Many women are troubled by breasts that have lost elasticity and begun to sag due to the effects of pregnancy, nursing, weight fluctuations, time, or gravity. Breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, can be a powerful solution to resolve breast ptosis—or the drooping of breast tissue over time. In addition to repositioning the breast tissue, nipples, and areolas to a higher location on the chest wall, a breast lift is designed to restore a more youthful shape to breasts that have “deflated” or lost contours. This can simultaneously improve projection while achieving a “perkier” bust.
Dr. Tiffany McCormack is a Reno-based board-certified plastic surgeon who can personalize the breast lift procedure to make your aesthetic goals a reality. With advanced breast lift techniques and meticulous incision placement, Dr. McCormack can rejuvenate your breast contours while creating elegant, natural-looking results.
A breast lift can offer several benefits for women who wish to rejuvenate the appearance of their breasts. Based on your personal needs and cosmetic goals, mastopexy can help:
Dr. McCormack can also combine a breast lift with breast augmentation for patients who have thin, drooping breasts with nipples at or below the fold. A breast implant can often help shape the breast and provide fullness in the upper portion—even if you do not necessarily desire a larger breast size. Whether you would like to incorporate or forgo breast implants, a treatment plan can be customized according to your unique needs and goals.
Breast ptosis is generally characterized as mild, moderate, or advanced depending on the extent of breast sag experienced. Most women develop some degree of ptosis in their lifetime, but the rate of “droop” can increase with certain genetic and lifestyle factors, including pregnancy and weight fluctuations. The various grades of breast ptosis include:
Ptosis is generally more prevalent for women who have a naturally large breast size, who have undergone pregnancy or breastfeeding, or who have a history of smoking. Fortunately, no matter the severity of your breast sag, a breast lift can improve all three grades of ptosis by reshaping and repositioning lax tissue. If you would like to enhance your breasts but you only exhibit mild signs of ptosis, breast implants alone may even be enough to achieve the desired rejuvenation.
A breast lift can be performed using a variety of techniques. Some women with mild breast droop may only require an incision around the borders of the areolas, while others may necessitate a lollipop- or keyhole-shaped incision. Certain patients may require a full mastopexy to achieve the best possible results, which utilizes an anchor-like incision. Depending on the extent of breast sag you wish to improve, Dr. McCormack will evaluate your needs and help determine the best surgical incision for your procedure. She does not believe in a “one-size-fits-all” approach and understands that each patient has a unique body frame as well as varying aesthetic goals. For all incision techniques, Dr. McCormack will perform the procedure so that any scarring can be well-concealed underneath a bra or swimsuit.
To perform mastopexy, Dr. McCormack will first employ the incision technique that was decided upon at the time of the consultation. Next, she will remove loose, excess skin and raise internal breast tissue to an elevated, more youthful position on the chest wall. Once in position, the breast tissue is recontoured until an optimal shape is created, and the nipple-areolar complexes are resized/repositioned if necessary. To complete the surgery, the remaining skin is then pulled taut and carefully reattached using small surgical sutures.
The entire breast lift procedure generally takes about two hours to perform, but this timeframe may be extended if breast implants are being placed to simultaneously add or restore breast volume. As an outpatient operation, patients can usually return home the same day under the care and supervision of a friend or loved one.
Following breast lift surgery, most patients can expect some swelling, bruising, and/or tightness to be apparent in the breasts, though these symptoms should fade over time. Any potential pain or discomfort can typically be alleviated with medication, and the majority of individuals are able to resume work and other non-strenuous daily routines after a week or two. That said, all activities that might put strain on the breasts—such as strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, contact sports, etc.—will need to be avoided for at least a few weeks to provide ample time for the breasts to fully heal.
Throughout the recovery process, Dr. McCormack will be available to answer any questions or address any concerns that may arise, and she will monitor all healing progress over the course of multiple postoperative visits to ensure an optimal outcome is achieved.
Every patient’s individual rate of aging varies, but a breast lift can generally offer results for 10 to 15 years or longer. There are several measures that patients can take to help prolong their breast lift results, such as:
The above tips can help the skin retain its elasticity, thereby allowing long-lasting breast rejuvenation. It’s important to note that the procedure doesn’t stop the natural aging process and the skin will eventually start to lose elasticity over time; however, women who have had a breast lift will typically always have more youthful breast contours than individuals of a similar age who have never pursued the procedure.
