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Over time, changes occur that can leave a woman feeling less than satisfied with her breast shape and position. The skin stretches and tissues weaken with age, often leading to breast sagging (ptosis). Pregnancy and breastfeeding can further contribute to drooping breasts, sometimes even resulting in enlarged areolas and nipples that point downward.

Breast lift surgery offers a solution for women wanting to restore a more youthful, uplifted breast profile.

What Is Breast Lift Surgery (Mastopexy)?

A breast lift, medically known as mastopexy, is a surgery that raises and firms the breasts by tightening tissue and eliminating excess skin. This procedure is completely customized to your unique anatomy and concerns with the goal of creating a naturally more youthful appearance.

Dr. Sharma is a board-certified plastic surgeon and highly experienced in breast lift procedures. He will work with you to determine the best surgical plan for your needs and aesthetic goals.

What Can a Breast Lift Treat?

A breast lift can be used to address the following concerns:

  • Breasts that sag or hang low on the chest
  • Breasts that have lost firmness or have significant skin laxity
  • Nipples and areolas that point down instead of out
  • Nipples that are positioned beneath the breast crease
  • Enlarged or oversized areolas

Who Is a Good Candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?

The most suitable breast lift candidates are in good general health and non-smokers or willing to quit smoking prior to the surgery. Smoking can impair healing and increase the risk of complications, so a commitment to quitting is crucial for optimal results. Additionally, the procedure is recommended for women who are finished having children, as pregnancy and breastfeeding can significantly alter the size and shape of the breasts, potentially reversing the effects of the surgery. Realistic expectations are also important in breast lift candidates. The procedure will not significantly change the size of your breasts but, instead, will improve their position and shape.

During your consultation at Plastic Surgery Austin, our experts will evaluate your specific condition, discuss your aesthetic goals and determine whether a breast lift is the best approach to achieve your desired outcome.

Breast Lift Incision Techniques

At Plastic Surgery Austin, Dr. Sharma tailors the incision techniques for your breast lift surgery based on the degree of correction needed and the specific outcomes you desire. Understanding these techniques can help you have an informed discussion with him during your consultation.

Periareolar Incision

This incision is made around the nipple, within the pigmented area known as the areola. This technique is often suitable for those with mild sagging, as it allows for modest lifting and reshaping of the breast. The periareolar incision is ideal for patients who require minimal correction and are concerned about the visibility of scars, as it tends to heal with less noticeable scarring.

Lollipop Incision

When a more significant lift is required, a second incision is added to the periareolar approach that extends vertically down from the areola to the lower portion of the breast. This pattern forms what is known as a “lollipop incision” due to its resemblance to the shape of the candy.

This incision technique is suitable for women with moderate sagging who need more correction than what a periareolar incision can achieve. The lollipop incision allows for more extensive reshaping and lifting, giving the breast a more youthful and uplifted appearance. The scarring from this incision, while more extensive than the periareolar method, is still discreetly placed and can be easily concealed under a bikini top or bra.

Anchor Incision

For patients with significant sagging or those who have experienced major changes in breast size due to weight fluctuations or pregnancy, an anchor incision may be the most effective. This technique involves three incisions: around the areola, vertically down from the areola to the breast crease, and along the breast crease itself.

The anchor incision approach provides the maximum lift and allows for substantial breast reshaping. While it results in more scarring, the anchor technique addresses extensive sagging to produce rounder, more uplifted breasts.

Combination Procedures

If you are currently happy with the size of your breasts but wish they were more perky, a breast lift alone may achieve your goals. However, if you have lost volume, would like to add fullness or firmness to your breasts, or wish to reduce your breast size, Dr. Sharma can add procedures to your surgery to help you obtain comprehensive results without additional anesthesia or downtime.

Common breast procedures combined with breast lift surgery include:

  • Breast augmentation: Using implants, this procedure adds fullness to the breasts to restore volume that has been lost due to pregnancy and nursing or to increase the size of naturally smaller breasts.
  • Breast reduction: This surgery removes excess breast tissue and skin to reduce the size of breasts that are disproportionately large and/or pendulous. It often provides relief from uncomfortable symptoms like back and neck pain.
  • Nipple reduction: If the nipple and areola area have stretched to create a disproportionate and unbalanced look to the breast, nipple and/or areola reduction can create a more harmonious appearance.
  • Breast revision: If you’ve previously undergone a breast procedure and would like adjustments or corrections made to the results, breast revision with a lift offers various options to restore your desired aesthetic.

Dr. Sharma and his nurse will take ample time during your initial consultation to discuss all your aesthetic goals and ensure the surgery you choose meets as many of them as possible. Rest assured, your procedure will be customized to your specifications so you can enjoy satisfying results for many years after your breast lift.

