The breasts can sag for many reasons, including age, pregnancy, weight loss, and more. While older women and post-pregnancy women are more prone to sagging, it can happen to women of any age, with or without kids. Sagging breasts can cause a woman to feel self-conscious or embarrassed about her appearance, and can cause problems when shopping for clothes or swimsuits. In addition, some women may be hesitant to have intimate encounters due to fear of exposing their breasts.
Experienced, Philadelphia-area plastic surgeon David Bottger, MD performs breast lift surgery on women who desire a more youthful, perky appearance for their breasts. Contact him at 610-355-1929 to schedule your initial consultation and see if a breast lift is right for you.
What is a Breast Lift?
A breast lift is a surgical procedure that raises the breasts into a more youthful position. It is not to be confused with breast augmentation, which enlarges the breasts but does not lift them. A breast lift procedure on its own does not enlarge the breasts unless combined with a breast augmentation. That said, both procedures can be incorporated into a comprehensive Mommy Makeover if desired.
A breast lift is appropriate for women whose breasts have begun to droop, whether from weight fluctuations, age, genetics, pregnancy, or any other reason. If your breasts are not drooping but you want to go up a cup size or two, look into breast augmentation instead.
The Breast Lift Procedure
Each breast lift procedure is customized to suit your individual needs. Dr. Bottger performs these two main types of breast lift:
- Circumareolar Mastopexy: Also known as a “donut mastopexy,” this procedure is best for women with minimal sagging. A small incision is made around the areola, and the nipple is repositioned in a higher location. This type of breast lift is best for those with minimal sagging, and creates a smaller scar.
- Vertical Mastopexy: This procedure is best for those with more significant sagging. It creates a scar around the areola and down the underside of the breast, known as a “lollipop” scar. While there is more scarring with this procedure, it gives the surgeon more flexibility to correct worse cases of sagging.
Dr. Bottger will discuss your options during your consultation, taking into account the amount of sagging you have, whether you’d like to enlarge the breasts as well as lift them, and what your expected end results are. He will then help to devise a treatment plan that addresses your goals while taking your anatomy into consideration.
Breast Lift Recovery
Recovery after a breast lift is generally very tolerable. You will likely experience some initial pain and discomfort in the days immediately following your procedure, but this is easily managed through the pain medications Dr. Bottger will prescribe for you.
A breast lift is an outpatient procedure, and you should be able to go home after surgery without needing to stay in the hospital. We highly recommend organizing a ride back from the hospital as well as making sure you have someone to help out around the house for the first few days, especially if you have children. You will need to rest and recover with minimal activity at first.
After the first few days, you can resume light tasks around the house. Within the first few weeks, you should be able to go back to work and do gentle exercises such as walking or using an elliptical or stationary bike.
You should refrain from strenuous activity for at least a month. Most people are ready to start weight lifting or aerobic exercise after six to eight weeks.
Swelling and bruising may occur for the first few weeks, and there may be residual swelling for several months. You should be able to see your final shape after all of the swelling has dissipated.
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I would recommend Dr. Bottger and his team to anyone without hesitation. They are so helpful and patient with every question, concern, email and phone call. You will not be disappointed!
How Long Do Breast Lift Results Last?
Unfortunately, the natural aging process continues to occur following a breast lift, and gravity continues to exert its pull. It is inevitable that some additional sagging will take place in the years following your breast lift.
However, with proper maintenance, you should only have to have one breast lift procedure in your life. A breast lift essentially resets the clock on your body, and results last for a very long time.
Factors that can impact the length of your results include:
- Pregnancy and breast feeding following your breast lift
- Skin laxity
- Weight gain and loss prior to and after your breast lift
- Size of breast implants (if augmentation was performed along with the lift)
Leading a healthy lifestyle, which includes not following fad diets, exercising, and not smoking, plays a large role in keeping your breasts perky. Fad diets can cause extreme weight fluctuations which impact the shape and size of your breasts, and smoking is not only detrimental to overall health but also speeds up the breakdown of elastin in the skin, which leads to sagging.
Are You A Candidate For A Breast Lift?
Many women could benefit from a breast lift to correct their ptosis (drooping) of the breast. However, for some, a breast augmentation alone may achieve their goals. For others, a combination may be best. Still others may not be a candidate for breast surgery at all due to health issues or other problems preventing elective surgery from being a good idea.
The ideal candidate for a breast lift procedure may have:
- Excess skin
- Sagging breasts
- Loss of fullness or shape
- Overly large areolas
- Breast asymmetry
In addition to reducing sag and trimming excess skin, a breast lift can also correct asymmetry and areola size. If you’re bothered by your large areolas or breast asymmetry, see Dr. Bottger to find out if a breast lift can help. In some cases, differently sized implants are the best solution for asymmetry, but in others, just a breast lift may be able to help.
Take a look at some of our breast lift before-and-after photos to see what kind of results to expect.
Does the Nipple Need To Be Removed for a Breast Lift?
A commonly asked question by women interested in a breast lift is whether the nipple needs to be fully removed during the procedure. Most women are naturally concerned about preserving the nipple’s function, especially if they plan to breastfeed in the future.
Fortunately, the nipple does not need to be removed during a breast lift procedure. Instead, an incision is made around the nipple and areola, which is left attached to underlying breast tissue. An appropriate amount of skin is then removed, the nipple is raised, and the skin envelope is tightened and closed.
Dr. Bottger takes great care to preserve the milk ducts while repositioning the nipple in order to ensure the greatest likelihood of future breastfeeding.
Breast Lift Scars
A breast lift, like any surgical procedure, will result in some scarring. The extent of the scarring will depend on the extent of the surgery. A circumareola (or “donut”) mastopexy will result in less scarring, but can also only address a minimal amount of sagging. A vertical mastopexy can address larger amounts of sagging, but will result in a larger scar.
Scars will initially be very red and obvious, but over time they will fade. Proper care and healing will help minimize the appearance of your scars, and there are some non-surgical procedures available that can help as well. It can take up to a year for breast lift scars to reach their final appearance.
Cost of a Breast Lift in Philadelphia
The cost of a breast lift depends on a number of factors, including:
- How much correction you need
- Whether you’ll be combining your breast lift with any other procedures, such as a breast augmentation
- Hospital, surgeon, and anesthesia fees
- Whether your surgery is outpatient or inpatient
- The skill of your surgeon
- Your geographic location
During your breast lift consultation in Philadelphia, Dr. Bottger will discuss all breast lift fees with you so that you know exactly how much your procedure will cost. He also offers plastic surgery financing plans to help patients afford this surgery.
Breast Lift vs. Breast Augmentation
Breast lift and breast augmentation are two of the most commonly performed breast surgeries, and are often performed together. The main differences between the two are as follows:
- Breast Lift: A breast lift is ideal for women who want to correct drooping breasts but are not seeking breast enlargement. A breast lift can also make the areola smaller.
- Breast Augmentation: This procedure uses implants to create bigger breasts. It may be able to help correct very minor sagging, and can help create a better breast shape. However, if your breasts droop significantly, a breast lift will be better.
Dr. Bottger will listen to your goals and help determine which procedure is best for your individual case. Sometimes, it may be that a breast lift and augmentation at the same time will be the best option.
Schedule Your Breast Lift Consultation in Philadelphia
If you are thinking about a breast lift or other breast surgery, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Bottger at 610-355-1929 today to schedule your consultation. Dr. Bottger will answer all of your questions and help find the best course of action to help you look and feel your best.
Dr. Bottger serves patients in Philadelphia, Newtown Square, and other nearby areas of Pennsylvania.