Over time, women often grow dissatisfied with the shape of their breasts. This is especially the case when breasts lose their youthfulness and become saggy or droopy. The breast lift procedure can be an ideal solution, correcting problems with breast shape.
At Veritas Plastic Surgery, we are pleased to provide comprehensive care for women who are dissatisfied with the appearance of their breasts. To learn more about having a breast lift or other breast procedures, we welcome you to contact our office in Walnut Creek, CA.
Breast Lift Explained
The breast lift, also known as mastopexy, is intended for women who are happy with the volume of their breasts, or with the way their breasts look in a bra, but unhappy with their breast shape, or the way the breasts look in their natural state.
During a breast lift procedure, a plastic surgeon will make incisions in the breast, then lift and reshape the underlying tissue. The nipple and areola are typically repositioned to sit higher on the breast mound, contributing to a perkier appearance, and excess breast skin may be removed to compensate for lost elasticity.
The end result is breasts that are contoured, firm, and youthful in their appearance. Again, a breast lift is not fundamentally designed to change the size of the breast, but the procedure may be combined with breast implants or with fat grafting as needed.
What are the Key Benefits of Getting a Breast Lift?
Breast lifts are most beneficial for women who dislike the shape of their breasts but are okay with their size, or for women who wish to alter the appearance of their breasts but have no interest in getting implants.
The primary reason to seek a breast lift is to rejuvenate breasts that have become saggy or droopy. This sometimes happens as a natural result of the aging process and the accompanying loss of skin elasticity. Sagginess may also be the result of pregnancy and breastfeeding, and women may benefit from having a breast lift as part of a “Mommy Makeover” procedure.
Another potential benefit of the breast lift is that it can alter the appearance of the nipple and areola. Sometimes, the breast tissue can become so loose and saggy that the nipple falls below the breast fold. A breast lift can restore it to a more prominent position and decrease the size of the areola, which may have become enlarged over time.
Am I a Candidate to Receive a Breast Lift?
Before you have a breast lift performed, it is important to seek a consultation with a skilled plastic surgeon. When you join us for a consultation at Veritas Plastic Surgery, Dr. Vivian Ting will perform a physical examination, take your medical history, and discuss your goals. She will use this information to verify that you are a good candidate for a safe, successful breast lift procedure.
A Breast Lift is Ideal For
The best candidates for breast lift surgery are in good overall physical health and do not have any underlying conditions that would prevent their bodies from properly healing. Specifically, breast lift candidates should have good scar healing properties and know that there will be some minor scarring, usually in an inverted-T, lollipop, or anchor shape around the nipple.
Breast lift candidates should also have clear, realistic expectations about the kinds of results they can achieve through a breast lift and how long those results will last. Expectations-setting is an important part of the initial consultation appointment with Dr. Vivian Ting.
It is Not So Great For
If you are someone who is resistant to any kind of scarring, or if you know that your body typically does not heal scars very effectively, then you may wish to abstain from having a breast lift.
Additionally, if you are primarily interested in increasing the size of your breasts as opposed to changing their contour and shape, then you may be better suited for breast augmentation surgery.
We would also recommend putting off your breast lift until you are reasonably sure you are done with childbearing and breastfeeding. This is primarily to ensure that the results of your breast lift are not erased.
How Old Do I Have to Be to Get a Breast Lift?
Breast lifts can be performed on adult women of all ages. The most important factor is not your age so much as the status of your health. This is what makes it so important to schedule a consultation appointment, allowing Dr. Ting to evaluate your physical health and confirm that you are in good shape to benefit from a breast lift.
Breast Lift Procedure Process Explained
The specifics of the breast lift procedure may vary a little bit from patient to patient, depending on your physical needs, the type of incision used, and whether or not you combine your breast lift with breast augmentation. With that said, here is a general flow of the procedure:
The first step in the process is meeting with Dr. Ting to ensure you are qualified for a safe and successful breast lift. During this appointment, you can expect a physical examination, as well as some questions about your aesthetic goals. This is also a great time to ask any questions you may have about getting a breast lift.
What Should I Do in Preparation?
Dr. Ting will provide you with specific instructions for preparing for your breast lift. These instructions may include dietary guidelines for the days leading up to your procedure, as well as directions for discontinuing certain medications or supplements that can contribute to bleeding.
We recommend arranging for someone to stay with you and help around the house for a few days following your surgery, ensuring you are able to devote yourself fully to rest and recovery.
How Long Does the Procedure Take?
The duration can vary from patient to patient, but it is not uncommon for the procedure to take between three and three and a half hours. Also, keep in mind that you will need a few minutes for the anesthesia to be administered and an hour or more to ensure you are recovering properly before we send you home.
