A mastopexy or breast lift procedure addresses breast sagging, asymmetry, loss of shape or volume, and stretched or drooping areolae, to give breasts an overall more attractive and youthful appearance. While aging and heredity are perhaps the most common causes of sagging breasts, other factors such as pregnancy, nursing, and weight fluctuations can also contribute.
What is important to understand about the breast lift procedure is that it will involve scars on the breast. This means that it is a procedure that, by definition, involves tradeoffs. When a breast has minimal sagging, the scars related to a breast lift may well not be worth it.
Not all breast lifts are the same. If a relatively small amount of lifting is needed, then there may only be a scar around the areola. When breasts are significantly saggy, then in addition to the scar around the areola, a vertical scar is needed running from the bottom of the areola to the fold under the breast (also known as a “lollipop” scar). In other cases, there will also be a horizontal scar at or near the fold under the breast. This type of scar is commonly referred to as an anchor scar.
Despite the fact that there is a scar surrounding the areola, it is actually quite rare that the areola is completely removed from the breast. Except in cases of truly severe breast sagging, the areola is left attached to the underlying breast tissue, so that there is no disruption in sensation or ability to breastfeed.
Every individual scars differently, and Dr. Rapaport will review with each patient what he considers to be the likely type of scarring they can expect. This relates largely to skin color, age, and the exact type of breast lift to be performed.
It is important to understand that breast lift surgery is one of the most technically demanding cosmetic surgery procedures. Therefore, one must be very careful in selecting an experienced and thorough plastic surgeon with whom one feels comfortable to perform one’s breast lift procedure.
Breast lift surgery typically takes between 1 and 3.5 hours, depending on the complexity of the case.
Yes, breast lift procedures are performed under general anesthesia, by a board-certified anesthesiologist.
Dr. Rapaport performs breast lift procedures with or without simultaneous augmentation at his fully accredited on-site surgical facility in Manhattan. In selected cases, the procedure may be performed at Lenox Hill Hospital or at the Manhattan Eye Ear and Throat Hospital (MEETH) in Manhattan.
All breast lift patients wear a surgical bra home following surgery, and have dressings over the incisions for about 2 weeks.
Most breast lift surgery patients resume their daily routines within about 1 week; however, patients are advised to take it very easy for 1-2 weeks following their mastopexy.
Patients must wait 3 or more weeks before resuming exercise or other strenuous activities. Patients are also advised to be extremely gentle with their breasts for six weeks following surgery.
Breast lift surgery results can last permanently; however, aging, gravity, and weight changes can also alter the results and create the need for an eventual breast lift revision (also known as a secondary breast lift).
A phenomenon called "bottoming out" refers to stretching of the skin below the areola, which can occur over time following a breast lift procedure. Specific issues relating to each patient’s breast lift and expectations are reviewed at the time of each individual consultation.
Yes. Any procedure that requires the skin to be lifted and reshaped, such as in the case of a breast lift, breast reduction, facelift, or tummy tuck, poses a challenge to the blood supply of the skin. Cigarette smoking, or for that matter any form of smoking, significantly reduces the quality of blood flow within the skin, and therefore leads to increased risk of major complications, including skin loss or loss of the areola itself. It is for this reason that Dr. Rapaport will not perform this procedure on any patient who continues to smoke. He requires abstinence from all smoking for 6 weeks prior to the procedure, and a minimum of 2 weeks following the procedure.