- 1. WHAT IS A BREAST LIFT?
- 2. Ideal Candidates
- 3. Characteristics of a Good Candidate For Breast Lift Surgery
- 4. Breast Lift Options
- 5. Consultation
- 6. Preparation
- 7. The Breast Lift Process
- 8. Complementary Procedures
- 9. Recovery From Breast Lift Surgery
- 10. Results of Breast Lift Surgery
- 11. Schedule a Breast Lift Consultation
- 12. Frequently Asked Questions
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Whether due to age, pregnancy, weight loss, or genetics, sagging breasts can be elevated to youthful heights with breast lift surgery.
WHAT IS A BREAST LIFT?
Breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure to lift and shape a person’s breasts. Age, pregnancy, and weight loss are just a few factors that can cause breasts to sag, and this procedure is specially designed to counter them. Our Maryland breast lift plastic surgery professionals are highly experienced in performing breast surgery, which is part of why our practice attracts patients from neighboring areas, such as the Metro DC area and North Bethesda, Maryland.
Dr. Jabs, Dr. Richards, and Dr. Magge are board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), as well as members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
With over 15 years of experience in the greater Washington, DC area, our breast lift surgeons are able to give their patients the advice and quality care that they deserve when undergoing breast surgery.
Pregnancy, weight loss, and/or aging can affect the elasticity of the breasts, causing the appearance of excess, sagging skin. In order to reshape and lift the breasts, people can undergo mastopexy. Our District of Columbia breast lift surgeons will let you know if you are a good candidate for this procedure after a consultation.
Characteristics of a Good Candidate For Breast Lift Surgery
Are in good physical health
Are dissatisfied with breast size, shape, and appearance
Have realistic expectations and goals
Are not currently pregnant or breastfeeding
Different people with different experiences have differing degrees of breast sagging, medically known as breast ptosis. The degree of ptosis is always identified during an examination as part of determining whether a person is well-qualified for breast lift surgery.
Degrees of Ptosis
Level 1: Mild sagging – The patient’s areolas are level with the breast crease, but breast tissue is still visibly sagging beneath the crease.
Level 2: Moderate sagging – The patient’s areolas sit below the breast crease and breast tissue is visible below the areolas.
Level 3: Significant sagging – The patient’s areolas sit below the breast crease with little to no visible breast tissue below the areolas.
Pseudoptosis – The patient’s areolas are above the breast crease, but the majority of breast tissue hangs below the breast crease.
Breast Lift Options
Not every breast lift procedure is conducted in the exact same way. The anatomy, health, and lifestyle of every patient is taken into account before our surgeons determine how to remove excess breast skin and tissue to enhance the breast shape and re-establish a youthful breast contour for each patient. These are the options available for different body types and patient goals.
Crescent / Circumareolar Technique
A breast lift can be performed with small incisions, either on the upper half of the areola (crescent incision) or around the entire areola (circumareolar incision). A large advantage of these techniques is the fact that the incisions are camouflaged in the already distinct border between the color change of the breast skin and the areola. These incisions also allow for the reduction of areola size. However, these techniques are only effective for women who experience minor sagging; women experiencing a large amount of sagging will require a more extensive lift.
Also known as the keyhole or lollipop incision, the vertical technique involves one incision made around the circumference of the areola, and another made from the base of the areola incision to the underside of the breast. This additional incision allows the surgeon more lifting capability.
The anchor technique is reserved for patients with a significant amount of sagging that the aforementioned techniques would not be able to address. In addition to a circumferential areola incision and a vertical incision, a third incision is made following the natural breast crease, mimicking the shape of an anchor. Extensive lifting is performed with these incisions, with the appropriate amount of skin and tissue excised for a beautifully lifted and proportional bust.
An initial consultation at our Bethesda, Maryland location is the first step to beginning your breast lift journey. This is the time your surgeon will perform an examination to determine which surgical method you would benefit from most. A customized surgical plan will then be drawn up for you to optimize your individual results. Custom preparation and recovery instructions will also be provided at this time.
Before and after pictures will be available to look at to get an idea of ideal breast lift results for people with similar anatomies and goals, but it’s important to remember that outcomes vary since each procedure is tailored to the individual.
