A breast lift, or mastopexy, removes excess skin and tightens surrounding tissue of the breasts which raises them to a higher position, improves their shape, and enhances support and firmness with or without the use of breast implants. There are plenty of factors which can affect the volume and position of your breasts including pregnancy, weight changes, and aging. Breast lifts can be rewarding for women experiencing varying degrees of drooping and the team at Denver Breast can provide you with the solutions you desire.
A breast lift raises the breasts to a more youthful and “perky” position on the chest. This includes moving the areola to a higher position on each breast and assuring their proper, symmetrical placement. There are many reasons women choose to undergo a mastopexy including:
- Elongated, flat, or stretched breasts
- Ptosis (breast sagging)
- Uneven breasts
- Enlarged or downward pointing areolas
- Low nipples (at or below the breast crease)
A 2015 study conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons concluded that the number of breast lifts performed in the United States is up 89% since 2000, resulting in just under 100,000 surgeries nationwide.
As with breast augmentation, breast lift surgery offers multiple incision types based on the state of a patient’s and their desired results. The incision types are as follows:
Crescent Incision: The crescent incision is created by a short line along the upper half of the areola. This is the least invasive breast lift method, but it is not commonly used since it cannot accomplish the same degree of lift as other incision types. A crescent incision is most often used in conjunction with a breast augmentation in women whose breasts have only a small degree of sagging.
Periareolar/Donut Incision: Made around the perimeter of the areola, these incisions are most effective when there is a mild to moderate degree of breast sagging. However, when the periareolar incision is used by a skilled cosmetic surgeon in conjunction with a breast augmentation, it can still produce great results for patients whose breasts have more pronounced sagging.
Keyhole/Lollipop Incision: As alluded to by its name, this incision makes the shape of a keyhole or lollipop. It wraps around the perimeter of the areola and then drops down to the breast crease. This technique produces the best results for moderate sagging that cannot be sufficiently helped by a periareolar technique. The vertical incision helps to achieve a more conical breast shape.
The Anchor Incision: Anchor incisions are made in three steps. First, a circular incision is created around the areola. Then an incision is created vertically down from the areola to the breast crease. Finally, a horizontal incision is created along the breast crease. While this is the oldest breast lift incision technique, it is also the most aggressive. This method is generally used in women who have a high degree of ptosis that cannot be adequately fixed by other, less invasive incision methods. This incision is also commonly used if a woman is combining her breast lift with a breast reduction.
After a breast lift incision is made, Dr. Broadway or Dr. Cisco will:
- lift and reshape the underlying breast tissue to improve the breast shape and firmness.
- raise the nipples and areolas to a higher, more natural height.
- reduce enlarged areolas by removing excess skin at the perimeter (if needed).
- remove excess breast skin.
Once the excess skin is removed, the incisions are closed. Some breast lift incision options will result in visible scarring on the breast. While these incisions are permanent, they will fade over time. We can assist healing with scar treatments to help minimize the appearance of any scars.
Every type of procedure will come with its own set of recovery challenges. For information on recovery after breast surgery, click the button below.
You will be administered medication for your comfort during your mastopexy procedure. Dr. Broadway will discuss your options with you, and the type of anesthesia selected will be based on the length of your surgery, your health and your age. Your safety is our number one concern, and Dr. Broadway only uses MD anesthesiologists.
Reshaping Your Breasts
After your breast lift incision is made, Dr. Broadway or Dr. Cisco will:
- Lift and reshape the underlying breast tissue to improve your breast shape and firmness.
- Raise your nipples and areolas to a higher, more natural height.
- Reduce enlarged areolas by removing excess skin at the perimeter (if needed).
- Remove excess breast skin.
Once your breasts are reshaped and lifted, any remaining skin is removed, and your incisions are closed. Some breast lift incision options will result in visible scarring on the breast. These incisions are permanent but will fade and improve significantly over time. We can assist your healing with scar treatments that will help to minimize the appearance of any scars.
Breast Lift Risks
- Anesthesia risks
- Poor healing of incision
- Breast asymmetry
- Fluid accumulation
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation
Combine a Breast Lift and a Breast Augmentation
A breast lift in combination with breast implants can give your breast a more youthful look. The breast lift repositions the tissues, while the implant gives more overall volume, especially at the top of the breasts. This combination can make a dramatic improvement.
