Breast Lift And Mastopexy
Breast Lift And Mastopexy
Steve Fallek (Plastic Surgeon & Medical Director, Face Focus Medical Spa, New York City) gives expert video advice on: Who can get a breast lift?; Who should not get a breast lift?; Is a breast lift painful? and more...
What is a "breast lift"?
A breast lift is also called a mastopexy, "pexy" meaning "lift" in Latin. A breast lift is a procedure where patients have sufficient breast volume or breast tissue and just notice that the breast is sagging. What that means is they have excessive skin. A breast lift involves removing the skin and not removing any of the breast volume. This is different than a breast reduction, where both breast skin and breast tissue are removed.
How is a breast lift procedure performed?
Breast lift procedure is performed by removing skin and not removing any breast tissue. How much skin you have will determine exactly how the incision is going to be performed by a plastic surgeon. There are three different types of incisions that are used for breast lifts and these are similar to the breast reduction. If you have a small amount that needs to be removed you can have an incision that either is partially in your nipple or surrounding your nipple. For more skin, you may have what we call a lollipop incision around the nipple and then straight down. If you have significant amount of skin, you may require the classic breast lift or maxtopexy incision which is around the nipple, straight down and then in the inframammary or breast crease.
Who can get a breast lift?
A breast lift is a great operation for patients that have concerns about their breast shape and size. Specifically a breast lift is for patients that have enough breast volume or tissue and they're happy with that, and they're just concerned with the fact that their breasts are sagging, or after pregnancy, they look like they've dropped. Those are the patients that can really benefit from a breast lift.
Who should not get a breast lift?
I think it's important that you see your doctor and your plastic surgeon before you have a breast lift because he or she will determine whether or not you're an appropriate candidate for a breast lift. I see many patients that need or want a lift, and, in fact, would benefit from either a reduction or from other procedures. There's really no patient that wouldn't benefit from a breast lift who has significant extra skin, but you need to see your doctor to determine whether or not you are also a candidate for a breast implant at the same time as a breast lift.
Is a breast lift painful?
A breast lift is not very painful because cutting muscle or bone is not involved. Primarily, it is a matter of moving breast skin so it should not be that painful. Usually a breast lift is done under general anesthesia and is done as an outpatient or same day surgery procedure where patients can go home that same day.
What are the risks and complications associated with a breast lift?
The concerns regarding breast lifts are, firstly, scarring: where those incisions are going to be made and what the scars will look like. With a breast lift, the scars can usually be held to a minimum, if there is an excess of skin. Other complications and concerns with breast lifts include asymmetry, or making sure that both the breasts look roughly the same in size. Other concerns include nipple or partial skin loss, which is usually treated conservatively without further surgery.
What should I expect after breast lift surgery?
Your plastic surgeon will determine his post-op care after a breast lift, but you could expect to be on post-operative medications, pain medications and potentially an antibiotic. You'll also be expected to take care of the incision site, and your doctor will determine that. You will wear a bra for at least a month after a breast lift. Some doctors recommend that you wear it all the time for up to two months. In general, they'll probably make sure that you're not doing any chest or physical exercise until you're seen regularly by your plastic surgeon.
Will I have to take time off from work after breast lift surgery?
Your plastic surgeon will determine his post-op care, but you can expect to be on post-operative medications, pain medications, and potentially an antibiotic. You'll also be expected to take care of the incision sites, and your doctor will determine that. You will wear a bra for at least a month. Some doctors recommend that you wear it all the time for up to two months. In general, they'll probably make sure that you're not doing any chest or physical exercise until you're seen regularly by your plastic surgeon.
What are the costs associated with a breast lift?
A breast lift is considered a cosmetic procedure, and medical insurance will not cover it. The cost for a breast lift depends on your doctor and where you live, but, in general, can run anywhere from $6-7,000 up to around $15,000. A breast lift is considered outpatient or same-day surgery, so your costs will include the doctor's fee and the facility fee. The facility may be the doctor's office, a surgery center or a hospital. The anesthesia requirements will probably be included in that facility fee.
Can I get other plastic surgery procedures at the same time as receiving a breast lift?
One of the most common procedures is to have a breast lift performed with an implant at the same time. That adds both volume to the breast and also removes some of the extra skin. That's a procedure that is commonly performed at the same time as a breast lift. Other commonly performed procedures include liposuction or tummy tucks with a breast lift.