What You Need to Know About Mastopexy and Breast Lift Surgery

Key Takeaways:

– A breast lift, or mastopexy, reshapes sagging breasts

– Mastopexy restores a youthful, perky breast shape

– A breast lift can be combined with breast reduction

– Breast lift cost ranges from $5,000-$10,000

– Scars fade over time but are permanently visible

– Results typically last 10-15 years before breasts re-sag


Many women seek a breast lift, or mastopexy, to rejuvenate their breast appearance. Mastopexy surgically lifts and reshapes sagging, deflated breasts. It repositions the breast mound and nipple higher on the chest wall. Overstretched skin is removed and breast tissue is reshaped. This restores a youthful, perky breast contour and projection.

A breast lift can be performed alone or combined with breast reduction surgery. Combining procedures is known as a breast reduction and lift. This removes excess breast tissue and skin. It makes the breasts lighter, smaller, lifted and reshaped.

Understanding Breast Changes Over Time

Breasts change significantly over a woman’s lifetime. Genetics, weight fluctuations, pregnancy, breastfeeding and aging affect breast tissue. Over time, breasts gradually stretch and sag. They lose shape, firmness and elevation. The nipples point downward as breast skin stretches.

Many women are unhappy and self-conscious about breast sagging. A mastopexy surgically corrects these changes. It restores attractive breast shape and position. The breasts look more youthful and rejuvenated after a lift.

Are You a Candidate for Mastopexy?

You may benefit from a breast lift if you have:

– Sagging, elongated breasts that have lost shape

– Downward-pointing nipples that sit below the breast crease

– Stretched, enlarged areolas

– One breast that sits lower than the other

– Dissatisfaction with breast appearance in clothing

– Self-consciousness about undressed breast appearance

– Difficulty finding a properly-fitting, supportive bra

The Breast Lift Procedure

Mastopexy is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Different incision patterns are used depending on the degree of lift needed:

– Donut lift: Incision around the areola only

– Lollipop lift: Incisions around the areola and vertically down

– Anchor lift: Incisions around the areola, vertically down, and along the breast crease

Through the incisions, the surgeon lifts and reshapes breast tissue. The nipple-areola complex is moved to a higher, forward-facing position. Excess stretched skin is removed. Remaining skin is tightened and redraped. Incisions are closed with dissolvable stitches or surgical tape.

Mastopexy takes 2-3 hours to complete. Patients return home the same day with light dressings over the incisions. A surgical support bra is worn for several weeks during healing.

Breast Lift Before and After Results

Before and after photos demonstrate the transformative effects of mastopexy. In before images, the breasts are saggy and pendulous. Nipples point downwards or sit below the breast crease. After mastopexy, the breasts are lifted, perkier and more youthful. Breasts mounds and nipples sit higher on the chest. The breasts have attractive rounded contours and forward projection.

While a breast lift provides significant cosmetic improvement, it’s important to have realistic expectations. Results are not as dramatic as a breast augmentation with implants. A lift does not significantly change breast size. Instead, it improves breast shape and position.

Combining a Lift with Breast Reduction

For women with overly large, heavy breasts, a combined breast reduction and lift may be recommended. This procedure removes substantial excess breast skin and tissue. Then remaining tissue is lifted and reshaped. A breast reduction and lift alleviates physical and emotional distress of macromastia (overly large breasts).

Benefits of a breast reduction and lift include:

– Significantly smaller, lighter breasts

– More youthful, β€œperky” breast shape

– Lifted breast position

– Improved breast symmetry

– Relief of neck pain, back pain, shoulder grooving from bra straps

– Elimination of under-breast rashes and skin irritation

– Easier fitting into clothing and bras

– Facilitation of a more active lifestyle

– Improved body image and self-confidence

Breast Lift Cost

The price of mastopexy varies based on geographic location and surgeon experience. Total breast lift cost typically ranges from $5,000-$10,000. This includes surgeon’s fees, anesthesia fees, facility fees and pre-and post-operative visits.

If the procedure is combined with breast reduction, the cost may be higher. A breast reduction and lift cost ranges from $7,500-$12,000+. However, breast reduction may be partially covered by health insurance if deemed medically necessary.

Financing plans are often available to make breast lift cost more affordable. This allows patients to make smaller monthly payments over time.

Mastopexy Scars

Mastopexy scars are an unavoidable tradeoff for breast enhancement. All lift techniques require incisions that leave permanent scars. Scars vary based on incision pattern:

– Donut lift scars are camouflaged around the areola border

– Lollipop lift scars encircle the areola and extend vertically down to the breast crease

– Anchor lift scars add a horizontal component along the breast crease

Scars are placed as inconspicuous as possible to be hidden by a bra or bikini top. They tend to be more visible in the early stages of healing. Scars are often dark pink, red or purple initially.

Over time, mastopexy scars fade significantly. Most scars flatten, soften and turn white within 6-12 months. Scar gels, ointments and silicone strips can aid healing. Scars continue to fade for 1-2 years. While never invisible, most patients find scars to be a worthwhile tradeoff.

Laser Treatment for Breast Lift Scars

Laser treatments can improve the appearance of bothersome mastopexy scars. Fractional laser resurfacing is the most effective laser for lightening and flattening scars.

This non-invasive laser treatment creates microscopic treatment zones in the scar. It breaks down scar tissue and stimulates new collagen production. A series of treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart is most effective.

Healing and Recovery After Breast Lift

Most patients take 1-2 weeks off work after mastopexy. Expect moderate swelling, bruising and discomfort in the initial days. Pain medication controls discomfort, which improves daily. Stitches dissolve or are removed in 1-2 weeks.

Activity restrictions include:

– No heavy lifting, pushing or pulling for 2+ weeks

– No raising arms above shoulder level for 2 weeks

– No strenuous exercise for 4-6 weeks

– No underwire bras for 6-8 weeks

Breasts are high and tight initially due to swelling. They gradually settle into a more natural shape over 2-3 months. Sensation may be reduced temporarily as nerves heal. Scars are pink and firm for several months.

Final results are appreciable by 6 months. Minor residual swelling and scar maturation can take up to one year. The breasts look perkier, more youthful and attractive long-term.

How Long Does a Breast Lift Last?

A breast lift turns back the clock but doesn’t stop future aging. Breasts will eventually sag again due to ongoing aging and gravity. However, the improved breast shape and position lasts for many years.

On average, mastopexy results last about 10-15 years before noticeable sagging returns. Larger breasts with thinner skin may begin to sag a little sooner. Smaller breasts with better skin elasticity maintain results longer.

Factors that can accelerate breast re-sagging include:

– Substantial weight fluctuations

– Pregnancy and breastfeeding

– Lack of bra support

– Smoking, sun damage, and other factors that break down collagen and elastin

Wearing a supportive bra, maintaining a stable weight, and living a healthy lifestyle help prolong breast lift results. Some patients choose to have a second lift after 10-15 years to refresh their results.


A breast lift significantly improves breast shape and restores a more youthful breast appearance. Mastopexy scars are a permanent tradeoff but are usually easily concealed. With a highly experienced, qualified plastic surgeon, this transformative procedure can boost your confidence for years to come.

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