A breast lift (or “mastopexy”) is a cosmetic surgical procedure used to lift and reshape sagging (ptotic) breasts resulting from pregnancy, breastfeeding, fluctuations in weight, and/or aging. By rearranging the breast tissue and raising the nipple position, while removing excess skin to tighten the surrounding skin envelope, a mastopexy can help restore a firm, more youthful breast profile.
Before & After photographs shown on this site are actual patients of Dr. James Lee who have given their permission to have their photos published online. They are for illustrative purposes only; individual results vary. We do not guarantee outcomes and no prediction of outcome is implied. Individual healing characteristics and unexpected complications can affect the outcome of any surgery.
The best candidates for a breast lift procedure are healthy women who:
A breast lift procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia. Though less common, the procedure can also be performed under local anesthesia with intravenous sedation.
A breast lift can be performed through a variety techniques. Regardless of the breast lift technique used, an incision is required to remove excess skin in order to lift and reshape the breast.
Although scars are permanent and visible on the breast, they are well concealed when wearing a swimsuit or brassiere.
A breast lift will not significantly change the volume of your breasts. One of the following combined procedures could be more suitable treatment option for women with ptotic breasts, who are also looking to either increase or decrease the volume of their breasts:
Dr. Lee will perform a thorough medical evaluation during your consultation to ensure that you are medically fit for surgery. He will also revise your medication list, as certain medications may need to be temporarily stopped before your surgery.
After carefully evaluating your breast anatomy and assessing your aesthetic goals, Dr. Lee will review your available surgical options and help you choose the breast lift technique that will allow you to achieve your desired results. The following factors will be taken into consideration by Dr. Lee throughout the decision-making process: your body weight and height; your breast size and shape, the size and position of your areolas; the degree of breast sagging (ptosis); as well as the quality, elasticity, and amount of excess breast skin.
Since smoking is known to be associated with poor/delayed wound healing, wound dehiscence, wound infections, and increased scarring postoperatively, smokers will be asked to stop smoking 4 weeks prior to surgery, and for at least 2 weeks postoperatively.
Patients will also be scheduled for routine pre-operative blood testing and an electrocardiogram 1-2 weeks before surgery. Dr. Lee may also recommend that you undergo a pre-operative baseline mammogram, as this helps detect future changes in your breast tissue. If necessary, further recommendations will be made once the results of these tests have been reviewed.
The operation is performed on an outpatient basis and patients are permitted to go home a few hours after surgery.
There will be dressings over your breasts after surgery. You will also be given a surgical support bra to wear for the first 4 to 6 weeks. Before leaving our facilities, you will be given specific instructions on how to care for your breasts and surgical wounds throughout your recovery. It is imperative that you follow these recommendations in order to minimize the appearance of your scars and to optimize your final results. Dressings should be left in place until your first post-operative visit with Dr. Lee, at which point he will assess your wounds and if necessary, apply new dressings.
You will experience some discomfort; however, this can be controlled with the pain medications which will be prescribed for you. Some swelling and bruising are expected for the first 3-4 weeks after surgery. Although the results of your breast surgery will be immediately apparent, it may take up to 6-12 months for you to completely heal and achieve your final look.
Most patients are able to return to work or school after about a week of convalescence. For the first 4-6 weeks, patients are asked to sleep on their backs, and to avoid bending over, lifting their arms above their shoulders, or lifting anything over 5 pounds. Light exercises are permitted at 2 weeks, while regular exercise and activities can be resumed at 4-6 weeks.
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with breast lift procedure. Smoking, diabetes, peripheral artery disease (poor circulation), as well as heart, lung, or liver disease may increase your risk of perioperative and/or post-operative complications.
Scars form as the body’s natural response heal tissues. As with any scar, the extent of post-surgical scarring depends on a number of modifiable factors (i.e. avoidance of UV light exposure, tension-free wound closure, appropriate wound care, etc.) and non-modifiable factors (i.e. patient age, comorbidities, skin type, genetics, etc.). While it is not possible to perform scar-free surgery, Dr. Lee makes every effort to minimize the appearance of your post-surgical scars through careful pre-operative planning, the use of meticulous surgical technique, and by ensuring appropriate wound care and follow-up postoperatively.
It is not unusual for scars to appear red and be slightly raised/firm for the first 4-6 weeks following surgery. Scars will flatten and become paler over time and can take up to 12 months before achieving their final appearance.
Dr. Lee will thoroughly discuss these risks (and possibly others) with you and answer any questions you might have prior to obtaining your consent for surgery.