Women’s bodies go through several changes in their lifetime. For instance, aging, pregnancy, and weight loss often result in loss of firmness and fullness in the breasts, negatively impacting their size and shape.
Breast lift or mastopexy is one of the most common surgical solutions to droopy or sagging busts. In the United States, the American Association of Plastic Surgeons placed breast lift as the fifth most in-demand cosmetic procedure in the US for 2021-2022, after liposuction, facelift, breast augmentation, and tummy tuck.
While common, prospective patients are advised to gather reliable information before contacting their chosen cosmetic surgeon. Below, you’ll find insightful things about breast lift surgery.
Who can benefit from breast lift surgery?
This cosmetic procedure results in healthier, firmer, and overall better-looking breasts, giving the patient a more attractive, youthful appearance.
As such, a breast lift is suitable for aging women or those who’ve undergone dramatic weight loss, childbirth, and breastfeeding. These situations can cause the chest area to lose volume and the skin to sag, an undesirable look.
Can a breast lift increase breast size?
While it may look like it, a breast lift isn’t enough to add a cup size to your breasts. In some cases, it can even reduce a woman’s cup size owing to firmer skin and repositioned tissues. However, mastopexy can be done with other surgical methods, like a breast implant for bigger busts.
Breast implant vs. breast lift
Many people may confuse breast lift with implant because both result in more visually appealing breasts. However, each procedure addresses separate issues. An implant can enlarge the chest area and dramatically increase breast size, shape, and volume.
In contrast, a lift aims to resolve sagging breast tissue by eliminating extra skin. Women with ample natural breast tissue and who are satisfied with their size are the best candidates for this cosmetic operation.
As an aside, data from the Aesthetic Society showed breast surgery procedures increased by 48% in 2021. The organization’s surgeons reportedly performed 167,395 mastopexy procedures in the said period, representing about half of the total breast augmentations completed.
How much does a breast lift cost?
This procedure costs USD$5,012 on average, according to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons. However, this cost can vary from clinic to clinic, depending on several cost considerations.
What are the processes involved in breast lift surgery?
Once you’ve decided to have mastopexy, gather enough information and book an appointment with a reputable surgeon to discuss the details.
An initial consultation with a qualified specialist should allow you to discuss your concerns, objectives, and expectations. The doctor may do the following:
- Reviewing your medical history and conducting an interview
- Requesting certain medical procedures
- Conducting physical evaluation
- Taking a photo or gathering documentation
The physician will consider the information they’ve gathered and provide the most suitable surgical solutions based on your goals and physical conditions. Potential risks and proper wound management will also be discussed.
How to prepare for a breast lift surgery
Proper preparation is key to avoiding post-surgical issues. To prevent infection and bleeding issues, the doctor will typically ask you to:
- Get a mammogram
- Stop taking certain medications that may increase bleeding
- Avoid smoking
- Maintain proper weight
- Pick a person to assist you after the surgery
Ideally, it would help if you had another person pick you up or drive your car following the operation.
A few techniques are involved in mastopexy, depending on the patient’s breast size and shape, the position of areolas or nipples, breast sagging level, and the amount of excess skin and quality. The surgeon will have decided how to perform the breast lift before the operation date.
Breast lift surgery may be performed in hospitals, clinics, and other non-hospital settings. Here’s what a typical mastopexy procedure will look like:
- Anesthesia is administered.
- The surgeon performs the incision.
- Your breast tissue is lifted and reshaped.
- Excess skin is removed.
- Your incisions are sutured.
- Surgical tapes or adhesives are added.
Patients will be asked to wear a surgical bra or an elastic bandage to support their breasts and keep them in shape. After a few weeks, you may switch to a more comfortable bra.
Experiencing postoperative discomfort is common in breast lift surgery patients, so pain medications are prescribed to reduce pain and manage inflammation. Follow the post-surgery care instructions to accelerate recovery and minimize infection risk.
Typically, a patient has to revisit the surgeon one or two weeks after the procedure. However, contact your doctor immediately for unusual symptoms or severe pain.
What are the risks involved?
A breast lift or any medical procedure should only be performed by a licensed professional to avoid issues. While generally safe, mastopexy involves potentially minor and significant risks, including:
- Temporary loss or reduced sensation in the nipples
- Partial or total loss of the nipples
- Uneven nipple position
- Reduced breastmilk production
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
Always follow the surgeon’s postoperative recommendations to reduce and manage risks effectively.
The bottom line
Breast lift is a surgical procedure that involves removing excess skin on the breast and reshaping the tissues and, in some cases, the areolas, to create better-looking busts. Thousands of women worldwide seek this operation to regain confidence and a more youthful body.
While relatively safe, it does come with potential risks. Hence, discussing with a qualified specialist is important before going under the knife. More importantly, know what to expect throughout the procedure and follow the doctor’s orders for a worry-free operation.