Breast Lift

What Is a Breast Lift?

A variety of factors can lead to a sagging and drooping appearance to the breasts: the natural processes of aging and gravity; recent pregnancy and/or breastfeeding; significant weight loss; and genetic disposition. Breast lift surgery, medically referred to as Mastopexy, can reverse these effects and give the breasts a more youthful contour. Plastic surgeon Daniel C. Mills, MD is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and makes cosmetic breast enhancement a special focus of his practice. With breast lift surgery, Dr. Mills can help you attain your goals with breasts that appear younger, firmer, and “perky.”

Please contact Dr. Mills to schedule a consultation for breast lift surgery at our Laguna Beach, Orange County, California practice.

What Are the Benefits of a Breast Lift?

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Breasts that take on a sagging appearance are extraordinarily common, and can have an impact on a woman’s self-esteem. The good news is, breast lift surgery can be very effective at addressing changes in the shape and contour of the breasts, providing a number of benefits, including:

  • Reduction in the appearance of sagging and drooping
  • Breasts that are in a tighter, firmer position
  • Breast that appear firm and more youthful

Although a breast lift concentrates on the elimination of excess skin for a firmer appearance to the breasts, it will not give your breasts more volume or increase their size. However, a breast lift with breast implants can help you achieve this goal, giving the breasts a perky appearance while enhancing their size to meet your needs.

Dr. Mills will meet with you in an initial consultation to talk about all aspects of breast lift surgery. At this meeting, you are encouraged to ask any and all questions you may have. Dr. Mills will be happy to speak with you and help you determine if breast lift (mastopexy) surgery is the best option for you. This procedure can also be included as part of a Mommy Makeover for comprehensive body rejuvenation.

Am I a Candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?

The most ideal candidates for breast lift surgery typically include those who:

  • Are experiencing moderate to severe levels of sagginess/droopiness (breast ptosis) and excess skin affecting the breasts
  • Desire to renew the contours and shape of their breasts for firmer, more youthful results
  • Desire to reduce the size of the areolas and nipples
  • Desire to achieve a more centralized location for the nipples
  • Have realistic expectations for results
  • Are in reasonably good general health

It is typically recommended that patients wait until they have completed their families before undergoing a breast lift as pregnancy and breastfeeding can have a negative effect on results. Dr. Mills will evaluate your candidacy for this procedure during your initial consultation and talk with you about the most ideal treatment for your specific goals.

What Are the Different Degrees of Breast Ptosis (Sagginess)?

Ptosis of the breasts is measured by varying degrees, depending on how low the breasts and/or nipples are sagging.

Grade I Ptosis
Grade I ptosis is typically a relatively mild level of breast sagginess. The breasts are drooping below the inframammary fold, but the nipples are still maintaining a position that is level with the fold.

Grade II Ptosis
Grade II ptosis indicates a more moderate to severe degree of sagging. The breasts and the nipples will be drooping below the inframammary fold at this grade.

Grade III Ptosis
This grade represents significant breast ptosis at one of the most severe levels. Grade III ptosis is often diagnosed when the breasts are sagging well below the inframammary fold and the nipples are pointing downward.

Dr. Mills will establish the degree of ptosis you are experiencing during the initial consultation.

What Does the Breast Lift Procedure Involve?

Breast lift surgery can be performed as an outpatient under general anesthesia. The entire procedure generally takes less than two hours to complete. The placement of incisions varies based on the position and size of the breasts, as well as the extent of treatment, your specific cosmetic goals, and the surgical technique that is most ideal for your needs. Dr. Mills will likely reposition the nipples to a higher location and remove excess skin that may be causing the breasts to sag. The remaining skin will be tightened to provide a smoother appearance and “lift” to the breasts.

What Are the Various Breast Lift Techniques?

There are a number of different breast lift techniques that Dr. Mills can perform. He will discuss all of them with you before surgery and determine which technique will be best for your individual needs. Here are a few of the techniques that may be explored:

Crescent Mastopexy

Usually reserved for less severe levels of ptosis (i.e. Grade I), the crescent method involves a moon-shaped incision around the areola.

“Lollipop” Mastopexy

The “vertical lift”, or “lollipop”, mastopexy includes an incision made in a circle around the areola and extending in a line down to the inframammary fold. This technique, while usually suitable for varying levels of sagginess, is often reserved for moderate ptosis.

Standard Mastopexy (Anchor Incision)

For most mastopexy procedures, a standard breast lift incision technique will be utilized. This is often called an “anchor incision” technique, and involves an incision around the areola, an incision extending down to the inframammary fold, and another incision along the fold itself. The standard mastopexy technique may be recommended in cases of moderate to severe sagginess.

