Dr. Joseph M. Perlman Advanced Plastic Surgery Centre

A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, is a plastic surgery procedure that raises and firms the breasts. During a breast lift, excess skin is removed and breast tissue is reshaped to restore a more youthful contour and perky appearance. Many women seek a breast lift to address sagging, deflated breasts that can occur after pregnancy, weight loss, or as a result of aging.


While a breast lift can dramatically improve breast shape, fullness, and position, the procedure does involve incisions around the breasts that will lead to some permanent scarring. However, when performed by a skilled plastic surgeon like Doctor Joseph M. Perlman at Advanced Plastic Surgery Centre, the scars from a breast lift are relatively minimal and fade significantly over time. Understanding the potential scarring is important when considering whether a breast lift is right for you.

How a Breast Lift is Performed

A breast lift is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia by board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Perlman, who will make strategic incisions around your breasts and areolas to remove excess, sagging skin, and tighten and reshape the underlying breast tissue into a lifted position. There are four main techniques a surgeon may use for this surgery.


Crescent Lift: A small crescent-shaped incision is made along the top half of your areola. This allows for a mild lifting and reshaping of the breast with minimal scarring. It is usually done in combination with breast augmentation.


Donut Lift: Also known as a circumareolar lift, an incision is made around the entire perimeter of the areola to give the doctor access to reshape the entire breast tissue. It results in scarring around the areola edge.


Lollipop Lift: This involves a circular incision around the areola and a vertical incision from the bottom edge of the areola down to the breast crease. This allows for the extraction of extra excess skin for a moderate lift.


Anchor Lift: The most extensive lift option there is, this combines the donut incision around the areola with a horizontal incision along the breast crease. An anchor lift allows the removal of the most excess skin for significant lifting.


Removing this excess sagging skin helps tighten the breast skin envelope to lift and support the breast in a higher and more perky position. Reshaping the underlying breast tissue can improve the breast contour by reducing or lifting enlarged or descended breast glands.


The most appropriate incision technique depends on the degree of breast sagging, excess skin, and the amount of lift and reshaping desired by the patient. After removing excess skin, the remaining breast skin is sutured tightly in the lifted position, reshaping the breast mound as needed. The incisions are then closed with sutures, surgical tape, or skin adhesive.

What to Expect With Scarring After a Breast Lift

Since breast lift surgery requires incisions around and on your breasts, there will be some degree of permanent scarring. However, when proper surgical techniques are used for incisions and closures, the scars you’ll have from a breast lift are relatively minimal. There are a few things you can expect with scarring on your breasts.


Incision Location: Scars will form along the incision lines made by Dr Perlman during your breast lift procedure. This may include scars around your areola edge, vertically down from your areola to the breast crease, and possibly along your breast crease.


Early Scarring: Scars will initially appear reddish or pink in the first 2 to 4 weeks after surgery as the incisions are healing. Some bruising and swelling may also be present initially. Proper wound care helps minimize your scarring during the recovery process.


Scar Fading: Around 6 weeks after breast lift surgery, your scars begin to fade in color and lose their redness. The complete maturation and fading of scars takes 12 to 18 months on average. Proper scar care and avoidance of the sun can help them heal optimally.


Mature Scars: Around 1 to 2 years after your breast lift, your scars often soften significantly and lighten to thin, pale lines. Mature scars are flat against your breast skin rather than thickened or raised above the surface.


Hypertrophic Scarring: In some cases, scars become thicker, wider, and more prominent, which is known as hypertrophic scarring. This is minimized when a skilled, highly-trained surgeon like Dr. Perlman uses very careful techniques to create minimal tension and trauma during incisions.


Scar Length: The total length and location of your scars correspond to the lifting technique used. A donut lift results in the shortest scar hidden along your areola border. The anchor lift involves the most extensive scarring to address significant sagging.


While scarring is an inevitable part of breast lift surgery, scars often heal remarkably well and become barely detectable over time. Following proper aftercare for your scars can further minimize their appearance. Many of our patients feel the greatly improved breast shape they receive after a lift is worth the trade-off of mild scarring along natural contours.

Breast Lift FAQs: Common Questions About the Procedure

Considering a breast lift but still have some questions? Below we’ve gathered answers to some of the most frequently asked questions our patients have about breast lift procedures, recovery, and results.

How long is recovery after a breast lift procedure?

Recovery time after a breast lift is around 2 to 3 weeks on average. Swelling and soreness improve significantly after the first week. Most patients can return to non-strenuous work within 10 days and resume light exercise after 4 to 6 weeks. Mild bruising usually resolves within about 2 weeks. Final results are apparent after approximately 3 to 6 months.

Will I lose nipple sensation after a breast lift?

Some temporary numbness or changes in nipple sensation can occur after a breast lift, but a loss of sensation is uncommon when performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr Perlman takes great care to preserve the nerves supplying sensation during the procedure. Most feeling returns within several weeks or months as your nerve endings regenerate.

How long do the results last after a breast lift?

When performed well by a skilled plastic surgeon, a breast lift can provide satisfying improvements in breast shape, firmness, and position that are long-lasting in most patients. Over time, the effects may be compromised by significant weight fluctuations or future pregnancies. Natural aging will eventually reverse some of the youthful contours, but breasts often remain much improved compared to their pre-surgery state even years later.

Will a breast lift leave very visible scars on my breasts?

Yes, there will be visible scarring from a breast lift procedure. However, when done correctly, these scars fade significantly and are concealed along natural breast contours and junctions. Over the course of a year, breast lift scars often become nearly indistinguishable thin white lines. Minimal scarring occurs with a donut lift, while anchor lifts involve the most extensive scarring.

Am I a good candidate for a breast lift?

The best candidates for a breast lift have sagging, deflated breasts, and good-quality skin that will tighten evenly after excision. Breast lifts work especially well for women with small to moderate sagging. Those in overall good health with well-controlled medical conditions and non-smokers tend to heal optimally after a lift. Severely drooping breasts or extremely poor skin elasticity make lifting more difficult.

Contact Advanced Plastic Surgery Centre for a Breast Lift

If your breasts have lost volume and firmness over time, a breast lift at Advanced Plastic Surgery Centre can restore a more youthful, uplifted contour. Schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon today to determine if you are a good candidate. Call our office at 281-655-8200 or visit our website to get in touch with our welcoming staff!

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