Breast Lift

Conveniently located to serve St. Louis, Missouri

breast liftA breast lift, or mastopexy, is procedure where the breast is lifted up higher onto the chest, the nipple – areolar complex is elevated onto the center of the breast and the size of the nipple – areolar complex is reduced if needed. Scars on the breast are required to perform this procedure. Essentially, the breast gland tissue is preserved and the skin envelope of the breast is reduced in order to lift the breast. This causes more breast tissue to be in a smaller area, thereby lifting the breast and creating a fuller breast.

Over time, the effects of gravity can cause the breasts to descend, lowering them on the chest and lowering the nipple – areolar complex. This is exacerbated in women who have had children, particularly if the children were breast – fed. Also weight changes cause the breast skin to expand and deflate.

A breast lift is generally considered a cosmetic procedure; reducing the breasts to a significant degree is usually a reconstructive procedure called breast reduction and may be covered by some insurance companies. Nipple sensation and the ability to lactate are usually preserved.

Dr. Cabbabe performs several types of breast lift surgeries. He believes in performing a breast lift that is long – lasting. Some surgeons will simply remove skin from the breast without re-shaping the breast. This ultimately fails because the stretched – out breast skin must support the weight of the breast and in a short of amount of time, “bottoms – out” resulting in “sunny – side up” nipples. Dr. Cabbabe, on the other hand, usually incorporates some type of removal of the droopy tissue with re-shaping of the breast which does not rely on the skin to hold the breast up, resulting in a long – lasting, natural appearance.

Additional Augmentation

If you desire fuller breast volume, Dr. Cabbabe may recommend fat grafting or a breast augmentation – mastopexy procedure. In these techniques, your own fat may be used to fill out your cleavage during the lift procedure or an implant may be used. This can often be done safely in one procedure. These procedures do not interfere with the ability of a woman to lactate or have future mammograms, even if done in conjunction with breast augmentation.

Peri-Areolar Breast Lift

If you have mild droopiness or ptosis of the breast, most of the gland of the breast above the lower breast fold or a low nipple – areola complex, Dr. Cabbabe may recommend a peri-areolar breast lift. A circular incision is placed only around the areola or pigmented area of the breast in order to lift the nipple – areola complex onto the center of the breast. The areola is reduced in size if needed. This procedure is often combined with breast augmentation.

Circumvertical Breast Lift

If you have moderate to severe breast droopiness or ptosis, most of the breast gland below the lower breast fold and a low nipple – areola complex, Dr. Cabbabe may recommend this procedure. An incision is made around the areola, reducing the size if needed. The nipple – areola is lifted and centered on the breast. The incision is extended down vertically below the nipple –areola complex to the lower breast fold in order to lift the rest of the breast and remove the droopy tissue. Droopy breast tissue is removed and the breast is narrowed and re-shaped. If a significant amount of lifting is needed, this incision may need to be extended horizontally to be hidden in the lower breast fold. Essentially, this produces an upside – down “T”, or anchor scar, which heals well on the breast. This procedure is often combined with breast augmentation to produce a more full breast.

Preparing for Surgery

Dr. Cabbabe will ask that you refrain from taking any aspirin, plavix, Coumadin, ibuprofen or any other type of blood thinner. If you are older than 40, a mammogram within one year prior to the procedure is recommended as part of normal health screening. Dr. Cabbabe strives to meet and exceed his patient’s expectations. If you decide to combine breast lift with breast augmentation, you will have an opportunity to try implants of various sizes inside a bra which will help you determine which size implant is best for you. Dr. Cabbabe will also measure your chest width to help you determine the best fit for you.

breast lift without surgery
breast lift

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Breast lift surgery takes around 2 hours to perform, usually under general anesthesia. Antibiotics are given before the procedure and drains are rarely used. Patients are able to shower the next day and go home in a bra. Early range of motion is done with the arms. Patients will generally follow-up within 1 week and then approximately 3-4 weeks later and then in several months.

Nipple sensation and the ability to lactate are usually preserved in these procedures. Women are able to get mammograms after surgery and this does not interfere with breast cancer detection.


Recovery is approximately 1 week from a breast lift procedure. Most women who have this procedure done will be up and about the next day, moving around although they may need pain medication occasionally, but most women state it was much easier than they anticipated and most of them, if they’ve had it done on a Thursday or Friday, can usually return to work the following Monday.

Dr. Cabbabe strives to make the procedure as easy and comfortable as possible for his patients. Before surgery, patients may receive anti-inflammatory pain medications that do not cause bleeding. At the time of surgery, local anesthesia numbing medicine is used that is long – lasting into the breast. After surgery, early range of motion is begun and pain medications are given.


Bleeding may occur after surgery and necessitate a return to the OR. Most women have asymmetry before surgery and minimal asymmetry may be present after surgery. Some of the skin may lose sensation, including potentially the nipple – areola complex although this is not common. There may be areas of skin that are slow to heal, including the nipple – areola complex. Finally, scars may become thick and irritated and require revision surgery.

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