Procedure: Approximately 2.5–3.5 hours
Anesthesia: General anesthesia
Recovery: About 7 days (for office jobs and non-strenuous activities)
Post-op Visits: 1 day, 1 week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 6 months
Breast lift, or mastopexy, is a cosmetic treatment designed to elevate and reshape sagging breasts for a more youthful contour and aesthetic. During the procedure, excess breast skin and breast tissue (often resulting from pregnancy, weight loss, or simply aging) are removed, and the breasts are raised to a heightened position on the chest wall. In addition, the nipple-areolar complex can also be lifted and reshaped for a more natural appearance.
At our practice, Fort Worth plastic surgeon Jon Kurkjian, MD personalizes each mastopexy to meet the specific needs and goals of the patient. To begin the consultation process, he will first evaluate the shape and size of your breast tissue, areola, and nipple, also taking into consideration breast symmetry, skin texture, and elasticity. Based on this assessment, he will prepare a detailed operative plan that can address your aesthetic desires while keeping safety a top priority.
Once an individualized plan is formulated, Dr. Kurkjian will be able to show you an ultra-high-resolution simulation of your current breasts and how they will likely appear after mastopexy using advanced VECTRA® XT 3D imaging. Along with providing a visual of potential breast lift results, the VECTRA® XT 3D system enables you to see if you like the addition of implants to your mastopexy procedure, which is typically necessary for patients who want long-term fullness in the upper portion of the breasts.
From beginning to end of the mastopexy treatment process, Dr. Kurkjian and our team strive to ensure that an exceptional outcome is achieved with as minimal recovery time as possible. This is accomplished through careful surgical technique and a specialized post-operative regimen intended to facilitate the healing process and accelerate a return to normal daily life. For more information about the benefits, surgical methods, and various considerations for breast lift, we encourage you to continue reading the information provided below, or contact our practice to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kurkjian.
Benefits of a Breast Lift – Restoring Your Breast Beauty
In addition to elevating the breasts to a more youthful position on the chest wall, the mastopexy procedure can be custom-tailored to improve several other concerns associated with the appearance of the breasts. Based on your individual needs and desires, breast lift surgery can often help:
- Correct breast ptosis (drooping)
- Tighten and/or remove loose, excess breast skin
- Recontour breast tissues for a more symmetrical, aesthetically pleasing shape
- Reduce the size of the nipple-areola complexes
- Raise/reposition the nipple-areola complexes
Breast Lift Techniques and Considerations
There are a variety of mastopexy techniques that can be utilized today, and Dr. Kurkjian’s specialized training in this cosmetic surgery option allows him to personalize the breast lift procedure to fit your unique needs and aesthetic goals. During the consultation, he will guide you through the entire treatment process and ensure you consider all important aspects of the procedure before proceeding with surgery.
Adding Breast Implants
One of the biggest decisions to be made when thinking about mastopexy is whether or not breast implants should be added to the procedure. Breast lift surgery is designed to make the breasts look younger, not larger. For this reason, if you are also interested in restoring lost volume and/or achieving long-term upper pole fullness, implants should be placed in conjunction with your mastopexy. Commonly referred to as a breast lift with augmentation, this procedure can generally produce a fuller breast shape, better cleavage, and an improved overall appearance.
If a breast lift with augmentation is performed, it is important to keep in mind that there is a limitation on breast implant size. Placing too big of an implant at the time of a lift can eventually compromise the results of surgery, as the breast skin will not be able to support the weight of large implants over time. The skin has stretched before—hence the need for mastopexy—and it will happen again if the weight of the implant is too much. Additional concerns of placing implants that are too big include potential disruption of blood flow to the nipple and unsightly scarring. Fortunately, the risk of encountering any of these issues can be greatly reduced by placing the correct size implants.
To learn more about this combination procedure, please visit our page on breast lift with augmentation.
There are three main incisional patterns used for breast lift surgery:
- Periareolar – Around the areola
- Lollipop (Vertical) – Around the areola and down to the crease beneath the breast
- Anchor (Inverted “T”) – Around the areola, down the breast, and horizontally along the breast crease
The mastopexy incision pattern typically employed by Dr. Kurkjian is lollipop-shaped or anchor-shaped, depending on how much extra skin there is as well as how far the nipple needs to be moved. If you have only limited sagging, Dr. Kurkjian may prescribe a lollipop mastopexy wherein the incision encircles the areola and continues down to the inframammary crease below the breast. When breast drooping is more significant, an anchor-shaped incision that extends around the areola, down the underside of the breast, and continues along the inframammary crease will usually be recommended. It is rare for patients to have such minimal sagging that only a periareolar incision is needed, but this method can be utilized for qualified candidates.
