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Breast Lift

Breast Lift (Mastopexy) - Vancouver, WA

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A woman’s breasts often change over time, losing their youthful shape and firmness. These changes and loss of skin elasticity can result from pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations, aging, gravity, heredity, and other factors. At PeaceHealth Medical Group in the Portland metro area, breast lift surgery, also known as a mastopexy, is a highly individualized procedure and patients should do it for themselves, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image. A breast lift can correct breasts that sag, have lost shape and volume; breasts with a flatter, elongated shape or are pendulous; nipples that fall below the breast crease; nipples and areolas that point downward; stretched skin and enlarged areolas; or if one breast is lower than the other.

Surgical Technique

During a breast lift surgery, incisions will be made around the skin-color line of the areola. It may extend vertically, down to the crease of the breast, or extend further to a horizontal incision following the breast crease direction. How extensive the incision will be depends on how much skin must be removed. The excess skin will be trimmed away and the underlying tissues tightened. The remaining skin will be stretched up and closed with sutures. An implant placed underneath the chest muscle may also supplement the lift as it can provide additional support in keeping the improved projection in place.

Incision Types

Women who contemplate undergoing breast lift surgery often wonder what the incisions will look like and how bad the scarring will be after the procedure. The incisions vary depending on how severe the breast sagging is and how much tissue volume is present. The most common incisions are noted below.

  • Incision made along the line surrounding the areola;
  • Incision made along the line surrounding the areola, plus a vertical incision down to the natural crease below the breast;
  • Incision made along the line surrounding the areola, plus a vertical incision down to the natural crease below the breast, and another horizontal line following the direction of the breast fold.

During/After Surgery

Breast lift surgery is performed using general anesthesia at an accredited surgery facility. On average, the procedure may last up to 2 hours. The recovery will vary as some patients will have had a breast lift in combination with a reduction surgery, or with augmentation using implants. Regardless, patients will be encouraged to move around within the first 48 hours. Activities such as carrying heavy objects or any activity that puts pressure on the chest must be avoided. Most patients can resume normal activities within a couple of weeks, but exercise should not be attempted for 6-8 weeks. There will be some scarring associated with this procedure, but with extra care they will heal and fade, and many patients feel they become secondary to a more beautiful breast shape.

Plan Your Procedure

Recovery Time  
2-3 Weeks
Average Procedure Time  
2 Hours
Post-op Follow-up  
Procedure Recovery Location  
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Breast Lift FAQs

Lift or Augmentation?

It depends on the patient’s aesthetic goals and the current breast form. A breast lift will help correct a sagging, drooping breast. Many times after this surgery, patients are happy with their breast size because the lift alone creates a fuller breast. If the patient wishes to have more volume and increase the breast size, implants will resolve this issue. Before surgery, a thorough consultation and assessment will be provided, and the surgeon will recommend if a lift alone is all that is needed, or if an augmentation and a lift may be done as a combination surgery.

Nipple Repositioning?

It is common in a breast lift procedure that the nipple is repositioned so that it looks proportional to the newly shaped breast. When excess skin is trimmed away, a portion of an overly stretched areola (the colored skin around the nipple) is simultaneously trimmed away. The goal is for the nipple and areola to be within a normal size and position.

How Bad Is Scarring?

When incisions are made to trim away the skin, scars are an inevitable part of the process. Plastic surgeons are experts when it comes to minimizing scarring with precise techniques when it comes to incisions and suturing. A post-surgery scar care program will be provided, and patients are strongly encouraged to follow the plan so that healing is healthy and quick.

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* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.