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1080 Beecher Crossing N, Suite A
Gahanna, Ohio 43230
Fax: 855–687–6227

Ohio Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Procedure: What to Expect

Breast lift, known also as mastopexy, is a plastic surgery procedure done to make sagging breasts firmer and more aesthetically pleasing. Through it, drooping nipples and stretched areolas are repositioned and breast tissues are tightened.

The nipple’s natural position is generally considered to be above the breast crease or inframammary fold. When natural processes such as aging, pregnancy, and weight loss occur, they can cause breast skin to stretch leading to the nipple’s descent below the crease. The phenomenon, known as nipple ptosis, can be satisfactorily addressed with a breast lift.

At Midwest Breast & Aesthetic Surgery, we focus on cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries of the breast. Our surgeons are proud to be recognized as some of the top plastic surgeons in the country and are comfortable handling the full spectrum of breast surgeries, ranging from primary cosmetic procedures such as smaller breast lifts to complex corrective operations to improve symmetry and shape. [div class=”clear”][end-div]

4 Types of Breast Lift

  1. Crescent Lift
    The least invasive type of breast lift, this involves making a small incision that runs around the top half of the nipple and areola complex. The small amount of sagging is corrected with this type.
  2. Periareolar Lift
    Also known as a doughnut lift, the cut for this type runs along the areola of the nipple while the excess skin is removed. This is perfect for women with slightly sagging breasts.
  3. Lollipop Lift
    Most suited for women with moderate breast sagging, lollipop breast lifts involve 2 incisions: one circling the areola and the other extending downward, imitating a lollipop-shaped scar – hence the name.
  4. Anchor Lift
    This type of mastopexy gives the most amount of excess skin removal and lift. Incisions of this type are anchor-shaped, circling around the areola, extending vertically towards the lower part of the breast, and then finally running horizontally along the breast crease. This type of lift can address cases with more substantial breast sagging. It can also prove useful for tightening the breast if sagging is the result of major weight loss.

Breast Lift Scarring

Unfortunately, breast lifts result in scars on the breast. These scars involve a simple circular scar on the nipple and areola complex for more limited lifts. There may be additional scarring extending vertically downwards from the nipple and horizontally near the lower breast crease depending on the type of cut made for more extensive lifts. The scars that are located around the nipple and areola are circular in shape and mimic the natural transition of color and skin texture that naturally exists in this location. The scars located on the lower part of the breast skin are usually visible but tend to fade significantly over time. Since these scars are on the lower part of the breast, they are easily concealed by bras and bikinis and not visible by even low cut V-neck tops. 

Breast Lift Recovery

The recovery period for breast lift patients can range from 2 to 4 weeks depending on the extent of the surgery. Most patients can return to work and resume normal activities as early as a week after. The doctors of Midwest Breast & Aesthetic Surgery advise our patients to refrain from performing strenuous activities before the 4th week of recovery.

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Breast Lift Frequently Asked Questions

Breast Lift vs Breast Augmentation?

Breast lift addresses sagging problems while breast augmentation is primarily for increasing breast size. A common misconception about breast lift surgery is that it can be used to add fullness to the upper half of the breast. Without implants or fat grafting, an isolated breast lift surgery generally will not add significant volume to this area. For this reason, it is sometimes necessary to combine a breast lift with implant placement.

While breast augmentation is primarily for increasing breast size, placement of an implant under the breast can provide a small lift of the nipple position and increase the tightness of the skin by filling it out with volume. These lifting effects are limited, however, and breast lift surgery may need to be added to achieve an acceptable final nipple position and breast shape. With surgeons who specialize in plastic surgery of the breast, Midwest Breast and Aesthetic Surgery can help patients come up with a custom plan that is best for them.

Breast Lift vs Breast Reduction?

Breast lift surgery is similar to in two ways: Both involve repositioning the nipple to a more favorable location and tightening the breast skin. It is the removal of breast tissue during breast reduction surgery which sets the two apart. Breast lift surgery does not remove breast tissue, therefore, it is not intended to reduce the breast size. However, tightening of the skin and repositioning of the nipple can lead to a slight reduction of overall breast size. It is not uncommon to lose approximately half a cup size after breast lift surgery alone. For this reason, in some cases, the patient may consider the addition of volume at the same time by placing a small implant under the breast or using fat grafting into the upper breast.

