What Is a Breast Lift?

A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure designed to raise and reshape sagging breasts, utilizing the patient’s own breast tissue. Over a lifetime, many situations can change the shape of breasts, including pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuation, and gravity. These factors cause the skin to lose its elasticity, often resulting in alterations to breast shape and firmness. If you are interested in rejuvenating the appearance of your breasts and restoring a more youthful projection, a breast lift performed by our board-certified plastic surgeon, James Matas, MD, may be able to help.

Who Is a Candidate for Breast Lift?

The best candidates for a breast lift are healthy, non-smoking women typically between the ages of 30 and 50 who have stretched skin and diminished breast volume. Dr. Matas also suggests that prospective breast lift patients be finished having children. While future pregnancy and/or nursing is possible, doing so may stretch the skin and affect the results of your procedure.

What Can I Expect at My Breast Lift Consultation?

Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Jamed Matas, MD, has extensive experience in breast lift surgery. If you are considering a breast lift, the first step in the process is scheduling a consultation with Dr. Matas. During this appointment, you will have the opportunity to tell Dr.  Matas about your breast concerns and cosmetic goals. Be prepared to discuss your physical and emotional health, as well as provide information about any previous surgeries, your pregnancies and breastfeeding, and any relevant medical issues (past and current). You will also need to name any herbs, supplements, prescriptions, and over-the-counter medications you take.

To determine the approach that is best-suited for your needs and goals, Dr. Matas will carefully examine your breasts and the chest wall, considering the following factors:

  • The amount of breast tissue you have to be lifted
  • The position of your areola in relation to the breast tissue
  • The degree of sag 
  • The thickness of your skin and your skin tone

If you have a small amount of breast tissue, placement of breast implants may be recommended in conjunction with the mastopexy to increase breast size and firmness. Combining a breast lift with implants can often yield the greatest degree of breast rejuvenation. 

To properly visualize the degree of lifting your breasts will require, Dr. Matas will take specific measurements of your breasts in their current condition. Based on his findings, he will recommend a breast lift procedure customized for your needs and goals—including the indicated technique and incision placements. Dr. Matas will also review any potential risks and complications you should be aware of. Guidelines for pre-and post-op protocol will be provided so that you are fully informed about how to optimize your results and healing, while minimizing the potential for challenges along the way. It is important that you discontinue smoking for one month prior to breast lift surgery to support proper healing.

At the end of your appointment, you will receive a cost estimate for your procedure along with a suggested plan of action should you decide to take the next step towards breast lift surgery.

Doctor consultation

Is a Non-Surgical Breast Lift Possible?

There are not currently any non-surgical breast lifting options that can achieve the same results as a surgical mastopexy. While some women may be able to achieve mild improvements to their breast firmness and/or projection without surgery, these results are typically both temporary and significantly less dramatic than those obtained surgically. Furthermore, a surgical mastopexy is the only way to remove excess skin, which is one of the main contributors to breast sagging.

If you are interested in rejuvenating your breasts but have concerns about undergoing surgery, please consider contacting our practice and scheduling a consultation. Dr. Matas is happy to go over your options and answer any questions you may have.

What Happens During Breast Lift Surgery?

Breast lift infographic
Breast lift infographic

First, incisions are made on the breast to outline the areas where excess skin will be removed. Then, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position. The skin around the areola is then brought down and together to reshape the breast. Excess skin is then removed. Once the skin and tissue has been repositioned, several layers of suture are used to close the surgical incisions.

The incision usually resembles an anchor shape, and is located around the areola, extending downward toward the bottom of the breast and across the crease of the breast. Sometimes, when only a partial lift is required, only a circular incision around the areola is used.

If breast augmentation surgery is also being performed, the implant will be placed under the pectoralis muscle (subpectoral) or under the breast tissue (suprapectoral) prior to the mastopexy procedure. This allows Dr. Matas to lift your breast into place around the filled implant. Mastopexy usually takes about 4 hours to complete, unless additional procedures are required, and is performed outpatient under general anesthesia.

What Happens During Breast Lift Recovery?

After surgery, you’ll wear a surgical bra for support and comfort for several weeks. Expect your breasts to be sore, with bruising, swelling, itching and mild pain. You may also experience a temporary change in nipple sensation.

You’ll be instructed to take it easy for a few days, and to discontinue certain strenuous activities for about one month. Sutures will be removed within a week following surgery, with an additional week of keeping the areas dry and steri strips in place. After one week, you should be able to return to work.

before after BeforeAfter
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Will I Have Scars after Breast Lift Surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, you will have some scarring after your breast lift. In the early phases of healing following your procedure, the scars will likely be red and raised. Both the color and degree of prominence will fade over the next few months as the incisions heal further. With proper care, the scars should flatten and fade significantly. It is important to protect your scars from sun exposure and to avoid tanning beds for at least one year following your surgery to prevent them from darkening permanently. The Patient Care Kit you receive will include a silicone-based scar reducer that can be highly effective when used as directed.

What Results Can I Expect after Breast Lift Surgery?

After mastopexy, your breasts will feel firmer and appear shapelier and uplifted. Because of the new position of your nipples and breast tissue, you may find you can wear clothing you would’ve never thought possible, even strapless dresses! And you can expect to maintain your new shape long-term, unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight or become pregnant in the future.

How Much Does Breast Lift Surgery Cost?

The average cost for breast lift surgery at the Advanced Centre for Plastic Surgery is between $7,000 and $8,000. However, due to the highly personalized nature of the surgical plans that Dr. Matas develops for his patients, the cost of a breast lift will vary on a case by case basis. Some of the factors that can influence cost include:

  • The technique used for the lift
  • Anesthesiology and post-operative medication fees
  • Post-operative garments, including specialized bras
  • Accredited operating site charges
  • Any additional procedures being performed

Following your initial consultation, you will be provided with a price quote for your specially designed treatment plan. Our experienced and knowledgeable office team is happy to go over the prospective treatment costs and help you navigate payment and financing options. Dr. Matas believes that all patients deserve accessible and affordable treatment, so our practice happily partners with CareCredit®, a third-party lending service that specializes in healthcare financing. 

If you are interested in learning more about breast rejuvenation options, please contact the Advanced Centre for Plastic Surgery today. We are happy to schedule you a consultation and/or answer any questions you may have. 

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