Sagging breasts are an unfortunate side effect of weight loss, aging, and pregnancy (especially if the mother breastfeeds). Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Lintner performs breast lift (mastopexy) procedures at the WellStar Kennestone Regional Hospital’s Outpatient Surgical Center. Sometimes, based on the patient’s goals and anatomy, breast implants are used during the surgery, to give a better shape to the breast.
Dr. Lintner performs two different types of breast lifts – depending on your individual case, he can help you determine the most appropriate surgical approach. In your patient consultation, Dr. Lintner will review various options with you and discuss candidacy requirements for mastopexy. He will also highlight what the procedure can and cannot accomplish, based on your personal preferences and unique anatomy. To help Dr. Lintner better understand your expectations, we recommend that you bring a picture of the look you are hoping to achieve. In some cases, Dr. Lintner may suggest more than one surgical option that can best meet your needs. Our staff excels at making this process easier for you and is available to answer questions or even arrange a second consult, if needed, in order for you to be comfortable with your decision.
- What Is a Breast Lift?
- The Breast Lift Procedure
- Breast Lift Benefits
- Breast Lift Candidates
- Degrees of Breast Ptosis
- Types of Breast Lift
- Breast Lift Recovery
- Breast Lift Risks
- Breast Lift Scars
- Breast Lift Results
- Breast Lift Cost
- Breastfeeding After a Breast Lift
- Breast Lift FAQs
What Is a Breast Lift?
Medically referred to as mastopexy, a breast lift is a plastic surgery procedure designed to address excess and inelastic skin while also elevating the breasts to a more youthful position—ultimately eliminating the appearance of sagging (ptosis). If volume loss is also a concern, Dr. Lintner may recommend a breast lift with implants. If desired, Dr. Lintner can also reshape or reduce the size of the areolas during this procedure.
How is the Breast Lift Procedure Performed?
Dr. Lintner utilizes three main techniques for breast lift surgery: anchor, donut, and lollipop. Following your consultation, he will recommend the type of breast lift that can best achieve your aesthetic goals. He may suggest incorporating breast augmentation in conjunction with your breast lift if excessive volume loss has occurred. Although scars are inevitable, Dr. Lintner can minimize potential scarring through skillfully and carefully placed incisions. Post-surgical instructions will also be provided to help encourage proper healing and fading of scars.
One factor that helps determine the most appropriate surgical approach is the size of the breasts prior to mastopexy. If the patient is happy with the size of her breasts, but simply wants to lift them to a more youthful position, Dr. Lintner can customize the procedure to help maintain breast size—in most cases like this, Dr. Lintner uses a small breast implant to compensate for any potential volume loss caused by skin and tissue removal, ultimately keeping the breasts as close as possible to their original size. If the patient feels her breasts are too large, however, a breast reduction (which includes a lift) may be considered. If a size increase is desired, a breast lift with implants is usually suggested.
What Are the Benefits of Breast Lift Surgery?
In addition to elevating the breasts to a more youthful position, mastopexy offers several other benefits, including:
- Eliminates loose, excess skin
- Corrects breast ptosis (drooping/sagging)
- Provides breasts with a more contoured, rejuvenated appearance
- Can improve breast symmetry
- Nipples and areolas can be reshaped and/or repositioned, if desired
To ensure the best possible outcomes, Dr. Lintner presents his breast lift patients with all potential surgical options, explains the benefits and limitations of each, and creates a custom-tailored treatment plan based on the patient’s individual preferences and needs.
Am I a Good Candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?
Candidates for breast lift surgery include women in good health who have lost breast volume and/or are experiencing mild, moderate, or severe breast ptosis (sagging or drooping). These patients may also wish to address breast asymmetry, nipple position, or areola size. It is generally best for patients to be finished with childbearing before considering this surgery, since pregnancy after surgery can affect results. Similarly, being at or near your goal weight is strongly recommended.
