There are many reasons a woman may be interested in a breast lift. Some survivors of breast cancer may wish to optimize their breast reconstruction results. Some mothers may be looking to regain shape or firmness after pregnancy or breastfeeding. Many others are combating natural changes in breasts that come from age, heredity and weight fluctuations.
A breast lift, or breast mastopexy, is a surgical procedure that raises and reshapes the breasts. The procedure will make breasts firmer and shapelier if they have sagged. Breasts lifts will not change the size of the breast. Those interested in volume or size changes in the breast, as well, should consider an augmentation/reduction in conjunction with a breast lift.
How are breast lifts performed?
At the University of Michigan Health System, breast lifts are most often performed as out-patient procedures using general anesthetic. There are many variations in technique. Your surgeon will work with you to determine the best approach based on the physical features of your breasts.
Most often, breast lifts involve three incisions. The first will circle around the areola, or the dark skin around the nipple. The second incision begins under the nipple and continues until the bottom of the breast. The final incision is along the breast crease, the base of the breast. These incisions define the areas where excess skin, left from aging or sagging of the breast, can be removed. It also allows surgeons to define a new location for the nipple. Once the excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola will be placed in a new position and the breast will be reshaped about them.
Is a breast lift right for me?
If you are looking to combat sagging of your breasts, this procedure may help you. Typically, patients who benefit most from mastopexy, or breast lifts, are those who have stretched skin and reduced breast volume caused by aging. Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant, or may become pregnant, should not have a mastopexy. Your results will also be less optimal if you plan on losing a significant amount of weight after your surgery.
It is important that any candidate for breast lift surgery be in good health, with no active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions. Because of interference with normal wound healing and other potential complications, the University of Michigan Health System does not currently take candidates for breast lifts who smoke. When preparing for your surgery, your care team will provide guidelines for eating, drinking and smoking as you approach your surgery date.
At the University of Michigan Health System, we know every patient is unique and that setting expectations leads to a better outcome. Our surgeons work with patients to identify specific goals and results to reach for during a consultation. During the visit, you will have a chance to ask questions, decide the best course of surgery, and design your preparation and recovery. Based on this consultation, your surgeon will recommend the surgical technique best for you.
During this consultation, plan on providing a complete medical history. This includes any information about previous surgical procedures, medical conditions, and medications or supplements. Be prepared for a physical examination of your breast size and shape, including the quality of skin and location of the nipples. To support your confidential medical records, measurements and a photograph will be taken of your breasts before surgery. Finally, expect to discuss any possible risks and possible complications that can come from surgery.
Your Surgeons and Care Team
The plastic surgeons and care team members who perform breast lifts and help patients recover from the procedure are experts in their field. All of our surgeons are board-certified in plastic surgery and have years of experience in breast reconstruction surgeries. Many of our surgeons are also active in research around breast surgery to help make sure that women are happy with the outcomes of their surgery. Learn more about the team through the profiles below.