As women, we want shapely, youthful breasts that complement other feminine features. However, gravity and time are constantly working against us, and our breasts will deflate and droop with age.
This is why Newport Beach, CA plastic surgeon Dr. Karen Leong offers breast lift procedures (mastopexy) to her patients.
What Is a Breast Lift?
Breast lifts redefine the breasts by trimming away excess skin and surgically tightening the existing tissue to create a firmer, younger breast appearance. Dr. Leong’s principles of breast lift rest on this tenet: repair and replace. Breast tissue that has fallen needs to be repaired and put back in its position on the chest. Sometimes skin removal alone is not enough to accomplish the goal of a beautiful bustline. Dr. Leong may recommend moving the displaced breast tissue to the upper pole by auto-augmentation or strategically choosing implants and/or utilizing fat transfer to restore upper pole fullness. By using auto-augmentation (taking your own breast tissue to replace the volume lost in the upper portion of the breast), an implant, or fat transfer, Dr. Leong aims to rebuild your breast to a more youthful position and shape while ensuring that your scars heal in the best environment possible.
This breast reshaping surgery is ideal for women who have lost breast firmness, size, and shape or who have breast drooping due to weight loss, pregnancy, or aging. Outstanding advancements in breast lift surgical techniques have made this cosmetic surgery so effective and successful. We invite you to learn more about your options at our Newport Beach location. Together, you and Dr. Leong can decide on the appropriate technique based on your current breast condition while keeping your desired result in mind and realistic expectations in check.
What Is the Breast Lift Procedure Like?
Breast lift surgery usually takes 2 – 4 hours and is performed under general anesthesia. The length depends on the nature of breast size and sagging. Two techniques are generally used for a breast lift. These are based on the type of incision: the anchor technique (inverted-T) and the vertical (lollipop) technique. If you and Dr. Leong agreed that an implant would improve your result, this augmentation or implant exchange is performed first using the same incision area as the lift, so you only have one scar. For the breast lift, the incision is first completed, and any excess skin is excised along with breast tissue and fat. The skin is then pulled tight, and the breasts are positioned higher and lifted so they look healthy and younger.
In many cases, the size and shape of the areolas are reconstructed and reduced to match the new placement and shape of the breast. If a breast lift is the only procedure being performed and if size and shape are a concern, augmentation surgery with implants can also be performed simultaneously or at a later date.
Breast lifts involve excess skin and tissue removal resulting in reduced size and perkier breasts. But some women may desire a lift without losing breast volume or needing an implant. An auto-augmentation breast lift is a great option in such cases. During this surgery, the excess internal breast tissue from the lower half of the breasts is used to create more fullness in the upper half. This reshapes the patient’s breasts and retains volume, so the breast size does not change.
Recovery and Results after a Breast Lift
Recovery for any type of breast lift is more lengthy than surgery with implants only. After surgery, you will be fitted with a supportive bra to help with swelling. Dr. Leong does not use drains during mastopexy unless there are concerns during surgery. The post-surgical swelling normally goes away within a few days. Dr. Leong or a member of our team will provide an in-depth, at-home incision care instruction session to teach you how to care for your skin during your healing process. Results following a breast lift surgery appear after several months as your newly shaped breasts take their new position on your bustline and swelling subsides. You can also expect to go shopping for new bras once healing is complete to fit your new shape and size.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Breast Lift?
You may be a candidate for a breast lift if your breasts look small and deflated or hang low because of the extra weight. Dr. Leong sometimes sees patients for a breast augmentation consultation only to discover that a breast lift may be what is really needed. A confidential consultation with Dr. Leong is very important in determining what surgery would be appropriate. She needs to assess the amount of sagging that is present in relation to the amount of breast tissue available. Plus, the evaluation of the position and symmetry of the nipples and size of the areolas are also very important factors for women considering a breast lift. To be a candidate for a breast lift, you should ideally be physically healthy and at a stable weight. Any fluctuations in weight will change the results of the surgery.
Dr. Leong will listen to your needs and goals before developing your unique treatment plan in your initial consultation. After that, she can estimate your costs, which may average around $14,000. A breast lift can significantly improve your physical appearance when done well, so it’s important to focus on having an experienced surgeon with extensive training, like Dr. Leong, over costs. To help make surgery easier to afford, Dr. Leong can help you find low-interest financing.
Whether you should get a breast lift, implants, or both will depend on your specific goals. In many patients, a breast lift can improve the shape and fullness of the breasts without implants. Dr. Leong will assess your physical condition and listen to your goals, then decide whether you should get a lift, implants, or a breast augmentation with a lift.
Generally, the nipple-areola complex will be shifted up during the breast lift. If your areolas are overly large, asymmetrical, or stretched, Dr. Leong will reduce the areola during your surgery. This can be discussed during your consultation so she can decide on the best incision pattern and technique to use during your breast lift.
With proper care after surgery, your results should last for many years. Your breasts will continue to age normally, so you could begin to see sagging and loose skin over time. Factors like significant weight gain or loss can alter your results, so it’s best to maintain a stable weight after your breast lift. Pregnancy or breastfeeding after a breast lift can also affect your results, which is why Dr. Leong recommends patients wait until they are done having children to get a breast lift.
A lift can improve asymmetry in your breasts if they are different in size, firmness, or degree of sagging. Dr. Leong will assess the physical condition and appearance of your breasts during your consultation and discuss how a breast lift can help you. You may need to have additional imaging (a mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI) completed to distinguish why you have two different-sized breasts.