Breast Lift

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Breast Lift

Breast Lift

A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, is a popular cosmetic surgery that’s used to enhance the shape and positioning of your breasts. Unlike breast augmentation, breast lifts do not require implants. Our surgeons at Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery have the expertise to customize each breast lift to perfectly fit your needs and goals.

Take a look through the breast lift before and after gallery to see some of the amazing results we’ve helped our patients achieve.


What is a Breast Lift?

What is a Breast Lift?

A breast lift is a surgical procedure that’s performed to lift and reshape a person’s breasts. Many women experience breast sagging, clinically known as breast ptosis, due to weight loss, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and aging. This procedure can be an excellent way to give your breasts a more youthful look.

During a breast lift, a plastic surgeon tightens the skin and reshapes the breast tissue to create a perkier, more uplifted appearance. The surgeon can also reshape and reposition the areola if desired. While many people choose to do a breast lift only, a breast augmentation with lift is a popular combination that can provide very satisfactory, lasting results.


What Can a Breast Lift Achieve?

What Can a Breast Lift Achieve?

Depending on your goals for the procedure, a breast lift can be used to:

  • Reverse skin drooping
  • Lift the breast tissue into a more shapely position
  • Reposition and reshape the nipples and areolas
  • Improve the contour and symmetry of the breasts
  • Restore a youthful appearance to the breasts


Am I a Candidate?

An ideal candidate for lift surgery is in good overall health, maintains a stable weight, and has realistic expectations about what a breast lift can do. A woman who chooses to undergo mastopexy typically has one or more of the following conditions:

  • Sagging breasts
  • Nipples or areolas that point downward
  • Breasts that have lost shape or volume
  • One breast that is lower than the other
  • Breasts that are flat or elongated

The best way to assess if you are a candidate is to have an in-person assessment with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. We’ll discuss the specifics of the procedure as well as your personal goals to ensure that a breast lift is the best option for you.

While breast lifts are one of the most common plastic surgery procedures, we still take them very seriously and want our patients to as well. During your initial consultation, we will perform a physical examination and review your health history to be sure that surgery is a safe and viable option. We want you to feel confident that your procedure will be safe and meet your expectations.


Combination Breast Augmentation & Lift

Combination Breast Augmentation & Lift

For many women, pursuing a breast lift in tandem with breast augmentation can be a winning combination. While a breast lift can significantly improve the shape and appearance of your breasts, it cannot add volume in the way breast augmentation can.

Breast augmentation utilizes saline or silicone implants, which are placed beneath the breast tissue or pectoral muscle. For patients that pursue this combination, we typically are able to perform both procedures in one surgery, making it a convenient choice for many women.

While breast augmentation with lift is a popular choice, it’s not for everyone. If you’re simply seeking a breast lift without implants, your surgeon can discuss the lift procedure with you during your consultation. We want you to understand all of your options, which is why we will never push a procedure you’re not 100% confident in.


Types of Breast Lifts - Mastopexy Techniques

Types of Breast Lifts - Mastopexy Techniques

There are several types of mastopexy techniques that surgeons utilize to provide exceptional breast lift results. The four most common breast lift incision options are known as the crescent breast lift, the donut breast lift, the lollipop breast lift, and the anchor breast lift procedure.

Crescent Lift

A crescent lift is most commonly used for very mild breast sagging. Using this technique, a surgeon creates a small, crescent-shaped incision above the areola to reshape the breast tissue. This technique is generally only performed in combination with breast augmentation.

Donut Lift

A donut lift, also known as a periareolar breast lift, is often used to correct mild sagging. Using this type of lift, a surgeon makes a circular incision around the areola and reshapes the breast from there. This lift technique is commonly used for people looking to reduce the size of their nipples or pursuing combination augmentation and breast lift.

Lollipop Lift

During a Lollipop lift, also known as a keyhole or vertical lift, the surgeon makes one incision around the areola and one running vertically from the areola to the breast crease. Then, the surgeon will work on reshaping and removing excess skin. This technique is useful for women seeking breast reshaping for moderate sagging.

Anchor Lift

An anchor lift is the best choice for women experiencing heavy sagging. This technique utilizes three incisions—one around the areola, one that runs vertically from the areola to the breast crease, and one horizontally along the inframammary fold. This technique is common for anyone pursuing both breast reduction and a breast lift.

In most cases, deciding on a mastopexy technique will happen during your breast lift consultation. Your surgeon will take into account your goals for the procedure, and make recommendations based on what will be safe, heal well, and complement your existing anatomy.


Breast Lift Procedure

Breast Lift Procedure

Mastopexy is usually performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and usually takes 1 to 3 hours. Depending on the size and shape of the breasts, as well as the degree of sagging and amount of excess skin. However, if a breast implant is not involved, a breast lift can possibly be performed in the office.

