Breast Lift (Mastopexy) – Newport Beach | Orange County
Many things can affect the shape and size of a woman’s breasts over her lifetime. Pregnancy, breastfeeding and weight fluctuations are just some examples. It is also normal to experience some amount of sagging with age as the ligaments that support breast tissue start to weaken.
If you are concerned about droopy or deflated-appearing breasts, a breast lift can help restore your bustline to its youthful appearance. At the Newport Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Associates office, we offer different breast lift techniques using cutting-edge methods to ensure patient safety and satisfaction. We also regularly combine breast lifts with other procedures for women with multiple cosmetic concerns.
What is a Breast Lift?
A breast lift (mastopexy) is a surgical procedure done to reshape and repositions ptotic breasts.
Breast ptosis, which is the medical term for drooping breasts, usually happens after pregnancy, breastfeeding or significant weight loss. Breasts also have a tendency to droop with age. A breast lift can help reposition and reshape the breasts to achieve a more youthful look in women who are dissatisfied with their breasts.
A breast lift procedure is a major surgery that requires careful planning and preparation. It is performed under general anesthesia and can be an inpatient or outpatient procedure, which depends on the extent of the surgery. The surgery involves first marking outlines and then making incisions around the areola and on the lower part of the breast. Excess skin and tissue are removed, while the areola and remaining tissue are repositioned.
A typical breast lift takes one to two hours to complete, while recovery usually takes up to two weeks. Patients who receive a Breast Augmentation in conjunction with this procedure may require a bit longer to recover fully.
Types of Breast Lift Procedures
Breast sagging can range from barely noticeable to severe. Depending on the severity of your breast ptosis, surgeons may employ different techniques. They may also use different techniques to meet different patient needs. Examples of the breast lift techniques we use at Newport Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery include:
Also known as the “donut” lift, this technique is best for patients with mild to moderate sagging. The surgeon makes one circular incision around the areola to remove excess skin and tissue. The incision is then closed with a purse-string suture. Benefits of this technique include less visible scarring and shorter surgery time. The Benelli technique is an example of an advanced circumareolar breast lift.
The crescent technique is also known as a partial mastopexy because only a small amount of tissue is removed, and the focus is more on repositioning the areola. During a crescent lift, the surgeon makes a crescent shape incision above the areola. This technique is ideal for women with only mild to moderate sagging.
Also called a “lollipop” lift due to the shape of its incision, this technique can provide significant lift to patients with moderate to severe sagging. Two incisions are made: one around the nipple and one vertical incision from the nipple to the bottom of the breast. The technique allows surgeons more control over shaping the breast for overall good results.
For excessive and prominent breast sagging, the anchor technique can provide significant lift and reshaping of the breast. The surgeon makes three incisions when performing this technique: one around the areola, a vertical one that runs down the breast and a horizontal one in the crease under the breast. The downside with this technique is that you may be left with more visible scarring.
Our surgeons are trained to use many techniques to ensure you are left with minimal scarring and natural-looking results. Besides providing lift to the entire breasts, these techniques can also reposition the areola and nipple and even reduce the size of the areola. We can also combine these techniques with other surgical procedures if necessary.
Reasons for a Breast Lift
A breast lift procedure is usually done to improve the appearance of droopy breasts. Women often consider getting a breast lift after pregnancy, breastfeeding or significant weight loss. These milestones can and often do change the appearance and position of the breasts, affecting a woman’s confidence levels and well-being.
Are you dissatisfied with the appearance of your breasts after childbirth or weight loss? You may want to consider a mastopexy if you:
- Want to change the shape and position of your breasts
- Don’t mind going one size down
- Want natural-looking breasts
It is not unusual for a patient’s breasts to be a size smaller after a breast lift procedure since it involves removing breast tissue. If you already have sufficient breast tissue but just need a little bit of “lift,” this procedure may be ideal.
An important thing to know is that, while breasts may appear flat before this procedure, repositioning the tissue can create the appearance of improved volume without the use of implants. We recommend implants only to patients who would also like to go a size or more up.
