What Is a Breast Lift?
Breast lift surgery (or mastopexy) involves a plastic surgeon raising your breasts by removing excess skin and then tightening the surrounding tissue. This reshapes and supports the breasts. Many women choose to have a breast lift to rejuvenate their figure and gain a breast profile that is more youthful-looking.
The breast lift is a highly popular form of plastic surgery. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) found that the number of breast lifts has grown by 70% since 2000—twice the rate of breast implant surgeries.
35-44 year old woman, 5’6”, 132 lbs, mother of 3 who had breastfed all three children.
As part of her mommy makeover, she had a no-vertical scar breast lift performed with placement of Mentor Smooth Round High Profile 450 cc implants.
Why Get a Breast Lift?
Women get breast lifts for a variety of reasons, including:
- Restoring a better breast shape following pregnancy and/or breastfeeding – Pregnancy can cause sagging breasts or leave them stretched to different degrees. A breast lift undoes these changes.
- Improving breast contour after a significant amount of weight loss – When you lose a lot of weight, you may lose breast volume. Removing excess skin can restore a more proportional, youthful appearance to your breasts.
- Enjoying a perky breast shape for the first time – Many women have had drooping breasts since puberty. A breast lift procedure can achieve a breast profile they’ve always wanted.
- Restoring the breasts to a natural shape after surgery
Who's Eligible for a Breast Lift?
In 2008 the ASPS presented a study showing that breast lift surgery and the combination of a breast lift with augmentation boosts women’s self-esteem and improves their quality of life. Many women find this kind of plastic surgery significantly raises their body confidence.
The best candidates for breast lift are those who feel dissatisfied with or self-conscious about the shape or degree of droop of their breasts. They are generally fit, healthy, and have realistic expectations about the outcome of a breast lift.
You may not be a good candidate if you have a health condition that increases the risk of surgery or use of a general anesthetic. Breast lifts are generally performed on women whose breasts are fully developed. If you’re a younger patient, then a cosmetic surgeon may conduct a psychological evaluation to assess your mental health and psychological maturity before opting to do a breast lift.
Types of Breast Lifts
There are several procedures to lift the breasts. Dr. Ver Halen will help you decide what’s right for you during your consultation.
Bellesoma® Breast Lift
The Bellesoma Breast Lift uses a computer-generated “blueprint” to design an “ideal” breast, using a patient’s own 3D model. It’s only available at 10 locations in North America, including Ver Halen Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery.
Bellesoma’s advantages are:
- It does not produce a vertical breast scar
- It uses your own breast tissue to restore breast projection, cleavage, and upper fullness.
- It uses your own breast tissue to suspend and lift your breasts, like a push-up bra.
- It transfers the weight of your breasts to the chest muscle, providing immediate back, neck, and shoulder pain relief.
The Bellesoma technique won’t increase the breast at the time of surgery, unlike breast lift techniques that use implants.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Bellesoma breast lift, check out our before-and-after gallery here.
Crescent Breast Lift
This is usually recommended for women with minimal sagging. The crescent breast lift requires just one incision halfway along the outer edge of the areola. The scar will be practically unnoticeable.
Peri-Areolar Breast Lift
This is sometimes called a ‘donut lift’ because Dr. Ver Halen will make a circular incision around the entire edge of your areola. This is a great option for women with mild sagging, who want a subtle lift.
Vertical Breast Lift
Recommended for women who have moderate breast sagging, Dr. Ver Halen will make two incisions:
- A circular incision around the outer edge of the areola
- A vertical incision from the bottom of the areola to your natural breast creases (known as the inframmatory fold)
The shape of the incision resembles a lollipop, which is why this is sometime called a ‘lollipop lift.’
Anchor Breast Lift
An anchor breast lift is carried out for women who have significant sagging and involves a dramatic reshaping of the breast. Known as the ‘inverted T lift,’ this procedure requires three incisions:
- One circling the outer edge of the areola
- One from the bottom of the areola to the breast fold
- One horizontally along the breast fold
How Long Results Last
The results of a breast lift vary, depending on a few factors:
- The breast lift technique
- Whether the breast is also enlarged with a breast implant (which adds weight and pulls down the breast)
- If the breast is reduced at the same time
Some breast lifts can last a lifetime. At Ver Halen Aesthetics, Dr. Ver Halen will perform your procedure to ensure you can maintain your preferred breast shape for the long-term.
Breast Lift Treatment at Ver Halen Aesthetics
During your breast lift consultation, you and Dr. Ver Halen will discuss:
- Your goals for the plastic surgery
- Any current medical conditions
- Any drug allergies
- Medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you’re taking
- Alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
- Any previous surgeries you’ve had
- If you have a history of breast cancer in your family
- The results of any mammograms or biopsies you’ve had in the past
Dr. Ver Halen is also likely to:
- Evaluate your health general health, pre-existing health conditions, and risk factors
- Examine your breasts, taking detailed measurements
- Take photographs, and 3D models
- Discuss treatment options
- Recommend the best course of action
- Discuss the risks and possible complications associated with breast lift surgery
- Talk about the use of general anesthesia
Length of Surgery
Your breast lift surgery will be done at our office in Colleyville or in our surgery center in Plano. It generally lasts around three hours, although the time varies based on the method used.
You will need a few check-ups after your breast lift surgery. These can take place a month, a few months, and half a year after your procedure. Having your breasts checked every few years is also recommended, as your cosmetic surgeon will be able to address any issues and help you maintain your desired look.
The first few days after your breast lift surgery will be the most uncomfortable, with noticeable swelling. Any pain can be adequately managed with medication. Our team can help you find a solution that’s right for you.
Depending on the technique used, you can expect to return to work after three to four days. We generally recommend that you limit overhead lifting—or lifting more than 15 pounds—for 2 weeks. You should be able to return to light cardio exercise at 48 to 72 hours after surgery, depending on the procedure.
Most patients experience increased nipple sensation after the procedure. You can expect to have some drainage for two to four days after surgery. You may notice that your new breasts feel very prominent until your body adjusts to them.
The Risks of a Breast Lift
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) highlight on their website that the risks of breast lift surgery include:
- Risks associated with anesthesia
- Bleeding or the formation of hematoma
- Fat necrosis (Death of fatty tissue deep in the skin)
- Poor healing of incisions
- Changes in breast sensation or nipple sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
- Irregularities in breast shape and contour
- Breast asymmetry
- Potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Fluid accumulation
- Possibility of revisional surgery
Differences Between a Breast Lift and a Breast Augmentation
Unlike a breast augmentation, a breast lift can’t significantly change your breasts’ size or create more roundness in the upper part of your breast.
You can combine a breast lift with a breast augmentation in order to achieve your desired results. You can also get breast reduction surgery along with your breast lift if you want smaller breasts with a more uplifted appearance.
Paying for Your Breast Lift
There are several different ways that you can pay for your cosmetic surgery. At Ver Halen Aesthetics, we can recommend a number of credit cards that cover plastic surgery, such as those offered by Comenity® Capital Bank (Alphaeon Credit®) and Synchrony Bank (CareCredit®). Another option is to use a specialized, simple, and efficient loan company like Enhance Patient Finance or United Medical Credit, or to use in-house patient financing.
You could also opt for:
- Credit card
- Cashier’s check
- In-house financing
- Other types of loans