Good Questions for Your Breast Lift Doctor
Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? How many years of breast lift training have you had? What are the risks and complications associated with a breast lift? What medication will I be given after surgery? Will I have dressings on after surgery? When will they be removed? Are the stitches removed? If so, when? When can I resume normal activity and exercise? When can I return to work? When should I return for a follow-up appointment?
Breast Lift Incision Options
The crescent incision is created by a short line along the upper half of your areola. This is the least invasive breast lift method, but it is not commonly used since it cannot accomplish the same degree of lift as other breast incision types. A crescent incision is most often used in conjunction with a breast augmentation in women who only have a small degree of sagging.
Incision This incision is made around the perimeter of your areola. These incisions are most effective when there is a mild to moderate degree of breast sagging. However, when the peri-areolar incision is used by a skilled cosmetic surgeon in conjunction with a breast augmentation, it can still produce great results for patients who have more pronounced sagging.
This incision is made around the perimeter of your areola and then vertically down to the breast crease, making the shape of a keyhole or lollipop. This technique produces the best results if you have a moderate degree of sagging that cannot be sufficiently helped by a peri-areolar technique. The vertical incision allows for shaping of the breast to give a more conical appearance to the breast.
The Anchor Incision
This incision is made in three steps. First, a circular incision is created around your areola. Then an incision is created vertically down from your areola to your breast crease. Finally, a horizontal incision is created along your breast crease. While this is the oldest breast lift incision technique, it is also the most aggressive. This method is generally used in women who have a high degree of ptosis (breast sagging) that cannot be adequately fixed by other, less invasive incision methods. This incision is also commonly used if a woman is combining her breast lift with a breast reduction.
How Much Does a Breast Lift Cost?
A breast lift (mastopexy) costs between $9,000 – $11,000 depending on your unique goals. A breast lift (mastopexy) with implants will cost between $10,000 – $14,000. Your Breast Lift Price will Include:
- lab work.
- a surgeon’s fee.
- O.R. fees.
- breast implants.
- all follow-up visits with Dr. Broadway and our staff.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Breast Lift?
If the size or shape of your breasts concerns you, a breast lift may be a good option. You should also:
- be in good overall health.
- have realistic expectations.
- be a non-smoker.
- maintain a healthy weight.
How to Prepare for Your Breast Lift Consultation
Be prepared to discuss:
- surgical goals.
- previous surgeries.
- family history of breast cancer.
- current prescriptions or medications.
- alcohol, tobacco and drug use.
- any medical conditions.
After evaluating your general health status, Dr. Broadway will examine your breasts and take detailed measurements of your breast size, shape, skin elasticity and desired outcome. After answering all of your questions, discussing your result goals, taking photos and anesthesia options, you will be provided with a tailored breast lift plan.
Frequently Asked Breast Lift Questions
How long will a breast lift last?
A breast lift can be expected to last for many years. Body changes, such as weight fluctuations or pregnancy can affect the size of the breast as well as the skin envelope. This may also affect the breast lift result.
Should I have a breast lift or a breast augmentation?
A breast lift will raise your breast position and help reshape sagging breasts, but the procedure does not add volume. A breast augmentation however, will add volume and shape using breast implants. Breast implants may not restore the position of sagging breasts (on their own without a lift). Women frequently combine a breast lift and a breast augmentation to achieve optimum results.
Can I nurse following a breast lift?
It is usually possible to nurse following a breast lift. During most breast lift surgeries, no damage to the nerves, milk ducts or glandular breast tissue occurs as only skin and fat are removed. However, there is still a possibility that a mother will have decreased milk production or difficulties nursing following the procedure.
If I am planning to have children in the future, is a breast lift a good idea?
Generally, you may want to wait to have a breast lift if you are planning on having children in the near future. This procedure will not interfere with the success of a pregnancy in any way, but you will lose the results of a breast lift during pregnancy if you decide to breastfeed. To have longevity with your results, you should consider a breast lift when you are not planning to become pregnant.
Contact Our Offices
Are you ready to enhance your look? We invite you to talk to our patient advocate. If you are considering cosmetic surgery and you have questions before your consultation. This discreet process will allow you to ask any question from the convenience and privacy of your home.
Disclaimer: Our website contains general medical information. The medical information contained on the website is not advice and should not be treated as such. Patients results may vary depending on various factors that are unique to each individual.