How a Breast Lift Is Performed
A mastopexy is a major surgery performed under general anesthesia. Most patients do not require an overnight hospital stay; however, this depends on the extent of the procedure and patient health.
The surgery starts with Dr. Seify marking your breasts to determine where the new position of the nipple and areola needs to be. You are then put under general anesthesia, which means you will be in a sleep-like state during the entire procedure.
Dr. Seify makes the incisions as discreetly as possible using advanced surgical techniques. Once the incisions are made, Dr. Seify will trim away excess tissue, including excess areola skin, and then close the incisions with sutures.
The procedure is complete within an hour or two, depending on the complexity of the technique and how much tissue is removed.
If you are having a breast lift paired with breast augmentation, the combined procedure is usually done in four steps. First, the surgeon makes the implant pocket, usually under the pectoral muscle. They then insert the implant and seal the pocket. After marking the breast for mastopexy, the surgeon removes excess breast tissue. Lastly, they reposition the nipple and perform any necessary refinements.
How Do I Know If I Need a Breast Lift?
You can tell if you would benefit from a breast lift if you have breast ptosis that is significantly affecting your confidence levels and well-being. Breast ptosis is characterized by the following:
- The breast sits lower on the chest wall
- There is a loss of volume in the top part of the breasts
- The skin of the breast has stretched
- The areola shifts to the lower portion of the breast
- The nipple and areola point downward
Patients with large and sagging breasts may experience additional problems, like frequent skin rashes and back or shoulder pain. For these patients, a breast lift or breast reduction can make them feel more comfortable. Others may find that these procedures make it easier for them to find properly fitting clothing and to participate in certain sports activities.
To be a good candidate for breast lift surgery, you need to be in relatively good health and preferably a non-smoker. We also strongly advise patients to wait until they have had their last pregnancy before considering a breast lift. You also must have realistic expectations of this procedure, which we will discuss in detail with you during your consultation.
What to Expect From a Breast Lift
So, you have decided a breast lift is right for you and want to know what you can expect before, during and after the procedure. During your initial consultation, you will meet with Dr. Seify, who is a board-certified plastic surgeon with years of experience with plastic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Seify will speak to you about your concerns and walk you through the process.
Breast Lift Preparation
To prepare for a breast lift, we may ask you to get a medical evaluation and lab tests to see if you are healthy enough for surgery. You may also need to take or stop taking certain medications to minimize complications during and after surgery. Most patients are required to stop taking blood-thinning drugs and supplements, to stop smoking and to arrange for someone to drive them home after the surgery.
Patients are marked in a standing position and then given IV sedation and inhaled gasses for general anesthesia. The incisions are made, excess tissue removed and the areola and nipple repositioned higher up on the breast. Dr. Seify makes sure that the breasts and areolas are as symmetrical as possible. The incisions are closed with sutures deep inside the breast tissue to give support and minimize scarring. Dr. Seify will close the incisions and apply dressings to protect them.
Breast Lift Recovery
You will wake up from anesthesia in about an hour, and our nurses will monitor your vitals during this time. You may need to have a small tube placed under your breast skin to help drain blood and fluids after your procedure. Most patients can go home on the day of their procedure.
We encourage patients to wear special bandages or supportive bras during their recovery, to take the prescribed medications and to take care of their incisions. Most patients recover from a breast lift with one to two weeks off work and activity restrictions for four to six weeks.
Breast Lift Results
You will see results immediately after surgery, but it may take a couple of months before your breasts settle into their final position. Most patients can expect some amount of scarring around the areola and the lower part of the breasts, but this fades with time. You will have natural-looking results, with your breasts now positioned higher and feeling firmer. If you also had implants, you will have more fullness, especially in the upper part of the breast.
Like all surgical procedures, a breast lift can come with side effects and complications. Allergic reactions to anesthesia, bleeding, bruising, changes in nipple sensation, poor wound healing and infections are some of the complications with this procedure. However, a skilled surgeon will keep these problems to a minimum and ensure you are familiar with the risks associated with breast lift surgery.