What is Surgery Like? Is it Painful?
Another common question is whether the breast lift procedure is painful. Patient comfort and safety are top priorities, and as such, we provide anesthesia options to ensure a positive experience. Breast lifts are performed under full anesthesia, which means you will not be awake or experience any discomfort while the surgery is taking place.
You can anticipate some tenderness following your breast lift, but any soreness you feel can be managed with prescription pain medications or over-the-counter pain relievers.
What Kind of Recovery Process Can I Expect?
Following any kind of major surgery, your body needs some time to rest and heal. The breast lift procedure is no exception. We typically recommend that patients devote at least a week to resting at home. During this time, it is best to have someone stay with you to help around the house. Most patients feel ready to resume working within a week and are cleared for heavy lifting and strenuous exercise within two to four weeks.
The First Month
During the first month of your recovery, it is important that you refrain from any kind of vigorous physical activity, unless otherwise directed by your plastic surgeon. During the first month, you can typically expect some mild bruising, swelling, and soreness. And you will need to wear a compression garment at all times, except in the shower. After a month or so, Dr. Ting will clear you to stop wearing the compression garment.
The Second Month
Once you enter your second month of recovery, you will be cleared to resume most, if not all, of your normal activities. Your bruising and pain should mostly be diminished.
Sometime between months three and six, your plastic surgeon may clear you to wear underwire bras again and also to resume any remaining activities, including intense exercise.
All of your swelling will subside within a year’s time, allowing you a clearer view of your final results. Also, your breasts will settle into their final position.
Will I Have Scars from the Procedure?
Depending on the nature of your breast lift, you will likely end up with a scar on or around your nipple, resembling the shape of an inverted T, a lollipop, or an anchor. With the proper aftercare, scars will fade considerably over time. Before you get a breast lift, be sure you have clear expectations about the kind of scarring you can anticipate.
How Long Does a Breast Lift Last?
The exact longevity of your breast lift can vary depending on how well you take care of yourself. It is not unusual for patients to enjoy the results of their breast lifts for between seven and ten years. Make sure you talk with your surgeon about the steps you can take to preserve the effects of your breast lift for as long as possible.
What are the Costs Involved in a Breast Lift?
The specific price point can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of anesthesia used and whether or not you combine your breast lift with implants. You will receive a more individualized estimate when you join us at Veritas Plastic Surgery for a consultation.
Our practice does offer financing options, providing greater flexibility in how you pay for your procedure. Beyond that, it may be helpful to consider some of the specific factors that can affect the cost of your breast lift:
One of the biggest factors to consider is the surgeon’s fees. A breast lift requires skill and experience, and we recommend ensuring that your plastic surgeon is board certified.
Though breast lifts are typically performed on an outpatient basis, you may need to pay for the use of an operating room as well as the recovery area.
Another cost consideration is anesthesia. You will need to pay for both the medication and the services of a trained anesthesiologist.
You will generally need both antibiotics as well as prescription pain medication, both of which can add to the total cost of your breast lift procedure.
Can I Combine a Breast Lift with Breast Implants?
Many patients choose to combine their breast lift with breast implants or with a fat graft. Keep in mind that these added surgeries will increase the total cost, though having these procedures done simultaneously is more cost-effective than having them done separately.
Will Insurance Cover the Procedure?
Because this procedure is aesthetic in nature, it is generally not covered by health insurance. With that said, policies vary, and it is always worth checking your specific coverage.
Other Things to Consider
The decision to get breast surgery is significant, and you will naturally have plenty of questions at the outset of your journey. Here are a few answers to some common breast lift inquiries.
Are There Any Risks Involved?
Any time you have surgery performed, there is at least some level of risk. The greatest risks come from exposure to anesthesia. One way to mitigate risk is simply to ensure that you are in good shape to have surgery. This is why we place such a major emphasis on the initial consultation, which gives Dr. Ting a chance to review the status of your health and make sure there are no major concerns or obvious red flags.
Is it Really Worth It?
Ultimately, the decision to get a breast lift is a highly personal one. Nobody can make that decision but you.
As you consider your options for breast surgery, make sure you have a clear and realistic set of expectations, not just about the end results but also about the procedure and the recovery. Also, note that the vast majority of our patients who have a breast lift performed wind up being completely satisfied with the experience.
Get a Breast Lift Today!
Over time, breasts can lose their perky, youthful shape. If you have experienced this, and if you long to restore your breasts to a healthier contour, then you may be a good candidate for a breast lift.
The first step in the process is scheduling a consultation with Dr. Vivian Ting, where you can learn more about your eligibility for this procedure. To make your appointment, please contact our office in Walnut Creek, CA at any time.