Degrees of Breast Ptosis
Breast ptosis is evaluated based on the degree of sagging present, which is one of the factors that will determine the most ideal breast lift technique for each patient. The degrees of breast ptosis are:
Pseudoptosis (Glandular Ptosis)
Pseudoptosis, also known as “glandular ptosis,” is the least severe degree of breast sag. Patients affected by pseudoptosis typically experience breasts that droop just below the inframammary fold (the crease where the breasts connect to the chest) while the nipples maintain a position above this area.
Grade I Ptosis
The next stage of breast ptosis, Grade I, is characterized by breasts that have descended beneath the inframammary fold while the nipples are centered at the fold.
Grade II Ptosis
Grade II ptosis indicates breasts that sag below the inframammary fold and nipples that have descended just beneath the fold.
Grade III Ptosis
When the breasts and nipples droop significantly below the inframammary fold and the nipples/areolas are exhibiting a downward projection, this is typically indicative of Grade III ptosis, which is the most severe form of breast sag.
Dr. Lintner will examine you during the initial consultation to evaluate the specific degree of breast ptosis you are experiencing. Once this has been determined, he can talk with you about the technique that can best achieve your breast enhancement goals.
What Are the Different Types of Breast Lift Surgery?
Anchor Incision (Full Mastopexy)
Click to View IllustrationAlso known as an “inverted T,” the anchor incision is the most commonly used technique for mastopexy. Incisions will be placed in three locations: around the areola, vertically downward from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease, and along the breast fold. This method is ideal for addressing a significant amount of sagging or drooping of the breasts, as it allows Dr. Lintner to remove a great deal of excess tissue and skin so he can effectively resize and reshape the breasts.
Donut Incision (Periareolar Mastopexy)
Click to View IllustrationThis type of breast lift is often recommended for patients with a minimal amount of sagging or drooping. It is typically also ideal for individuals who wish to correct breast asymmetry or an imbalance in nipple position. Areolas can be reduced in size, as well, if desired. Incisions are made around the areola, allowing Dr. Lintner to remove a small amount of excess skin and lift the nipple to a higher position. Breast implants are frequently recommended as an addition to this procedure, due to its tendency to reduce projection of the breast and nipple. Scarring from this technique can easily be concealed around the circumference of the areola.
What is Breast Lift Recovery Like?
After breast lift surgery, patients may experience some mild discomfort, but this can usually be managed with medication. If breast implants have been placed as part of your procedure, recovery will be similar to that of breast augmentation. Dr. Lintner will provide you with customized aftercare instructions — carefully following these directions can be crucial to a successful recovery and ideal results.
To allow for sufficient healing time, Dr. Lintner generally advises breast lift patients to take at least a week off from work and other regular activities. During recovery, it is also strongly recommended to receive assistance with childcare, housework, and/or other daily tasks for up to one week. The gym and other strenuous activities should be avoided for approximately one month.
What are the Risks of Breast Lift Surgery?
Dr. Lintner takes many precautions to minimize the potential for complications resulting from breast lift surgery; however, patients should always be aware of the risks associated with surgical procedures. Although rare, the risks of breast lift surgery include infection, excessive blood loss, a negative reaction to anesthesia, and permanent numbness in the breast tissue and/or nipples. Dr. Lintner will discuss all risks of breast lift surgery with you during the consultation and explain the techniques he will utilize to reduce those risks. You will also be provided with a detailed post-operative guideline that can help you minimize the possibility of complications during the healing process.
What Will My Breast Lift Scars Look Like?
Any resulting scars after breast lift surgery will depend on the incision option selected for your surgery, but Dr. Lintner takes great care to ensure scars are as inconspicuous as possible. Breast lift scars are usually easily concealed by most clothing and swimwear options. Additionally, with proper aftercare, scars should fade over time. Ultimately, though, most patients feel the benefits of breast lift surgery tend to outweigh any concerns about scarring.
How Long Do the Results of a Breast Lift Last?