What to Expect During Your Mastopexy Procedure

Dr. Sharma will perform your breast lift on an outpatient basis, which means you will be able to go home a few hours after your procedure. The surgery may take one to three hours, but the exact duration can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the procedure, the specific techniques used and whether it’s combined with other surgeries like breast augmentation or reduction.

General Anesthesia

Before the surgery begins, you will be given general anesthesia to keep you comfortable.

Lifting and Shaping Your Breasts

At the start of your breast lift, Dr. Sharma will create the incisions as determined with you during your consultation. He will then remove excess, sagging skin. The underlying breast tissue is then lifted, reshaped and tightened to create firmer, more youthful breast contours in a perkier position on the chest wall. In cases of significant sagging, Dr. Sharma may place internal sutures within the breast tissue to provide support and help maintain your new breast shape.

Nipple and Areola Positioning

An integral part of the breast lift is addressing the position and size of the nipples and areolas. As the breasts are lifted, the nipples and areolas are often moved to a higher, more central position on the breast. This repositioning ensures they sit at the most aesthetically pleasing and natural location on your newly shaped breasts. Additionally, if your areolas have become larger over time, they can be reduced during this process to better match your new breast size and shape, enhancing your overall breast proportions and appearance.

Combination Techniques

If augmentation is added, Dr. Sharma will place the implants you chose at your consultation into the breast pocket as well. Placement may be over the chest muscle and under the breast tissue (subglandular position) or underneath the breast tissue and a portion of the chest muscle as well (submuscular or dial plane position).

If a reduction is performed with your lift, Dr. Sharma will remove the necessary skin and tissue to create a more proportionate breast size.

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Understanding the Breast Lift Recovery Process

The recovery process following a breast lift surgery is a crucial period that involves several stages. Here, we’ve provided a detailed timeline to help you understand what to expect during your recovery. This timeline is a general guideline, and individual recovery experiences can vary. Dr. Sharma will provide personalized advice and instructions based on your specific situation.

Immediate Postoperative Period (First 24 to 48 Hours):

  • Right after the surgery, you will be in a recovery area where we will monitor your condition and vital signs.
  • You may experience soreness, swelling and some discomfort, which is normal. Dr. Sharma may prescribe medication to help manage any pain, and ice packs or cold compresses are recommended to control swelling.
  • A surgical bra or compression garment will be in place to support your breasts and minimize swelling.
  • You’ll be advised to rest and limit large movements to avoid straining the incision sites.

First Week:

  • During the first few days, continue to use ice packs or cold compresses to help reduce swelling.
  • You should rest as much as possible and avoid any bending, lifting or strenuous activities.
  • Light, intermittent walks are encouraged to promote blood flow and healing.
  • Most patients start feeling better and may consider returning to work and light activities within the first week, especially if their job isn’t physically demanding.
  • A follow-up appointment with Dr. Sharma is typically scheduled within the first week to check on your healing progress.

Two to Four Weeks:

  • Swelling and bruising will gradually decrease, and you’ll start to see more of the final shape of your breasts.
  • You should continue wearing the surgical bra as directed by Dr. Sharma.
  • Continue with light walks and gentle movements to promote blood circulation.
  • Continue avoiding vigorous activities, heavy lifting and high-impact exercises.

Four to Six Weeks:

  • By this time, you should be able to return to most of your everyday activities, including some forms of exercise.
  • Dr. Sharma may give you the green light to start more strenuous workouts, but it’s important to ease into these gradually.
  • Your incision lines will start to fade but may still be visible.

Six Weeks and Beyond:

  • Most patients are fully recovered and can resume all activities, including more strenuous exercises.
  • Your breasts will settle into their final shape, and scars will continue to fade over time.

How Long Do the Results of a Breast Lift Last?

A breast lift, whether performed alone or in conjunction with other breast enhancement procedures, can produce a noticeably uplifted and rejuvenated breast appearance that lasts for many years. While the procedure offers significant and enduring improvements, the natural aging process will continue. Over a substantial period, typically spanning several years, you may notice some gradual changes in the breasts due to factors like aging, gravity and your lifestyle.

Many patients find that the results of their breast lift meet their expectations and remain satisfied without the need for additional procedures. However, in cases where more noticeable changes occur over time and there’s a desire to achieve a more youthful breast contour once again, we can discuss the possibility of a subsequent procedure.

Learn More About Breast Lift Surgery in Austin

Ready to explore how a breast lift can rejuvenate your physique? Contact Plastic Surgery Austin online or call us at 512-838-3658 today!


Contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Sanjay K. Sharma, M.D., F.A.C.S.