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Douglas A. Taranow, DO, FACOS

New York, NY

A woman’s body experiences many shifts and changes throughout her life, and the breasts are not exempt from those changes. Life events like pregnancy or significant weight fluctuation can leave the breasts floppy and sagging. Aging and genetics can also contribute to a loss of chest perkiness. The skin loses its elasticity as we get older causing the integrity of the breast structure to deteriorate and lose its youthful shape.

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In many cases, women may want to address these issues in their breasts without also undergoing breast augmentation to increase size. Breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, is a great option for women who are looking to address only breast sagging.

If an increase in volume is desired, breast augmentation can be performed in tandem with a breast lift to not only restore the breast’s position on the chest but also add cup sizes for a more voluptuous bust line.

Candidates Can Experience


Uplifted Breast Position

A breast lift can address all levels of ptosis (breast sagging). This is measured by the position of the nipple in relation to the inframammary fold (the crease where the breasts meet the chest). The breast lift technique used is dependent on the degree of ptosis the breasts demonstrate.

  • Mild ptosis: The nipple sits directly in line with the inframammary fold.
  • Moderate ptosis: The nipple falls 1 to 3 cm below the fold.
  • Severe ptosis: The nipple measures more than 3 cm below the fold.

Correction to Nipple Position

In some cases, the tip of the nipples begin to point downward rather than straight ahead. In this case, Dr. Taranow can also adjust the directional position of the nipple so that it faces the correct direction, restoring a natural, youthful look.

Better Clothing Options

When dealing with sagging breasts, finding proper fitting clothing can become difficult, since there will be a disconnect between the proportions in the body in relation to the breasts, specifically with the arms and abdomen. Well-fitted and supportive bras that are stylish can also be difficult to find, since breasts that sag often require more support, which leads to bigger, bulkier undergarments.

Improved Confidence Levels

Any major changes in the body can cause a shift in a woman’s feelings about her appearance. The appearance of the breasts is a characteristic that women wish to maintain. This desire becomes frustrating for many women since the only way to maintain the perkiness in breasts is through surgery.

The Procedure


Breast lift surgery is performed under either sedation or general anesthesia, and the technique Dr. Taranow uses depends on the degree of ptosis.

Circumareolar

This is appropriate for mild to moderate ptosis. The incision is made around the areola, and the procedure provides a small amount of lift with a virtually invisible incision just around the nipple.

Vertical Lift

This technique is appropriate for moderate ptosis. The incision goes around the areola and continues down along the breast to the inframammary fold. This gives a larger degree of lift, and it also allows Dr. Taranow to reshape the breast tissue if necessary. “Lollipop scar.”

Anchor

This technique is more appropriate for severe ptosis. The incision resembles the vertical lift technique, but the incision also continues along the inframammary fold. Using this technique, Dr. Taranow can give the greatest amount of lift and reshaping of the tissue. It’s more invasive but provides the most dramatic results. “Anchor scar.”

Recovery


Immediately following the procedure, most patients experience swelling, bruising, and soreness. This does subside within the first few days, but to aid the healing process and minimize these effects, a compression garment or support bra should be worn for up to one month. Patients are prescribed pain medications to take as needed.

Most patients return to work within two to seven days, at which point typical daily activities can be resumed. More strenuous activities and high-intensity exercise should be avoided for at least one month, or until Dr. Taranow clears the activity. To reduce the risk of complications, it is vital to follow Dr. Taranow’s post-operative instructions carefully.

Results


Breast lift results are immediately apparent, as the breast tissue has been lifted to a higher position. However, the shape of the breasts may be affected by bruising and swelling. As these symptoms subside, the shape of the breast will become more apparent. Scarring is also possible but is expected to fade over time. Dr. Taranow uses the most advanced and modern scar therapy regimes to avoid thick scars.

For the best possible results, following the appropriate post-operative care instructions is important. Living a healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet and consistent exercise will help the breasts maintain their appearance, but they can still be affected by the natural effects of aging.

Frequently Asked Questions


Am I a good candidate for breast lift surgery?

Ideal candidates for breast lift surgery must be in good health and have realistic expectations regarding their results. You will also be asked to quit smoking at least three weeks before and after your procedure. During your consultation, Dr. Taranow will review your medical history and examine the condition of your breasts to determine the best technique for your surgery.

Can I combine my breast lift with other procedures?

Yes. Breast lift surgery can be combined with breast augmentation to produce volume and fullness to the breasts to enhance your overall results.

Are there any risks or side effects involved with breast lift surgery?

As with most surgical procedures, there are some risks and side effects with breast lift surgery. These include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Poor wound healing
  • Change in skin sensation
  • Asymmetry