What is breast lift surgery?
A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, raises the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.
New statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show breast lifts have grown 70% since 2000, outpacing breast implants 2-to-1.
Sometimes the areola becomes enlarged over time, and a breast lift will reduce this as well.
A breast lift can rejuvenate your figure with a breast profile that is more youthful and uplifted.A woman’s breasts often change over time, losing their youthful shape and firmness. These changes and loss of skin elasticity can result from:
- Weight fluctuations
What breast lift surgery won’t do
Breast lift surgery does not significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast.If you want your breasts to look fuller, consider breast lift and breast augmentation surgery.
If you want smaller breasts, consider combining breast lift and breast reduction surgery.
Breast lift cost
The average cost of a breast lift is $4,377, according to 2014 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Breast lift surgery costs can vary widely. The average fee referenced above does not include anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses.
A surgeon’s fee will be based on his or her experience, the type of procedure used, and the geographic office location.
Most health insurance plans will not cover breast lift surgery, its related complications or another surgery to revise the appearance of your breasts, but many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.
Breast lift cost may include:
- Anesthesia fees
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Medical tests
- Post-surgery garments
- Prescriptions for medication
- Surgeon’s fee
When choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area for a breast lift, remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
Breast lift recovery
During your breast lift recovery, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions after the procedure is completed.
You’ll need to wear an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling and support your breasts as they heal.
A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.You will be given specific instructions that may include:
- How to care for your breasts following surgery
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
- When to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual breast lift recovery period.
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
- Are stitches removed? When?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
Breast lift risks and safety
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of breast lift surgery are acceptable.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any breast lift risks and potential complications.
Breast lift risks include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Bleeding or hematoma formation
- Poor healing of incisions
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
- Breast contour and shape irregularities
- Breast asymmetry
- Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
- Fluid accumulation
- Potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Possibility of revisional surgery
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all of your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
Breast lift and breast implant placement
Some women may want to consider placement of a breast implant in addition to the breast lift.
An implant can provide improved upper breast fullness or cleavage. Implants can be placed at the same time or as a second procedure, depending on the experience of the surgeon.