What is a Breast Lift?

A mastopexy, also known as a breast lift, is a cosmetic surgery procedure to restore the natural youthfulness and position to the breasts that is lost to pregnancy, weight loss and the effects of gravity.

This procedure restores the breasts by removing excess tissue and skin while also decreasing the size of the areolas, which can grow undesirably large over time, to raise the breasts to their more youthful position. Some women also choose to have this procedure performed alongside breast augmentation to restore volume and firmness.


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The Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Procedure

There are different stages of breast deformation, and Dr. Shapiro performs different styles of mastopexies for the optimal results. The incision technique will depend on the patient’s breast size and shape as well as the amount of sagging and the desired results.

You can determine what type of breast lift is necessary by viewing your profile in a mirror. The natural crease of the breast determines the amount of skin elasticity and sagging. A youthful breast will have a nipple that is above this crease.


Mastopexy Augmentation

Breast with mild sagging will require a small crescent-shaped incision above the areola. This breast lift procedure is often combined with breast implants to restore firmness and volume to the breasts.

Periareolar Mastopexy

Breasts with moderate sagging will require a technique that involves a circular incision around the areolas. Excess skin between the areola and incision is removed. This breast lift procedure allows the areolas to be reduced in size.

Full Breast Lift

Breasts with severe sagging will require a full breast lift. With this technique, Dr. Shapiro will make an anchor-shaped incision that goes around the areola, vertically down to the crease, and then across the creast of the breast. This allows Dr. Shapiro to reshape the breasts, lift the nipple to its more youthful position and reduce the size of the areola.

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What will my Breast Lift Recovery be like?

After surgery, patients typically wear a soft support bra for up to two months to control swelling and ensure proper healing. Drainage tubes may be placed at the surgery site to prevent a build-up of fluids, which will be removed a few days after surgery.

Patients experience the most discomfort during the first two or three days. Dr. Shapiro will prescribe pain medication to control this discomfort. Your breasts will be tender, swollen and likely bruised after surgery, with bruising and tenderness fading over the next week or two. Some swelling may linger for up to a couple of months.

After surgery, your ability to lift your arms will be limited while you heal, so it is important to have someone to help you wash your hair and pick up anything heavy.

Most patients return to work and light activity within a week, although pushing, pulling and lifting should wait until the incisions fully heal. Patients typically resume moderate exercise about four to six weeks after surgery.


Scars and Maintenance

Scars using the periareolar technique are typically only obvious around the immediate areola where the incision is closed. With a full lift, scars will be located around the areola, in a line to the crease and inside of the crease. These scars can be made less noticeable by the crease itself.

Scars around the areola typically fade much faster than other scars. Over time, the vertical scar from a full lift will be very difficult to see. Dr. Shapiro recommends using silicone gel sheeting to reduce the visibility of these scars for the first few months after the procedure. He may also use Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) laser therapy to reduce scar redness and visibility.

Risks and Complications

Complications with this procedure are uncommon, but can include bleeding, infection, delayed healing and loss of nipple sensation, which may be permanent but is typically temporary and lasts up to one year.

Mommy Makeover

Dr. Shapiro's Scottsdale patients by also elect to receive a mommy makeover. This very popular procedure is for women who want to restore the appearance of their breasts and body after pregnancy. It is a combination of a mastopexy of any type with liposuction and a tummy tuck to restore more youthful contours.

FAQs

If I plan to have kids, when should I have a breast lift?

Because bearing children can significantly change a woman’s breasts, if you plan to get pregnant within the next year, you’ll likely want to get a breast lift only after you’ve had your child and finished breastfeeding. While it would be safe in most cases to get a lift pre-pregnancy, the results would likely not last and would later require a revision.

Can I breastfeed after a breast lift?

Yes, providing the nipple is left attached to the underlying ducts. Where very large amounts of excess skin needs to be removed, the nipple may need to be removed and repositioned, which could affect breastfeeding.

Will a breast lift prevent me from getting breast augmentation later?

No, if you later decide to get breast implants or otherwise increase the size of your breasts, a lift will not prevent that.

What other procedures complement a breast lift?

Many of our patients opt to combine a breast lift with either breast enlargement or breast reduction. The procedure can also be done as part of a mommy makeover, in which case it would be done along with a tummy tuck and liposuction.

How big are the scars from a breast lift?

The size of your scars depends upon the lift method or technique used, as well as on the skill of your surgeon. Incisions made in a breast lift will be fine lines subject to fading and flattening out over time (it being no longer elevated above the rest of the breast. Stress is placed on creating the least visible scars possible while providing the required amount of lift.

How does a breast lift affect the size of my boobs?

Generally speaking, unless you ask for your breasts to be made larger or smaller, their size won’t significantly change with a breast lift. Depending on how much lifting is to be done, you may go down by down by about a half cup size.

Meet Dr. Daniel Shapiro

A world-class plastic surgeon in a league of his own.

Dr. Shapiro is an award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeon with over 28 years of experience in his field. With impressive technical skill and a talent for creating natural-looking results, his practice has become a leading destination for discerning patients throughout the country.

Known for his compassion and honesty, Dr. Shapiro strives to educate his patients so that they are empowered about their care. He carefully explains the procedures, expected results, and techniques in a way that anyone can understand. Additionally, he personally guides his clients every step of the way – from the initial consultation to their post-operative care – to ensure an enjoyable experience and the best possible results.

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update Virtual Consultation

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the reopening of my practice for both surgical and non-surgical services on May 1, 2020. As per the governor Ducey's executive order on April 22, 2020, elective surgery has been allowed to proceed, with appropriate precautions taken by health care professionals to ensure continued vigilance against the spread of Covid-19.

Our office staff and the staff of Paradise Valley Cosmetic Surgery Center and Surgical Recovery Center have proactively taken necessary precautions to meet strict criterion for health providers according to the state of Arizona. These include necessary patient screening for Covid-19, strict protocols for cleaning offices and treatment rooms, adequate PPE, and continued social distancing. As before, waiting areas will have minimal capacity, and friends and family members should not accompany one into offices or treatment areas.

With great anticipation we welcome you back to the practice, and wish you all continued health and safety.

Sincerely, Daniel Shapiro MD, FACS

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