A Breast Lift Explained

One of the most popular procedures performed by Board Certified Plastic Surgeons is a breast lift.  There were over 120,000 breast lifts performed last year in the United States.  This is a procedure performed by 90% of all Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. The reason for it’s popularity is how powerful it is at transforming the body and erasing years off someone’s appearance. 



What is a Breast Lift?


A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a procedure that lifts the breasts.  It is intended to give a more youthful appearance to the breasts and reverse the sagging and drooping that often comes with aging, pregnancy, and weight loss. A breast lift will:


  • Removal of excess breast skin
  • Lifting of sagging breasts
  • Reduction in the size of areolas
  • Creating more symmetry between breasts





Who is a Good Candidate for a Breast Lift?


Because a breast lift is designed to lift breast tissue and create a more youthful appearance, anyone who feels like there breasts are sagging are a candidate.  Breasts can sag and droop due to a variety of reasons. These include:


  • aging
  • pregnancy
  • weight loss
  • removal of breast implants


To know if you require a breast lift, you need to look at the position of your nipples. If your nipples are below your breast fold, then this means that you have breast droop, or ptosis, and are a candidate for a breast lift. If you feel like your breasts are droopy, but your nipples are still above your breast fold, than you likely have breast involution and a breast implant may be what you need.



Preparation for Your Breast Lift


The first step is an evaluation by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, experienced in a breast lift procedure. During your evaluation, your surgeon will take your medical history and perform a physical examination. He or she will specifically examine your breasts, looking carefully at the amount of excess skin, the quality of that skin, underlying breast tissue, and signs of asymmetry.  Your surgeon will also make sure that there is not a personal or family history of breast problems, such as cancer.


Your surgeon will also discuss the required incisions and resulting scars for your breast lift. These incisions will depend on exactly what needs to be done for you and how much your breasts need to be lifted.  Small lifts often only require incisions around the areola, while larger lifts may require incisions around the areolas, down the front of the breast, and underneath (like an anchor). Some may require something in between.  Your surgeon will also discuss whether you also require an adjustment in the volume of your breast, either with an enlargement or a reduction.


If you are an appropriate candidate for the procedure, your surgeon will discuss specific details about the anesthesia, recovery, and scars.  He or she will also discuss the risks associated with this breast lift procedure. You will also be sent for medical clearance with your primary medical doctor. This will include a physical examination, bloodwork, and an EKG, along with any other tests required to make sure you are healthy enough to undergo the surgery. If you are over 40 years old, you will be required to have a mammogram as part of your pre-operative medical clearance. 



Where is the Procedure Performed?


A breast lift is a surgical procedure that needs to be performed in an accredited surgery center or hospital. These are regulated facilities with the appropriate safety standards and appropriately trained staff.  The procedure is usually performed on an out-patient basis, meaning, you are able to go home the same day. In situations where other procedures are being done at the same time, you may be required to stay overnight for monitoring.


The Surgery


  • The Anesthesia

The procedure is performed under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. This anesthesia is administered by a Board Certified Anesthesiologist and you will be monitored the entire time. You breathing and heart rate will be monitored, as well as your oxygen level. 


  • The Incision

A breast lift is performed with a variety of incisions. These incisions are used to remove skin, reshape the internal breast tissue, and move the nipple. The incisions are important because it is the incisions that ultimately determine the scars that will be left. The incisions that you need will depend on exactly what needs to be done and how much lift you require. The typical incisions include:


  • Around the areola (circumareolar)
  • Around the areola and down the from (“lollipop”)
  • Around the areola, down the front, in the fold (“Anchor”)


Sometimes, a different incision is needed on each breast, since many breasts start out different from each other.  Your surgeon will be able to tell you during your consultation, which incision he or she thinks you will need. Your surgeon can also draw the planned incision on you so you can visualize where the scar will be located and how long it will be.


  • Reducing the size of the areola

One of the first things that will be done during your breast lift, is reducing the size of the areola. The areola tends to enlarge with aging, weight loss, pregnancy, and breast droop. Your surgeon will use a template, called a “cookie cutter”, that will mark a perfectly round circle on your original areola. This new shape and size will be smaller and rounder. This will also allow both areolas to be made the same shape and size. After marking the areolas with this “cookie cutter”, your surgeon will use a knife to cut along the marks.


  • Removing the Skin

The excess and loose skin of the breast is also marked and removed. By doing this, the breast will be more perky and lifted when things are put back together. Depending on the amount of lift that is needed, skin can be removed from around the areola, down the front of the breast, and along the bottom.


