The loss of tissue elasticity and the development of a “sagging” appearance in the breasts is very common. Fortunately, breast lift surgery is specifically designed to address these concerns and give the breasts a smoother, more youthful appearance. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Richard Zeff, MD, can meet with you to determine whether breast lift surgery is the right option for your needs and goals. If so, Dr. Zeff will create a customized treatment plan that can help you renew the appearance of your breasts with results that look both natural and beautiful.
- What Is a Breast Lift?
- Breast Lift Candidates
- The Pencil Test
- Breast Lift Procedure
- Breast Lift Recovery
- Breast Lift Results
- Breast Lift Scars
- Breast Lift Cost
- Breast Lift FAQs
What Is a Breast Lift?
A breast lift is a surgical procedure that addresses what’s known as “breast ptosis,” which is characterized by an excess of loose, inelastic skin that produces a sagging or drooping appearance. Also known as mastopexy, breast lift surgery involves lifting and tightening the breasts into a more youthful position. The procedure reduces excess tissue that is causing the breasts to descend further down the chest, and then pulls the remaining skin taut. The breasts are effectively lifted higher on the chest to improve projection, and carefully reshaped to produce a renewed contour.
Breast ptosis often develops due to the natural aging process; however, this common condition can also result from pregnancy and breastfeeding, genetic predisposition, weight fluctuations over time, and other factors. Breast lift surgery can directly address the effects of breast ptosis and rejuvenate the breasts with long-lasting results.
Am I a Candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?
Patients who are interested in breast lift surgery should consider the following questions:
- Are your breasts the desired size in your bra, but without a bra they are too low or flat?
- Does it look as though someone let the air out of your breasts?
- Do you wish you could put your breasts back up where they were before having children and gravity set in?
- Do your nipples and/or the majority of your breast-tissue hang lower than your breast creases?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, a breast lift may be appropriate for you. The only potential disappointment following breast lift surgery may be that the upper poles of the breasts are not as rounded or enhanced as they are with breast implant surgery.
“I would highly recommend Dr. Zeff to anyone looking for cosmetic surgery. I was so nervous, but Dr. Zeff and his staff answered all my questions thoroughly and helped me feel calm and prepared. My breast surgery was in March of 2008. I healed very well and best of all my results are wonderful. I love it! I feel great about the choice I made!”
Cindy – Derry, NH
The Pencil Test
Another simple way to determine whether your breasts may be in need of a breast lift is the pencil test. To perform this test, simply stand upright in front of a mirror with your shoulders back in a proper posture position. Without a bra on, take a pencil and slide it under the crease of your breast. When you stand up straight, does the pencil stay in place under your breast? If so, you may be a candidate for breast lift surgery. Be assured that not all patients whose pencil stays in place are in need of a breast lift. Our surgeon will be able to more accurately determine your breast lift needs at the time of your initial consultation.
What Is Breast Lift Surgery Like?
During the breast lift procedure, Dr. Zeff will create incisions on the breast and remove excess skin and tissue to lift and reshape the area. Breast lift incisions may be limited to the area around the nipple-areolar complex or may extend down to and include some of the crease beneath the breast, depending on the amount of lift necessary and the specific needs and goals of the patient as discussed during the pre-surgery consultation. In addition, the nipples are placed in a higher and more natural position. Once complete, the incisions are closed with sutures.
Breast lift surgery is most frequently performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia, so there should be no need for an overnight hospital stay.
Before & After
What Should I Expect During Breast Lift Recovery?
Some individuals are ready to resume normal daily routines after about one week of recovery at home following breast lift surgery; however, others may require at least two weeks. There will be some degree of bruising and swelling in the breasts after surgery, which should significantly dissipate as the treatment areas continue to heal. Soreness and discomfort during the recovery period can be alleviated with medication. Dr. Zeff advises breast lift patients to refrain from strenuous activities for several weeks following the procedure. Adherence to post-operative instructions can help ensure safe healing and a smooth recovery process.
How Long Do Breast Lift Results Last?