Questions are highly encouraged so please ask anything that comes to mind, even if you do not think it is applicable. Patient comfortability both emotionally and physically is our top priority.
Customized instructions will be given to you at your consultation.
While most preparatory instructions will be individualized, all patients are asked to not smoke for the couple of weeks leading up to their surgery date. Herbal supplements and anti-inflammatory meds should also be avoided for this time period. A mammogram may be needed, as well as certain medical evaluations deemed necessary by your surgeon.
Please make sure to have transportation arranged from surgery; postoperative breast lift patients cannot drive themselves for a couple of days. Your surgeon will also prescribe medications that must be picked up before the day of your procedure; some of these will be required immediately after surgery. The amount of arm motion will be limited for a short period of time, so make sure recovery items are stored at counter level before surgery.
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The Breast Lift Process
Breast lift surgery begins with marking the incision locations, before administering the appropriate amount of anesthesia. Breast lifts are performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can return home after the procedure is completed.
Incisions are made around the areola (nipple) and sometimes under the breast. All breast enhancement surgeries, including breast lifts, result in some scarring with the incision sites. However, newer, minimal incision techniques reduce the scarring.
The appropriate amount of tissue and skin are excised to create the desired results. The areolas can be reduced in size to be made proportionate with the newly shaped breasts. The procedure takes from 1.5 to 2.5 hours to perform. Once the desired lift is achieved, incisions are closed.
This is a procedure commonly performed by our breast lift experts, A. Dean Jabs, M.D., F.A.C.S., Franklin D. Richards, M.D., F.A.C.S., and Keshav Magge, M.D. of Cosmetic Surgery Associates, located in Bethesda, MD. For a full evaluation, feel free to schedule a consultation with one of our physicians.
Breast augmentation surgery along with a breast lift procedure will provide a patient with a shapelier, better-contoured figure. This procedure involves a slight lifting of the breasts, as well as the insertion of breast implants (saline or silicone-filled). This can be done with an incision through the areola or underneath the breasts. Breast augmentation allows the patient full customization of the look and size they desire with a variety of implant options.
Breast enhancement is often paired with body contouring procedures for additional sculpting. A tummy tuck is a fantastic way of slimming and defining your midsection by removing lax skin and tightening abdominal muscles. This procedure is generally reserved for women and men who have not seen improved defining results despite a good diet and exercise routine.
Liposuction is another great body sculpting procedure that can be performed in conjunction with breast lift surgery. It is specifically designed to remove localized fat deposits that are unresponsive to both a healthy diet and working out. The removal of these fat stores can be done just about anywhere on the body, with some of the more popular areas being the stomach, thighs, and waist.
Recovery From Breast Lift Surgery
After your surgeon completes your breast lift surgery, you will be transported to our comfortable recovery room where you will slowly wake from the anesthesia with the company of our attentive, friendly nursing staff. Some patients may require drains; if they are necessary for your case cleaning instructions will be provided.
Your breasts will be wrapped in dressing and supported with a surgical bra. It is important that this remains on at all times until your surgeon says otherwise.
Bruising and swelling are normal occurrences after breast surgery and will resolve on their own. Any discomfort you experience can be eased with prescribed pain medication.
You will be instructed to not sleep on your stomach or side following surgery. Instead, a beach chair position (head and back elevated) is recommended to help reduce swelling more quickly. It will likely be possible for you to return to work after about a week if your job does not require strenuous exercise.
Heavy lifting and vigorous physical activities should be avoided for about 4 weeks or until otherwise instructed. A follow-up visit will be scheduled to assess healing progress and adjust instructions appropriately if necessary.
Results of Breast Lift Surgery
Your final breast lift results can be enjoyed once all traces of swelling and bruising have vanished. Scars resulting from surgery will fade with good care over time.
Schedule a Breast Lift Consultation
If you are considering a breast lift, we strongly recommend reaching out to our office to schedule a personalized one-on-one consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons to know what to anticipate from the overall process. Our office is located only 5 miles away from Rockville & Potomac and just 12 miles away from Washington DC. Please feel free to schedule a private consultation today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a breast lift or just implants?
You only need breast implants with a breast lift if you want more volume to the breasts.
Does insurance pay for breast lift?
