The idea of having years of breast sagging and volume loss magically lifted in a single procedure sounds like a dream come true for many people. But there are a lot of details to consider when deciding if a breast lift is a good choice for you. In order to help you figure that out, we have answered the most common questions and points of confusion surrounding this popular cosmetic surgery.
What Is a Breast Lift?
Starting with the basics is important. A breast lift is a cosmetic surgery that aims to create perkier and more attractive breasts in a patient by removing excess skin and tissue in the area. It is generally performed under anesthesia as an outpatient procedure, which means you will need to be willing to commit to a full surgery in exchange for dramatic improvement in your breast contours.
What Is a Breast Lift Called?
Most surgeries have multiple names that people use. A breast lift is also referred to as a mastopexy, primarily by surgeons and other medical professionals. You should remember that terms like “boob jobs” refer to breast augmentation, which is technically a different procedure than a breast lift.
How Common are Breast Lifts?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons report, more than 87,000 breast lifts were performed throughout 2020. The year prior, more than 110,000 were performed. Like most aesthetic procedures, COVID-19 impacts the total number of procedures performed, but the high volume that was retained despite restrictions shows how much people value the results that a breast lift can provide.
Do I Need a Breast Lift?
This question is mostly a personal one. If you are experiencing breast sagging after pregnancy, nursing, weight fluctuation or the natural aging process, then you are likely someone who could benefit from a breast lift. But you should be sure that you have the procedure performed for your own reasons — not to meet someone else’s expectations. If you want to look better in swimwear or generally want to improve your appearance for your own confidence, then you should consider a breast lift.
How Much Is a Breast Lift?
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that the average cost of a breast lift in 2020 was $5,012. While this is a great place to start, you should keep in mind that your own price may differ depending on a few factors like the amount of correction being performed, any combination procedures, your unique geographic location and your own aesthetic goals. Facility fees and anesthesia costs can change depending on a variety of factors as well.
When Can I lift My Arms After Breast Lift or Reduction?
Immediately after your surgery, it is likely that your range of motion will be limited. You should avoid overexerting or overextending yourself during your recovery since you could accidentally reopen your wounds and damage the long-term appearance of your scars. You will have regular follow-up appointments with our expert staff, who will let you know when certain milestones are safe to cross. Typically, after a couple of weeks, you can safely and comfortably lift your arms without risking damage to your wounds.
Do Your Breasts Get a Lift During a Breast Reduction?
A breast reduction is a different procedure than a breast lift. Breast reductions aim to decrease the size and volume of a woman’s breasts. However, when that is achieved, the woman is often left with an unnecessary excess of skin and tissue that would cause the breasts to droop. For this reason, most surgeons will perform a breast lift or “mini” breast lift to ensure a perky and appealing shape. This issue becomes less of a concern in patients with strong skin elasticity.
How Is a Breast Lift Performed?
A breast lift is performed in four steps: anesthesia, incisions, tissue removal and closure. The entire process can take a couple of hours, depending on your specific surgery. Your surgeon should go through the whole process with you before the day of the surgery, so there should be no surprises or questions left for you on the day of the procedure.
What Are the Breast Lift Incision Options?
There are three primary incision patterns that are used: circular, lollipop and anchor. The circular incision makes a cut around the nipple-areolar complex. It provides the most negligible noticeable scarring and the least amount of access to your surgeon. This is generally reserved for patients with mild breast sagging. The lollipop incision includes the same cut as the previous method but consists of a vertical incision spanning from the nipple-areolar complex to the bottom of the breast fold. This provides more access at the cost of more scarring and is a good option for anyone with moderate skin ptosis. The anchor technique uses both the circular and lollipop incisions but goes further by cutting across the bottom of the inframammary fold beneath the breast. This provides the greatest amount of access and the highest amount of incisions for patients with severe levels of breast ptosis.
What Age Can I Get a Breast Lift?
Generally, the only rule of thumb is to make sure your breasts have finished developing before having any surgeries. If you were to have a breast lift too early, there is no telling how future growth will impact the aesthetic of your breasts. This also goes for anyone who is looking to become pregnant, nurse or lose a significant amount of weight. Having a breast lift performed and then fluctuating your breast size can compromise your results and put you back to square one.
How Safe Is a Breast Lift?
Breast lift surgery is considered very safe, but you should always know that certain risks are always present when undergoing anesthesia and surgery. You will have a complete medical team with you on the day of your surgery to monitor your health. As long as you have disclosed all medical conditions, it is improbable that a serious complication will develop.
Can I Get a Limited Incision Breast Lift?
Patients with mild to moderate amount of needed correction may be eligible for a limited incision breast lift, which reduces the total amount of scarring on your body. The approach to your particular procedure will be unique to you, so it is best to speak to one of our medical professionals about this option. We perform this on a great number of women who are often ecstatic with the results.
