Hi, I’m Dr. Sanjay Parashar; an aesthetic and plastic surgeon with over 25 years’ experience. I have performed more than 10,000 surgeries overall, which include 1000+ breast surgeries.
Here I will provide you all the information you need to make an informed decision regarding breast lift, and to prepare yourself for it. If after this, you still have more questions, I’d be delighted to answer them in an in-person consultation. Read on…
Breast Lift – A surgery to restore youthfulness of breasts
BREAST LIFT surgery, also known as mastopexy, provides an uplift to sagging breasts in women. Over time, due to age, gravity, pregnancy, and breastfeeding, breasts tend to droop or sag, and for women facing this issue, a breast lift surgery restores their breasts back to the appropriate position on their chest, adding youthfulness to their appearance.
Breasts are always an important element in a woman’s overall appearance. Well-contoured, well-positioned, and proportionate breasts add to a woman’s personality and confidence. Whatever your reason, before you decide to undergo this surgery, you should have adequate knowledge of the pros and cons.
Here are the 3 stages that will take you towards the aesthetic breast contours you desire:
Stage 1: About Breast Lift - What you need to know before your initial consultation
There’s a certain degree of information you should have regarding breast lift even before your initial consultation with me. This information will help you be better prepared and have a more meaningful consultation session.
Breast Lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure to restore the youthful looks of your breasts, making them appear perkier by correcting the sagging of the breasts, and repositioning them on your chest wall. Simultaneously with adjusting the position of the breasts, the sagging nipple and areolas are also repositioned accordingly on the breasts.
Often, a breast lift is done in conjunction with a breast augmentation (called augmentation mastopexy), or breast reduction surgery (called reduction mastopexy).
You should be aware that a breast lift surgery does not change the size of your breasts, for which you will need a separate surgical procedure of breast augmentation or breast reduction, which as mentioned earlier, can be combined with the breast lift surgery.
I always tell my patients that the ultimate goal of any breast lift surgery should be natural and proportionate body contours. Breast lift is a procedure that needs to be artistically and meticulously balanced with your specific anatomy and desires.
Breast Lift is usually done as an outpatient procedure, under twilight anesthesia, and the patient can go back home the same day.
The objective of a breast lift surgery is to readjust the position of your breasts, to an appropriate position, higher up on your chest wall, correct their droopy look, and make them look younger and firmer.
Breast Lift is a good option if you are happy with the size of your breasts, but not their droopy, sloping look, and therefore wish to correct their position. If your nipples or areolas are also drooping, you can correct those too.
A breast lift surgery is also done after a mastectomy/ breast reconstruction, to align both breasts.
Breast lift will not alter the size of your breasts.
It is very essential for me that you are clear on why you are considering breast lift. So, even before your initial consultation, you should reflect on some questions:
- Are you clear about what is wrong with your breasts?
- Are you thinking of breast lift as a life-changing procedure?
- What are your goals and expectations from the surgery?
- Will you be comfortable and confident with the changes from the surgery?
- Do you understand that the correct position for you is specific to your body contours?
- Do you accept that minor flaws are likely to remain?
I will be asking you these questions in my initial consultation, and your answers will help me to assess whether you are a right candidate for this surgery.
If you are an adult woman, in generally good health, not currently pregnant or breast-feeding, ideally a non-smoker, have a positive attitude, and have realistic expectations from the surgery, you are potentially a good candidate for breast lift.
If you have plans for motherhood, you should consider delaying the procedure until after.
Breast lift is appropriate for women who have:
- Asymmetrical breasts
- Tubular, elongated, or downward sloping breasts
- Had a mastectomy, and require aligning of both breasts
- Lost firmness due to age, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss
- Nipples or areolas that are downward pointing, or positioned low on the breast
There is a simple test you can perform to check if you can benefit from a breast lift – place a pen under the crease of your breasts – if it stays without any support, you would benefit from the surgery.
