No, though this is a widely-held misconception. In all common breast lifts, the nipples remain attached to the breast at all times. The nipples are temporarily removed from the breasts in some extremely large-volume breast reductions.
We perform our breast lifts at a JCAHO-certified ambulatory surgery center.
A breast lift (mastopexy) is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of sagging breasts. This is done by tightening the breast skin and re-shaping the internal breast tissue. After a breast lift, the breasts are positioned higher on the chest and the nipples are positioned higher on the breasts. We usually also reduce the diameter of the areolas if they have become overly large.
Women who have experienced sagging of their breasts are candidates for a breast lift. Most commonly, the sagging has been caused by pregnancy and breast-feeding. Other frequent causes are weight changes and aging. Candidates for breast lifting should be willing to accept surgical scars on the breasts in exchange for improved shape and appearance.
Breast lifts are cosmetic procedures. It would be very unusual for an insurer to cover this procedure.
This is a situation that often occurs after breast-feeding. Loss of breast tissue after lactation makes the breasts look deflated even though the breasts and the nipples haven’t dropped much. Most often, this problem can be corrected without a breast lift. Placement of breast implants to restore the lost volume will usually produce a pretty and natural-appearing result.
Breast lift scars result from the removal of skin to tighten the breasts. Wherever the remaining skin is closed together, a scar results. Though we use plastic surgery techniques to minimize scarring, any woman contemplating a breast lift should assume that the resulting scars will always be visible (when she is undressed) to some degree. There is no scarless breast lift.
The scars from a traditional breast lift are usually described as an “anchor” pattern. They consist of a circle around the areola, a line from the bottom of the areola to the bottom of the breast and a curved line in the crease below the breast. We rarely need to perform this extensive lift.
Our most common lift is the vertical mastopexy. This procedure eliminates the long scar in the breast crease. The circular scar around the areola remains. The vertical scar starts just below the areola but does not always extend all the way to the bottom of the breast. The vertical mastopexy is a versatile lift and yields pretty results in a wide variety of women.
For women who require only a mild amount of lifting, we perform a Benelli mastopexy. This mini-lift eliminates all scars except for the circular one around the areola.
Though everyone’s response to pain is different, most patients do not find breast lifts particularly painful. The discomfort is usually short-lived and well-controlled with oral pain medications.
Most types of exercise can be restarted 3-4 weeks after a breast lift. Performing physically strenuous activities earlier than this can impair healing.
Most women can resume driving one week after a breast lift.
Most women with desk jobs can return to work in 4-7 days. Women with more physically demanding jobs will require a longer recuperation.
Your breast lift will be performed under general anesthesia (i.e. you will be asleep). We use only board-certified physician anesthesiologists.
We will usually perform breast augmentation and lifting at the same time in women who need and want both procedures. Sometimes the procedures will need to be separated if there is marked asymmetry, very advanced sagging, or health issues that prevent a single-stage procedure. The wait between stages is usually three to six months.
Many women will benefit from the placement of a modest-sized breast implant in conjunction with their breast lift. The implant adds shaping and firmness to the breast. Most importantly, the implant helps to restore fullness to the upper part of the breast. There are no breast lifting techniques that effectively and reliably restore upper breast fullness without an implant.
Not all women will want or need breast implants with their lift. In most cases, though, the breasts will look perkier and prettier if an implant is added.
What can someone do to stop lactating? There is a drug called Bromocriptine (Parlodel) that stops lactation. If a patient is interested in using it, she should discuss it with her Ob/Gyn or family doctor. The drug has potential side effects and is usually used only when lactation doesn't cease on its own and is troublesome.
Sore throat can happen after surgery. It is usually caused by the endotracheal tube the anesthesiologist uses to help you breath. It is somewhat more common in women than in men. The soreness is usually mild and goes away within a few days. A severe sore throat or one that lasts for more than a few days should be reported to Dr. Schwartz.
Donating blood causes a temporary anemia. This usually corrects within 1-2 weeks. Nonetheless, we recommend that patients do not donate blood for at least one month before cosmetic surgery.
Some patients have expressed interest in donating blood for their own use, if needed. Since most cosmetic procedures are designed to produce minimal to moderate blood loss, transfusion is almost never needed. While you are, of course, free to self-donate blood, this would almost always be unnecessary.