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With time, the effects of gravity, breastfeeding, pregnancy, and weight loss can result in decreased skin elasticity and sagging of the breasts. Your breasts may appear deflated as a result of lost volume and/or the nipple/areola may be enlarged from prior stretching. Fortunately for many women, these concerns can often be effectively addressed with a breast lift.

What is Breast Lift Surgery?

A breast lift (also known as a mastopexy) can reshape the breasts and tighten the existing skin. In addition, a breast lift can create fuller, more natural-appearing breasts and raise the position of the nipples. In some cases, the insertion of breast implants can be combined with a breast lift to create fuller, firmer, more youthful breasts. There are a number of plastic surgeons performing breast lifts; however, not all techniques are the same. Most of the traditional mastopexy techniques only excise the excess skin and rely on the skin to maintain the result over time. This generally results in recurrent drooping of the breasts with time since loss of skin elasticity was the source of the initial problem. Our Jacksonville plastic surgeons believe that, in addition to the removal of skin, the breast gland has to be reshaped and elevated to create a longer, more natural-appearing outcome. In addition, they use your own body’s tissue to augment your breast shape and volume. Our doctors have experience with the latest techniques that minimize scars and allow the breasts to have more projection, results that last longer, and have a natural shape.

Our breast surgery team will guide you through the process step by step. At Florida Plastic Surgery Group, we believe that patients, their desires, and anatomy are all unique. Therefore, our doctors evaluate each patient and create a customized surgical plan for all of their patients.

What are the Benefits of a Breast Lift?

Breast lift surgery offers numerous advantages. This popular procedure can successfully address common concerns that affect many women, ultimately helping to renew the breasts with beautiful, natural-looking results. Some of the potential benefits of breast lift surgery include:

  • Elimination of excess breast skin that is causing a sagging or drooping appearance (breast ptosis)
  • Tightening of the remaining skin for a firmer, smoother look
  • Moving the breasts to a higher position on the chest for a more youthful and “perky” aesthetic
  • Enhancement of breast contour and shape

In addition to the many benefits offered by breast lift surgery as a stand-alone treatment, this option can be added to a Mommy Makeover procedure for women who are considering more comprehensive rejuvenation. Our plastic surgeon will be happy to talk with you about your goals and answer your questions during the initial consultation.

Who is a Candidate for a Breast Lift Surgery?

If you have lost shape and volume in your breasts after pregnancy or significant weight loss, you may be a candidate for a breast lift. Ideal candidates are in strong metabolic health, emotionally stable, and realistic in their expectations. Our doctors at Florida Plastic Surgery Group will evaluate your medical history to ensure you have no pre-existing conditions that might complicate your surgery. Since future pregnancies can compromise the results of your breast lift, it is best to wait until you are finished having children before undergoing this procedure.

Candidates for the breast lift procedure typically have some degree of ptosis that can be corrected with surgery. The amount of sagging can be categorized in the following stages:

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    Grade I: Mild ptosis causes the nipple and areola to be positioned at the same level as the inframammary fold, with much of the breast tissue below the fold.
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    Grade II: Moderate ptosis positions the nipple and areola below the inframammary fold along with most of the breast tissue.
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    Grade III: With this advanced stage of ptosis, the nipple and areola are located far below the breast crease, along with almost all of the breast tissue.
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    Grade IV: Having severe ptosis means the nipple and areola are significantly below the inframammary crease and point downward. Most of the breast tissue is below the fold.
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    Pseudoptosis: The nipple and areola are at the same level as the breast fold, but most of the breast tissue is below.

Should I Combine My Breast Lift with Augmentation?

A breast lift can be performed in tandem with breast augmentation to add volume to the breasts while giving them a firmer appearance. Medically referred to as an augmentation mastopexy, this procedure can give the breasts a firmer, more youthful appearance while adding volume to the breasts with silicone breast implants or saline breast implants. A breast lift with implants can address a number of concerns and provide a more comprehensive rejuvenation of the breasts.

Learn more about breast lift with implants.

Is It Possible to Add My Own Fat to My Breasts for More Fullness During a Breast Lift?

For some patients who desire more fullness to the breast during a breast lift but do not want an implant, using your own fat is a great alternative. During a breast lift procedure, our surgeons can perform liposuction to transfer fat from unwanted areas such as your tummy, love handles, or inner thighs to add more fullness to your lifted breasts. This is a safe way to augment your breasts, helping to define the “cleavage” or “upper poles” of the breasts.

What Are the Different Types of Breast Lift Surgery?

Depending on the anatomy of the patient and their degree of sagging needing correction, our surgeons may recommend one of the following incision techniques:
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    Donut (Periareolar) Incision:

    The incision is made around the areola.

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    Lollipop Incision:

    The incision is made around the areola and extends from the six o’clock position of the areola down to the breast inframammary crease.

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    Wise Pattern (Anchor) Incision:

    The incision is made around the areola, extends from the six o’clock position of the areola down to the breast crease, and continues horizontally along the breast crease.

How is the Breast Lift Procedure Performed?

A breast lift is performed by making incisions around the nipple-areola complex and, in some cases, extending vertically below and possibly also horizontally along the inframammary fold. The nipple is left attached to the breast tissue so that the blood vessels and nerves going to the nipple are preserved. The excess skin tissue is removed, and the breast is reshaped to create internal lasting support and elevated to create a natural shape and contour that is better proportioned to your body. In some instances your body’s own tissue is utilized to create a fuller upper pole of the breast. For instance, fat cells can be transferred by liposuction from unwanted areas to create more fullness to the breast without the use of implants. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia.

Breast Lift Results

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What is Breast Lift Recovery Like?

