Breast Lift

At some point in her life, a woman’s breasts begin to lose their youthful appearance. It often occurs after having children, but it also happens due to aging or after significant weight loss. Breast lift surgery at Dr. Persons’ San Francisco Bay Area practice can restore shape and perkiness, along with your confidence.

Barbara L. Persons, MD, FACS

Barbara L. Persons, MD, FACS

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

As a fellowship-trained plastic surgeon whose personal connection to plastic surgery inspired her to pursue this career as a lifelong calling, Dr. Persons engages with each of her patients on a very personal level. She's known for creating results that look natural and brings a woman's perspective that patients appreciate.

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Is a Breast Lift for You?

The primary purpose of breast lift surgery is to elevate the breast and reposition the nipple to where it was before it started to sag. Three specific circumstances can cause breasts to sag:

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Breasts become enlarged during pregnancy and then tend to appear deflated and saggy after breastfeeding. You may actually lose some breast tissue.
  • Significant weight loss: Weight gain stretches the breast skin, which results in losing much of its elasticity. When you lose weight, the skin is lax and the breasts sag.
  • The aging process: Gravity and sun damage tend to make the skin less elastic, and this can be a significant factor in causing breasts to sag.

Regardless of the reasons for sagging breasts, the goal of a breast lift is to move the nipple back to a higher position and to reshape the breast to create a more beautiful and youthful-looking appearance.

Combining Procedures

Understanding the degree of sagging and how much elasticity the skin retains helps determine the procedure that will produce the best cosmetic results. In many cases, Dr. Persons may recommend either combining a breast lift with augmentation or breast reduction. A breast lift is also a common part of Mommy Makeover surgery.

Breast Lift Options

Dr. Persons uses different techniques for breast lift surgery, depending on the degree of sagging, or ptosis (pronounced “tosis”). The 3 types of breast lifts are distinguished by the incisions used for the procedure. They are:

  • Crescent: This is used for patients with minimal sagging. Dr. Persons makes an incision on the upper edge of the areola (the darker skin around the nipple). This technique can lift the nipple about 2 to 5 centimeters.
  • Lollipop: For moderate sagging that requires more lifting, the incision surrounds the areola and then extends vertically to the bottom of the breast. This enables Dr. Persons to lift and reshape the breast tissue.
  • Anchor: When a patient has more severe sagging, a horizontal incision along the base of the breast is added to the lollipop technique. This gives the breasts more support and helps the results last longer.

It is important for the patient to realize that the factors that created the ptosis have permanently altered the skin’s elasticity. Because of this, the breasts may sag slightly after the surgery. And because the skin continues to age, over time the sagging becomes more noticeable. Patients who don’t smoke, maintain a steady weight, and avoid excessive sun exposure will see their results last longer.

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The Procedure

Dr. Persons performs mastopexy (breast lift) procedures at the Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery Center using a local anesthetic with sleep sedation. The crescent mastopexy calls for the removal of a crescent of skin above the areola, moving the nipple upward, and suturing the nipple into the new location. A breast lift using either the lollipop or anchor incisions requires Dr. Persons to actually create a new breast envelope. This allows for the repositioning of the nipple and the reshaping of the breast. As mentioned, either of these operations can be performed in conjunction with breast augmentation.

Recovery

Not all breast lift patients recover at the same pace or experience the same level of comfort. This timeline, though, provides a glimpse of what most patients can expect.

The First 2 Weeks After Surgery

You may experience discomfort, swelling, and bruising, which typically lasts from 2 to 3 weeks. Dr. Persons places sutures underneath the skin, which dissolve over several months. She uses special tissue glue on the incision to help protect the wound. You should wear a bra 24 hours a day for 21 days. (We’ll provide instructions for removing the bra to wash.) Prescription pain medications may make patients more comfortable during the first week of breast lift recovery. Patients are required to avoid sleeping on their stomachs for the first 2 weeks. Plan to take 3 to 5 days off from work unless your job involves bending or lifting. Walking may be resumed the day after surgery.

Get Started

Choosing a breast lift specialist is the first step in your journey. Request an appointment with Dr. Persons using the online form or call our office at (925) 283-4012 to schedule an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are breast lift scars like?

Scars are part of any surgery. The crescent technique incision heals, leaving a scar that’s barely visible.

The other mastopexy techniques involve incisions that are more visible, but which often fade dramatically during the first 12 to 24 months after the procedure. When the patient knows ahead of time what to expect, it is our experience that the scars are not particularly objectionable, as the breast is far improved in both shape and position.

Will I lose sensation in my nipples after breast lift surgery?

Nipple sensation is generally preserved with this operation. The incidence of loss is usually less than five percent. In many individuals where there is significant ptosis, the sensation has diminished prior to the operation. In these individuals, nipple sensation will sometimes increase after the procedure.

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