While the cost of mastopexy varies between different geographic locations, the price of a breast lift in the Lake Tahoe area generally ranges from $8,500 to $10,500 depending on factors unique to each person’s treatment plan. This includes the expenses normally associated with surgery, including the anesthesia’s fee and surgeon’s fee, among other costs. Other details that may affect your cost estimate include:
Once we gain an idea of your needs and overall goals, our team will be able to provide you with a personalized quote. We would be happy to discuss your payment options after your consultation, and our office also accepts plastic surgery financing for qualified patients through CareCredit®, ALPHAEON Credit™, and Prosper® Healthcare Lending.
Unfortunately, some degree of scarring from breast lift surgery is unavoidable since incisions are needed to perform the procedure. The good news is mastopexy scars can usually be hidden underneath most bra and swimsuit varieties, regardless of which incision pattern is utilized. In addition, scars tend to fade over time for many individuals, and the majority of patients note that the results achieved with breast lift surgery far outweigh any concerns they had about scarring in the first place. Following the procedure, Dr. McCormack will provide specific instructions for how to care for your incisions as they heal in order to help improve the final appearance of any scars.
You should still retain the ability to breastfeed after surgery as long as you communicate your desires to Dr. McCormack. Assuming you were able to breastfeed in the first place, Dr. McCormack can utilize an incision technique that does not detach the nipples and leaves the nerves and ducts of the breasts intact. That said, many women are not able to breastfeed even before undergoing breast surgery—this cannot be changed regardless of whether a breast lift is performed. Rest assured that, if desired, Dr. McCormack will further explain how a breast lift may impact the ability to breastfeed in person.
Unfortunately, the factors that lead to ptosis (sagging) and/or a loss of shape in the breasts cannot be corrected without surgery. As your body’s natural production of collagen and elastin begins to decrease over time, the skin often loses its elasticity in conjunction with a noticeable loss of breast volume. Together, these forces can cause round, youthful breast contours to flatten and elongate — sometimes leading to pendulousness (or sagging) in the chest. Needless to say, skin laxity and lost breast volume are not factors that can be corrected with “breast lift exercises” or other natural remedies. In fact, any workouts that claim to naturally lift the breasts usually just strengthen the chest muscles rather than reshaping and rejuvenating the bust.
Although it can be distressing to notice your breasts change over time, breast lift surgery has helped countless women restore the proportional, youthful contours they desire. Not only can this procedure improve the shape of the breasts, but surgery can also reposition and resize the nipples to provide a more harmonious, natural-looking aesthetic.
While chest exercises like pushups, bench press, flyes, etc. can certainly help tone and sculpt the breasts, there is no workout technique that can significantly elevate the position of the breasts on the chest wall. This is because chest exercises help to build muscle and reduce fat around the breasts, but they do not address the loose, excess skin that is responsible for breast sagging. To effectively correct this concern, surgery is usually necessary.
For some individuals, combining breast augmentation and breast lift surgery can improve the overall look and feel of their breasts. Since mastopexy alone will not increase breast fullness, you may want to consider a breast lift with implants if you have lost breast volume and are seeking to restore the breasts to their former size, or if you wish to simply add additional volume. Dr. McCormack can help you make this decision after reviewing your unique needs and goals at the time of the consultation.
While mastopexy removes excess skin, fat, and glandular tissue causing a sagging look, a breast lift should not noticeably change your breast size. Rather, the procedure is designed to enhance the shape of the breasts and improve projection. If you would also like a fuller breast size or if you desire more breast volume, Dr. McCormack can speak with you about placing breast implants at the same time as mastopexy to simultaneously address the size and shape of the breasts.
You will receive more detailed guidance in your post-operative instructions, but generally speaking, it’s best to wear the provided surgical bra/garments for the amount of time prescribed by Dr. McCormack. After you’re cleared to start wearing your own bras, a supportive sports-like bra with wide straps and clasps in the front is recommended to minimize lifting, raising, and pulling motions during the healing process.
During the healing process, it’s not uncommon to experience numbness and/or a loss of sensation in the nipples. In most cases, this is only temporary and normal sensation should return within six to eight weeks after your surgery. This timeframe varies from patient to patient and Dr. McCormack will give you a better understanding of what you can expect when you meet with her in a consultation.
As a cosmetic procedure, breast lift surgery is typically not covered by insurance companies. However, the costs of surgery can be made more manageable through financing plans offered by CareCredit®, ALPHAEON Credit™, and Prosper® Healthcare Lending. These highly reputable lending companies present qualified patients with various short- and long-term payment plans so they can select the most ideal option for their unique budget. Many patients utilize these low- to no-interest financing companies to pay for their treatment in smaller, more affordable installments rather than a lump sum.