A breast lift, also called a mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged or lost volume and firmness. The procedure corrects sagging that results from aging, heredity, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss. (1) A breast lift requires the removal of excess skin and reshaping of breast tissues for a higher raised profile. (1) This procedure can help to boost confidence diminished by changes in a woman’s body that can make her feel less attractive.
Time and gravity are the cause of changes in how breasts sit on a woman’s chest wall. They may not “bounce back” as they once did before. Or maybe breastfeeding and pregnancy have led to moderate ptosis, or sagging. Perhaps you’ve also lost a lot of weight, and you’re left with loose, droopy skin on the breasts. A breast lift can help restore your breast positioning, and create a tighter, perkier profile.
Dr. Bonillas and the team of Scottsdale Plastics have helped many women to renew their self-esteem with our personally customized breast lift procedures. If you are interested in learning if a breast lift is right for you, contact us today at our Scottsdale office at (480) 245-6380, or through our online contact form.
Before and After Photos
Breast lifts rejuvenate the breasts by trimming excess skin and tightening supporting tissues to achieve a more uplifted, ageless contour. After a mastopexy, the breasts are higher on the chest and firmer to the touch. Breast lifts can also reposition and reduce the size of the areola-the dark skin surrounding the nipple-which may have stretched or drooped.
Breast size does not change after a breast lift, nor does the fullness or roundness in the upper part of the breasts. Women who desire larger, smaller or more rounded breasts may want to consider a breast augmentation or breast reduction. (1)
You may consider a breast lift for a number of reasons such as: (1)
- Mild to severe ptosis
- A loss in breast shape
- Asymmetrical breasts
- Downward-projected areolas
- Nipples that fall below the breast crease
- One breast droops more severely than the other
Types of Breast Lifts
Three common breast lift techniques are: periareolar, vertical, and inverted-T. (2)
- Periareolar Breast Lift: Also referred to as the donut lift, the periareolar breast lift requires an incision in a circular shape around the outside edge of a patient’s areola. This breast lift is effective in treating mild ptosis and provides subtle lift. Scarring is minimal.
- Vertical Breast Lift: A vertical breast lift, also called a lollipop lift for the shape of the incision, treats breasts experiencing moderate sagging that would benefit from additional reshaping. This technique requires two incisions–one circular incision around the outer edge of a patient’s areola, and another vertically that travels from the breast center to the bottom of the areola to the breast crease, called the inframammary fold.
- Inverted -T Breast Lift: The inverted-T technique is ideal for patients experiencing severe ptosis in need of significant reshaping of the breast. This treatment requires three incisions--one outside the outer edge of the areola; one that travels down the breast center to the inframammary fold; and a third underneath the breast fold. The resulting incision takes the shape of an anchor.
Benefits of a breast lift procedure include:
- A firm and perky breast appearance
- Improved nipple projection
- Improved breast shape
- Less skin irritation
The best candidates for a breast lift are women whose breasts meet some or all of the following conditions:
- Breasts sag
- Breasts have lost shape or volume
- Breasts are flat, elongated, or pendulous (hanging)
- Breast skin and/or areola is stretched
- Nipples or areolas point downward
- Nipples or areolas are located in the breast crease when breasts are unsupported
- One breast is lower than the other
- Want to gain upper pole fullness in the breasts
It is also very important that breast lift candidates:
- Do not smoke
- Are generally healthy
- Maintain a stable weight
- Discuss realistic goals with their plastic surgeon
You may not be considered for mastopexy if you are an active smoker or if you seek volume change in addition to improved positioning. (2) For patients who desire increased volume in addition to lift, we will gladly provide additional information on mastopexy with augmentation.
Dr. Bonillas and the staff of Scottsdale Plastics have helped numerous patients to achieve an improvement in the contours of their breasts. In your consultation, we will discuss the challenges you currently experience with your breasts: sagging, breast shape, or areola positioning. We will also discuss your goals for undergoing the procedure, and examine your breasts to determine which breast lift technique may be right for you. We will then craft a personalized treatment plan. If you are interested in learning more about how a breast lift can improve the overall look and shape of your breasts-–and boost your confidence–contact us today at our Scottsdale office at (480) 245-6380, or through our online contact form. We also invite you to learn more about our work on our blog!
Adequate preparation is key to experiencing the best results possible. We advise you to follow pre- and post-recovery guidelines closely. To prepare, you should:
- Adjust medications as needed
- Take off one week of work for recovery
- Avoid smoking and nicotine-based products for at least three weeks prior to surgery
- Avoid blood-thinning medications, vitamins, and minerals two weeks prior to surgery–this includes NSAIDs, aspirin, ibuprofen, ginkgo biloba, St. John’s Wort, and Vitamin E
- Pre-arrange a trusted adult to drive you home after surgery and remain with you the first 24 hours afterwards as you transition to recovery
Mastopexy may be performed in a hospital, an outpatient surgery center, or Dr. Bonillas’ office-based facility. It is usually done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and lasts from 1 ½ to 3 ½ hours.
There are several types of incision methods that can be used when performing a breast lift. The technique a surgeon chooses depends on the patient’s:
- Degree of sagging
- Breast size and shape
- Amount of excess skin
- Skin quality and other factors
- Size and position of the nipples
The three most common incision types are two rings around the areola in a doughnut shape (small-incision mastopexy, generally only recommended for patients with small breasts and minimal sagging); around the areola and down to the breast crease in a lollipop shape; and the lollipop with an additional half-moon incision along the breast crease, in an anchor shape.
In all cases, breast lift surgery begins with administration of general anesthesia or local anesthesia and IV sedation. Dr. Bonillas makes the necessary incisions, and then he lifts and reshapes the breast tissue into its new, rejuvenated contour. He moves the nipple and areola higher on the breast mound and removes extra skin around the perimeter if the areola is enlarged. Finally, he trims the excess breast skin that resulted from poor elasticity. Stitches layered deep throughout the breast tissue support the lifted breasts.
When the mastopexy is complete, the skin is closed with stitches, tissue adhesive and/or surgical tape. Some of the incisions are hidden in the breast crease. Others will be visible. All scars will mature and fade with time.
After surgery, the breasts are wrapped with gauze dressings, and you may need to wear an elastic bandage or a surgical bra. After a few days, this is replaced with a soft support bra, which is worn 24 hours a day for about a month.
Dr. Bonillas will meet with you during your recovery for follow-up appointments. He wants to make sure every patient has the most comfortable recovery possible, for beautiful results!
The breasts will probably be bruised, swollen, and uncomfortable after surgery, but this will pass in a few days. Any numbness in the breasts and nipples should lessen as swelling subsides. Stitches are removed after one to two weeks, and many patients return to work then.
If you agreed on realistic goals with Dr. Bonillas, you should be very satisfied with the look of your lifted breasts. You will be able to see the results of your mastopexy immediately after surgery, and you may become even more satisfied as swelling goes down and incision lines fade.
Cost of a Breast Lift in Scottsdale
The cost of a breast lift will vary from patient to patient. A breast lift is considered an elective cosmetic procedure and therefore most likely won’t be covered by an insurance provider. We will be glad to provide you with an approximate estimate in a consultation.
- Ramanadham SR, Rose Johnson A. Breast Lift with and without Implant: A Synopsis and Primer for the Plastic Surgeon. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2020;8(10):e3057. Published 2020 Oct 28. doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000003057
- Bartow MJ, Raggio BS. Liposuction. [Updated 2022 Sep 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK563135/.