Ultimately, each insional pattern has advantages and disadvantages, all of which will be discussed in thorough detail at the time of the consultation. Based on this information, you and Dr. Kurkjian can determine which technique may yield the best results.
Wearing Bras Post-Surgery
Wearing a bra as often as possible after surgery is critical to enhancing the long-term success of treatment. Over time, gravity, aging, weight fluctuation, and various other factors will have an effect on the appearance of your breasts, and wearing a bra to support the breasts while keeping them in an ideal position can help slow the inevitable process of future tissue sagging. Dr. Kurkjian recommends wearing a surgical bra for two weeks, a sports bra for one month, and then any bra desired thereafter.
The Breast Lift Procedure
During surgery, excess skin is removed and breast tissues are reshaped and lifted to a higher, more youthful position on the chest wall. When the ideal contour and position is achieved, the skin is pulled taut and reattached beneath the breasts. An integral aspect of Dr. Kurkjian’s technique is to limit recovery and downtime by way of minimal tissue trauma. He takes great care to avoid touching the ribs during surgery, and he uses meticulous dissection methods that limit any pulling on tissues. Additionally, Dr. Kurkjian aims to prevent bleeding throughout the operation, helping to considerably reduce possible discomfort and/or bruising after the procedure.
Breast Lift Recovery & Post-Operative Care
Following mastopexy, most patients are back to their normal work and social activities about five to seven days after surgery, though Dr. Kurkjian advises patients to not participate in any strenuous activities for at least three weeks. In addition, heavy lifting and particular exercises—such as yoga—should be avoided for approximately six weeks to enable all incisions to fully heal. Some minor soreness and/or swelling can often be expected initially (especially if implants were placed during the breast lift procedure); however, these symptoms can often be managed effectively with medication and should subside over time.
Our plastic surgery practice provides comprehensive care for our patients to help ensure a smooth and speedy recovery. You will be given detailed instructions regarding post-operative care for your breasts, and we will help you schedule several follow-up appointments after your procedure for Dr. Kurkjian to monitor your healing and address any questions or concerns you may have along the way.
How Noticeable Are Breast Lift Scars?
The visibility of scarring after mastopexy is dependent on the technique that is performed by Dr. Kurkjian. If the lollipop breast lift approach is utilized, a vertical scar from the areola down to the breast crease will be present. With the anchor breast lift technique, a scar will appear vertically from the areola to the crease of the breast, where it will meet an additional horizontal scar along the fold. The periareolar breast lift technique—which is less often performed—typically yields the least visible scarring since the scar tends to blend into the areolar perimeter.
While breast lift surgery usually produces scars that are noticeable, it is important to note that Dr. Kurkjian utilizes very precise wound closure techniques designed to minimize their appearance. In addition, breast lift scars also have a tendency to fade in visibility over time, and the vast majority of patients ultimately feel that the benefits of mastopexy are completely worth any surgical marks.
Will I Be Able to Breastfeed After Breast Lift Surgery?
The ability to breastfeed after breast lift surgery can be retained for many women who are planning to nurse in the future. With this in mind, it is important to understand that some women are not naturally able to breastfeed, regardless of whether they undergo breast surgery procedures. For individuals who do have this ability, the breast lift can be tailored to ensure that the milk ducts and other structures responsible for lactation remain functional; however, it is vital that you let Dr. Kurkjian know your plans to breastfeed so he can customize the breast lift procedure with these goals in mind.
All that being said, Dr. Kurkjian typically advises patients to postpone mastopexy until they have completed their families and no longer plan to nurse, since the physical changes that often occur during and after pregnancy and breastfeeding may compromise the outcome of surgery—potentially creating the need for another breast lift.
How Much Does a Breast Lift Cost?
The cost of breast lift surgery usually falls in the $8,000 to $9,000 range at Dr. Kurkjian’s practice. Pricing is often different for each patient depending on factors such as the specific technique performed, whether breast implants or other treatments are being added to the breast lift procedure, the extent of correction necessary to achieve the patient’s goals, the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia and facility fees, and other costs associated with the customized treatment plan. Dr. Kurkjian is sensitive to the budgetary needs of our patients and offers a full range of options to make paying for treatment as convenient as possible. In addition to accepting a variety of payment methods, our practice works with companies such as CareCredit®, Prosper® Healthcare Lending, and others that offer affordable plastic surgery financing options for qualified applicants.
Contact Our Office
If you are interested in a breast lift and wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kurkjian, please do not hesitate to contact us online or via telephone today.