The results of breast lift surgery can last for many years as long as some steps are taken to help maintain the effects. Staying on a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco products, minimizing weight fluctuations, and wearing a bra that provides good support are all positive lifestyle habits that can extend the results of a breast lift. It is also very important to apply a strong sunscreen to your skin each time you go outside, and to refrain from using tanning beds. Breast lift surgery can significantly reduce the appearance of sagging; however, the aging process will continue, and the procedure cannot prevent an eventual recurrence of breast ptosis. With this in mind, the effects of breast lift surgery can often be maintained for exceptionally long periods of time with the adoption of these extra precautions.
Can I Breastfeed After Breast Lift Surgery?
Breast lift surgery can be performed using special techniques that enable patients to retain the ability to breastfeed after the procedure. It is important to note that some women do not naturally have this ability; however, those who are able to nurse before their breast lift surgery should be able to nurse after the operation, as long as techniques designed to preserve the functionality of the milk ducts and other anatomical structures necessary for breastfeeding are utilized. Please be sure to mention your plans regarding breastfeeding to Dr. Lintner during the consultation and he will develop the breast lift treatment plan based on your goals. With this in mind, Dr. Lintner typically advises patients to postpone breast lift surgery until after they no longer plan to bear children. Ultimately, pregnancy and breastfeeding can reverse the effects of a breast lift, so it is often better to have this procedure performed after the patient’s family is already complete.
How Much Does Breast Lift Surgery Cost?
The overall cost of a breast lift will depend on the specific treatment plan, but on average, patients can expect to pay approximately $5,900 – $6,800, depending on the extent of the lift. This cost includes the surgeon’s fee, prescribed medications, anesthesia, hospital fees, and more. It is important to note that many breast lift price quotes available online only take the surgeon’s fee into consideration, whereas the estimate above is more representative of the final cost.
To help make the price of breast lift surgery more manageable, we offer payment plans through some of the most respected plastic surgery lending companies. Qualified applicants are able to make monthly payments with low or no interest. During your initial consultation, we can help you find the plan that is best for you and your budget.
Additional Breast Lift FAQs
Can I get a breast lift without implants?
Yes; breast lift surgery can be performed with or without the use of breast implants. Depending on the amount of volume loss, some patients may experience a mild reduction in breast size after mastopexy, so conservative implants may be suggested if the patient wishes to maintain the same cup size. During your consultation, Dr. Lintner can go over your options and their projected outcomes to ensure you are comfortable with your decision.
Can exercises help lift my breasts without surgery?
Although some sources claim exercises can help lift the breasts, the only effective way to address inelastic skin and volume loss is with mastopexy. Exercises can help reduce fat and strengthen the pectoral muscles beneath the breasts, but any drooping or sagging will still remain.
How soon after breast lift surgery can I return to my normal routine?
Each patient heals at different rates, but for most patients, it is best to take one or two weeks off from work and other regular activities to allow ample time for the breasts to heal. If your mastopexy is combined with other procedures for a Mommy Makeover (or another comprehensive treatment), this timeframe may need to be adjusted. Dr. Lintner can work with you to personalize your post-op instructions to ensure proper healing. After returning to your daily routine, it is still important to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for several weeks. Multiple appointments will be scheduled after surgery to monitor your healing and answer any questions you may have along the way. Additionally, Dr. Lintner will provide you with his personal phone number, in case you have any concerns after surgery.
Learn More About Breast Lift Surgery
Dr. Thomas Lintner is aware that you not only need information regarding your breast lift procedure, but you must also feel comfortable with the surgeon who will perform the surgery. Because of this, he has provided additional details on the procedure written in his own words. Read Dr. Lintner’s thoughts below on breast lifts.
If you would like to learn more about mastopexy, or are interested in scheduling a one-on-one consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon, please contact our office. In your consultation, Dr. Lintner can provide you with detailed and personalized answers to your questions.