What is a Breast Lift?
A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, is a form of cosmetic breast surgery that lifts and enhances the shape of the breasts by removing excess skin. There are different types of breast lift procedures to choose from depending on your aesthetic goals, including the:
- Peri-areolar Lift: Using this method, Dr. Franco makes an incision around the areola only. This is a great option for women who have minimal sagging.
- Vertical Lift: Also known as a “lollipop lift,” this technique requires an incision around the areola and down to the bottom of your breast. Dr. Franco uses this procedure to correct moderate sagging.
- Anchor Lift: This type of lift is a full mastopexy and helps women with severe sagging. The incisions go around the areola as well as down and along the bottom of the breast.
In addition, Dr. Franco can include breast implants to enhance the size and shape of your breasts.
Breast Lift Surgery Candidacy
You may be a great candidate for breast lift surgery if:
- You have sagging, lax, or ptotic breasts
- Your breasts have lost volume
- Your nipples point downward
- You are near your ideal weight
- You don’t smoke or can refrain from smoking
There are additional health and lifestyle factors to take into consideration when determining your candidacy for a breast lift. Any type of breast lift involves some permanent scarring, and the results tend to last longer with smaller breasts. Pregnancy and breastfeeding may also reverse the effects of the procedure. If you are considering breast lift surgery, Dr. Franco can help you understand what to expect from the procedure and create a custom treatment plan based on your individual needs.
Can I Add Implants to My Breast Lift?
Yes. Dr. Franco often uses implants at the same time as a breast lift for patients who want to add volume. Implants can also help center the nipples and increase the fullness of the upper part of the breasts. This powerful combination restores the youthful appearance of the breasts and accentuates the results of the breast lift. Depending on your desired outcome, you may choose from a variety of implants with different textures, shapes, and sizes. Some popular choices include silicone implants, saline implants, and gummy bear implants.
How Much Does a Breast Lift Cost?
At Austin Plastic Surgeon, we are upfront with our pricing for breast lifts and other cosmetic procedures. Please take a look at our comprehensive pricing page to see the cost of a breast lift procedure both with and without implants.
Breast Lift Recovery Process
After your surgery, you will need someone to drive you home and monitor you for 24-48 hours. You will also be required to wear a surgical bra, avoid lifting heavy objects, and refrain from intensive exercise. Most breast lift patients can go back to work within 5-7 days after the procedure. Dr. Franco will give you post-operative instructions to follow so that you can return to your normal routine as soon as possible.
Does a Breast Lift Affect Cup Size?
Yes, you may be able to downsize your bra after a breast lift. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average decrease in a study of breast lift patients was one cup size, although not every person needed a smaller bra.
When the excess tissue of ptotic breasts is removed, you may find that you don’t need the larger cup size in order to feel comfortable and to accommodate the redundant tissue. Instead, you may be able to fit a smaller cup size to the lifted breast shape, and find that you have plenty of support and comfort.
Is a Breast Lift Painful?
It depends on the individual, but generally speaking, breast lifts provide long-lasting results! Many people continue to enjoy the perkier look of their breasts for a decade or longer without needing a revision.
Here are a few ways you may be able to extend your results for the long-term:
- Maintain a stable body weight. Gaining and losing weight causes skin to expand and stretch. You could notice a return of ptosis if you gained and lost a lot of weight.
- Protect your skin from the sun. UV damage causes skin to wrinkle and deflate. If you’re wearing a bikini or low-cut top in the sun, be sure to apply sunscreen and limit your time in the sun.
- Take care of your skin. Although our skin is heavily impacted by genetics, you can also take steps to nourish it. Don’t smoke, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and avoid excessive alcohol consumption and dehydration.
- Support your breasts with a bra that fits you right. A bra - especially a sports bra worn during sports, running, and other activities - will support the ligaments and tissues of your breasts. This may ultimately prevent the bouncing and pulling that can lead to more sag.
Revision procedures are often possible if you do decide you want to restore more perkiness in the years and decades that follow your initial surgery.