I will be keenly assessing your suitability for breast lift through your answers in our initial consultation, and will proceed only if satisfied that you are a good candidate.
Breast lift can be done in various ways depending upon your specific circumstances – volume of lift to be achieved, the existing shape and slope of your breasts, the position of your areolas and nipples, your skin elasticity, and the desired outcome.
The different types of breast lift techniques have the incisions and scars in different places, but none of the scars would be visible with regular attire:
- Crescent Breast Lift
- Doughnut Breast Lift
- Lollipop Breast Lift
- Anchor Breast Lift
Crescent Breast Lift
This technique is used when a very mild correction is required, and is generally used for a nipple lift. Under the procedure, a small amount of tissue in the shape of a crescent, is removed from the areola, the minor sagging is corrected, the nipple is repositioned, and the incision is closed.
Doughnut Breast Lift
This breast lift technique is used for mild to moderate correction of sagging. Under the procedure, ‘doughnut’ shaped tissue is removed from around the areola, the remaining tissue is reattached to the areola, and the incision is closed.
Lollipop Breast Lift
This technique, also called, vertical mastopexy, is used for moderate to large correction of sagging. After starting with the doughnut technique, an additional incision is made from the areola to the breast crease, enabling greater extent of lifting to correct the large extent of sagging.
Anchor Breast Lift
This technique is used for correction of extreme sagging and permits maximum flexibility in excess fat and tissue removal and reshaping. This technique requires 3 incisions. The first cut starts around the areola, the second goes straight down to the breast crease, and the final one is under the breast. Visually, the cut looks like the anchor of a ship, hence the name.
The technique I will use for you will be determined after a complete evaluation of your anatomy and based on your desired aesthetic goals.
Motherhood affects your breasts in multiple ways and at multiple stages – during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and even post-breastfeeding.
When breasts enlarge during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the stretched skin doesn’t contract back the way it was pre-pregnancy, and some excess skin remains, which gives the appearance of looseness and lack of firmness.
If you plan to have kids in the future, I would advise you to delay your surgery until after you have finished breastfeeding your child, so that the results from your surgery will remain for longer.
It is quite possible that you will be unable to breastfeed after a breast lift, so you should carefully consider that in your decision-making process. In some cases, women are able to breastfeed even after the surgery, but there is no guarantee.
I will discuss your maternity plans during our consultation and determine the right technique for you based on those discussions and other pertinent factors. If you have motherhood plans, I would suggest that you defer your surgery until after you have finished nursing your child.
A breast lift surgery has lasting results, when done with a competent breast surgeon. If you keep a stable weight, your surgery results can last for decades. Pregnancy and breast-feeding could impact the results. Some change could also occur over time due to natural ageing.
The surgery itself takes 2-3 hours, is usually an outpatient one, and you can go home the same day. Most women are able to resume work within 7-10 days, and might need just 1 week leave from work along with 2 weekends.
I will prescribe what exercises will need to be done to aid recovery, medication, etc. Heavy exercises should only be resumed after my consent.
Every surgery carries some risks, but at this stage of my experience and expertise, the risks that my patients have are minimal. Standard risks include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Infections of any kind
- Scars (though these will fade over time)
- Loss of sensation in nipple or breast
- Damage to milk glands, nerves, ducts – inability to breastfeed
Risks are minimized in the hands of an expert surgeon, by doing the surgery in a good, licensed clinic or facility, following proper protocols; and by the patient carrying out all given instructions – both before and after surgery.
Breast lift cost varies based on the following factors:
- Type of surgery and the extent of correction needed
- Whether it involves overnight stay
- Hospital/ Clinic used for the surgery
- Skill & expertise of the breast surgeon
A breast lift surgery is typically a cosmetic procedure, and insurance does not cover the cost. If, however, it is done for medical reasons to correct deformities, or after a mastectomy, to align both breasts, all or part of the cost may be covered by insurance. Please check with your insurance provider about your policy entitlement.
