Is a Breast Lift Right for You?
- Why do breasts sag?
- Are there certain things that cause breasts to sag?
- Is a New Jersey breast lift for you?
- Can the amount of sagging be quantified?
- How does the amount of sagging affect breast lift surgery?
- What is recovery like?
- Additional Resources
If you are considering a Breast Lift, you probably want your breasts to sit higher on your chest and look perkier in and out of clothing. A Breast Lift, or Mastopexy, alone does not substantially change the size of your breasts but will tighten the skin, lift them and make them appear more youthful.
This 46 year old patient came to Dr. Parker for correction of sagging breasts, which began to droop after having 2 children and losing weight. Dr. Parker performed a breast lift alone, reshaping the breasts into a more youthful position.
If you wish to restore lost volume to the upper aspect of your breasts and/ or increase the size of your breasts in addition to lifting them, you will likely need a breast implant inserted at the same time the lift is performed. This procedure is called an augmentation mastopexy (or Breast Lift with Implants)
This patient had sagging (ptosis) of her breasts, as well as loss of volume, following massive weight loss. Dr. Parker performed a breast lift, inserting silicone implants to restore lost volume.
A Breast Lift occurs along with all Breast Reduction (also known as Reduction Mammoplasty) surgeries Dr. Parker performs. A Breast Reduction will reduce the size of your breasts, lift them higher on the chest, and make them appear perkier and more youthful.
This 23 year old patient complained of neck and back pain as well as shoulder strap furrows. Dr. Parker performed breast reduction, removing 680 grams from the right breast and 660 grams from the left breast to maximize symmetry.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, mastopexy (breast lift) was the sixth most popular cosmetic surgery in 2012, with 127,776 breast lifts performed across the country. The number of breast lifts performed in the U.S. has increased more than five-fold over the last fifteen years.
“My body looks better than when I was in my 20′s and that says a lot. You are truly a great surgeon and artist. The Best. Also you’re a great person. I look forward to seeing you again.” —New Jersey Breast Lift Patient
Breasts are composed of glandular tissue and fat (together these are called parenchyma) connected to the skin by suspensory ligaments. Hormonal changes, pregnancy, and weight gain all cause the parenchyma to increase in size stretching the surrounding skin and suspensory ligaments. Breasts sag (medically, we call this “ptosis”) due to a combination of two issues:
- When the amount of parenchyma decreases causing a loss of breast volume
- When the skin and ligaments, due to a loss of elasticity, do not contract proportionally causing a downward descent of the nipple and areola
The amount of ptosis, or sagging, will vary from patient to patient based on their individual genetics and the amount of weight gained and lost over time.
Breasts can develop ptosis, or sag, for the following reasons:
- Congenital — some girls will develop with breasts that sag and have downward pointing nipples. These patients are often self-conscious about the appearance of their breasts. Surgical treatment such as an augmentation mastopexy will not only improve the appearance of the breasts but usually will also improve body image, self esteem and social development (see Emotional Considerations).
- Post pregnancy — Breasts become engorged during pregnancy and nursing, then decrease in size and often droop afterwards. The problem is usually worsened with each pregnancy. These patients are often bothered by the loss of their previously attractive breasts. Surgical treatment such as an augmentation mastopexy will create perkier, more youthful looking breasts and allow these patients to feel more comfortable with their bodies, which can provide a psychological lift (see Emotional Considerations).
- Weight loss — with weight gain, the skin and support structures of the breast stretch. With weight loss, sagging occurs if the tissues do not have enough elasticity to regain their shape. A mastopexy or augmentation mastopexy will often help correct this, improving self-confidence (see Emotional Considerations).
- Aging — the skin and support structures of their breast lose their tone and elasticity over time. Gravity causes these tissues to stretch and the breasts to sag. A mastopexy or augmentation mastopexy will allow the breasts to look more youthful, improving self-confidence (see Emotional Considerations).