Am I a good candidate for a breast lift?

Breast lifts are perfect for women with sagging breasts that are elongated or pendulous in shape. Stretched areolas and nipples pointing downwards are also signs of being a good candidate for the procedure.

There is no age limit for breast lifts, but it is a requirement for patients to have fully-developed breasts. As long as their physical characteristics match those mentioned above and they are at least 18 years of age, patients are free to undergo the procedure.

Patients should be in good physical and mental health as well to be qualified for a breast lift. As mentioned below, active smoking and/or use of nicotine products are prohibited as they can interfere with wound healing and limit blood flow to the tissues.

What are the common risks associated with a breast lift?

As with any other surgery, a breast lift entails potential complications. Some of the most common risks include infection, uneven nipples, numbness, and breast asymmetry.

Will a breast lift change my breast shape?

Breast lift surgery tightens the skin and repositions the nipple to a more central location on the breast. In doing so, it can make elongated or pendulous breasts rounder and more youthful in appearance. One misconception about breast lift surgery, however, is that it can add fullness to the upper part of the breast. Instead, implants or fat grafting, are usually necessary to achieve improved fullness and increase volume in the cleavage area. These procedures can be combined with a breast lift in some cases.

How do I prepare for a breast lift?

Certain medications such as Advil and herbal supplements are to be stopped as well.

Smoking is strictly prohibited before a breast lift. We advise our patients to stop smoking for at least 2 months before the day of the surgery to promote better blood flow to the tissue and healing of the incisions.

Patients should also keep a positive and realistic mindset as they go through the procedure. Keeping a healthy and positive lifestyle contributes to the improvement of the surgery and recovery.

How long does a breast lift usually take?

A breast lift usually takes approximately 1-2 hours and performed either using general anesthesia or local anesthesia and IV sedation. Smaller lifting procedures, such as the crescent and doughnut lifts, are shorter in duration and require less anesthesia and overall recovery. The process involves repositioning the nipple and the surrounding areolar skin to a higher position on the breast, at or above the lower breast crease. During the procedure, some stretched skin may also be removed for tighter-looking breasts. If breast tissue is removed, it is usually a very small amount.

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How long will the bruising and swelling last after my breast lift operation?

Patients can expect bruising and be swelling to increase in the first 3 days immediately following surgery. It gradually resolves after 2-3 weeks as patients go further in their recovery.

Do I have to wear a surgical bra? If so, how long?

A supportive garment, such as a sports bra with light to moderate compression is recommended after surgery. This should be worn at all times (except when bathing) for 3 weeks. Following this period, the patient can transition to daily supportive garments, but she may not be able to tolerate ones with an underwire for several weeks after surgery.

When am I allowed to start exercising?

Patients should refrain from heavy exercise for 4-6 weeks after their breast lift. Exercise can bring pressure to the surgical site and consequently impede healing. Still, patients are encouraged to move about and to put in the time for light exercise such as brisk walking beginning a week into recovery.

Is it normal that my nipples feel numb and hypersensitive?

Most patients experience numbness after a breast lift – which is completely normal. It is rarely permanent and gradually improves over the next 6-12 weeks.  Change in nipple sensation may also occur but only temporarily.

Does a breast lift affect breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is possible after a breast lift. Since it only deals with lifting the skin, there is little to no damage to breast ducts that happens during the procedure.

When can I travel after a breast lift?

Patients should wait approximately 7-10 days after the surgery before traveling by plane, train, or long car rides to avoid the risk of blood clotting. If long-distance travel is necessary, frequent breaks and compression of the legs can help alleviate problems.

When am I allowed to take a bath or go swimming after a breast lift?

Showering is allowed a day after the surgery. We discourage our patients from immersing their breasts in pools, Jacuzzis, and tub baths until the incisions are fully healed and sealed. This usually occurs 4-6 weeks after the surgery.

Request Your Consultation

To learn more about breast lift, you can schedule an appointment online or you can call 855-687-6227

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*The information available on this page was created to educate our patients. It is not an alternative for a formal consultation with a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Individual results vary per patient. For more information, we strongly recommend scheduling a consultation with our doctors.