Another significant aspect to take into consideration, besides just the initial surgical costs, is your comfort factor with the breast surgeon, and your faith in the surgeon’s expertise. Pay a bit more – but be sure, and be comfortable with your surgeon.
To know the cost applicable for your specific case, please book a consultation.
The choice of your breast surgeon is a decision to be made with due care. While cost is a relevant consideration, there are other more important factors that should determine your decision:
- Qualifications and certification, specifically plastic surgery related certifications and memberships, such as membership of American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
- Years of experience as a plastic surgeon, number of surgeries done
- Number of breast surgeries done
- Proof of work – before/ after images
- Patient testimonials
- Surgeon reputation
- Your comfort factor with the surgeon, his manners, his patience in answering your questions
- Surgeon’s philosophy regarding patient safety
You are planning a significant surgery, and one that requires very specialized training and even artistic flair, so it’s extremely important that you decide wisely. Pay more if needed, but choose a surgeon who has an extensive portfolio of successful breast surgeries. Make sure that you are fully comfortable with your surgeon.
I have done over 1,000 breast surgeries, including revision breast surgeries for patients unsatisfied with results of prior surgeries done elsewhere. You can read my full profile here.
The clinic or hospital for your breast lift surgery done should be carefully chosen. Ensure that the facility is licensed. A hospital is not necessary for a breast surgery, an accredited/ licensed clinic is just fine.
The clinic should have a licensed anesthetist on board, competent nursing and operations staff, and the surgical room should be clean and hygienic.
Ministry of Health (MOH), Dubai regularly conducts inspection of all medical and surgical facilities in Dubai and license is granted or renewed only if the prescribed conditions regarding hygiene, safety, etc. are met.
My medical center – Cocoona Center for Aesthetic Transformation, Dubai is an MOH-licensed clinic, and we are permitted to perform surgeries under local anesthesia. We also have competent anesthesiolgists on board, and a full team of caring and professional nurses, patient counselors, and other support staff.
For surgeries that need to be performed under general anesthesia, we do it at another licensed facility of your choice, or where we have a tie-up.
Now that you have all the base information regarding breast lift, you should take the next step of booking the initial consultation.
Stage 2: Initial Consultation – My questions to you, Breast examination, Explaining the procedure, Your residual questions
During our initial consultation, I will first ask you certain questions, conduct a breast examination, then explain the breast lift procedure to you, and finally answer all your remaining doubts and concerns.
At the end of the consultation session, my goal is to have clarified to you fully and clearly what you can realistically expect from your surgery, assessed your eligibility for the surgery, satisfied all your concerns and doubts, and assured you of my capability to provide you the best results. Having done that, I will connect you with my patient counselor, who will handle the routine aspects of preparing you for your prospective surgery.
- What aspects of your breast are bothering you the most?
This is a very specific question that helps me identify what is bothering you and I can compare your concerns with actual physical findings. If it matches, I am confident of giving you a good result.
- What is your medical history?
I will inquire about any past surgeries, pregnancies, medical illnesses, allergies, ongoing medications, motherhood plans, etc., to gauge your suitability for surgery, and which technique of surgery will be best for you.
After I’m through with my initial questions to you, and upon getting an idea of your expectations from the surgery, I will do a breast examination. I will evaluate the following:
- Breast proportions – size, symmetry, nipple height and position
- Breast footprint
- Volume and quality of breast tissue
- Skin elasticity
I use computer morphing to display and discuss the final post-procedure possibilities. That gives a visual idea of the possible outcome. I discourage extensive computer morphing, as it can be unrealistic and causes misunderstanding between patient and doctor.
Based on my findings from the examination and our earlier discussion, I will determine which method of breast surgery would be most suited for your specific case.
The basic breast lift process involves making incisions at specific places, based on type of surgery and other factors, around the areola and/ or, under the breast crease; removing excess fatty tissue through the incision, reshaping the remaining tissue, repositioning the areola and nipple, if needed; and then closing the incisions.