If your breasts have sagged and now droop due to development, post pregnancy changes, weight loss or aging and your breasts are not attractive to you, breast lift surgery may be a good option to consider. During your consultation, Dr. Parker will explain the extent to which your breasts have sagged and discuss treatment options to make them look more youthful.
The Parker Center staff will show you Before and After pictures of patients like you who have undergone breast lift surgery to help educate you about the possibilities. We are committed to patient education at the Parker Center, having found it to be a major factor in giving our patients the best surgical experience possible.
Schedule a Consultation
- Discuss with Dr. Parker your desires and expectations for breast lift surgery
- Learn about the various options for breast implants, if appropriate
- Review the options for incisions used in breast lift surgery
- Undergo a Sizing and Shaping Session to determine optimal implant size and shape, if appropriate
- Hear the details of the proposed surgical procedures and recovery
- Review testimonials of Dr. Parker’s breast lift patients
- Be given the opportunity to speak with Dr. Parker’s breast lift patients
- Learn about a pre-op education session with Dr. Parker’s Nurse Coordinator prior to surgery
- Receive a specific written quote detailing all costs for breast lift surgery from Dr. Parker’s Patient Care Coordinator
We believe the best plastic surgery consultations involve a two way conversation. You, as the patient, share with us exactly what you hope to achieve, and we describe our approach to get you there. In addition, our goal is for you to establish a rapport with Dr. Parker and his staff and to gain a comfort level with one another. This combination of effective conversation and trust between patient and surgeon is an important cornerstone to a successful outcome.
Based on individual genetics, pregnancy history and weight changes, breasts will sag to varying degrees. Plastic surgeons use a classification system to categorize the degree of breast sagging, or ptosis, as shown in the schematic below. This classification system also helps surgeons like Dr. Parker determine what treatment options are best for you based on the amount of your breast ptosis.
Anatomy of Breast Ptosis
Breast Lift Options
Dr. Parker makes every effort to use limited incisions and minimize scarring while achieving an aesthetically pleasing breast during breast lift surgery. The extent of incisions necessary is determined by the amount of skin to be removed and how much the nipple must be raised. Below are listed the procedures commonly performed to correct breast ptosis and the extent of scarring associated with each:
- Crescent Mastopexy – scar halfway around the areola only
- Peri-Areolar Mastopexy – scar encircling the areola
- Vertical Mastopexy – scar encircling the areola plus a vertical scar from the lower areola to the breast crease
- Inverted T Mastopexy – lollipop scar plus a short horizontal scar in the breast crease.
Breast lift surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia, administered by one of our board certified anesthesiologists, in our fully certified onsite ambulatory surgical center, Surgiplex. It usually takes two to four hours to perform depending on the extent and complexity of the procedure.
Patients are discharged home within one hour after surgery wearing a soft, supportive bra. Pain is usually minimal. Showering and light activities are permitted the day after surgery. All sutures dissolve and do not have to be removed. Sedentary work can be resumed in several days and most normal activities in ten days. Upper body exercises can be started within three to four weeks and fully resumed by four to six weeks.
Read more about Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Procedures and Options
- Learn about the different ways in which breasts sag
- Learn what type of breast lift procedure may be right for you
- Learn how we help you test breast implants and find the right size during your sizing and shaping session
- View our animated breast lift procedure information
- Learn about the saline & silicone breast implants, your profile choices & more
- Learn about the emotional considerations associated with breast surgery
View Breast Lift Patient Photos and Breast Patient Testimonials
Watch stories from real New Jersey breast augmentation patients
"Just want to let you know how very pleased I am with the results... I wish to thank you and your staff for making me feel so comfortable before, during and after the procedure. You have helped to increase my self esteem and I wish you continued success in helping others." -Breast Augmentation Patient
Breast Lift Blog Posts
Paul M. Parker, M.D. · Parker Center for Plastic Surgery · Paramus NJ