Soft Tissue Reinforcement with the GalaFLEX® Scaffold

Traditionally, patients with weakened breast tissue and/or those who require additional soft tissue support have been susceptible to a quicker recurrence of breast sagging following mastopexy due to their tissue’s inability to withstand the effects of various elements that contribute to breast drooping. To help combat this concern and prevent accelerated breast re-sagging in certain individuals, Dr. Mills offers an innovative technique called the GalaFLEX® scaffold that can be positioned at the time of surgery.

Fabricated from a bioresorbable polymer, the GalaFLEX® scaffold is a lattice-like, biocompatible device designed not only to immediately strengthen tissue areas that require additional reinforcement, but also to regenerate new, more durable tissues via the natural development of collagen and healthy blood vessels. Over the span of about 18-24 months, the GalaFLEX® scaffold should safely dissolve by way of hydrolysis, eventually leaving behind only carbon, water, and the newly regenerated tissue.

For most patients in need of soft tissue reinforcement, Dr. Mills has found that the GalaFLEX® scaffold can improve tissue strength by three to five times, ultimately helping to prevent the recurrence of breast drooping while prolonging the mastopexy outcome.

What Can I Expect During Breast Lift Recovery?

Some degree of swelling and bruising can be expected after breast lift surgery; however, this can be alleviated with medication. Normal daily routines can often be resumed after about one week. Dr. Mills advises breast lift surgery patients to avoid strenuous activities and upper-body workouts for several weeks after surgery. He also advises patients to come to our practice for follow-up appointments to make sure the recovery process and results are satisfactory, and to perform monthly self-breast examinations.

How Long Does a Breast Lift Last?

When performed by an experienced plastic surgeon, a breast lift can create exceptionally long-lasting results. The majority of our patients are amazed at the longevity of the “lifted” effect, experiencing the benefits for many years after the procedure. It is important to note, however, that fluctuations in weight may cause some of the sag to return, and the natural aging process will continue to affect the elasticity of the skin. In addition, as stated above, Dr. Mills recommends that women complete their families before undergoing mastopexy since hormonal changes as well as pregnancy and childbirth can have major effects on the results of this surgery.

How Much Does Breast Lift Surgery Cost?

Since breast lift surgery is fully customized to each patient’s needs, the cost of the procedure varies from one individual case to another. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has estimated the average cost of breast lift surgery to be in the $4600 range; however, this is usually representative of the surgeon’s fee, and does not take into account factors such as the anesthesiologist’s fee, the operating facility fee, the complexity of the treatment, and other issues. Once you meet with Dr. Mills for your initial consultation and a customized treatment plan is created, a member of our staff will produce a total cost estimate of the procedure and go over your options. Our practice accepts a variety of payment methods, and we work with a reputable healthcare financing company that can provide qualified applicants with convenient payment plans to help them pay for the procedure over time.

Will My Breast Lift Scars Be Visible?

There will be some visible scarring after breast lift surgery; however, the extent of scarring is dependent upon the specific surgical technique that is utilized. Fortunately, Dr. Mills is highly experienced with breast lift procedures and can employ advanced approaches designed to minimize signs of scars. In addition, residual scarring should fade with time, and there are treatments available that can reduce their appearance following surgery. In most cases, the overall results of breast lift surgery are so satisfactory that patients find any post-operative scarring to be an insignificant factor when compared to the benefits of the procedure.

Will I Need a Breast Lift with Implants?

The answer to this question will ultimately depend on your unique needs and goals. If the breasts are primarily affected by excess skin and sagginess rather than volume loss, and if you do not feel the need to enhance breast volume, a breast lift alone may be the best option. If you would like to restore or add volume to the breasts in addition to giving them a firmer, more youthful appearance, a combination breast lift with implants (augmentation mastopexy) procedure may be more ideal. This procedure can be performed in a single operation for some patients; however, Dr. Mills often prefers to stage it over two treatment sessions to allow for reduced signs of scarring and improved healing. When Dr. Mills meets with you for the initial consultation, he will talk with you about your goals, perform a comprehensive examination, and help you determine whether a breast lift or a breast lift with implants procedure will be more in line with your overall expectations.

Can I Breastfeed After a Breast Lift?

While it is possible for most women to breastfeed after a breast lift, please note that some women are naturally unable to breastfeed and will remain so after breast lift surgery. For those who already have the ability to nurse, Dr. Mills can utilize certain mastopexy techniques designed to reduce the risk of compromising the milk ducts and other anatomical structures responsible for breastfeeding; however, it is very important to communicate your wishes regarding future breastfeeding to Dr. Mills before the treatment plan is developed. If you are considering breastfeeding in the future, Dr. Mills can carefully tailor the procedure to accommodate your wishes.

Breast lift surgery is one of the most popular breast enhancement procedures and can be extremely effective at reducing sagginess in the breasts for a more attractive and youthful appearance. For more information on breast lift surgery, please contact our practice.

If you would like to learn more about breast enhancement, body contouring, facial rejuvenation, and the many other treatments available from Dr. Mills, please visit our main website at

*Individual Results May Vary

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