Does Medicare Cover Breast Lifts?
Medicare does not cover anything that is considered cosmetic or optional. In some cases, a breast reduction and lift combination may be covered if the condition is causing other medical concerns, but a breast lift in itself typically yields no medical benefits.
Does Insurance Cover Breast Lifts?
Similar to Medicare, private insurance policies rarely cover elective cosmetic procedures like breast lifts if there is no medical benefit to the patient. You should always check with your insurance provider to see if there are any benefits available to you.
Is There a Nonsurgical Breast Lift?
While a nonsurgical breast lift sounds like a fantastic concept, there is, unfortunately, no nonsurgical option available on the market that will allow you to experience the same results as a breast lift. Some minimally invasive or noninvasive claim to provide some results, but these are often just used as bandaid solutions until a patient is ready to commit to a complete breast lift surgery.
Does a Breast Lift Leave Scars?
Yes, part of having a breast lift performed is the eventual development of scar tissue. Luckily, most of the incisions that are made for this surgery are hidden within natural folds and borders on the body, making them much harder to notice in most cases. As time goes by, the scars will naturally begin to fade — many patients eventually find their scars virtually invisible.
Can I Get a Breast Lift Without Scars?
Unlike a breast augmentation, which can go through different parts of the body, a breast lift requires that tissue is directly removed from the body — meaning that scarring is inevitable. There is currently no technique that can remove this tissue and excess skin without developing scars. But there is something called a Limited Incision Breast Lift that was designed to minimize the amount of scarring.
Do I Need Implants with a Breast Lift?
No, you do not have to have implants placed during your breast lift. You can, however, choose to do so if that is your aesthetic preference. In some cases, increased size can mean fewer incisions since some volume loss is being addressed by filling in the excess tissue. You should consult with a member of our expert team to figure out exactly which method would best achieve your aesthetic goals.
Is a Breast Lift Painful?
A breast lift is a surgical procedure, so you should be prepared for some level of pain or discomfort. While most patients can get through this pain with over-the-counter medications, prescriptions are available for those who need them. The first two weeks of recovery will be the most difficult since this is when you will experience the most pain, discomfort, swelling, redness and soreness. By the end of those two weeks, the worst of most of these symptoms are behind you.
Is Breast Lift Surgery Dangerous?
In the hands of a highly trained and experienced professional like those at Newport Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Associates, breast lift surgery is not considered particularly dangerous. Aside from the typical anesthesia risks, a breast lift is relatively low stakes.
Can You Breastfeed After a Breast Lift?
A breast lift has no impact on a woman’s ability to breastfeed. Everything necessary to produce and supply milk to an infant is still there. If you are considering having children, though, you may want to consider having your breast lift performed after your childbearing and nursing process since these life steps can reverse the results from your breast lift.
How Long Does a Breast Lift Take to Heal?
Usually, a full recovery can be made within eight weeks, depending on your body’s ability to heal and the extent of the correction that was performed. You will have plenty of follow-up appointments with your surgeon to ensure healing is going smoothly. It is also common for a resorbable mesh to be used to provide more breast support throughout this process.
Can I Go Without a Bra After a Breast Lift?
Immediately after a breast lift and during your recovery, you will more than likely need to wear a supportive bra round the clock. You may even be provided with what is known as a compression garment — a tight piece of clothing that is used on the targeted area to prevent excess swelling. Once your recovery is over, many patients find themselves fully capable of skipping the bra thanks to their new perky breast appearance.
How Long After a Breast Lift Can I Swim?
You will need to progress fully through the healing process in order to go swimming. Wait until you are officially cleared by your surgeon, otherwise, you risk infection or the opening of your wound. Both of these options can drastically damage your results and safety, so you should always wait until you are cleared by your surgeon to move forward with strenuous activities like this one.
How Long Does a Breast Lift Last?
The longevity of your breast lift is based entirely on your genetics, lifestyle and environment. Some people find that they can go more than 15 years without needing a follow-up treatment, while some people need to repeat the process every 10 years or so to keep up with the development of new tissue sagging.
Is a Breast Lift Worth It?
Many of our patients are happy to find out that their new breast appearance was well worth their financial and time investment. They reclaim their confidence and live fuller lives because they are no longer self-conscious. Whether you consider a breast lift to be worth it or not depends on how much you value things like self-confidence.
Expert Breast Lift Surgery in Newport Beach, CA
If you are ready to learn more about how breast lift surgery can improve your confidence by restoring perkier and more youthful breasts, give our office a call at (949) 431-2086 to schedule a consultation or fill out our online contact form to have a member of our team reach out to you at a better time. We are looking forward to being your trusted partner throughout your aesthetic journey.