Breast Lift

A woman’s breasts often change over time, losing their youthful shape and firmness. These changes and loss of skin elasticity can result from pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations, aging, gravity or heredity. If a slumping bust line has caused you to not like your breasts, it may be time to take action. Your youthful profile can be restored with breast lift surgery in Wisconsin at Fox Valley Plastic Surgery.

Dr. David Janssen and Dr. William Doubek are experts in breast lifts. The Wisconsin plastic surgeons are helping women and men from places such as Green Bay, Appleton, Fond du Lac, and Sheboygan perfect their personal Renaissance. To discuss your breast lift options with one of our experienced surgeons, request your consultation in either the Oshkosh or Appleton location using our online form or contact us at (920) 233-1540. The non-refundable $80 cosmetic consultation fee can be applied towards the cost of the procedure.

What Is a Breast Lift?

shutterstock_111718967A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, raises the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. A breast lift can also reduce the areola, which has enlarged over time. A breast lift can rejuvenate a person with a breast profile that is more youthful and uplifted. In some cases, a breast lift is combined with breast augmentation to restore fullness and volume.

There are many different types, shapes, sizes, and brands of implants. Come in for a consultation to see and feel the implants. “Test” out the implants on yourself with our Vectra 3D imaging system. You and your surgeon will decide on the implants most appropriate for your needs. We offer implants by Mentor®, Allergan Natrelle®, and Ideal Implant®. Learn more about implants in the Breast Augmentation section of our website.

We also perform implant removal, implant replacement, and implant repositioning. Pricing is determined by the type of implant, if the implant is ruptured, and if the original surgery was done by FVPS. Please call us at 920-233-1540 for a consultation because this pricing is too varied and patient specific to post.

RealSelf Patient Reviews of David Janssen, MD, FACS

Pricing

A breast lift is a cosmetic procedure, which is not paid for by insurance. In general, a full breast lift costs approximately $8000, while moderate breast lifts cost approximately $7000.  A mini breast lift is also available, but almost no patients qualify for the minimal lift it provides.  Most patients wait until the sagging is more pronounced before undergoing surgery.  The pricing is subject to change, and is different if the surgery is done at another facility, if implants are used, if there are unique circumstances surrounding the surgery, etc.  Exparel®, which can be added to the surgical site to alleviate post-operative pain, costs $350.

Many breast lifts are performed with the addition of breast implants.  Bundling a breast augmentation with a breast lift provides almost 30% savings.  A one stage breast augmentation with a moderate breast lift with silicone implants and Exparel® costs approximately $11,000.  A similar procedure with a full breast lift costs $12,000.  Using Ideal structured saline implants costs $1200 more.  A planned revision for the breast augmentation/breast lift combination costs $400.

The use of Stratamed® immediately after wound closure and for several weeks afterwards, is highly recommended for optimal healing.  It is included in the above pricing.  Stratamed is the first film-forming silicone gel-based wound dressing approved for the use on open wounds and compromised skin. Depending on the length of the incision, a tube of Stratamed® costs $35-$95.

There are many financing options available. However, payment by cash gives the patient an additional 5% discount. There could be additional discounts, which are too varied to be mentioned here. The non-refundable $80 cosmetic consultation fee can be applied towards the cost of the procedure.

Best Candidates

Candidates for breast lift surgery:

  • Are physically healthy and maintain a stable weight
  • Do not smoke
  • Are bothered by the feeling that their breasts sag or have lost shape and volume
  • Have breasts which have a flat, elongated shape or are pendulous
  • Have unsupported nipples which fall below the breast crease
  • Have nipples and areolas pointing downward
  • Have stretched skin and enlarged areolas
  • Have one breast lower than the other

Front Comparison Side by SideOnly after child bearing is completed should breast surgery should be considered. Changes that occur in the breasts during pregnancy can minimize or reverse the improvement a breast lift provides. Likewise, significant weight loss after breast surgery can negatively impact breast appearance.

Breast lift surgery does not significantly change the size of the breasts or round out the upper part of the breast. If the goal is fuller breasts, consider breast augmentation along with breast lift surgery. If the goal is smaller breasts, consider combining breast lift and breast reduction surgery.

Procedure for Breast Lift

A breast lift can be performed through a variety of incision patterns and techniques. The appropriate technique is determined based on breast size and shape, the size and position of the areolas, the degree of breast sagging, and skin quality and elasticity as well as the amount of extra skin.

shutterstock_238304062Anesthesia is administered for the patient’s comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. The anesthesiologist will recommend the best option.

