As you age, bear children or fluctuate weight, the tight ligaments that once hoisted your breasts up become lax and stretched, causing the breasts to droop.
A breast lift is an outpatient procedure that gives breasts their youthful appearance back by removing excess skin, reshaping underlying breast tissue, and raising the areolas/nipples higher.
How a breast lift is performed
During the roughly 3-hour procedure, the surgeon makes an incision along your areolas (the dark area surrounding the nipples). Additional incisions may be made along your breast creases or vertically from the areolas to the breast creases.
Breast skin is removed and internal stitches are put deep within the breasts to give them a rounder shape. Areolas are resized if large and stretched, or they and your nipples are simply brought up to a higher position on the breasts so that they project.
The skin is joined back together and sealed with stitches. Skin adhesives or surgical tape may be placed over the incisions for protection.
Breast lift incision types and techniques
Crescent, Benelli, lollipop, and anchor are the four incision techniques. Which you receive depends on the amount of breast sag you have.
Crescent lift (minor sag): A small incision is made halfway along the top edge of the areola. This only leaves room for little breast tissue rearrangement.
Benelli lift (mild sag): An incision is done around the entire rim of the areola. More skin is removed than with the Crescent, but tissue adjustment is still minimal.
Lollipop lift (moderate sag): One incision goes around the areola and another from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease. The addition of the vertical incision allows for more skin excision and tissue reshaping.
Anchor lift (significant sag): Incisions are created around the areola, along the breast crease, and from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease. Large amounts of skin and tissue can be removed and greater reshaping can occur.
All are commonly performed with a breast augmentation, except for the anchor lift, which is usually done during a breast reduction.
Breast lift recovery
You go home the same day of surgery with your breasts bandaged or in a post-surgical bra. Some patients get drainage tubes, and these remain for a few days to keep fluid and blood from building up, which could increase swelling and risk for complications.
Rest the first few days, but take short walks periodically to promote blood circulation and healing. Depending on the type of lift, expect the height of discomfort and swelling to last for up to 2 weeks. Residual swelling and tenderness are normal thereafter for a few months.
Numbness of the breast skin, areolae, and nipples can occur and takes roughly 6 weeks to subside. During this time period, you’ll be instructed to avoid certain movements and exercises. Your occupation will determine when you return to work.
Breast lift results
An immediate change in breast shape and position are noticed. Final results come months later, after total healing. Your breasts will be firmer and rounder, but smaller than they were before. This is due to skin removal and breast tissue being pulled tighter.
Incision scars are permanent just as they are with breast augmentation; they will soften and lighten over 2 years. Crescent and Benelli lifts leave the least scarring and anchor the most.
Keep in mind a breast lift cannot add fullness or volume. You would need to couple the procedure with a breast augmentation to obtain cleavage and bigger breast size. Also, the results of a breast lift alone may fade or be reversed in the event of pregnancy, significant weight loss, and hormonal changes caused by aging.
Breast lift cost
Geographical location and surgeon fees are just two things that dictate cost; however, the average breast lift runs $4,672. This may or may not include anesthesia fees, surgical facility costs, prescription medications, medical test, and post-surgical garments.
The best way to calculate the cost is to consult a board-certified plastic surgeon.