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.

Why Undergo Breast Lift Surgery?

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:

  • Correct breast drooping created by lax, excess skin
  • Raise the breasts to a more youthful location on the chest
  • Improve overall breast contour and symmetry
  • Resize and/or reposition the nipple-areolar complexes
  • Enhance how particular blouses, bras, and bikini tops fit
  • Boost your self-confidence and esteem in personal and social situations

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.

Degrees of Ptosis

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:

  • Grade I (Mild): The nipples rest at the level of the inframammary fold (breast fold).
  • Grade II (Moderate): The nipples are below the inframammary fold, but do not yet descend below the lower breast.
  • Grade III (Advanced): The nipples are below the inframammary fold and at the lowest point of the breast contour, often pointing downward.

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.

Mastopexy Incisions

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.

How is the Breast Lift Procedure Performed?

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.

What is Recovery From a Breast Lift Like?

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.

How Long Does a Breast Lift Last?

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:

  • Waiting to undergo a breast lift only after all plans for having a family and/or breastfeeding are complete
  • Living a healthy, active lifestyle to maintain a stable weight
  • Applying sun protection whenever outdoors for extended periods
  • Not smoking

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.

Will My Breast Lift Scars Be Noticeable?

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.

Can I Breastfeed After a Breast Lift?

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.

Through breast lift surgery you can achieve a shapelier, more feminine figure. View our breast lift before-and-after photos to see results of our mastopexy patients. If you would like more information about the breast enhancement procedures we offer, please contact McCormack Plastic Surgery today.

Additional Breast Lift FAQs

Can I do exercises to lift the breasts instead of surgery?

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.

Should I get implants with my breast lift?

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.