There are three common incision patterns: around the areola, around the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease, and around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease. After the incision is made, the underlying breast tissue is lifted and reshaped to improve breast contour and firmness. The nipple and areola are repositioned to a natural, more youthful height. If necessary, enlarged areolas are reduced by excising skin at the perimeter. Excess breast skin is removed to compensate for a loss of elasticity. The remaining skin is tightened as the incisions are closed.

breast reductionSome incision lines resulting from breast lift are concealed in the natural breast contours; however, others are visible on the breast surface. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time. The plastic surgeon will recommend the incision which best suits the patient’s anatomy.

Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts. Sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape may be used to close the skin.

Discuss your breast lift options with the experienced surgeons of Fox Valley Plastic Surgery. Contact Fox Valley Plastic Surgery today at (920) 233-1540 to schedule a consultation.

Real Patient Story

Read about Mandy’s experience with her breast augmentation and other real patient stories in the Real Patient Stories section of our website. Although she is an employee of ours, we treated her like we would any other patient. She got her breast augmentation for all the right reasons, and is thrilled with the results. On the fence about the procedure? Feel free to call Mandy in our office to get real and honest answers.

Procedure for Breast Lift with Implants

250x250-vectra-brownThe techniques used to achieve lift and augmentation depend on the degree of breast sagging and the degree of enlargement desired by the patient. In general, most women want large implants with their breast lifts. This presents a challenge to the surgeon. Comparing a breast to an envelope illustrates the dilemma. Someone wants to overstuff an envelope, while decreasing the size of the envelope at the same time. This describes a breast augmentation combined with a breast list. The two procedures are very difficult to do well in one operation.

Several techniques have been devised to combine a breast lift with implants. They differ in the work done on the gland to move it up and reattach it higher on the chest wall where it used to be. They also differ in the type of skin pattern using an anchor, lollipop or doughnut pattern. A lot of combinations are possible between muscle, gland and skin, but the basic principles are the same as well as the problems.

One Stage Approach
The most common problem encountered in a breast lift with implants done in one stage is due to the effect of the implant on the tissue. A good result can be and is achieved in most cases. However, in cases where the muscle is thin, and the skin is thin and stretched, the implant will further stretch, thin and deform the skin by the sheer pressure of the implant. A good result can be expected only when the tissues are very good and a small implant is used. However, it is difficult to know definitively the condition of the tissues before the surgery. Surgeons cannot predict how the tissues will tolerate and support the implant. The bigger the implant, the more difficult the procedure becomes. The rate of touch-up or secondary procedure can be as high as 30% in the one stage breast augmentation/breast lift approach.

This patient had a bilateral breast augmentation with a circumvertical mastopexy.

This patient had a bilateral breast augmentation with a circumvertical mastopexy.

Two Stage Approach
The two stage approach is the most reliable method. Women are more reluctant to the idea of the procedure in two stages. Although it requires two surgeries with two recovery periods, and costs significantly more, there is a much higher chance of good results and less scarring while minimizing tissue damage and complications. In addition, at the time of the second stage, adjustments can be made to improve the shape, size, level and symmetry between the two breasts.

The first stage consists of placing the implants under the muscle (the breast augmentation). Two months later the second stage is performed (the breast lift). Now the scar tissue has formed around the implant, and a stable and more predictable breast lift can be performed. Most of the reshaping of the breast is achieved intraoperatively. Only a submuscular pocket is used, which minimizes the dissection and the risk of complications.

One Stage Approach with Planned Revision
It is extremely difficult to perform a good tight breast lift with breast augmentation in one operation. Increasing the content of the pocket while decreasing the size of the pocket itself is a paradox, which can lead to post surgical complications and unsatisfactory results. Watch Dr. Janssen’s video for an explanation of the complexity of this procedure.  Fox Valley Plastic Surgery has devised a unique method in which the breast augmentation and breast lift are done in one procedure, but with a planned minor revision in 4-6 months. With this method the position and size of the implant are the most important considerations. The surgeons are conservative on the excision of the skin and the lower pole of the breast. Leaving the skin loose in the lower pole of the breast and allowing it to heal for 4-6 months is a very safe method of tackling the difficult procedure. At the revision, which is an office based visit under local anesthesia, the skin is tightened to give the patient a wonderful long term result without risk to the implant. This method saves the patient thousands of dollars over the two stage method, and reduces the risk of complications in trying to do the procedure in one step.

For more information regarding breast augmentation with a breast lift, please watch Dr. Janssen’s video “Surgical Challenge of a Breast Lift with Implants.”

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Preparing for Surgery

  • Smoking must be stopped one month prior to surgery.
  • All aspirin and blood thinners must be stopped 10 days prior.
  • Patients must have a baseline mammogram within the 1 year prior to surgery.
  • Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery, and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.

