A breast lift raises, firms and reshapes the breasts.


about breast lift

Breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, is an operation designed to elevate the nipple and correct drooping breasts. Breasts often lose shape as a result of fluctuations in weight, pregnancy, breastfeeding, gravity and aging. Many women are unhappy with the appearance of their breasts and wish to improve breast shape. In mild to moderate degrees of breast drooping, simple insertion of a breast implant (as described under breast enlargement surgery) corrects the problem.

Breast Lift Plastic Surgery | Implants Santa BarbaraThink of the breasts like a tire. When the tire is filled with air, it has a nice round shape; if air leaks from the tire, it becomes softer and loses its shape. By re-inflating the tire with air, the desired shape is restored. It is the same with the breast. If there is a diminished amount of breast tissue (either due to involutional changes after pregnancy, weight loss, etc.), the breast sags because the overlying soft tissue envelope is not adequately filled. That is why insertion of a breast implant is the simplest and most efficient way to correct breast sagging in many cases.

Some women have a more severe degree of breast drooping. In these patients, simply inserting a breast implant will not achieve a satisfactory aesthetic result. In fact, in women with severe drooping of the breasts, inserting an implant actually makes the breasts look worse! Instead of having a small, droopy breast, patients have a “large droopy breast.” In these instances, we typically recommend a mastopexy (breast uplift operation). There are a several different types of breast uplift operations, which range from the least invasive (the crescent uplift) to the most aggressive (full mastopexy using the vertical or Wise skin pattern).

Breast uplift is often performed in conjunction with insertion of breast implants. Inserting the breast implant allows us to achieve a more lasting result and also makes it possible to achieve a successful uplift with a less aggressive mastopexy (and thus with less scarring and a diminished risk of other complications). After careful evaluation, Dr. Handel and his staff will make suggestions regarding what type of breast uplift they feel would be most appropriate in your situation. Dr. Handel has extensive experience performing virtually all types of breast uplifts and therefore, can make a wide spectrum of choices available to his patients.

Breast uplift surgery (with or without breast implants) carries certain risks of complications, including decreased sensation (feeling) in the nipple, hematomas or postoperative bleeding, unsatisfactory scarring, breast asymmetry and the need for revision surgery in the future. Of course, if patients elect to have breast implants, there are additional specific risks associated with breast implants (see breast augmentation section).

Before & After images of Breast Lift Surgery with Implants