Your surgery will be done either at an accredited day care surgical facility such as my medical center in Dubai – Cocoona, or a hospital, depending upon your choice, and anesthesia considerations.
Understanding the process involves knowing about anesthesia, basic surgery steps, post-procedure recovery, return to normalcy, risks involved, and expected results.
- What anesthesia is used?
The procedure involves general or twilight anesthesia.
- What type of breast lift will be done for you?
The type of breast lift technique that will be followed for you is a decision that I will arrive at based on your anatomy, the extent of changes that are needed to achieve the desired shape, your cosmetic expectations from the surgery, and your motherhood plans.
There isn’t one best approach and technique – I will customize your surgery plan exclusively for you.
- How is a natural looking shape attained?
The key to performing a natural looking breast lift surgery is to understand the proportions of the breast in relation to the rest of the anatomy – which is both a science and an art, correct the aesthetics, and have minimal visible scarring.
It’s also important to understand that a breast size or height that looks beautiful and natural in another person, might look out-of-place in your body, as each person’s natural anatomy is differently proportioned.
As a surgeon who takes immense pride in his work, I always strive for results that look perfectly natural relative to my patients’ body contours. That objective is best achieved, not by excessive changes, but by proportionate changes. It is for this reason that I restrict computer simulations, and refuse to do excessive structural modifications.
At this stage, you are likely to have few more questions for me to clarify. Some such questions are covered herein. I will be glad to answer these and any other concerns you have.
- What is the recovery phase immediately after the procedure?
After the surgery, you will be up and about in a few hours, and be able to go back home the same day.
Following the surgery, your breasts will be bandaged. There will be pain for a couple of weeks, which will be minimized through medication. Swelling and soreness will last for up to 4-6 weeks, though it will start to subside within 3 weeks. You will be prescribed ointments, pain medication and antibiotics to help recovery.
Most of my patients return to work in 10-14 days. Intensive exercise should be undertaken only after 4-6 weeks, and with my consent.
- What should be done post-surgery to improve the results?
Strictly follow the recommended post-surgery plan for faster recovery – including taking your medications, and keeping your follow-up appointments schedule. The surgical wounds will require regular dressings and you will be given the schedule.
Using support bras will provide comfort.
Keep a generally healthy lifestyle to retain your results. Do regular breast mammogram or ultrasound to check your breast health and condition.
- When will the results be visible?
Your new breast shape will be fully visible after around 4-6 weeks when the swelling has gone, and the breasts have returned to their correct position on your chest, though large part of the changes will be apparent within 2-3 weeks once the initial swelling has subsided.
Stage 3: The Next Steps …
After our detailed initial discussion, almost all matters would have been clarified. You will then get a handbook that explains the details of before and after care, medications to avoid, risks and complications, financial agreement, consent and permission forms, medical history form, etc. Please spend some time reading the booklet completely.
My patient coordinator will get back to you with cost details applicable to your surgery, and the booking protocol, and will also answer any questions you may have in the run-up to the surgery.
Then a pre-operative appointment will be arranged at my clinic in Dubai, UAE wherein we will do a complete medical checkup, measurements, surgical planning, photographic documentation, and other necessary paperwork.
You might also be required to get a breast mammogram or ultrasound before proceeding for the surgery.
Finally, on the appointed day, I will perform the breast lift surgery, either at my clinic in Dubai, or another hospital in Dubai where we have a tie-up, transforming your breast shape to the desired one.
It is advisable to have a family member or friend to drive you back home after the surgery.
Have a look at some of the testimonials from my patients. You might also want to spend a few minutes watching the video below to better understand the breast lift process.
BREAST LIFT surgery, also known as mastopexy, deals with the providing an uplift to sagging breasts in women. Over time, due to age, gravity, pregnancy, and breastfeeding, breasts tend to droop or sag, and for women facing this issue, a breast lift surgery restores their breasts back to the appropriate position on their chest, adding youthfulness to their appearance.