What is a Breast Lift?

Breast marking for surgery

A breast lift is of course, one of the procedures that can be combined with others in a mommy makeover. It’s also known as a mastoplexy. A mastoplexy is a procedure used to raise the breast by getting rid of excess skin and tightening the tissue to reform the contour of the breast. The nipples are then moved higher up on the chest wall. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the 2015 statistics say that the average cost of a breast lift is approximately $4,419. According to an American Board of Cosmetics surgery survey, the cost of a breast lift in the United States averages between $3,000-$12,000 nationwide.

Good breast lift candidates:

  • maintain a steady weight
  • have breasts that are unusually shaped
  • are any age as long as their breast development has finished
  • are non-smokers
  • have long, flat, downward pointing, sagging, and deflated breasts
  • are done having children
  • have breasts with very large areolas
  • have nipples that point downward
  • have breasts that are different lengths

Additional Information about Breast Lifts

The surgery itself takes around three hours to complete. It is a typically an outpatient procedure, meaning there are no overnight stays in the hospital. Along with the breast lift, some women may also get their breasts augmented, i.e. get breast implants at the same time. Breast lifts are thought of as cosmetic surgery by insurance companies, so they are not normally covered. But, if you need a breast reduction, and it is covered by your insurance, a breast lift is included with it.

Possible Complications and Breast Lift Longevity

Complications with breast lifts seldom occur. If they happen to occur, they would include infection, scarring, and bleeding. Even though the results of a breast lift last for years, some women do choose to get a second procedure to improve the look of their breasts. The second procedure would be a less lengthy procedure as compared to the first one. With breast lift surgery changes can occur with subsequent pregnancies or with major weight loss. Pregnancy can reverse, undo, or minimize the work of a breast lift.

Over the years gravity and advancing in years will cause continual breast changes. The results of a breast lift will last longer if you continue to follow a healthy diet and exercise, along with your doctor’s instructions. With a breast lift, just like with a breast augmentation or reduction, you will have scars. Scars should be something to be expected.

Breasts Marked for Surgery

Types of breast lifts

As with other types of plastic surgery, there are many types of breast lifts. The type of technique used to perform a breast lift depends on several variables:

  • the amount of breast tissue a candidate has
  • how much excess skin needs to be removed
  • the objectives and aspirations of the candidate

Below are the different methods of breast lift surgery.

The Crescent Lift

This lift is used for minor sagging. This procedure also comes with only minimal scarring. In this method, a small incision is made halfway around the top part of the areola. This procedure is also sometimes used in breast augmentations.

The Donut Lift

Also called the peri-areolar, this method is also used for cases with minor sagging. It only leaves a single scar. Good candidates for this type of lift have only a minimal amount of sagging and for them a breast lift would still have some benefit. An incision is made around the areola like the crescent lift. This incision, which is on the edge of the areola, is the only scar. The donut lift is also used in breast augmentations like the crescent lift. Plastic surgeons also use the donut lift to make the size of the areola smaller.

Unwrapping a post-op breast lift

The Lollipop Lift

This lift is also referred to as the vertical lift. It is a commonly used breast lift technique. With this procedure, it enables the whole breast to be reshaped with only moderate scarring. There are two incisions in the vertical lift, one around the areola and the second one from the bottom of the areola to the fold at the bottom of the breast. The two incisions together form a lollipop shape, thus the nickname.

The Anchor Lift

This technique is also called an inverted T. It is the method used to correct the most severe cases of sagging and it also leaves the most scars. This type of lift involves three different incisions. The first one is around the areola. The second incision goes from the areola to the breast fold. The third incision goes under the breast along the breast fold. This is the technique used when having a breast reduction along with a breast lift. Even though there is significant scarring with this procedure, the scars tend to fade with time and a bikini top can still be worn.

Recovery Time

Recovery time from a breast lift depends on your job. Some women return to work a week after their surgery, but they have to refrain from any other exercise other than walking for 2 to 6 weeks. These time frames are dependent upon the mommy makeover doctor’s instructions. 

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