  • Reshaping the Internal Breast Tissue

While breast skin needs to be removed and this does play a role in the result, the skin can’t do it all. In fact, the breast skin has already proven that it cannot support the breast tissue, which is why you need the lift. The real key to a beautiful and long-term result from your breast lift is reshaping the internal breast tissue. After the skin is removed, the breast tissue is reshaped using a combination of removal of breast tissue and internal sutures. Your surgeon will basically reshape your breast tissue into the shape of a breast implant.


  • Closing the Skin and Raising the Nipple

Next the skin is closed over this newly shaped breast tissue.   The breast will have a rounded shape. The nipple and areola will be slid up to a higher location and closed with sutures.







After a few hours in the recovery room, you will be discharged home. You will have pain medication and antibiotics. This procedure is very well tolerated and the pain is significantly less than with other procedures like a tummy tuck. You will wear a supportive bra, such as a sports bra.   After about a week, most people feel pretty good and you will be cleared to return to normal activities, including work and school.  You will be restricted from heavy exercise for about 3-4 weeks while you are healing.



Scar management


Scars never go away, but they will fade. Special care is taken during your surgery to promote good healing and the best possible scar. However, everyone’s skin is different and creates different scars. Some scars are thin and flat, while others are raised and dark. Your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon should be able to assess your skin before surgery in order to determine the types of scar you are likely to produce. In general, the darker the skin, the higher the possibility of thick and dark scars.  If you have a history of making “bad” scars, be sure to let your surgeon know about that so proper precautions can be made.  There are some things that can be done after the surgery to help your body create better scars These include the early use of silicone scar gels or tapes, and laser treatments.  Your scar will continue to evolve over the next 9-12 months. During this time, you should limit the exposure to the sun since UV rays can make the scar appear more red and irritated.


Combining a Breast Lift with Other Procedures


It is very common to combine your breast lift with other procedures. Sometimes a breast lift is combined with breast implants if you want your breasts lifted AND larger. Also common is to combine your breast lift with a tummy tuck or liposuction. This is because all these parts are very susceptible to changes associated with aging, weight fluctuations and pregnancies. Combining multiple procedures together is commonly called a Mommy Makeover.


If you would like to learn more about lifting your breasts and making them appear more youthful, contact New York City Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Matthew Schulman. During your consultation, you can find out if a breast lift is right for you.

Lost A Lot Of Weight? Plastic Surgery Can Improve Your Final Look

Losing weight is a serious accomplishment, particularly if you’ve managed to lose a lot of weight and keep it off for good. It takes a lot of self-discipline, working against your body and society, and you should be proud of yourself. But what can you do if you lose all that weight only to find that you’re not happy with the results? This happens all the time because people lose weight and are left with a lot of loose skin.


Post-weight loss, loose skin is often concentrated around the waist, upper arms, and chest, and this excess skin can make otherwise remarkable weight loss results less than thrilling, but there is a solution: plastic surgery. Through the proper application of several different procedures, a surgeon can help you complete your body’s transformation, highlighting your hard work.




What Procedures Address Excess Skin?


There are several different procedures that address the problem of excess skin, depending on where on the body it’s located. Among the most common are tummy tucks, arm lifts, and breast lifts. If you’ve lost a very large amount of weight, you may also need skin removal surgery; this is more common in those who have lost weight very quickly, since the skin doesn’t have a chance to contract back. Older patients are also more likely to need skin removal surgery because their skin is less elastic, due to reduced collagen production. Skin removal surgery targeting the area around the lower abdomen is known as a panniculectomy.

Most patients with excess skin require some combination of procedures to get the optimal results, but the procedures are not without risk. In addition to the usual risks associated with surgery, more extreme procedures like panniculectomy can leave significant scarring. For those who are concerned about scarring, a different selection of procedures may be more appropriate.

Why Remove Excess Skin?


In addition to issues of appearance, many people seek plastic surgery after losing a lot of weight because having hanging skin can actually present serious health risks. Specifically, loose skin can lead to infections, because the weight of hanging skin causes tears and the folds breed bacteria. That’s why many doctors will actually recommend that patients undergo these procedures once they’ve reached a stable weight. This isn’t just about how you look, but about your long-term health.

Body Lift Or Tummy Tuck?


Though the distinction may seem confusing at first, lower body lifts and tummy tucks – both common procedures among those who have loose skin – are radically different procedures, with the body lift being far more extreme. In body lift surgery, the surgeon actual performs a skin removal while also drawing up and tightening the skin around the entire lower body; there is also an upper body equivalent that addresses loose skin around the arms and back. As part of a lower body lift, you may also undergo liposuction for additional shaping, a buttock lift, and also buttock augmentation to adjust for the loss of shape, since the buttocks are prone to flattening.

