Women, who have excessive breast skin or sagging breasts from lost elasticity, may consider breast lift surgery for a younger, shapelier appearance. Many women will choose to have a breast lift because of how their breasts appear or feel after pregnancy, nursing, and weight loss. In the Metro Washington D.C. area, Dr. Timothy Mountcastle uses a skin tightening technique to reposition the breasts on the chest. In some situations, breast implants (saline or silicone) may be combined with the lift to add volume. The results, when performed by an experienced surgeon, can last for many years.
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The type of incision used during a breast lift procedure will vary depending on the degree of lift and whether implants will be placed during the surgery. If implants are a part of the procedure, whether silicone or saline, they are placed under the pectoralis muscle. This method provides additional support and helps to keep the breasts in a higher position for a longer period of time. In situations where a larger implant is desired, a supportive tissue matrix may be used as a sling to hold the implants in place.
The degree of lift will determine how many incisions are needed and where they will be placed. Once the incisions are made, excess skin and tissue are removed and the nipple and areola are repositioned for a natural placement. The sutures during this procedure are placed deep in the breast wall to secure and hold the breast up firmly. There are several incision placements to consider:
- Around the curvature of the areola (the tissue immediately surrounding the nipple)
- Vertically on the bottom of the areola, down to the crease under the breast
- Horizontally beneath the breast following the natural crease
Breast lift surgery is performed under general anesthesia and is considered an outpatient procedure. Operative time in most cases is between 1-2 hours. Recovery following a breast lift will vary depending on whether it was a stand-alone surgery or if it occurred in conjunction with another body contouring procedure. Most patients are able to resume their normal work schedules within a few days. Exercise will be a gradual process. Most women are able to resume their normal routines within a few weeks. This includes running and weight training.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $6,500 - $8,500
Breast Lift FAQs
Breast Lift or Implants?
Breast augmentation surgery with implants will help with size, but it will not help women if their breasts sag or droop downward past a certain point. Some doctors may use implants to help with sagging. With this approach, the immediate results may look better, but the additional weight causes the breasts to sag further. Some women find a breast lift is the only procedure they need to obtain the fullness they desire and determine implants aren’t necessary. During the consultation, we will discuss whether a breast lift, breast augmentation, or a combination of both will attain the best results.
During a breast lift procedure, the nipple and areola will be placed in a location on the breast that is natural and proportionate. The goal during this surgery is to reduce the size of the areola (the area surrounding the nipple) so it looks balanced with the new breast size and shape.
What About Scarring?
There is no way to avoid making the necessary incisions to complete a breast lift procedure. Therefore, some scarring will result from this procedure. Every effort is made during surgery to minimize scarring. Most women feel that the physical results following a breast lift procedure are worth the scars left behind. During the consultation, we will provide detailed post-operative scar care instructions.
Breast reduction surgery may also be combined with a breast lift to help a patient achieve the size and shape she desires. This surgery is very similar to a lift, but with the added step of removing more breast tissue in conjunction with excess skin. More information on this procedure can be found on the breast reduction page.