to resolve within a few days. Most breast lift patients return to work within one week. Dr. Vogel recommends breast lift patients avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for about four weeks after surgery. As residual swelling continues to dissipate and the healing process comes to completion, patients can see the final results of their breast lift procedure.

Does Breast Lift Surgery Leave Scars?

While Dr. Vogel and Dr. Houssock work carefully to keep incisions as hidden as possible, you should expect a certain degree of visible scarring to remain once your incisions have healed. Fortunately, as scar tissue matures its color fades and texture flattens, which can dramatically reduce visibility over time. The exact location and prominence of your scars will depend upon the technique your surgeon used (where the incisions were made) and how well your skin heals. To promote optimal incision healing it is critical to:

  • Abstain from smoking and any nicotine products as directed by Dr. Vogel and Dr. Houssock.
  • Attend all post-operative appointments so that your surgeon can track your healing progress and provide additional wound attention if necessary.
  • Take your antibiotics as prescribed to prevent infection.
  • Follow all post-operative incision care instructions carefully and keep dressings clean.
  • Keep incisions and healing scar tissue out of the sunlight at all times.

During your consultation, you are welcome to examine before-and-after pictures of our patients to see what their scars and results look like. For the majority of patients, residual scarring is a small downside rather than a primary concern, especially given the significant improvements they are able to achieve in breast positioning and shape.

How Long Does a Breast Lift Last?

Breast lift results are not guaranteed to last a particular length of time—some patients experience minimal changes over time, while others may desire a follow-up procedure after a few years. Your rate of aging, skin/tissue quality, and overall health, combined with the effects of weight gain/loss and gravity, will cause results to evolve at a pace that’s unique to you. The technique used to accomplish your breast lift can also influence the longevity of your results. Most patients say their breasts experience a more graceful aging process following a breast lift. If long-lasting results are a priority, your surgeon may recommend certain lift techniques or suggest the placement of breast implants.

Is it Possible to Achieve a Breast Lift without Surgery?

Unfortunately, there are no special chest exercises or non-surgical techniques that can replicate the results of a breast lift. While there may be claims that “breast lift exercises” are an effective alternative to surgery, the reality is that strengthening the pectoral muscles cannot address drooping caused by stretched, aging skin and breast tissue. Excess skin and depleted breast volume must be surgically corrected by a board-certified plastic surgeon to elevate the position of the breasts on the chest wall and restore a more youthful shape.

How Much Does a Breast Lift Cost?

Since each breast lift surgery is custom-tailored, the price may vary from case to case; however, the average cost for breast lift surgery at our practice is typically between $9,000 and $10,500. Common factors that may influence the price of a breast lift include the technique used during surgery, the complexity of the procedure, hospital and anesthesia fees, the experience of the plastic surgeon, and the geographic location of the practice. At the conclusion of the preliminary consultation, you will receive an accurate price quote for your breast lift. If interested, you can choose from one of our plastic surgery financing options to receive installment plans with low monthly payments as well as little to no interest loans. To learn more about these options, please inquire with one of our knowledgeable staff members.

If you would like more information about breast lift surgery with or without breast augmentation, please contact our office today.

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