Thought a tummy tuck is similar to a body lift, it targets a much narrower area of the body. Rather than addressing the thighs, waist, stomach, and arms all at once, a tummy tuck generally involved a panniculectomy coupled with tightening of the underlying musculature. Depending on the patient’s need, some patients also undergo additional liposuction.

Often, for patients with extreme weight loss, Dr. Schulman recommends an additional midline abdominal incision, known as a fleur-de-lis incision. Though this leaves an additional scar, it also allows for better contouring and the scars do fade over time, and the fleur-de-lis incision is widely considered to be safer.




Is A Breast Lift Enough?


Breast lifts are another common procedure among those who have lost a lot of weight, but it’s important to recognize that a breast lift may not be enough to address the results of such enormous physical changes. That’s because, while a breast lift repositions the breasts, it doesn’t change the amount of breast tissue or fat in the area. As such, depending on a woman’s final body shape, some may require an additional breast reduction or breast augmentation.

Some women have too much breast issue relative to their new body size, which can lead to back pain, which is why a breast reduction coupled with a breast lift may be appropriate. Others experience something more akin to the buttock flattening mentioned above. For these women, a combination breast augmentation and breast lift may be more appropriate, to create the desired proportions.

Male Breast Reduction – A Common Concern


While breast reduction and augmentation surgeries are commonly discussed, many men who have experienced substantial weight loss are left with “man boobs” – extra flesh around the chest from past fat stores. Unfortunately, this is much harder for men to talk about than for women seeking a breast lift. Many are ashamed to discuss the issue. However, men can also have breast reduction surgery, often combined with chest contouring procedures, which will resolve the problem, creating a more masculine, flat chest.

Arm Lifts And Other Procedures


One of the problems with loose skin following weight loss is that it can exist just about anywhere on the body, from the stomach and arms to the neck and back. Additional procedures like arm lifts, neck skin tightening, and other interventions can address loose skin elsewhere on the body. Every individual has different needs and different areas that they’re concerned about – your doctor will discuss your concerns with you and help you make the best decisions for your body.

Preparing For Post-Weight Loss Plastic Surgery


If you’re considering plastic surgery in New York City  of any kind after losing a lot of weight, it’s important to take your time. Dr. Schulman generally require post-weight loss patients to maintain a stable body weight for at least six months before these procedures, so you’ll need to demonstrate that you can remain at this new weight. Additionally, many formerly overweight patients have lingering health issues, ranging from Type 2 diabetes to high blood pressure, which can complicate the surgeries. Maintaining a stable, lower weight for at least a year can sometimes reverse these health issues and make surgery much safer.

Ready to get rid of excess skin after extreme weight loss? Then you need the best on your side. Contact Dr. Matthew Schulman today to learn more about your options for body shaping and contouring. You worked hard to change your life and lose weight – the right surgical procedures just reveal what’s hiding underneath.

When Is The Right Time For A Breast Lift? 5 Indicators

As women age, their breasts naturally begin to sag. Skin stretches and becomes less elastic, often sped along by childbirth or weight fluctuations. Though a completely normal process, many women find themselves dissatisfied with their changed appearance, leading some to consider having a breast lift.


Breast lifts are a common cosmetic procedure, often performed alongside other surgeries, such as breast augmentation or reduction and body contouring, but the surgery doesn’t just involve lifting the breast tissue. There are also several other factors that can make a woman a good candidate for a breast lift, with common reasons for pursuing the procedure ranging widely from correcting age-related breast shape changes to reducing areolar size. If you’re concerned about one of these 5 issues, a breast lift might be right for you.






You’ve Always Had Sagging Breasts


Breast lifts are largely associated with older women, or at least those who have already had children, but some women have a naturally droopy breast shape. This can make younger women feel self-conscious and can also make wearing a bra uncomfortable because the skin can bunch and fold. For young women who have always had a lower, more pendulous breast profile, getting a breast lift can provide the desired, perky shape typically associated with the youthful form.


Whatever your age, you can judge whether your breasts sag excessively at least in part by looking at where your nipples fall relative to your breast creases. Many doctors consider a breast lift to be advisable when the nipples point downward or fall below your breast creases. This is a good indicator that your breasts have lost their ideal form.