When you first return home, your breasts will be covered with a surgical bra to assist with healing and typically all sutures are dissolvable and do not require removal. Typically, you can take a quick shower and raise your arms above your head the first day after surgery. After a few days, this can be replaced with a soft support bra that should be worn at all times throughout your recovery process. Any pain or discomfort can be managed through the use of OTC (over-the-counter medication) or pain medication that will be guided by your doctor. Your breasts will be swollen and bruised at first, and you should refrain from vigorous exercise until one of our plastic surgeons informs you it is safe. As long as your job is not physically demanding, you should be able to return to work after about a week of downtime.

Will I Be Able to Breastfeed After Breast Lift Surgery?

If you were able to breastfeed before breast lift surgery, you should still have the ability to after your procedure. That said, not everyone is physically able to breastfeed, but they are not aware of this until having their first child.

Will I Have Breast Lift Scars?

Like virtually all surgical procedures, it is not possible to have a breast lift without scars forming at the incision sites. However, in the hands of our skilled cosmetic surgeons, scarring can be minimized to the point where it is hardly noticeable. Furthermore, your incisions will be made in areas that are easily covered by a bra or bathing suit. Your scars will appear red for the first few months after surgery, but over time they should progressively fade.

How Long Will My Breast Lift Results Last?

Most patients undergo a breast lift to address ptosis (sagging), a natural condition where the connective tissues in your breasts begin to weaken and stretch. Age, pregnancy, and weight loss can all lead to ptosis, and these factors will still affect your breasts even after a breast lift has been performed. However, a breast lift can significantly interrupt this process and mitigate its effects. How long your results last will ultimately depend on:

  • Your skin’s elasticity
  • Your diet and lifestyle (use of a bra, sun exposure, weight gain/loss, etc)
  • Your breast size

Our doctors can address each of these factors with you in more detail during a personal consultation. With the right care, you can enjoy the results of your breast lift for many years to come.

Is a Breast Lift Without Surgery Possible?

While you may find numerous articles, tip-sheets, and guidelines claiming that certain types of “breast lift exercises” can provide a lift to breasts affected by ptosis, there is simply no way other than breast lift surgery to provide a significantly effective solution. Exercise is an ideal way of keeping your body in good shape; however, it cannot eliminate loose, excess breast tissue or move the breasts to a more youthful position on the chest. Breast lift surgery can truly rejuvenate the breasts by reducing excess skin, tightening and firming the remaining skin, and effectively addressing the appearance of sagginess.

How Much Does Breast Lift Cost?

The cost of breast lift surgery is approximately $6,999, which includes all associated costs you may have at our practice. Our plastic surgeons customize every breast lift procedure to the individual patient’s needs; therefore, the total price of breast lift surgery varies. The national average for the surgeon’s fee is about $4,672, based on 2017 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It’s important to be aware that the ASPS estimate does not take into account factors such as the facility and anesthesia fees, the costs for post-surgical garments, the complexity of the operation, and other components that will be part of the overall price. Associated costs can add a significant and unexpected additional financial burden to unprepared patients. Our quotes always include all associated costs.

When you come in for your initial consultation for breast lift surgery and your treatment plan is created, a member of our team will provide you with a price estimate that incorporates all associated costs of the procedure. They will also talk with you about the wide array of payment methods we accept, which include plastic surgery financing arrangements through CareCredit® or ALPHAEON™ CREDIT. Qualified applicants can find a wide selection of payment plans with these reputable companies, helping them bring the cost of treatment into their budget in the most convenient way possible.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Lift Surgery

Will insurance cover breast lift surgery?

Medical insurance policies do not typically offer coverage for breast lift surgery since it is categorized as a cosmetic procedure. With that in mind, our practice accepts a comprehensive range of payment methods, and we work with reputable plastic surgery financing agencies (described above) that offer affordable payment plans for patients who qualify.

What is a mini breast lift?

A so-called “mini” breast lift is a term that can be defined differently among both patients and surgeons. Generally, it may be used to describe a breast lift technique that requires less removal of tissue and/or less scarring. In some cases, a mini breast lift may describe what’s also called a “partial” breast lift or a “crescent” mastopexy technique, which involves removal of a relatively small area of tissue just above the areola. These techniques offer a more subtle lifting effect and are typically only ideal in cases of very mild breast ptosis and sagginess.

How painful is a breast lift?

Most patients will experience some level of swelling, soreness, numbness, and tenderness in the breasts in the days and weeks following surgery. These effects should fade as recovery progresses, and over-the-counter pain medicine or prescribed medication is typically all that’s necessary to control any discomfort as the breasts heal.

How can I reduce swelling after a breast lift?

Virtually every patient who undergoes a breast lift procedure will experience swelling after surgery. Swelling can be adequately controlled by wearing the prescribed surgical bra as long as recommended, and by minimizing salt and alcohol intake during recovery. It may also be helpful to eat more anti-inflammatory foods (citrus fruits and leafy greens are often good options), and to make sure you take regular walks and get the advised amount of rest while you recover.

What type of bra should I wear after breast lift surgery?

You will be provided a surgical support bra after the treatment. This special bra is designed to keep the breasts in a position that aids the healing process during recovery. In most cases, this can be changed out to a soft support bra after a few days, which should be worn throughout the recovery period. Bras that contain an underwire should be avoided for at least eight weeks after surgery, or until recommended by our plastic surgeon. It’s important to remember that, even once the breasts have fully healed, wearing a bra as regularly as possible can help fight against the gradual effects that the aging process has on the breasts.

If you are considering breast lift surgery and would like to learn more about this procedure, please don’t hesitate to contact Florida Plastic Surgery Group today. We look forward to answering any questions you may have, and we will be happy to assist you with scheduling your initial consultation.