Visit Dr. Neavin in Los Angeles or Dubai for Your Breast Lift Consultation

Mastopexy is the medical term for this procedure. It is also less commonly referred to as a “boob lift.”

The purpose of the surgery is to lift either the nipple, the breasts or both nipples and breasts to a higher position on the chest wall. Breast lifts can be combined with a breast implant to increase volume. Conversely, a breast reduction with a breast lift will not only make the breasts smaller, but will also lift the breasts into a perkier position.

Breast lifts almost always involve reducing the areola.

The main trade-off with all breast lift procedures is improved shape for a scar. As a rule, the more the breast must be lifted, the more incisions, and in turn, larger scars required. The addition of a breast implant may either increase or decrease the size and location of scars. Like every procedure in plastic surgery, you’re best off discussing your desires with a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Breast lifts come in various forms, ranging from small to large incisions. The amount of post-operative scarring will depend on how much the area needs to be lifted. The idea of a mastopexy is to raise the breasts higher on a chest wall to a more youthful position. The reshaping with a mastopexy creates a perkier look, and reduces the size of the areola. Mastopexy does not enlarge the chest. In fact, some tissue (skin) is actually removed during the procedure. The resultant lift can sometimes make the the appearance a little smaller. In cases where a woman wants both a lift AND a bigger bust, a mastopexy and augmentation can be performed – either in one operation, or staged. (More on staging below.) In some cases, an augmentation alone can lift the breast. This can be accomplished with the right candidate. Women who can benefit from a mastopexy with breast augmentation alone have breasts that are not too saggy (ptotic). As a general rule, the more saggy or droopy, the more work (and hence, “incisions”) are needed.

Mastopexy or Augmentation with large implants combined with abdominoplasty and flank liposuction.

Breast lift with breast augmentation, also referred to as an augmentation mastopexy. In this case, an inverted-T or Weiss pattern was used to improve shape.

Is a Breast Lift Right For You?

A woman’s chest area can change with age, pregnancy, breast feeding, weight fluctuations, gravity, and heredity. The breasts lose their youthful shape and firmness.

In addition, the areola often enlarges over time. A breast lift will reduce this as well and restore small, younger-looking areola.

If you are interested in a perkier look with smaller areola, a breast lift may be for you.

Mastopexy Augmentation: One or Two Stages?

Mastopexy combined with an augmentation is sometimes done in one operation or two. Staging has become a more common trend over the last 5 years. While the disadvantage of staging is added cost and the need for two surgeries, the advantage is often a superior cosmetic result, and overall increased safety with respect to blood supply to the nipple. While one could make the argument that single-stage operation may give the desired appearance and that a revision of any imperfection is no different than a two-stage surgery, that isn’t entirely true. First, a combined augmentation mastopexy in the first stage requires longer operating room time – infection rates correlate with operating room time. Capsular contracture risk may increase as well. Second, the issue isn’t purely cosmetic – it is safety. Mastopexy augmentation generates two opposing forces simultaneously. One force is making the breast envelope tighter to restore perkiness. The other force is enlarging this tighter envelope. These opposing forces in the first stage can lead to overzealous resection of tissues and more demand on blood supply to the nipple and areola, increasing risks of nipple necrosis and poor healing.

However, there is a role for single stage mastopexy augmentation. When the nipple needs to be raised just a few centimeters, a single stage mastopexy augmentation is appropriate as it doesn’t add the risks mentioned above.

Description of the Procedure

Breast lifts are often performed with a mommy makeover, a term that describes the traditional combination of breast lift with a tummy tuck. During pregnancy, the breasts engorge with milk during lactation. After giving birth, the breasts deflate and often the skin of the breasts remain loose. The drooping of the breast is termed “ptosis”. The degree of ptosis will determine the necessary approaches to lifting the breast and nipple.

Ptosis is often characterized in 3 grades using the nipple about the breast fold. Perky breasts are characterized by the nipple sitting well above the fold. Grade 1 ptosis is when the nipple sits at the level of the breast fold. With grade 2, the nipple sits below the fold. Grade 3 is the droopiest shape marked by the nipple sitting below the fold and pointing downward.

The process of elevating the nipple and breast while reducing the areola involves the removal of skin and tissue suspension. These are the essential components of a breast lift. The particular details of the operation all share the common goal of elevating the nipple and areola on the chest wall while minimizing incisions and scars as much as possible.

Based on the amount of ptosis, the type of lift is determined. There are four major breast lift approaches:

  • Crescent Lift

    A crescent lift moves the areola upward by the removal of skin above the areola. As a general rule, any more than 1 cm of this type of lift can distort the shape of the areola by elongating it. It should be noted this technique does NOT lift the breast. This is a nipple lift only.

