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Breast Lift Procedure

Dr. Sanders performs breast lift, known as mastopexy, to raise and reshape sagging breasts. The length of the incision required depends on the degree of drooping, with many of our patients choosing a short scar encircling the areola only. Breast lift patients with more significant drooping of the breasts may require the “lollipop” or “full lift” incision techniques. Special scar treatments after surgery minimize their appearance. In many cases patients opt for placement of an implant at the same time as the lift so as to minimize the length of the scar required for the uplift and to restore more fullness to the upper breast.


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Causes of Breast Sagging

Sagging breasts is a natural cosmetic change of a woman’s breasts. The loss of skin elasticity, lifestyle changes, and aging are the major factors contributing to sagging breasts. Still, many women do not want sagging breasts and look for various ways to fix this problem, including breast lift.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

During and after pregnancy, a woman’s body may change in many ways, including substantial differences in overall body weight and breast volume. Sometimes, these fluctuations can cause the breasts to lose some of their definition. Many of Dr. Sanders’ breast lift patients are moms who are simply seeking to restore their pre-pregnancy bodies.

Aging

One potential cause of breast sagging is the simple passage of time. As the body ages, the ligaments surrounding breast tissue lose some of their elasticity, which can lead to loose skin and sagging. Many women find that this change is especially prominent as they begin to go through menopause.

Weight Loss and Weight Gain

Any fluctuation of body weight may cause unnecessary stretching of the breasts and ultimately produce a sagging effect. This is true of women who experience weight fluctuations due to diet, lifestyle, illness, or pregnancy. A breast lift may be the recommended procedure to restore shape and contour.

Inadequate Support from the Bra

Some women experience sagging breasts due to improper undergarments. When the breasts are not properly supported by a good bra, they can lose some of their shape and lift. Getting professionally fitted for a bra can be a good way to avoid this unwanted effect.


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Benefits of a Breast Lift

Many women who are not happy with the shape of their breasts or that feel that their breasts have lost their youthful appearance can benefit from a breast lift. The procedure addresses various issues with sagging breasts that may have affected a woman’s breast over time.

Firmer Breast

Women who get a breast lift will find that they are able to enjoy tight, firm breasts, even without the use of a full-support bra. The breast lift will eliminate unnecessary skin and extra tissue, resulting in breasts that no longer look or feel saggy and droopy.

Youthful Breast Shape

A breast lift results in a perkier appearance, undoing some of the effects of time and age. As a result, women who come in to have a breast lift often find that they feel younger and more confident. A breast lift can change how the patient looks, but more importantly, it may change how she feels.

Higher Nipple Projection

One of the benefits of a breast lift is that it often involves movement of the breast and areola, relocating them higher on the nipple mound. This is another important way for Dr. Sanders and his team to help patients eliminate sagging and achieve tighter, younger-looking breasts.

Reduced Irritation Under the Breast

When breasts are low-sitting or saggy, it may produce some irritation of the skin underneath. A breast lift can eliminate this problem by raising the breasts and reducing the occurrence of excess skin rubbing together. For women who struggle with irritated skin on the underside of their breasts, a breast lift may provide lasting relief.


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Good Candidates for Breast Lift Surgery

Are in Good Health Overall

The safety of patients is always our top concern. For this reason, Dr. Sanders will always take a quick medical history to ensure patients are in the right physical health for a safe procedure and an uncomplicated recovery. Specifically, those who have illnesses that keep them from healing properly will want to avoid getting surgery.

Have Breasts That Sag or Have Otherwise Lost Their Shape

For women whose breasts have lost some of their perkiness and definition or who feel like they have started “sagging” too much, a breast lift may be the perfect solution. No matter the cause for your lost breast shape and contour, a breast lift can restore youthfulness.

Have Nipples That Fall Below the Breast Fold

A breast lift can be an excellent option for women whose nipples, when left unsupported, fall below the fold of the breast. A breast lift can not only restore the shape of the breasts, but it can also relocate the nipple to a more prominent place.

Have Nipples That Are Pointed Downward

Along the same lines, a breast lift can provide solutions for women whose nipples point downward. During the procedure, Dr. Sanders can relocate the nipple and the areola to a higher position on the breast mound and restore them to a more perky and upright appearance.

Have Stretched Skin and Enlarged Areolas

A lift can have a deeply restorative effect on the entire breast, improving the appearance of stretched skin as well as enlarged areolas. These are common concerns among many of our patients, particularly moms who are on the other side of pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Have Flat, Elongated Breasts

Some patients who come to Dr. Sanders note that, over time, their breasts have lost so much definition and contour that they now appear flat and elongated. A breast lift can help reverse these effects, restoring them to a more robust shape and a healthier appearance.

Have One Breast That Falls Lower Than the Other

Asymmetry is another concern that can be addressed with a breast lift. If one of your breasts hangs a bit lower than the other, a breast lift can eliminate this excess sagging and help both breasts look healthy once more.

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Types of Breast Lift

Each breast lift technique has its own set of benefits and downsides. During your consultation, Dr. Sanders will make sure to take into account your needs and expectations before recommending the right breast lift technique for you. Keep reading to learn more about each type.

