At the Maryland Plastic Surgery Center, Dr. Summers offers breast lift surgery for patients in Annapolis and Baltimore, MD to improve both their figure and self-confidence. Patients from throughout Maryland (including Townson, Lutherville, Columbia, Owing Mills, Howard County, and Ellicott City breast lift patients) turn to Dr. Summers for all their cosmetic surgery needs.
Breast Lift Introduction
A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, is a procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts. As a woman ages, the skin loses elasticity causing the breasts to lose their natural shape and firmness. Breast sagging (also known as “ptosis”) worsens when the breasts are stretched due to weight gain or pregnancy (note: many women experience significant changes with a second pregnancy, especially if the baby is breastfed). Dr. Summers has helped many breast lift patients restore their figures with the mastopexy procedure. In select cases, a Baltimore or Annapolis breast lift patient may also benefit from breast implants. Please visit our breast augmentation page to learn how Dr. Summers’ Baltimore breast augmentation patients have improved their bust size.
Breast Lift Goals
- Elevate the breasts due to sagging caused by aging & gravity.
- Firm the breasts if they have lost substance after pregnancy.
- Re-align the nipples if they point down or to the side.
- Restore the natural suppleness after weight loss.
When performed at the Maryland Plastic Surgery Center, a breast lift procedure typically takes between one and three hours, depending on the complexity of the case. Dr. Summers uses a variety of techniques and incisional approaches (e.g. peri-areolar Benelli “doughnut”, verticle, transverse, inverted-T) based on the patient’s anatomy.
The goal is to keep the scars as small as possible, but the procedure always involves an incision completely around the areola. In some cases, excess fat can be removed with liposuction. In other cases, additional incisions may be required to removed excess tissue – a common technique involves an anchor-like incision along the underside of the breast. The incision goes around the area where the skin will be removed, defining where the nipple will be relocated. In each case, after excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved into a higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is tightened around the breast resulting in an enhanced shape.
Patients with relatively small breasts and minimal ptosis are most likely to only require the incision around the areola. This is known as the Benelli “doughnut” mastopexy (also known as peri-areolar, circumboreal, and concentric mastopexy) in which circular incisions are made around the areola and a doughnut-shaped area of skin is removed. For women with minimal breast tissue, addition of a small implant under the pectoralis muscle will provide additional fullness to the breast. Either saline or silicone implants may be used.
Note: Despite the incision all the way around the areola, Dr. Summers has found that the majority of his patients actually report an improvement in nipple sensation after the mastopexy procedure.
Breast Lift Recovery
Most patients are able to resume normal, light activity the day after surgery. Patients should wear their bra 24 hours a day for the first week (the bra is removed only for showers) and avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting. In addition to the regular bra, patients who have a concurrent breast implant may be provided with a “bra strap” to help stabilize the implants and reduce swelling around the top portion of the breast.
Because the breast must accommodate to its new shape and position, patients typically require 6-12 months before their final breast shape is obtained. Minor “touch-up” procedures to optimize the appearance of scars are occasionally performed under local anesthesia during this time.
Following the initial recovery period, patients sometimes report minor pain associated with activities – this is typically resolved with ibuprofen and rarely persists longer than one month after the surgery. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the pre-operative and post-operative directions we provide during the consultation.
Breast Lift Costs
The charge for a breast lift procedure at the Maryland Plastic Surgery Center ranges from $3,000 – $8,000. Most patients spend about $6,000 for a routine mastopexy procedure. The variability in price reflects the many different breast lift techniques which Dr. Summers utilizes – the specific technique which will be used for your breast lift will be discussed at the time of your evaluation.
The fees include all the following: facility fee at the Maryland Plastic Surgery Center, anesthesia with a board-certified anesthesiologist, surgeon’s fee, and all office visits.
The only other expenses you will incur are pharmacy related for prescription medications (antibiotics and pain medication) and laboratory related for routine blood tests prior to your breast lift surgery. Patients who are over 40 years of age or who have pre-existing medical conditions will also need to have a medical clearance, which includes an EKG and additional blood tests.
In addition to offering breast lift procedures, Dr. Summers offers other breast procedures at his practice. Please visit these pages to learn about how Dr. Summers helps Baltimore breast reduction, breast augmentation and male breast reduction patients.
Breast surgery patients may also benefit from other body contouring procedures such as abdominoplasty or liposuction. Many Baltimore abdominoplasty and Baltimore liposuction patients have enjoyed slimmer, shapelier figures as a result of Dr. Summers’ extensive surgical experience and artistic eye.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some women desire to have increased fullness in addition to restoring the shape of their breast. In this case, a small breast implant may be used at the same time as a minor breast lift procedure. If a large implant is desired, or if a more major breast lift procedure is required, then Dr. Summers frequently recommends that his patients undergo two separate procedures (first the breast lift and then, two months later, the breast augmentation) in order to reduce the risk of complications from a combined surgical procedure.