Smokers are always at high risk for health troubles, but particularly so during and after surgery. Smokers face longer healing times, blood clots, wounds that break open, and greater risk of infection. For these reasons, FVPS requires that smoking cease one month before and one month after for breast lift surgeries, which are adversely effected by the decrease in blood flow caused by nicotine. Read our comprehensive explanation of how smoking impacts healing.

FVPS will notify patients if they are affected by this policy. At the pre-operative appointment which normally occurs two days before surgery, patients must take a cotinine test, which detects the presence of nicotine. Test results are immediately available with this quick blood test. If the test is positive, then surgery will be cancelled and the patient loses the 10% booking fee. If they cannot quit smoking, smokers should not schedule a surgery.

Recovery

shutterstock_263049914During breast lift recovery, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions after the procedure is completed. Patients will need to wear an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.

While it is important to rest frequently during the first week, patients must walk 15-20 minutes four times a day to help to prevent blood clots from forming. Two days after surgery, daily showering may commence. The gauze dressings can be removed, but the adhesive strips should remain in place for about two weeks. Clean the incisions with soap and water, and pat dry.

QuestionsThe incisions may have a puckered or skin pleated appearance, which disappears in a few weeks. Bruising is common in the lower part of the breast, which fades in approximately ten days. There may be an alteration in nipple areola sensibility, either increased or decreased. It may take months for this to disappear.

Do not subject the surgical incisions to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. The final results of the breast lift will appear over the next few months as breast shape and position continue to settle. Incision lines are permanent, but will continue to fade over time. The results are long lasting, but over time, the breasts continue to change due to aging and gravity.

shutterstock_386566087The ability to return to work at a desk job depends on a patient’s individual healing ability, pain tolerance and motivation. Breast lift patients typically take off 1-3 days before returning to a desk job. The patient can return to her desk job on the next day only if she is highly motivated; the patient will feel uncomfortable. Lifting is absolutely forbidden for the first 5-7 days, so an early return to work is not suggested for patients with active jobs. Strenuous activity should be avoided for the first two weeks. Lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds should be avoided for the first 6 weeks.

At your personal consultation, all your questions about breast lift will be answered by an experienced board certified plastic surgeon. Contact Fox Valley Plastic Surgery today at (920) 233-1540 to schedule a consultation.

Potential Risks

Patients will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that they fully understand the procedure and any breast lift risks and potential complications. Breast lift risks include:

  • Anesthesia risks
  • Bleeding or hematoma formation
  • Infection
  • Poor healing of incisions
  • Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
  • Breast contour and shape irregularities
  • Breast asymmetry
  • Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Possibility of revision

Meet Our Surgeons

Dr. David Janssen and Dr. William Doubek combine experience, refined surgical techniques, and artistry to produce beautiful results for their plastic and reconstructive surgery patients.

Dysport with Cosmetic Surgery

Consultation

The non-refundable $80 cosmetic consultation fee can be applied towards the cost of the procedure.  During a breast lift consultation, be prepared to discuss:

250x250-vectra-brown

  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use
  • Previous surgeries
  • If you have a family history of breast cancer
  • The results of any mammograms or previous biopsies

The surgeon will also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Examine your breasts and may take detailed measurements of their size and shape, skin quality, and placement of your nipples and areolas
  • Take photographs
  • Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss likely outcomes of breast lift surgery and any risks or potential complications

Reclaim your youthful profile with a breast lift. Milwaukee, Appleton, Madison and Neenah residents, and those from throughout the area are perfecting their personal Renaissance with the help of our board certified Wisconsin plastic surgeons. Contact Dr. David Janssen or Dr. William Doubek at (920) 233-1540 or request your consultation online.

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Oshkosh, WI (920) 233-1540

Oshkosh Location

Oshkosh Location
  • Fox Valley Plastic Surgery
  • 2400 Witzel Avenue, Suite A
  • Oshkosh, WI 54904
  • (920) 233-1540
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  • Monday: 8 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Thursday: 8 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m.–12 p.m.

Appleton Location

Appleton Location
  • Fox Valley Plastic Surgery
  • 2500 East Capitol Drive #1500
  • Appleton, WI 54911
  • (920) 358-1810
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  • Monday–Thursday: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m.–12 p.m.

Wisconsin plastic surgeons Drs. David Janssen and William Doubek perform breast augmentation, breast lift, laser hair removal, vein treatment, face lift, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and liposuction. They serve Wisconsin communities including Oshkosh, Appleton, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison, Fond du Lac and Neenah.

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