After the incisions are made, breast tissue is removed and reshaped to achieve the desired breast contour. The nipple and areola are usually moved higher on the breast or resized. Excess skin is trimmed to create a tighter, more defined appearance. Incisions are closed with stitches.


What to Expect During the Procedure

What to Expect During the Procedure

A breast lift is an outpatient procedure, meaning you’re typically able to return home once your surgery is complete. During the procedure, you’ll be placed under local anesthesia, which means you’ll be awake, but you won’t be able to feel any pain.

The procedure typically takes between 1-3 hours, depending on the size and shape of your breasts as well as the degree of sagging and amount of excess skin that needs to be removed. There will be additional time spent prepping you for surgery and time spent prepping you to go home.

You should plan to have someone drive you home after your procedure and stay with you for the first night of recovery. You’ll also need to take at least 2-3 days off of work to rest and recuperate.


Breast Lift Recovery Time

You may be wondering what to expect after a breast lift. While this will depend on the specifics of your surgery, you can typically expect to take at least 2-3 days off of work to rest and recover.

Although you can return to work within a few days, you will likely experience some soreness and discomfort for 2-3 weeks following your breast lift. This is a completely normal part of the recovery process.

To ease your discomfort, your surgeon may recommend over-the-counter painkillers, or they may prescribe you pain medication.

For the first 6 weeks of your recovery period, you’ll need to wear a compression garment to protect your breasts and help facilitate the healing process. Depending on your specific needs, an ace bandage or loose-fitting sports bra may be enough to provide you with proper support. You’ll also need to avoid heavy exercise and strenuous activities for at least 6-8 weeks.

Like any surgery, there is a risk of scarring. However, most of the time these scars will fade over time. The placement of scars will largely depend on your needs and what lift technique your surgeon utilizes. If you’re worried about scarring, be sure to speak to your surgeon about your concerns.


Schedule a Consultation

Schedule a Consultation

When you’re ready to take the next steps in achieving the youthful shape you’ve been looking for, trust the experts at Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery. Our award-winning doctors are the best breast lift surgeons in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.

Education is our number one goal, and we want all of our patients to feel comfortable, confident and excited going into their breast lift procedure.

Contact us today to set up your initial no-pressure consultation.



Breast Lift FAQs

Read All FAQs →

How long does a breast lift last?

A breast lift should essentially be a permanent procedure assuming that the patient does not undergo any massive weight changes or life circumstances such as pregnancy and breast feeding. While the skin laxity may continue to stretch overtime, the breast will not stretch back to its original size.

Typically, a breast lift is not covered by insurance. A lift involves a repositioning of the nipple and removal of excess skin from the breast, which is considered to be a cosmetic procedure. The surgery is only covered if it is for a patient with a history of breast cancer and the lift is being utilized to achieve symmetry between the native and reconstructed breast.

Every breast reduction is considered a breast lift, but every breast lift is not considered a breast reduction. This means that a breast lift focuses mainly to lift the breast by removing excess skin and repositioning the nipple, while a breast reduction focuses on decreasing the volume and size of the breasts.

Scars on the breast typically take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year to fade and become a thin white line. The scar around the areola and below the breast are hidden well, while the vertical scar is the most noticeable following surgery. Scarring can sometimes be unpredictable depending on how the skin heals following surgery. If any delayed healing takes place, scars can widen or become thick and raised. If this occurs, we have nonsurgical interventions, such as silicone gel or lasers to help fade the appearance of the scars.

We recommend no rigorous exercise within the first two weeks following surgery. Walking and low impact exercise such as the elliptical or stationary bike can be done within the first week following surgery if the patient feels comfortable. After about 4 weeks we recommended slowly incorporating exercise back into a patient’s regimen. The breast tissue typically takes about 6-8 weeks to regain full strength.

Keep up with healthy habits, such as exercising, eating a healthy balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and sleeping well. If a patient is a smoker, we recommend trying to quit at least 1 month before and after surgery to help promote proper healing.

Contact Us Today!

Northwestern Specialists
Plastic Surgery

676 N St Clair Street, Suite 1575
Chicago, IL 60611

Monday-Friday 8a-5p
Saturday: 9a-2p
Sunday: Closed

Northwestern Med Spa Streeterville

676 N St Clair Street, Suite 1575
Chicago, IL 60611

Monday: 8a-6p
Tuesday-Thursday: 8a-7p
Friday: 9a-5p
Saturday: 9a-2p
Sunday: Closed

Northwestern Med Spa River North

3 E Huron Street, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

Monday-Thursday: 10a-7p
Friday 9a-5p
Saturday: 9a-2p
Sunday: Closed

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