No. Insurance may pay for a breast reduction (which includes a lift) if you have symptoms such as pain or rashes from large breasts.
Is a breast lift covered by insurance?
No. Insurance may pay for a breast reduction (which includes a lift) if you have symptoms sucah as pain or rashes from large breasts .
Does a breast lift leave scars?
Breast lift scars are minimal depending on the amount of excess skin and tissue needed to be removed. In some cases, this can be done with just a circular incision around the areolae and a vertical incision from there to the bottom of the breast.
Does a breast lift make your nipples less sensitive?
Side effects you may feel during recovery from breast lift surgery include loss or decreased sensation in the nipples. For the vast majority of patients, this effect is temporary and sensation will return with time.
Do you lose sensation with breast lift?
Those who experience a decreased or loss of sensation after breast lift surgery almost always regain it upon full recovery.
Do you still have feeling in your nipples after breast lift?
Yes, almost every well-qualified breast lift patient retains sensation in the nipples after breast lift.
How do you shower after a breast lift?
Showering after a breast lift is allowed, although your breast lift surgeon will provide you with guidance on how to care for your incision sites, which cannot get wet for several weeks following the procedure.
How long does it take for breast lift scars to heal?
Scars are perhaps the slowest aspect of breast lift surgery to heal. In most patients, scars fade considerably during the first year after the procedure.
How much is a mini breast lift?
A mini breast lift, which cannot address as many issues as a full breast lift, can cost a little less than a full lift, but not significantly less, as many of the fees, such as anesthesia and facility fees, still apply.
How painful is a breast lift?
Breast lifts are not terribly uncomfortable to recover from. Many breast lift patients spend only a few days off work, meaning you can return to light activity (not strenuous exercise) after a long weekend.
How soon after breast lift can I exercise?
Exercise after breast lift should be restricted for around four weeks to ensure tissues and incisions have healed correctly.
How long do breast lift results last?
Although a breast lift cant stop the process of aging, which can lead to skin laxity and breast drooping later in life, results can last many years depending on the techniques used during surgery.
How long does a breast lift last?
A breast lift can last many years depending on the age of the patient and type of surgical techniques used to achieve a more youthful appearance of the breast.
How long does a breast lift take?
Breast lifts take between 1.5 and 2.5 hours.
What is a non surgical breast lift?
A non-surgical breast lift attempts to create more fullness in the upper pole of the breast with strategic injections of platelet-rich plasma. This technique is commonly called a "vampire" breast lift.
What is a partial breast lift?
A partial breast lift, also called a mini breast lift, uses minimal incisions around the areolae to give a slight lift to the breasts, which is not always recommended for everyone.
What is a wrap around breast lift?
Wrap-around tissue techniques are used to enhance the fullness of the upper pole of the breast by using tissue found in the lower breast.
Is getting a breast lift safe?
When performed by board-certified plastic surgeons like Dr. Magge, Dr. Jabs, or Dr. Richards, breast lift surgery is very safe and effective.
What is a crescent breast lift?
A crescent breast lift is used to remove the smallest amount of skin possible by making a half-moon incision that can remove a crescent-shaped piece of skin from near the areolae.
What types of breast lifts are there?
There are many types of breast lifts with various incision techniques, goals, and end results, including mini breast lifts, lollipop incisions, and anchor lifts.
Will a breast lift reduce cup size?
A breast lift can reduce the size of the breasts, but that is not the goal of surgery. For the most effective reduction in cup size, a breast reduction is more appropriate.
Will a breast lift remove stretch marks?
If stretch marks on the breast are in the region of skin that needs to be excised, yes, it will remove stretch marks. However, breast lifts are not designed to specifically remove stretch marks.
Will breast lift affect breastfeeding?
In the vast majority of cases, breast surgeries do not affect a persons ability to breastfeed in the future.
Our Plastic Surgery Associates team includes Dr. Franklin Richards, Dr. A. Dean Jabs, and Dr. Keshav Magge. Each of our plastic surgeons is board-certified, and together they have over 60 years of combined experience. Drs. Richards, Jabs, and Magge are all highly qualified in procedures for the face, breast, and body, and pride themselves in providing excellent results through our state-of-the-art, Quad A certified operating centers