You’re Post-Pregnancy


Pregnancy can have a significant impact on the size and shape of a woman’s breasts. Many find that their breasts grow with the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, stay large when their milk comes in and while breastfeeding, and then shrink and sag once their children are weaned. Even women who don’t breastfeed, though, may find that their breasts are significantly changed after childbirth, which is why many women pursue breast lifts after having children.


Often, women who seek a breast lift after having children do so as part of a multi-part “mommy makeover” procedure. A mommy makeover can include a variety of procedures, including breast augmentation or reduction, tummy tuck, and liposuction. The mommy makeover is one of the fastest growing surgery procedures and can reduce recovery time for patients and is widely considered safer because it involves just a single round of anesthesia. Many celebrities have undergone mommy makeovers to get their pre-baby looks back, and that has also contributed to the procedure’s increased popularity.


You’ve Lost A Lot Of Weight


Besides aging and pregnancy, weight loss is one of the most common reasons that women pursue breast lift surgery. Though each woman gains and loses weight in different parts of the body, substantial weight loss almost always leaves behind sagging skin – often around the stomach, breasts, and arms. A breast lift will remove some of that excess skin and shift the breasts back into their pre-weight change position.


Many women who undergo breast lifts after weight loss also choose to have a breast augmentation or reduction. That’s because breast lifts don’t change the amount of breast tissue or fat present in the area – the procedure just adjusts where the breasts fall on the body and their general shape, reversing sagging. To attain a more natural body shape and one that best fits the frame, then, many women have these procedures performed together.





You Have Very Large Areolas


This may seem like an unusual reason to have a breast lift, but in fact, Dr. Schulman regularly performs breast lifts to address this problem. That’s because a woman’s areolas often stretch with the rest of the breast tissue due to weight gain or tissue sagging, and many consider it unsightly. But what does a breast lift do to change areola size? During the procedure, Dr. Schulman not only removes excess skin and repositions the breasts, but also resizes and repositions the areolas. That includes cutting away excess skin, leaving a more visually pleasing and appropriately sized areola relative to overall breast size.


Your Breasts Are Different Sizes Or Sit Unevenly


Unequal breast size or position can have many different causes. Some women’s breasts naturally develop that way, while others find that their breasts are uneven just as the result of time or weight fluctuations. Regardless of the cause, a breast lift allows your doctor to reposition your breasts and adjust them to appear more even. An implant or reduction can also be performed at the same time to even out unequally sized breasts and attain a more balanced profile.


Other Considerations


There is no standard or best age to have a breast lift, but there are a few factors to consider. First, young women are more likely to experience re-stretching of the skin around the breasts, as well as weight fluctuations that could significantly impact the outcomes of a breast lift. This is why the procedure is mostly done on older women – their breasts have already undergone most expected stretching from gravity, whereas younger women have yet to experience the bulk of elasticity loss.


Another concern for younger women is that having a breast lift can, in some cases, impact the ability to breastfeed. Though most women won’t have a problem breastfeeding after the procedure, those who have their areolas resized and positioned may have difficult producing enough milk. Future pregnancies can also undo the results of a breast lift by re-stretching the skin, potentially necessitating a revision surgery.


Find Your Ideal Shape With Dr. Matthew Schulman


If your breasts are sagging due to the effects of age, pregnancy, or breastfeeding, you may be a good candidate for a breast lift, but you don’t have to make the decision alone. To learn more about the breast lift process and to discuss you needs, contact Dr. Matthew Schulman today to schedule a consultation. Everyone deserves to feel confident in their body and Dr. Schulman can help you attain your ideal shape.

Guide to Breast Lift Surgery

Are you unhappy with the appearance of your breasts? Do they lack that shape and perkiness they once had? Or perhaps you’ve never had the breasts you’ve always wanted?

A breast lift can literally lift your breasts into a more youthful position, reducing droopiness and sagging.

If you think this procedure is one that could benefit you, read on. Below, we’ve amassed everything you need to know about breast lift surgery, including where to go to get the breast lift New York City residents rave about.

Let’s begin at the very beginning:


What Is a Breast Lift?

A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure that raises the breasts and reshapes them into a more youthful shape and position. The type of breast lift women undergo is performed by tightening up breast tissue by internally reshaping it and removing excess skin.


Who Should Get a Breast Lift?

Women with sagging, droopy breasts that have lost their elasticity are generally the individuals who are looking for the benefits of a breast lift. This sagginess and droopiness may be caused by a multitude of factors.

For example, over time, it’s not uncommon for a woman’s breasts to change simply with age. They will eventually droop and sag much more than they once did just because of gravity’s cumulative effects and the normal aging process of the breast skin.

