BREAST LIFT Procedure Pictures

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5 Breast Procedures


With time, gravity and aging takes a toll on our bodies in various ways. Unfortunately for women, the breast does not hold up as well to the effects of aging, gravity, and pregnancy as you might like. The additional hormone changes that occur with pregnancy can accelerate the breakdown of breast support structures, resulting in droopy, sagging breasts (ptosis).

A breast lift (mastopexy) is a procedure designed to restore breasts to a more youthful position. The surgery involves removing excess loose skin, rearranging the breast tissue into a more aesthetic shape, and moving the nipple up higher onto the center of the reshaped breast. In some cases, an implant may be combined with a breast lift, particularly when the woman wants more fullness in the upper breast or overall larger breasts.

Benefits of a mastopexy include the following:

  • Improving asymmetries between the breasts
  • Reducing large areolas (pigmented skin around the nipple)
  • Restoring a firm, sculpted, more youthful breast shape
  • Improved self-confidence

If you are ready to learn more about how a breast lift can improve your look, request a consultation online with Dr. Steele, or call my office at 712-224-8677. He serves patients in Sioux City, IA and surrounding communities and he welcomes patients who wish to travel from Sioux Falls, SD and Omaha, NE.

Breast Lift Incisions

There are three main types of breast lift incisions. Depending on the extent of breast ptosis (sagging), Dr. Steele will determine the best approach. The addition of an implant may also affect the incision location. Generally a “vertical” type breast reduction with preservation of the blood/nerve supply from the upper/inner aspect of the breast is performed with one of the following incision patterns:

Concentric/”Doughnut” Mastopexy – Also known as a peri-areolar or circular lift. This technique involves excision of a circular piece of skin around the areola. This technique is advisable when only a very small amount of lift is needed. If this technique is used too aggressively (moving the nipple too far), the result can be a flat breast with a wide areola and thick scars.

Vertical/”Lollipop” Mastopexy – This technique results in an incision around the areola and a vertical incision running down from the areola to the breast fold (“lollipop” appearance). This incision pattern is useful for the correction of mild to moderate ptosis (sagging).

Wise Pattern/Inverted “T” – This technique utilizes the same incisions as the vertical technique with the addition of a transverse (horizontal) incision along the underside of the breast in the breast crease. While this technique has the longest incision, it is very a very powerful technique for correcting moderate to severe breast ptosis. Bear in mind that a mastopexy will not increase the size or volume of the breast. In fact, you may notice a slight decrease in size. Also, a breast lift does not providefullness in the upper breast. If fullness or a larger size is desired, then a breast implant should be considered at the time of the lift.


Breast lift surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis with general anesthesia. Typical surgery time ranges between 2-3 hours depending on the extent of sagging. Most patients can return to work within one week, although activity restrictions last up to 6-8 weeks depending on the procedure.


How do I know whether I need an augmentation or a lift?
A breast augmentation procedure will provide volume and fullness to the breast but does nothing to address breast sagging/drooping. Conversely, a breast lift is an excellent technique to reshape and reposition the breast, but does little to improve fullness in the upper breast. Many times, I have woman come into the office desiring a breast augmentation, without realizing they need a breast lift as well to obtain the optimal result. An in-person consultation is often necessary to determine the optimal approach for each individual patient.

Where is the nipple placed during surgery? Is it taken off and replaced?
Preoperative markings are made before surgery to locate the optimal position of the nipple on the newly shaped breast. In surgery, the patient is sat up on the operating room table to confirm the nipple is centered on the breast in the most aesthetically pleasing position. The nipple is not detached from the breast. It is left attached to the breast tissue (the breast pedicle) and this preserves blood and nerve supply.

Will my nipple have sensation after surgery?
Yes, it is rare to have permanent nipple sensation loss. You may have some temporary nipple numbness due to swelling and this will resolve in a few months. You will likely have some areas of numbness on the breast skin due to the incisions, but this improves with time.

When can I return to work?
You will likely be able to return to a non-strenuous job within 5-7 days. Cardio activity should be limited for 3-4 weeks and heavy lifting (>15 pounds) should be limited for 6-8 weeks.

What about the scars?
Many women are concerned about scarring on their breasts. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent a scar once an incision is created. Every effort is made to minimize the length of scars while leaving behind expertly repaired incisions that typically heal very nicely. It will take up to one year for the scars to fade and mature. Additionally, silicone gel products such as Biocorneum are available for purchase to help optimize the final scar appearance. Most women feel that the improved shape and position of the breast is worth the scars left behind. Click here to see examples of scars after a breast lift.

How long will my results last?
A mastopexy will not completely stop the aging process and effects of gravity, but it can certainly delay it quite a bit. The longevity of the result depends on several factors: whether or not you smoke, how significant your lift was, the overall condition of your skin, and the size of your breasts. Regardless, you can expect to enjoy your results for several years, particularly if you avoid smoking, maintain a healthy diet with exercise, and maintain a stable weight.


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