It is a widespread practice for a plastic surgeon to perform multiple procedures during one operation. This allows the surgeon to better “sculpt” your final appearance. In addition, having several procedures done simultaneously saves you the expense of paying the operating room and anesthesia costs more than once. However, having too many surgical procedures done at one time can lead to complications. The decision to have multiple procedures done depends on which procedures are being done, the extent of surgery, and the operating time, and your age/health. Ultimately, Dr. Summers will decide whether it is appropriate to include more than one procedure in your operation or not.
During your first consultation we will discuss your desired changes and expectations, review your medical history and current health, perform a physical exam, and discuss which procedure(s) are right for you. This is a suitable time to ask specific questions about the procedure. We will discuss the results that can be achieved, the limitations of surgery, the risks, and the post-operative course. If you are not a suitable candidate for surgery, we will discuss this with you and recommend any alternative treatments available.
Following your consultation, you will be provided with a quotation for the proposed procedure. If you are interested in proceeding with surgery, you will make an appointment for a second consultation. During your second consultation, we will answer any questions you have, the consent forms will be reviewed, photos will be obtained for your chart, prescriptions will be written, a medical clearance and lab tests will be requested, and we will collect a deposit if you wish to secure a surgery date.
Breast lift patients typically do not have a lot of pain after surgery. Most patients feel good enough to engage in normal, light activities the day after surgery. Patients are allowed to shower the first day after surgery – however, soaking of the incisions (e.g., bath, hot tub, whirlpool) is to be avoided. Patients should avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity (any activity that increases your heart rate over one hundred or causes sweating is strenuous) for three weeks following surgery.
The length of recovery varies differently for everyone. Bruises usually disappear within a few days, and most swelling resolves within a month. However, final “settling” of the breasts may take 6 – 12 months to occur, depending on the type of breast lift procedure you have had. Your scars will fade over time but are permanent. When you come in for your consultation, we can discuss your expected recovery period and any post-operative instructions in detail.
Insurance providers generally cover costs for reconstructive surgery but not for cosmetic surgery. For example, insurance providers will often pay for breast augmentation to reconstruct a breast following a mastectomy, breast reduction to remedy back pain caused by heavy breasts, and breast lift procedures to obtain symmetry following breast reconstruction. If your surgery is covered by insurance, we will help you obtain pre-certification. Please note that neither Dr. Summers nor the Maryland Plastic Surgery Center directly accept insurance payments, but we will be happy to assist you in obtaining reimbursement for your surgery.
The type of the anesthesia varies with each procedure. For some procedures, only local anesthesia or local anesthesia with intravenous (IV) sedation is needed. This method will allow you to be awake, but insensitive to any pain. In more complex procedures, general anesthesia is needed and you will be asleep during the entire procedure. The anesthesia used in your operation will depend on the type and extent of the procedure(s), your general health, and your preference.
In very rare cases of extreme macromastia, a procedure called a “free nipple graft” may be performed. In this procedure the nipple and areola are completely removed from the breast and then reattached at the end of the procedure as a skin graft. In this case, the areola frequently loses its coloration and may require a tattoo procedure to obtain the desired color. Also, the nipple will lose its normal sensation if a “free nipple graft” is performed. In very rare cases of extreme macromastia, a procedure called a “free nipple graft” may be performed. In this procedure the nipple and areola are completely removed from the breast and then reattached at the end of the procedure as a skin graft. In this case, the areola frequently loses its coloration and may require a tattoo procedure to obtain the desired color. Also, the nipple will lose its normal sensation if a “free nipple graft” is performed.
Many women are concerned that their nipple sensation will be impaired after a breast lift or breast reduction procedure. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that nipple sensation will be spared – there is a risk of decreased sensation or permanent loss of all sensation with any breast procedure.
However, in our experience, most patients actually obtain an increase in their nipple sensation following a breast lift or breast reduction procedure. This is thought to be due to the fact that, after the procedure, the nerve to the nipple is under less stretch and therefore, the nerve is better able to transmit light touch signals back to the brain.
Many women are surprised to find that they actually have very little sensation to light touch pre-operatively. To check your sensitivity, use a cotton ball to lightly touch the skin of your chest. Now use the same cotton ball and same amount of pressure to lightly touch your nipple. If you have less sensation in your nipple, you may find that a breast lift or breast reduction results in an increase in your sensitivity.
Maryland Plastic Surgery is Maryland’s premiere cosmetic surgery center and medical spa. The Center’s director, Dr. Adam Summers, is an expert cosmetic surgeon who uses advanced techniques to achieve natural looking results. Just 15 minutes from Baltimore, Howard County (Columbia) and Annapolis, the Center specializes in tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), breast augmentation, breast lift, liposuction, rhinoplasty, andfacelift procedures.