breast lift patient
breast lift patient


Breast Lift

Read Ann's Patient Journey

What to Expect

Pregnancy, nursing, advancing age and the force of gravity can take their toll on a woman’s breasts. As the skin loses its elasticity, the breasts often lose their shape and firmness and begin to sag. Given that breasts are integral to so many women’s sense of femininity and confidence, these changes are frequently unwelcome, disheartening and a source of deep self-consciousness.

Breast lift, or mastopexy, can reverse signs of aging in the breast tissue and restore a perkier bust. Using several different surgical techniques, a plastic surgeon can raise and reshape sagging breasts and reduce the size of the areolas. A successful breast lift gives you improved proportions, a more youthful profile and the confidence to match.

If you are interested in booking a breast lift in Edina, Minnesota, give our office a call at 952-925-1765 or use our online contact form to get in touch with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. Drs. Leigh, Philbin, Stewart and Wilke are excited to help you regain confidence in your appearance.

Personalizing Your Breast Lift Procedure

Every woman who desires a breast lift — or any surgery — brings along her unique anatomy. For this reason, it is vital that your surgeon has the training and experience to create a custom treatment plan. Part of the decision making that will factor into your plan is determining which incision technique will meet your needs while giving you the best possible aesthetic result.

Anchor Incision

The anchor lift is the most common breast lift variation because it allows for significant reshaping of the breast tissue. With this technique, three incisions are made. The first is around the nipple-areolar complex. The second is at the bottom fold of the breast tissue. The third is a straight vertical line that connects the previous two incisions. This allows for substantial amounts of tissue to be removed and reshaped, and for the nipple and areola to be repositioned easily.

Lollipop Incision

The lollipop lift is a breast lift variation where, like the anchor incision, includes an incision around the areola and a vertical incision. However, unlike the anchor, it does not require the incision within the fold. The dimensions of your breasts will determine whether or not you are a candidate for this lift. This lift also allows for tissue removal, reshaping of the breast, and relocation of the nipple and areola.

Donut Incision

Some patients, especially those with minimal sagging and relatively small breasts, may be candidates for modified procedures requiring less extensive incisions. One such procedure is the “donut” mastopexy, in which circular incisions are made around the areola and a donut-shaped section of skin is removed. Scarring is unobtrusive with this method, but the improvements it can achieve are limited compared to the anchor technique

Deciding If Breast Lift Surgery Is Right for You

If you are experiencing mild, moderate or severe sagging and would like to restore a more perky and proportionate breast appearance, then mastopexy may be a good option for you to consider.

Candidates for breast lift surgery are healthy women with realistic expectations about what the procedure can accomplish. The best outcomes are usually achieved in women with small to medium breasts who desire a lifted, but natural appearing breast. A breast lift will not provide upper pole fullness; only an implant can accomplish this. Women with breast tissue that is more glandular are often better candidates than women with fattier breast tissue. No surgery can permanently delay the effects of gravity.

Many women express interest in this surgery because pregnancy and nursing caused stretched skin and loss of volume in their breasts. If you plan to have more children, it may be wise to postpone your breast lift. There have not been well designed studies regarding patients who attempt to breast feed after a breast lift. It is thought that a breast lift should not affect the ability to breast feed. However, childbearing is likely to stretch your breasts again and offset the results of the procedure.

Preexisting conditions like diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure increase your risk of developing complications during surgery and recovery. If you use tobacco or other nicotine products, you are also at a much higher surgical risk. Your surgeon will assess your health during your consultation and determine whether it is safe for you to proceed with surgery.

Preparing for Your Breast Lift

The first step in any breast lift procedure is to schedule a free consultation at Edina Plastic Surgery. Come prepared to discuss your expectations frankly with your surgeon and to listen to his or her opinions and options. Your surgeon will examine your breasts and measure them while you’re sitting or standing. He or she will discuss variables that may affect the procedure – such as your age, the size and shape of your breasts, and the condition of your skin – and recommend whether an implant is advisable to achieve your desired outcome. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor questions, especially regarding your goals and concerns about the results.

If your surgeon believes it would be beneficial to combine procedures to achieve your goals or maintain balance throughout your body, they will recommend it at this time. Alternatively, if you know you are interested in additional procedures, your consultation is the best time to bring it to our attention.

Patients who would like to improve upper pole fullness and projection as well as breast position often elect to combine the lift with breast augmentation. Liposuction and body lifts are also commonly combined with breast lifts since they all help improve overall body contouring.

Depending on your age and family history, your surgeon may require you to have a mammogram (breast x-ray) before surgery. You’ll also receive specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, tobacco use and taking or avoiding certain medications and vitamins. While you’re making arrangements, be sure to find someone you trust to drive you home after your surgery and help you with daily tasks for a few days, if needed.

mastopexy patient

The Breast Lift Procedure

Breast lift surgery is performed at our state-of-the-art on-site surgery center, another outpatient surgery center or a hospital. It’s typically done on an outpatient basis, meaning there is no overnight stay. Patients are given general anesthesia so they are completely asleep through the operation. In selected patients – particularly when a smaller incision is being made – the surgeon may use local anesthesia combined with a sedative. In this case, the patient is awake but relaxed, and feels minimal discomfort.

Mastopexy usually requires one and a half to two and a half hours of surgery time. Techniques vary, but the basic steps of the procedure are similar. The incision outlines the area where breast skin will be excised and defines the new location for the nipple and areola. When the skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are relocated to a higher position and the breast tissue reshaped to contour the breast. Your Edina plastic surgeon will make every effort to make your scars as inconspicuous as possible.

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Before & After

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Breast Lift Recovery and Results


After surgery, you’ll wear an elastic bandage or a surgical bra over gauze dressings. Your breasts may be bruised, swollen and uncomfortable for a week or two, but the pain shouldn’t be severe. Any discomfort you do feel can be relieved with medications prescribed by your surgeon.

Your first few days after your breast lift should be spent resting as much as possible. It takes one to two weeks to get back to work (if you have a desk job) and other light activities and four or more weeks to return to an active lifestyle. If you are normally in charge of caring for young children, running errands or maintaining your household, we recommend arranging for help with these responsibilities for your first week post-surgery. If you have a more active job, such as a nurse, you may need more time off of work to follow the lifting restriction. Some may need to arrange for “light duty” activities to allow return to work sooner.

The Edina Plastic Surgery team knows how important it is that you are fully prepared for recovery. We will provide you with the tools and information you need so that you know what to expect and how to care for yourself following your breast lift procedure.

Most patients begin to get an idea of how their results will look after 4 weeks, when most of the bruising and swelling has subsided. The breasts will also look high after the surgery and then settle into your body’s natural “breast footprint,” which for most women is the lower 1/3 of the sternum. After eight weeks, the final results are more or less apparent. Your surgeon may recommend that you continue to wear a supportive bra for up to 6 months after surgery. All scarring is permanent but will continue to fade as time goes by. Patients can expect to see dramatically less breast sagging and fit more comfortably into clothing, lingerie and swimsuits following this procedure.

Request a Consultation

A breast lift is an excellent choice for enhancing the look of your bust and creating a more youthful upper body profile. To request more information about breast lift surgery or get started on your consultation process, call Edina Plastic Surgery at 952-925-1765 or reach out using our online contact form. Our surgeons are standing by, ready to provide you with world-class patient care and beautiful breast lift results.

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