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Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

A breast lift or Mastopexy is a surgical procedure that addresses flattened, drooping, sagging or uneven breasts by removing excess skin and tightening surrounding tissue to raise and reshape your breasts, creating a more youthful contour.  Your nipple and areola will also be shifted to a higher position, and if necessary, reduced in size.   There are several incision patterns, but the optimum choice for you depends on your surgical goals, and the size and shape of your breasts.  These include the “anchor”, the “lollipop”, and the “donut” patterns.  Scars are usually hidden under the breasts and around the nipple areola complex.  Dr. Capuano will make every effort to minimize incisions and place them in hidden areas.

Next Step: Click here for Breast Lift (Mastopexy) FAQs

Is This Surgery Right For Me?

The best candidates for breast lift surgery are otherwise healthy adults, who are nonsmokers, who feel that their breasts are pendulous but adequate in size or who feel their breasts lack firmness or substance.  Another reason to consider a breast lift is if your nipples point downward or hang below your breast crease.  Ideal candidates for breast lift are also finished with child bearing and breast-feeding.  If you plan to have any future children, you may want to consider postponing surgery, because pregnancy and breast feeding may stretch your breasts and compromise your surgical results.  Your surgeon can help determine if breast lift surgery is right for you, after careful examination of your anatomy and skin quality, and consideration of your individual goals. 

A breast lift does not significantly change the size of your breasts, however, if there is either too much or too little volume in your breasts, Dr. Capuano may also recommend a breast augmentation or reduction in addition to your lift. A breast augmentation or “breast implant” can sometimes be placed at the time of your lift to increase the size of your breasts.   A breast reduction includes removal of breast tissue in addition to removal and rearrangement of skin.  

Ask the Doctor

Frequently Asked Questions

Length of Surgery

The procedure takes between 3 to 4 hours or more depending on the patient’s anatomy, and surgical needs.   The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, on both an inpatient and an outpatient basis, in the hospital.  An overnight stay will depend on individual medical condition and extent of surgery.

Expected Recovery

Most patients are able to return to work within about 1 to 2 weeks.  You may begin light exercise at 2-3 weeks, while 6 weeks is required, before returning to strenuous activity or lifting.  Bruising may be present for up to 3 weeks.  Patients are instructed to wear a light compressive bra for 6 weeks.  Although some results are immediately evident, the final result of your breast lift may not be apparent for 6 months to a year post operatively.  Scars begin to fade from 7 months up to about a year and a half.

Common Side Effects

Bruising, swelling, soreness, temporary numbness, surgical scars

Surgical Risks

Risks include bleeding, infection, hematoma, permanent changes in skin or nipple sensation, scarring, nipple or breast asymmetry, prolonged swelling, thick scars.

Dr. Capuano consistently achieves excellent results with breast lifts.  He is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and he would be happy to discuss your options if you are thinking about a breast lift.

How do I make an appointment for a consultation?

Contact the office of the Northern Center for Plastic Surgery at (201)820-5280 to schedule an appointment.

What is the best approach for a breast lift?

There are various approaches that are considered successful with a breast lift and there isn't any clearly defined way of self diagnosing what the best approach is for your breast size and shape.  Dr. Capuano is well versed with breast lift surgery and can answer any questions or concerns that you may have regarding breast lift surgery.

If I have droopy breasts can’t I receive a larger implant so I don’t need a breast lift?

The short answer is mostly no unless you are planning on having a revision procedure sooner than later. Read on for further information or call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Capuano for a consultation. 

For women with ptosis (droopy breasts) or a little bit larger breasts, one of many things that determines whether that person will get an implant alone or whether they will also require a lift is the distance between the nipple and the fold.

If that distance is more than 8.5cm they may need some kind of a lift. If it’s less than 8.5 cm or around 8.5 cm, then you want to start thinking about how tight the Cooper's ligaments are, does the patient have mostly glandular tissue or is the breast mostly fatty, and what does the skin envelope look like? If there is good quality skin, good elasticity, good Cooper's ligament integrity, and around 8.5cm, we will get a good result with an implant under the muscle in that patient who has a little bit of ptosis.  Likely a medium gummy implant will improve their upper pole fullness without being too firm.

But if they have loose skin, with poorly attached cooper’s ligaments, and they are borderline with respect to measurements, they are either not going to get adequate lifting from an appropriately sized implant or they are going to get very early drooping of that breast and you never want to oversize to compensate for droop. When you oversize to compensate for droop, the breast looks very broad and over projected and people end up feeling very top heavy and uncomfortable. And you get recurrence of the ptosis or droop, much faster so they may only get 5 or 6 years out of the implant before they need a revision.

You want to make sure the patient has as much longevity as possible so you’re using a smaller implant that fits their base width and not oversized implant if they have a little bit of ptosis

And if that ptosis can’t be corrected with that smaller implant, then you want to make sure you perform a lift procedure along with their implant.

So measurements determine which direction we are going to go with respect to surgical procedure. If they are borderline, we look at the other characteristics as well. A thorough in person consultation is important to reveal whether you are a good candidate for this procedure. 


How do I determine at-home, if I need a breast lift or if I am a candidate for a breast augmentation?

To determine at home if you need a breast lift, here is a quick reference to give you an idea of whether or not you may need a breast lift with your augmentation. Grab a measuring tape. Then find the fold underneath your breast (along your chest wall). Place the beginning of the measuring tape at your breast fold and release your breast to drape over the fold. Face the mirror and mark on the tape where your breast hangs to. If your tape measures 8.5 cm or more you are a good candidate for a breast lift.

A breast augmentation by itself may likely not give you the natural result you desire. If you are interested in having a breast augmentation you may want to consider a breast lift with your augmentation for the best possible outcome. A  thorough consultation with Dr. Capuano will offer you the benefit of understanding whether or not you require a lift or if an augmentation is appropriate. Additional information specific to each patient is also necessary to find out whether a breast lift is right for you.