How Long Do Breast Lifts Usually Last?
You will be anesthetized for the procedure, so of course you will not feel pain or discomfort while the lift is being completed. Once you wake up, you’ll feel groggy and may have some immediate discomfort, which will likely increase a bit as the anesthetic continues to wear off. Dr. Franco will have provided you with a pain med prescription or provided guidance for which over-the-counter medications you should take. Pain should gradually subside over the next few days. Minor discomfort and tenderness may persist for a couple of weeks.
Will a Breast Lift Affect Breastfeeding or Pregnancy?
In general, if you are able to breastfeed before a breast lift, you will be able to breastfeed after (some women have always been unable to breastfeed and a procedure won’t change that fact). The risk of a breast lift taking away your ability to breastfeed is really low. You will mitigate your risk even further by choosing an experienced, qualified, skilled breast surgeon like Dr. Franco. Discuss your concerns and Dr. Franco can determine if anything more can be done. Certain incisions and techniques that further lower the risk of nerve or milk duct damage may be options for your breast lift.
If you are planning to have more children soon, you may want to wait until after childbirth to have a breast lift - not because of breastfeeding, but to make sure your results last as long as possible. Future pregnancies and breastfeeding may cause the physical changes that lead back to breast ptosis and sagging, which are the exact qualities your breast lift will reverse. So, to enjoy results that last as long as possible, consider having a breast lift when you aren’t planning for anymore pregnancies.
What Should I Expect from My Results?
You will notice a difference in your breasts almost immediately after surgery. These results will only get better as swelling goes down and your tissues settle around the new breast contour. You can expect this procedure to:
- Remove excess breast skin
- Create perkier breasts
- Raise the position and orientation of elongated, sagging breasts
- Reduce enlarged areolas
Many women seek out mastopexy because they want to restore that firmness and breast position that existed before pregnancy, aging, or weight loss. After a breast lift, you may find that your breasts are more shapely than they have ever been previously. If you also want to increase the size of your breasts, then breast implants can be placed during the lift.
When Can I Return to Normal Activities After My Breast Lift?
Return to normal activities after a breast lift usually follows this timeline:
- Walking around and gently moving your arms to reduce stiffness and promote blood circulation, by the day after surgery or sooner if you feel up to it
- Returning to work within 5-7 days
- Returning to most of your normal social, professional, and personal activities in 2 weeks
- Returning to strenuous activities after 4-6 weeks, but only once cleared by Dr. Franco
Each person heals a little differently and has specific activities they regularly participate in. Dr. Franco will discuss your lifestyle with you - what you do daily in terms of activity level, your profession, chores around the house, heavy lifting, etc., and then he will provide customized guidelines for re-entering full activity.
How Should I Prepare for My Breast Lift?
Once you’ve completed the consultation with Dr. Franco and scheduled your surgery day, we will provide you with a complete list of instructions. These typically include:
- Ceasing smoking and tobacco use for at least 3 weeks before surgery
- Ceasing use of aspirin-containing products for 2 weeks before surgery
- Making arrangements for someone to bring you to surgery and stay with you for at least 24 hours after the procedure
- Discontinuing use of most herbal supplements and supplemental vitamin E, unless required by your doctor (discuss any supplements you take with Dr. Franco)
- Filling prescriptions provided by Dr. Franco
- Making sure you have light foods and drinking water for your recovery
- Picking out some loose, comfortable clothing to wear to your appointment
There will likely be other instructions for you to get ready for surgery, including bathing, and when to stop eating and drinking. Rely on our team to guide you through the prep and the aftercare process. We also make sure you have contact information for any questions or concerns you have before or after surgery.
Want to Learn More About Breast Lift Surgery? Call Us Today
If you are considering a breast lift procedure and want to know more about the options available to you, call Austin Plastic Surgeon today at 512-827-0638 to schedule a free initial consultation. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Johnny Franco can help you find a look that makes you feel sexy and confident. We are proud to serve patients living in Texas and throughout the United States from our practice in Austin. Online consultations are available for out-of-town patients.