Breast Lift Plus Augmentation
At Newport Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, we provide a combination of different breast surgical procedures to Newport Beach residents and visitors. One such combination is mastopexy with breast augmentation.
This multi-step procedure is usually done on patients who want to restore their previous breast appearance after significant weight loss or pregnancy. While a breast lift alone can improve lift and some fullness in many patients, augmentation is the best way to enhance breast volume. Combined surgeries like these can help you meet your goals, although they may come with a larger investment and a greater risk of complications.
If you choose to have implants along with a breast lift, we may offer you several choices of implant types and sizes. Patients can choose between different styles depending on their goals and preferences.
Breast Lift Plus Other Procedures
A breast lift procedure can be done as part of a Mommy Makeover. A mommy makeover is a specialized combination of several contouring procedures done to improve your appearance following pregnancy. A mommy makeover generally combines the following:
A mommy makeover is individually tailored to your specific concerns and goals. It can include any procedures that would benefit your post-pregnancy appearance.
Will Insurance Cover a Breast Lift?
Insurance companies will usually not cover breast lifts. Most insurance providers will cover plastic surgery procedures deemed as medically necessary, like breast reduction or breast reconstruction. Breast lifts, on the other hand, are usually done for cosmetic purposes only and thus not deemed medically necessary.
What about Breast Implant Illness?
If you are having a breast lift with breast augmentation, you may be concerned about breast implant illness (BII). BII is a condition with a wide range symptoms some women develop after having breast implants. These symptoms are fairly non-specific and include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Depression and anxiety
- Trouble focusing
- Poor memory
- Joint and muscle pain
- Dry eyes and mouth
The above symptoms of BII can occur immediately after surgery or several years later. In many women, the problem seems to resolve after implant removal. Dr. Seify uses a breast implant removal method called en bloc capsulectomy, which removes the scar tissue capsule and the breast implant all at once.
BII is not very well understood and isn’t yet recognized as an official medical diagnosis. Health authorities have only recently begun to look into this condition more seriously, while the FDA has recommended in 2019 that breast implant manufacturers to include information about possible BII risk in a boxed warning and in patient information booklets.
The mystery surrounding BII is because researchers do not understand it well enough to draw definitive conclusions. Little is known about its prevalence, causes and course. The prevailing theory is that BII is due to an immune reaction to the implants, resulting in a systemic reaction. Another theory is that women with BII actually have an underlying autoimmune or connective tissue disorder.
At Newport Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, we want to make sure you are well-informed about any possible risks of having breast augmentation with your breast lift, including BII. If you want to learn more about BII or talk to us about any concerning symptoms you may be experiencing, call our offices today to schedule an appointment.
What Is the Cost of Breast Lift Surgery?
A poll by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that the average cost of a breast lift in 2020 was around $5,000. This national average does not cover anesthesia, facility costs, medical tests, prescriptions for medication and surgeon’s fees.
This number is only an average, and the actual costs of a breast lift vary widely by area and facility. The cost also depends on the type of surgery and your surgeon’s skill and expertise.
At Newport Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Orange County, we aim to make our services available to different budgets. We offer different financing options to make our procedures more easily available. During your consultation, we will provide you with the final costs of your procedure and explain what exactly goes into these costs and which financing options are offered.
Contact Newport Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Dr. Hisham Seify, along with his talented team at Newport Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Associates, is dedicated to providing a warm, welcoming atmosphere in which you feel comfortable sharing your aesthetic goals and discussing whether mastopexy is the right option for you.
Dr. Seify will carefully walk you through every step of the procedure, sharing the pros and cons of each option so you can make an informed decision in a safe and supportive space. Dr. Seify prides himself on using state-of-the-art technology and techniques to minimize risks and discomfort as much as possible, both during and after your surgery.
If you are ready to learn more about breast lift surgery and what it can do for you, contact the Newport Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Associates office today at (949) 431-2086. We look forward to speaking with you and to scheduling your initial consultation with Dr. Seify.
*The information about Breast Lift (Mastopexy) was reviewed by Dr. Hisham M. Seify. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form below.