But other more acute events can cause droopiness and sagginess as well:

  • Weight loss or weight fluctuations
  • Heredity (for example, a mother or grandmother with similarly sagging breasts)
  • Hormonal changes
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding


How Do You Know if You’re a Good Candidate for a Breast Lift?

The best way to know for sure if you are a good breast lift candidate is to attend a consultation appointment with your plastic surgeon. At this appointment, you will meet one-on-one with your surgeon who will take a look at your breasts and give his or her professional opinion. This consultation is needed to truly know if a breast lift is the right operation for you. Some women who think they need a breast lift, really only need breast augmentation with implants. Sometimes, a breast lift is performed together with an augmentation.

If you haven’t yet met with your surgeon but would still like to know if you’re a good candidate, there are a few things you may consider as well. For instance, good candidates tend to be at a healthy weight, be non-smokers, and they also tend to be finished having children and breast-feeding.

They may have recently lost a significant amount of weight as well (this is a common cause of breast droopiness). But if this is the case, be sure that the majority of the weight loss is over; it’s best to work with a body that’s going to stay the same shape for the foreseeable future. It is also important to have reasonable expectations.

Lastly, take a look at your “degree of ptosis.” Ptosis is another word for breast drooping. If your nipple is at or below the breast fold, this typically means you have enough sagging to require a breast lift.


What Is Pre-Surgery for a Breast Lift Like?

Preparing for your breast lift surgery is an important aspect of the procedure. All plastic surgeons are different, though, so it’s critical to speak directly with the doctor who will be performing your procedure to know exactly the pre-surgery steps you must follow.

Together with your surgeon, you’ll review your medical history and ultimate goals for the procedure. This will occur at your consultation or pre-surgery appointment, at which time, you’ll also have a physical exam.

In general, you can expect to do the following in preparation for your breast lift procedure:


  1. Quit smoking.

If you are currently a smoker, it’s generally a requirement that you quit smoking prior to your procedure. Quitting at least three weeks before your surgery is the usual prerequisite.


  1. Speak to your surgeon about current supplements and medications.

In addition to discussing your medical history with your surgeon, you’ll also need to list any medications and/or supplements you take. These may need to be discontinued for a period as your surgery date gets closer.


  1. Line up someone to pick you up from the procedure and help with the recovery.

A responsible adult must be available to take you home after your surgery. You will also need this person or another responsible adult to care for you and be present for 2 to 3 full days after the surgery.


  1. Have a current mammogram.

If you are 40 years or age or older, or have a family history of breast cancer, you will likely be required to have a pre-operative screening mammogram.


What Is Recovery From a Breast Lift Like?

Breast lifts require general anesthesia, which means you’ll need some time to wake up and recover from your procedure at the surgical facility. This is generally only a few hours of rest post-op. From there, you should be able to go home with the responsible adult you’ve chosen to care for you.

There is little pain associated with breast lifts. Most of the time, you should be able to resume normal activities within approximately ten days.


What Can You Expect From Breast Lift Surgery?

It’s often a good idea to look at before and after photos in order to have a strong understanding of what to expect from your breast lift. Remember that breast lifts won’t make your breasts bigger (that’s a breast implant). However, they will look higher, perkier, and firmer overall. Sometimes, your breasts will actually look smaller because of the tightness.

Keep in mind that all breast lifts will include some scarring, but the scars will lighten up and become less and less noticeable with time. Breast lift scars tend to occur around the areola, and they may also occur beneath the areola in what’s called a “lollipop” pattern. This means a scar that goes around the areola and in one line directly beneath this circle on each breast. “Anchor” pattern scarring may result from your breast lift surgery as well. This means a lollypop pattern scar with the addition of a rounded line of scarring beneath each breast near the breast fold. Speak to your surgeon to find out about which specific scars you will have after your surgery.


Get the Breasts You’ve Always Dreamed Of

Whether you’ve always wanted perkier, more lifted breasts, or a weight loss, pregnancy, or similar event has caused your breasts to more recently droop or sag, a breast lift is the ideal procedure to improve your silhouette and boost your confidence. For this procedure, the breast lift plastic surgeon New York City residents trust most is Dr. Matthew Schulman.

Dr. Schulman has an impressive national reputation in the arena of plastic surgery, with vast experience and expertise in the rejuvenation of the face, breast, and body. If you’re looking for the best breast lift New York City women flock to, you want to work with Dr. Schulman.

Make your consultation appointment with Dr. Schulman in New York City today. The sooner you get your surgery date on the books, the sooner you’ll have the new breasts you’ve always dreamed of.