  • Periareolar Lift

    A periareolar lift is also commonly referred to as Benelli lift. This technique removes skin circumferentially around the areola with more removed tissue removed on the top than the bottom. The result is a smaller, more elevated nipple and areola at the expense of a slightly flatter looking breast. Depending on the surgeon and breast, the breast itself may also be lifted with this approach. Approximately 1.5 cm of nipple elevation can be expected with this type of surgery. A lift of more than 2 cm often flattens the breast and leads to widened scars around the areola.

  • Vertical Lift

    A vertical lift refers to the inclusion of a periareolar lift plus an incision that runs from the areola down to the fold in a vertical direction. This is the preferred type of lift for mild to moderate breast ptosis since it spares the incision (scar) in the breast fold.

  • Inverted T (Anchor Incision)

    An inverted T or anchor incision is the fourth type of breast lift. The incisions include the periareolar incision, vertical, and horizontal scars in the fold, and are reserved for breasts that are the most ptotic.

Breast Lift Candidates

Droopy breasts alone do not make one a good candidate for a breast lift. Paramount to the procedure is ensuring good health and the avoidance of any and all nicotine products. Smoking (and any form of nicotine) will constrict small vessels in the tissues and impair healing. The outcome of proceeding with a mastopexy with nicotine on board can be nothing short of disastrous. For that reason, it is imperative that patients be one hundred percent up front with their plastic surgeon when it comes to this topic.

Likewise, specific health issues like diabetes may impair healing, particularly if it is poorly controlled. A list of medications that must be avoided is also a topic of consideration and will be provided before surgery.

Assuming that the above boxes are checked, the beast candidates for a breast lift are those women who wish to have the same size breasts but just perkier. The addition or subtraction of volume with an implant or breast reduction can be combined with the lift. Augmentation mastopexy can be performed either together or staged; then the augmentation is performed months later. The advantages and disadvantages of these two approaches are discussed in the FAQ section.

Perhaps the second biggest factor in good patient selection is the acceptance of the big trade-off: improved shape at the expense of scars. The scar location and visibility vary from the type of lift to the inherent healing capacity of the patient. Other factors will include whether implants are used and the surgical technique chosen by the physician. A great deal on this topic will be discussed during the consultation.

Breast Lift Consultation

During your consultation, Dr. Neavin will ask questions about a patient’s general health and whether or not smoking or nicotine products are a concern. All nicotine consumption must be avoided for at least four weeks before surgery. A medication list will be reviewed as well as any family history of breast cancer.

While a breast lift does not increase one’s risk of developing breast cancer, the idea of obtaining this history is to determine whether or not a screening mammogram to develop a baseline makes sense. After a breast lift, breast reduction, or breast augmentation, the internal architecture of the breast will be changed and a pre-surgery mammogram is sometimes helpful to have for down the road. If indeed there is a family history of breast cancer, the age for a screening mammogram will be determined by Dr. Neavin and your treating medical doctor.

Measurements of the breasts will be obtained as well as the grading of ptosis (droopiness). Desires for increasing or reducing the size of the breast and the areola will be assessed, and the plan for lifting can be discussed with diagrams or even markings on the chest with an erasable marker.


Recovery will be proportionate to the extent of surgery and whether or not a concomitant breast augmentation is performed. Some stitches may need to be removed seven or eight days after the procedure. It is safe to assume that at least one week would be required before resuming any strenuous activity. As a good rule, one shouldn’t lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for two weeks. Returning to work will depend on the type of job you have. Desk jobs can be resumed within a week. Returning to exercise such as weight lifting or the treadmill may take up to a month depending on the extent of surgery. These details will be ironed out when you meet with Dr. Neavin.

Final results after breast augmentation are not seen for several weeks. The breasts will remain swollen and perhaps even appear a little funny looking for some time. As the tissues relax, the breasts will form into a more round, beautiful shape. If breast implants are incorporated, it may take weeks for the breast implant to settle. It is important to maintain contact with your plastic surgeon during the post-operative period to ensure that incisions are healing, and the tissues are recovering appropriately.


Scars from mastopexy are related to the incision size and placement, tension on the closure, genetics, and individual healing capacity. All efforts are made to reduce scar visibility. Incisions around the areola are well camouflaged. Incisions in the breast fold are well hidden. The vertical scar is not very visible since it rests on the undersurface of the breast.

Close follow-up with Dr. Neavin will ensure the best possible scar outcome. This may include creams, massaging protocols, or injections in the office.

When you choose Dr. Neavin for your breast lift, you can rest assured you will receive the highest standard of care and the best possible outcome for your procedure. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Neavin today, contact Artisan of Beauty at 310‑858‑8811 text 323‑975‑1287.


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