Breast Lift Surgery
About Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
Breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, reshapes the breasts to a more youthful appearing, upward pointing position. The procedure removes excess skin and tissue which reshapes the remaining breast tissue and raises the nipples. Breast lifts also reduce the size of enlarged areola (dark skin around the nipple).
In women, breasts often change and lose elasticity over time. This is due to factors such as aging, weight fluctuations, pregnancy, genetics, breastfeeding, and gravity. The loss of elasticity stretches the ligaments that support the breasts and causes them to appear sagging, with a downward pointing nipple and widened areola.
Mastopexy does not significantly change breast size, unless performed in combination with breast augmentation or reduction.
Ideal Candidates for Breast Lift Surgery
Ideal candidates for a breast lift are healthy, non-smoking women with breasts that sag below the breast fold, downward pointing nipples, enlarged areolas, or breast asymmetry. The best candidates also have realistic expectations of what a breast lift can achieve.
Patients who are not good candidates are those planning on becoming pregnant in the near future, currently pregnant or breastfeeding, or have active breast disease.
Types of Breast Lifts
There are several types of lift techniques and incisions that can be used in surgery and determining the right option is based on the amount of lift that is needed.
Periareolar Breast Lift
For patients that only have slightly drooping nipple/areola (<1 cm) and good breast tissue position, periareolar mastopexy may be a good option. This technique slightly raises the nipple and areola and reduces an enlarged areola. The final scar is a fine line around the areola.
Vertical Breast Lift
A vertical breast lift is a good option for patients with minor to severe sagging breast tissue and nipples. This approach is effective at raising the breasts to a youthful position and beautiful shape, elevating the nipple, removing excess skin, and reducing the areola to a more appropriate size. The final incision looks like a ‘lollipop’ (around the nipple and one vertical line down). The vertical lift is the most common technique Dr. Mahmood performs as it is extremely effective and limits the number of scars on the chest.
Dr. Mahmood is sensitive to the fact that many patients are prone to keloid or thickened scars, so she aims to limit the number of incisions while still achieving a beautiful result.
Wise Pattern Breast Lift
The wise pattern approach results in an ‘anchor’ type scar that goes around the nipple, has a vertical line down, and a curved line along the breast fold. The wise pattern lift is ideal for patients who have a significant amount of excess skin and very severely drooping breasts. While the wise pattern lift is the most common technique used in the U.S., it has the most scars, and as such, Dr. Mahmood uses it only when absolutely necessary.
NYC Breast Lift Consultation
The first step of a breast lift is a consultation with Dr. Mahmood at her Union Square, New York practice.
During the breast lift consultation, Dr. Mahmood reviews patient medical history, including:
- Current and past medical conditions
- Smoking status
- Mammogram results
- Previous surgeries
Next, Dr. Mahmood performs a physical exam to evaluate patient chest measurements, asymmetries, skin quality, position of nipples and areola, and to determine the degree of breast tissue sagging, or ptosis. The information gathered during the consultation is used to customize a treatment plan and determine the type of breast lift that will achieve the patient’s unique goals.
The last step of the consultation process is a conversation about patient expectations and goals for surgery. Dr. Mahmood reviews risks and benefits, including incision, nipple or breast sensation, and breast feeding potential.
Dr. Mahmood is experienced with ethnic patients and understands the importance of optimizing healing and scar appearance, and will review the options for the best possible outcome for breast shape and smallest scar.
Breast Lift Surgery
Breast lift surgery begins with marking the patient. Dr. Mahmood uses measuring tape and a surgical marker to draw a blueprint of the procedure on the patient’s skin to ensure meticulous detail the most symmetrical result possible.
Next, patients enter the operating suite to undergo general anesthesia by a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist.
As surgery begins, Dr. Mahmood evaluates both breasts from all angles, including in the upright position, to ensure the breasts have good symmetry, shape, cleavage, and contour. Using a detailed tailor tacking method, she then makes any adjustments necessary to ensure a beautiful result.
The incisions are closed in multiple layers to make sure the breast lift is secure, and to provide for the best possible final scar. Surgical incisions are covered with surgical glue and tape for final security.
All stitches are dissolvable, and no drains are used. The surgery takes approximately 1-3 hours based on the size of the lift and the extent of breast asymmetry that must be corrected. At the end of the procedure Dr. Mahmood will place gauze on the incisions for comfort and the soft supportive compression bra.
Preparing for Breast Lift Surgery
Patients who smoke should avoid all tobacco and nicotine products at least 3 weeks before the surgery and one month afterwards. These chemicals decrease blood flow in the skin and adversely can affect the healing process.
Certain medications that can increase the risk of bleeding should be avoided. These include aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and some herbal supplements including fish oil, ginkgo biloba, Vitamin E, St. John’s Wort, and turmeric.
Recovery & After Care
After a breast lift, patients should wear a soft supportive surgical or sports bra for 1 to 2 months. Patients should also avoid vigorous exercise or heavy lifting for 1 month after surgery.
Dr. Mahmood sees patients at her Union Square office at one day, one week, one month, and three months after surgery, then as needed. At each post-operative visit Dr. Mahmood will provide step-by-step guidance. She will advise on when to increase physical activity, optimal scar treatment, and steps to take to ensure a beautiful final result.
Breast lift surgery has a high patient satisfaction rate and can improve a woman’s body contour. Results are noticed immediately after surgery, but the final outcome is appreciated approximately three months after surgery when the swelling has resolved.
Breast Lift Cost NYC
The cost of breast lift surgery varies on a patient-by-patient basis. Dr. Mahmood is committed to helping her Union Square, New York patients achieve the best possible surgical outcomes, so every case begins with a comprehensive consultation where Dr. Mahmood examines the patient and outlines surgery costs and considerations.
Contact us today to book your consolation with Dr. Mahmood – a Board Certified, double Ivy League-trained, Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon practicing in Union Square, NYC.