With proper skin care, sun protection, avoidance of tanning booths, and a healthy diet and lifestyle focused on minimizing weight fluctuations, many women can experience breast lift results that last years into the future. It is important to note that the natural aging process makes it impossible to completely prevent the possibility that the breasts will develop signs of sagginess again later in life; however, by taking some basic precautions, the results of breast lift surgery should continue for a very long period of time.
How Noticeable Are Breast Lift Scars?
The extent and visibility of breast lift scars can vary from one patient to another depending on the specific surgical technique utilized during the procedure. Patients who have milder degrees of sagging may be eligible for a technique that does not require extensive incisions; therefore, the residual scarring can be less noticeable. Individuals who have more pronounced degrees of sagginess in the breasts may need a breast lift that necessitates an incision from the nipple areas down to the crease under the breasts. This will result in a more noticeable scar; however, it should be noted that breast lift scars often become less visible over time. Dr. Zeff understands patients’ concerns about residual scarring and employs advanced suturing techniques to minimize their noticeability as much as possible.
How Much Does a Breast Lift Cost?
The price of this procedure can vary among patients due to the customized nature of breast lift surgery. Factors such as the specific breast lift technique utilized and other components will be taken into account for the final price. Once Dr. Zeff develops your treatment plan during the initial consultation, a member of our staff will calculate an estimate for your procedure that includes all associated costs and answer any questions you may have. Our practice accepts a comprehensive variety of payment methods, including plastic surgery financing arrangements through CareCredit®. These reputable lending firms offer qualified applicants an extensive selection of monthly payment plans that can make paying for breast lift surgery more affordable and convenient.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Lift Surgery
How long will I need to take off from work after my breast lift?
The answer to this question can vary significantly among patients based on their individual recovery experience. Many patients are able to resume non-strenuous work within one week after a breast lift procedure; however, some individuals will need more time for rest and recovery. There will be some soreness and discomfort immediately following your surgery that resting for several days can help resolve. While it can take several weeks for the majority of swelling to dissipate, most patients are able to resume many of their normal daily routines during this time.
Can I breastfeed after a breast lift?
Most patients who are naturally capable of breastfeeding before a breast lift procedure should be able to nurse after the procedure, as well. However, it is important to convey your wishes about future breastfeeding to our plastic surgeon during the consultation so he can create the treatment plan in a way that utilizes techniques designed to avoid interference with the milk ducts and other structures necessary for breastfeeding. In general, our doctor often recommends that patients wait to have breast lift surgery until after they have finished nursing their children since pregnancy and breastfeeding can have an effect on the aesthetic results.
Can I get a breast lift without surgery?
Breast lift surgery is typically the most ideal option for women who want to effectively improve the appearance of breasts affected by ptosis and sagging skin. There are no “natural breast lift” exercises or other types of treatment that can provide results as significant as a surgical breast lift when it comes to reducing excess skin or enhancing the position and projection of the breasts.
How painful is a breast lift?
It is common for most surgical procedures to cause some degree of discomfort and soreness during the recovery process. Breast lift surgery will generally produce a certain extent of tenderness, bruising, and swelling in the initial weeks following your procedure. Oral medication for pain can help manage discomfort until these effects fully dissipate as the area heals.
How can I reduce swelling after a breast lift?
You will be provided with a compression garment that assists in the recovery process and helps maintain the results of the breast lift procedure while the treatment areas heal. There are also many things you can do to help aid your recovery and reduce swelling in the breasts. Limiting physical and strenuous activities during your recovery period can help control swelling and discomfort. Additionally, refraining from excessively hot showers and baths can help because hot water and pressure can increase swelling.
Patients can also help reduce swelling in the breasts following surgery by minimizing the amount of salt in their diet. Consuming excess amounts of salt can trigger your body to maintain more water, which can lead to more swelling. Sticking to a healthy diet that includes more fruits, vegetables, antioxidants, and protein- and vitamin-rich foods while avoiding or reducing salt intake can be very beneficial.
Schedule an Appointment
We look forward to hearing from you! Feel free to contact our plastic surgery center today if you are interested in learning more about breast lift surgery, and ask about our convenient and affordable financing options.