Crescent Breast Lift

With a crescent lift, a small incision is made along the upper portion of the nipple; running along the top part of the areola, this incision resembles the shape of a crescent moon. Many women opt for the crescent lift for its minimal scarring, though it is not always sufficient for handling more significant sagging.

Peri-Areolar Breast Lift

With this type of lift, also called a donut lift, Dr. Sanders makes a circular incision that goes around the entirety of the areola. This tends to create very discreet scarring, hidden in the edges of the areola, and makes sense for those who want to have their areola size reduced anyway.

Vertical Breast Lift

Also called a lollipop lift, the vertical breast lift involves two separate incisions. One is made along the outer rim of the areola, while the second runs vertically from the bottom of the areola to the breast fold. This can be a good option for women who wish to correct moderate to significant sagging.

Anchor Breast Lift

An anchor lift is generally recommended for women whose breast sagging is more extreme. With this type of procedure, Dr. Sanders makes three separate incisions. These incisions mirror those of the vertical breast lift but also include a horizontal incision along the crease of the breast. Scarring may be slightly more visible, but an anchor lift allows Dr. Sanders to make the most substantial change to breast shape.

Breast Lift with Breast Augmentation

Any of the breast lift techniques may be performed at the same time as an augmentation. The choice depends on the degree of scarring the patient is willing to accept as well as the degree and type of drooping that is present.

A breast lift alone does not increase the size of the breasts, and for this reason some women may wish to have breast lift surgery along with breast augmentation (augmentation mastopexy). This combination procedure is good for women who want to reposition their breasts to a higher, perkier level while also enhancing the fullness of the upper breast at the same time. For women who are satisfied with their breast size, but just want to fix breasts that sag, breast lift alone is a good option for them.


Breast Lift: Before & After

A breast lift can significantly impact the overall look of the breasts, helping restore them to a healthy shape and a youthful appearance. See for yourself in our gallery of before and after images, which features real-life patients of Dr. Sanders and his team.

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Breast Lift FAQ

  • How much does a breast lift cost?

    The cost of a breast lift varies based on your individual needs, your build and whether or not you are having a breast augmentation along with the breast lift. You will be able to get a better idea of the cost during your personalized consultation with Dr. Sanders. At that time, you may also wish to ask Dr. Sanders about the financing options that he offers, which create an affordable monthly payment method with low to zero interest. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sanders, contact his office at (818) 981-3333.

  • What is the difference between breast augmentation and breast lift?

    Breast augmentation uses saline or silicone implants to increase the size and fullness of small or asymmetrical breasts. Breast lift does not change the size of the breasts but it does relocate them higher on the chest.

  • Can breast augmentation and breast lift be performed during the same operation?

    Yes, the placement of breast implants can be combined with breast lift techniques to increase the size of the breasts and elevate them to a perkier position.

  • How do I know if I need a breast lift?

    It is difficult to advise a patient of what they need without examining their breasts and discussing their goals. Dr. Sanders encourages all women that are unhappy with the appearance of their breasts to schedule an informational consultation at his practice. In general, if the nipple hangs below the breast fold, some type of breast lift is usually needed.

  • Can I breastfeed if I have had breast lift surgery?

    Many breast lift patients are able to breastfeed after surgery, although it depends on the placement of the surgical incisions, how well the milk ducts are preserved and the amount of tissue dissection. Dr. Sanders can adjust his surgical technique and strives to preserve the ducts and tissues as best possible, while still producing the desired lift. Talk to the surgeon about your goals during your initial consultation.

  • Will I retain nipple sensation after breast lift?

    There is a slight risk with every breast lift procedure that the nipples will lose sensation after surgery; however, this is not usually the case. Dr. Sanders can discuss the possibility with you at your consultation if you are concerned.

Recovering from Surgery

After surgery, you can expect some bruising and swelling in the chest area. This will subside after 2-3 weeks. After the procedure, the doctor will place you in a surgical bra that will support your breasts, and you will wear it for two weeks. You can expect some discomfort in your breasts during this time, and the doctor will prescribe pain medication to make sure that you are comfortable. Avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, as it can cause bleeding problems.

Recovery Timeline

  • Day of the surgery. Most patients go home the same day. Your body will need time to heal, but you will already be able to discern some of the results of the surgery.
  • First three days. You may experience some pain and discomfort, but Dr. Sanders can provide medication to help manage it. Stay focused on rest.
  • One week after. You can go back to walking around and may even be cleared to go back to work, but continue to avoid lifting. Pain should be mostly gone, but some swelling may remain.
  • Two weeks after. Pain should now be gone, though you are still advised to avoid strenuous activity.
  • One month after. By this point, you should be able to resume all your normal routines and activities.
  • Six months after. Around this point, your breasts will settle into their final positions, and your scarring should be significantly diminished.

Other Body Procedures

In order to further enhance their appearance, many of our breast lift patients pursue additional body contouring procedures, including liposuction or tummy tuck. Dr. Sanders has many years of experience performing these treatments, as well as other breast procedures such as breast reduction and gynecomastia. In fact, Dr. Sanders is a highly skilled board-certified plastic surgeon serving Los Angeles. Please explore the pages devoted to these procedures to learn more about these contouring treatments.

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