Dr. Nicholas Jones, an expert plastic surgeon based in Atlanta specializes in breast lifts. Many women come in for a visit because they want more youthful appearing breasts. What are “youthful” breasts? Perky breasts that have upper pole volume with tight skin! As we get older, our bodies began to show signs of aging. For many women, this includes aging breasts. The skin loses its elasticity, the breast tissue thins out and you end up with saggy breasts, wrinkled skin, and nipples below the breast fold. Dr. Nicholas Jones can help you determine if a breast lift is the procedure for you.
You may be confused about the many options for restoring the breasts, which include breast augmentation, breast reduction, and breast lifts. In many cases, a breast lift can help you achieve your goals and rebuild your confidence.
The clinical term for a breast lift is mastopexy. A mastopexy involves removing excess skin and breast tissue to correct ptosis, or sagging breasts, as well as improve your breast contour and restore your nipple position. The breasts will have a more aesthetically pleasing shape and youthful appearance.
The nipple may be repositioned to the most projecting part of the breasts. Sometimes, women are unhappy with the size or shape of their areolas. The nipple may also need to be adjusted to balance out the new breast shape.
A breast lift may be combined with other cosmetic procedures such as tummy tucks, breast augmentations (augmentation mastopexy), arm lifts, etc.
Anyone with drooping or sagging breasts might want to consider mastopexy. If you are concerned about the shape of your breasts and want to make them appear more youthful without changing your cup size, you may be a candidate for this surgery.
Breast lifts can improve the appearance of women who:
Have always had loose or sagging breasts
Have lost breast volume after having a baby
Have deflated breasts after weight loss
Have stretched-out skin in the nipple and areola
Are not happy with the shape or placement of their breasts
Are happy with the size of their breasts
Have nipples that point down instead of up or forward
Are near their ideal weight
Are done having children
There are several mastopexy techniques. The technique best for you often depends on your body type, breast shape, and goals. We’ll talk to you about your objectives and work with you to make a decision about the best surgical method to use.
Many people refer to the Benelli lift as a donut lift or a limited incision breast lift. The incision is created around the areola, which can make it less visible when you’re wearing lingerie or swimwear. This technique is ideal for women who want to reshape their areolas, have moderate droop and who don’t need a dramatic change.
During a crescent lift, only skin from above the areola will be removed. The name of this technique comes from the fact that the incision is shaped like an arc. It extends from a 10 o’clock position to a 2 o’clock position halfway across the top edge of the areola. This type of lift is often combined with breast augmentation and is best for women with a minimal amount of sag.
A lollipop lift is a vertical lift. This is one of the most popular types of mastopexy. The name comes from the shape of the incision, which resembles a lollipop. We create a vertical incision below the areola, and the cut surrounds the areola in a circular shape. The lollipop lift can be used to correct a moderate to severe amount of sagging.
To perform an anchor lift, we create a vertical incision from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease. Another incision is made on the inframammary fold, which lies under the breast. We also usually make an incision that surrounds the areola.
An anchor lift is the best option for women with an extreme sag in their breasts. We may also use this technique if we are combining the mastopexy with a breast reduction. This approach produces more visible scarring. However, the incision lies in the breast crease and can be covered with a swimsuit or bra.
Dr. Nicholas Jones, expert plastic surgeon, feels that no one technique is right for every patient and after a thorough evaluation, we will help you select the best technique.
Many people associate any type of breast enhancement surgery with implants. However, it is not always necessary to get implants with a breast lift. If you have enough breast tissue and don’t want to change the size of your breasts, you might be able to accomplish your goals with a mastopexy alone.
Implants are used to give more projection and fill of the superior pole of the breasts. If you do not have enough breast tissue to create a flattering shape, we might suggest adding small implants. They can provide a natural look without inflating the size of your breasts.
It is important to know that placing an implant and performing a lift can be technically challenging. The breast lift is “tightening” the skin, while an implant may be used to expand the skin. These are two opposing forces and can lead to complications if too large of an implant is selected.
Breast lift surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. You’ll be able to go home on the same day as your procedure. However, you will need someone to drive you home and monitor you during the initial recovery period.
We use general anesthesia to make the patient comfortable during the breast lift. You’ll be “asleep” during the entire procedure and won’t feel a thing.
We will use the incision pattern that we agreed on during our consultation. During the procedure, we will remove excess skin; restructure the tissue beneath the skin to reshape your breasts. If you’re getting implants, we will insert them during the procedure.
The incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures and surgical tape. A sports brassiere without is to be worn to aid in relieving tension off of your breasts.
Recovery depends on the patient and the type of procedure. Most people can return home within two hours after a mastopexy. You should get plenty of rest for the first two days. However, we recommend that you move around periodically to maintain circulation and ease stiffness and soreness.
Even though your chest area may feel painful and sore for the first few days, most patients say that medication allows them to tolerate the discomfort. The pain will ease over the first week. You’ll probably feel much better after a week.
In fact, by this time, we may clear you to return to an office job and perform light activities. You can start to exercise again within about three to four weeks.
You might wonder whether you’ll have scarring after a breast lift. Different techniques result in distinct types of scars. We make the incisions as small as possible. Immediately after the surgery, the lines may be red or raised. However, the scars usually fade and flatten out over the course of a year.
Horizontal scars are typically less obvious than vertical ones. Incisions that are made around the areola usually blend in overtime. People with extremely dark or light skin may have the most visible scars. It’s important to use sunscreen if the area is exposed to UV rays to help the area heal and prevent damage.
If you have a history of keloid scarring, it is important to inform Dr. Nicholas Jones so that an appropriate customized plan can be made for you. For all patients, it is important that you follow Dr. Jones's postop protocol to get the best possible scar.
As with any surgery, there are some risks associated with this cosmetic procedure. Some of these include:
Changes in nipple and breast sensations
Irregularities in contour and shape
Depending on the severity of sag that you had before, you will probably notice that your breasts feel higher, plumper and more supported immediately following the surgery. However, you’ll experience swelling for about eight weeks after the procedure. If you have breast implants, they’ll take some time to settle into a natural position.
Within approximately two months, you should be ready to shop for new bras that fit your restored silhouette. The appearance of your breasts will gradually improve within the next year.
Are you concerned about paying for your breast lift? The procedure costs about $7,000 on average. Insurance doesn’t usually cover this procedure. However, you may qualify for financing.
The best way to determine whether a breast lift is right for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nicholas Jones. Perhaps you’re worried that your breasts sag so much that there is no tissue left to lift. You might be concerned about making a choice to get implants. We will answer all of your questions and evaluate your current figure and goals to give you all of the information that you need to make this momentous decision.