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After weight loss, pregnancy and breastfeeding, or simply due to age or genetics, breasts can begin to droop and sag. Sagging breasts and downturned nipples can be corrected with a breast lift, which elevates and restores the breasts to achieve a firmer, rounder shape that appears more youthful and “perky.”

What is a breast lift?

This surgical procedure firms, lifts, and reshapes the breasts to compensate for factors that have caused the breasts and nipples to sag or droop. During a breast lift procedure, the breasts are lifted higher on the chest wall, loose skin is removed and the breast tissue and surrounding tissue are tightened. The areola and nipples can be repositioned or made smaller and tilted attractively upward to achieve a youthful, perky appearance. Breast lift surgery renews a woman’s self-esteem and provides a youthful, appealing breast appearance.

Breast lift candidates

Breast lift procedures are customized for each woman, depending on her physical needs and aesthetic goals. During your consultation, Dr. Becker will examine your breasts and understand your goals and determine if you’re a good candidate for a breast lift. Breast lift candidates meet the following requirements:

  • You are physically healthy
  • You have realistic expectations about what a breast lift procedure can achieve for you
  • You do not smoke
  • Are not currently pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You’re not currently taking or can stop taking blood-thinning medications or supplements

Which concerns can a breast lift address?

A breast lift can address a number of breast concerns, including the following:

  • Volume loss
  • Sagging breasts
  • Enlarged areolas
  • Breast asymmetry
  • Downward-pointing nipples
  • Flattened or elongated breasts
  • Nipples that sit below the crease under your breast.
  • Stretched breasts

What are the Benefits of a Breast Lift?

A breast lift provides a number of benefits for patients who would like to address sagging breasts:

  • A more attractive, youthful breast appearance
  • Smaller, more shapely areolae
  • More shapely, curving, round breasts
  • More proportionate breasts
  • Attractive breast symmetry
  • Uptilted, youthful nipples
  • Better cleavage
  • Improved fit in clothing
  • Better breast projection

Mastopexy (Breast Lift)

Traditional Mastopexy (anchor incision)

One of the major concerns of a patient undergoing breast lift surgery is the resultant scars. Traditionally, breast lift surgery was performed using an anchor incision, which included a scar around the areola, a vertical scar and a horizontal scar at the bottom of the breast.

Vertical Mastopexy

Recently, the vertical mastopexy has come into vogue. With this procedure, the horizontal scar under the breast is eliminated, leaving only a vertical scar.

The Donut Mastopexy

The donut mastopexy eliminates both the vertical and horizontal scars; leaving the circular scar around the areola. Unfortunately with this technique, the scar around the areola can become stretched and visible. Puckering of the skin around the scar can also be problematic.

Skin Markings

Sub-areola Mastopexy (“Invisible scar” breast lift)

Dr. Becker has developed a new technique called the sub-areola mastopexy. This technique enables a breast lift to be performed with virtually no scarring. The sub-areola mastopexy also results in less tension at the suture site. The scars are often barely noticeable.

Skin Markings

Excess skin excised and Areola elevated

sutures placed under areola

Sutures placed under the Areola, thus reducing tension on skin edges

Tension free, Healing results in Minimal Scarring

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a breast lift last?

This depends on your skin elasticity, the type of breast lift performed (circumareola or vertical), and if implants were used or an internal mesh was placed for support.

What is the recovery time of a breast lift?

With the circumareola breast lift, recovery time is rapid within a few weeks, unless additional lifting procedures are done internally. With a vertical breast lift, recovery is longer as there is a vertical scar from the areola down to the base of the breast which requires healing. There will be drains used with a breast lift, particularly if an internal mesh suspension is used.

Does the “Virtually Scarless” breast lift damage the functionality of the nipple?

Loss of sensation of the nipple can occur with any breast lift; but is extremely rare. In the “Virtually Scarless” breast lift, the nipple is raised and there is no cutting of the deep tissue where the nerves may enter the nipple.

Will I still be able to breastfeed?

The ability to breastfeed is usually preserved during breast lift surgery. During your consultation, be sure to tell Dr. Becker you would like to be able to breastfeed again after your procedure.

How long should I wait to exercise after a breast lift?

You may take light walks within a week, but wait for 4-6 weeks before engaging in strenuous exercise.

Is my breast lift covered by health insurance?

Breast lifts are not usually covered by insurance unless the procedure is considered a medical necessity.

Pioneer in the field

Dr. Becker is the pioneer of the sub-areola mastopexy technique. He serves as an instructor and teaches these techniques to other doctors around the United States and the world. Dr. Becker has also written numerous articles and plastic surgery textbook chapters on this topic, including:

  1. The dermal overlap sub areola mastopexy: A preliminary report. Aesthetic Surgery, September/October 2001.
  2. The correction of breast ptosis with the expander mammary prosthesis. Annals of Plastic Surgery, Vol. 24, No. 6, June 1990.
  3. Sub areola Mastopexy: Update. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, September/October 2003.

Dr. Becker’s response to questions on realself.com

Click here for Dr. Becker’s response to questions on realself.com

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