Aging, pregnancy, and weight loss all cause the breasts to lose their elasticity, firmness, and shape. Breast lift surgery (mastopexy) addresses sagging breasts by removing excess skin, tightening and repositioning the breast tissue, and adjusting the nipple-areolar complex (NAC) to be higher on the breast.
Dr. Todd Koch offers mastopexy at his Williamsville practice, serving the greater Buffalo area. He is dedicated to helping his patients achieve their preferred aesthetic and treats them as the unique individuals they are.
What Causes Breasts to Sag?
There are many different factors that contribute to the loss of breast firmness and shape. Some of these include:
- Weight loss
- Breast implant removal
These conditions all play a role in the sagging of breasts, and unlike the skin on your face, there are not many options to prevent it from happening.
There are different degrees of sagging, from mild to severe. In some mild cases, breast implants can improve the breasts’ position and shape. However, more advanced cases require additional incisions to raise the NAC, remove and tighten the extra skin, and reposition breast tissue with or without the addition of breast implants.
What Are the Benefits of Breast Lift Surgery?
Breast ptosis (sagging) presents both aesthetic and comfort-related concerns. Having loose, sagging breasts (no matter the reason) can result in a significant lack of self-esteem and can even cause insecurities with a partner. Additionally, significantly sagging breasts can rub against the skin at the top of the ribcage, causing irritation, chafing, and painful rashes.
Breast lift surgery raises the breasts to restore a more youthful and healthier breast appearance.
What Are Your Breast Lift Options?
The amount of lift required generally determines the incision technique used. Here are the three main types of lifts that are available.
- Benelli or donut lift — two concentric circular incisions are made around the areola, through which skin is removed
- Lollipop lift or circumvertical lift — a circular incision around the areola with a vertical incision down the center of the breast’s lower pole to the crease, creating a “lollipop” shape
- Inverted-T or anchor lift — uses the same incisions as the lollipop lift but with an additional horizontal incision along the crease of the breast (inframammary fold)
The donut lift limits the scar to the junction between the skin and the areola. This approach is rarely performed without implants and offers very subtle lifting effects. This technique is not appropriate for women with moderate to severe ptosis.
The “lollipop” lift is a highly effective method of breast lifting and often accompanies breast implants. Auto augmentation moves breast tissue from the lower part of the breast to the upper part to provide improved shape and fullness.
Finally, an inverted-T mastopexy (anchor list) is reserved for the most severe cases of sagging. This approach adds a horizontal scar in the breast crease. This technique gives your plastic surgeon the most control and allows for a more significant lift. This incision is also used when a breast lift is combined with breast reduction.
Most breast surgery scars blend nicely with the surrounding skin and are often barely noticeable.
How Is Breast Lift Surgery Performed?
A mastopexy is an outpatient procedure that will take two to three hours to complete under general anesthesia. This means you will need someone to drive you to and from your procedure.
Once your chosen incisions have been made, Dr. Koch will remove excess skin, tighten the underlying tissues, and reposition the NAC higher on the breast.
If you are undergoing a combination augmentation, implants will be inserted into the breast pocket. If you choose to combine your lift with a reduction, excess breast glandular tissue and fat will be removed.
The sutures are hidden under the skin and will dissolve.
Your Breast Lift Consultation
During your consultation, Dr. Koch will listen carefully to your concerns. He will obtain a complete medical history, perform an examination of your breasts, and take measurements to determine the degree of sagging.
Computer 3D imaging with the VECTRA® 3D will allow you to see what your breasts will look like after your surgery. This remarkable tool will assist you in selecting the appropriately sized implant.
All surgeries carry some risk, and Dr. Koch will discuss the risks associated with your breast procedure.[Check out Dr.Koch’s before and after pics in our photo gallery.]
What Does Breast Lift Surgery Cost?
The cost of breast lift surgery varies widely and depends on your situation, geographical location, and the surgeon’s expertise. Dr. Koch will advise you of your cost at the end of your consultation.
What Should I Know About Breast Lift Recovery?
Your breasts are expected to be swollen and sore. You will be prescribed pain medication, although some patients suffice with OTC medication.
Your breasts will be placed in a comfortable bra to help reduce pain and swelling and ensure that your breasts heal correctly.
You should rest on the evening of your procedure as well as during the initial days of your recovery. Do not stretch over your head or carry anything of weight. Be sure to participate in light, leisurely walks to ensure proper blood circulation.
2 Weeks After
Most women will have returned to work and their day-to-day activities by the two-week mark. Patients should still refrain from strenuous exercise or any heavy lifting. While most of the swelling will have subsided, you are still likely to have some swelling and tenderness.
6 Weeks After
Most patients are cleared to resume all activities after six weeks, even vigorous exercise (although you should get clearance from Dr. Koch).
A sports bra will be required for at least six weeks. Avoid all underwire bras until your incisions have healed completely.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Lift Surgery
How should I prepare for my breast lift?
After your consultation, you will be scheduled for any pre-operative tests required. If you are a smoker, you will need to quit several weeks before surgery to avoid risky complications.
Will a breast lift change the size of my breasts?
Breast lift surgery is designed to elevate and tighten sagging breasts. Any change in size will be minimal and a result of the change in breast shape. If you are looking to increase the size of your breasts, you will need to consider implants or fat grafting. Alternatively, you can combine your lift with breast reduction if you want to decrease breast size.
Will I need a breast lift if I have my breast implants removed?
Women choose to remove their breast implants for all sorts of reasons. Many women who choose to remove large implants (without removal) or women who have had their implants for many years will often benefit from a breast lift as part of their breast revision procedure. This ensures that they will remain youthful and perky.
Can I breastfeed after a breast lift?
Some women turn to this surgery after significant weight loss, even if it is before they have had children. Even though some women can breastfeed after a breast lift, there is no guarantee. Due to the incisions made, there is a chance that the connection between the ducts and nipples will be damaged.
If you hope to have children after your breast lift, please inform Dr. Koch of this.
Why should I choose Dr. Koch for my breast lift?
Dr. Koch understands that breast surgery can improve a woman’s physical shape and go a long way to boost confidence and self-esteem. His experience and expertise allow him to produce excellent results for his patients in and around Buffalo, NY.