Breast Lift


Every woman wants perky breasts. They look more youthful because they’re firm and lifted. Unfortunately, certain life conditions like pregnancy, genetics and weight gain/loss can take the “air out of the tire”, so to speak, causing your breasts to deflate and sag. A breast lift or mastopexy is a surgical procedure to tighten the “skin brassiere”. The result is a fuller looking breast that sits high on the chest wall. A breast lift can rejuvenate a patient’s entire torso. It can also seriously boost your self-confidence, not to mention your ability to wear the clothes that you’d like without feeling fat or matronly.

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Bruce Van Natta is an expert in all areas of breast surgery. An early adopter to new innovations, he not only prides himself on thinking outside the box, but he is often the guy teaching other surgeons about these cutting edge techniques. His goal with every breast lift surgery is to deliver the best possible outcome for your individual anatomy. This always begins with a consultation at his Indianapolis office.

Breast Lift Consultation

Patients today come into a consultation more educated than ever before thanks to the internet and the media. But there still seems to be quite a bit of confusion when it comes to the breast lift. Patients always want to know whether or not they can restore their sagging breasts with a breast implant. And Dr. Van Natta’s answer is always the same: “It depends”.

The right breast procedure for you is going to depend on your anatomy, goals and lifestyle. During your consultation, Dr. Van Natta will listen closely to what exactly bothers you about your breasts. He will then perform a physical exam to assess your skin elasticity or “bounce back”, the volume and firmness of your natural breast tissue, and the relationship between your nipple and your inframammary fold or crease beneath your breast. The latter is one of the main determining factors when it comes to a breast lift.

In a youthful, perky looking breast, the nipple faces forward, centered on your breast mound. So, a good rule of thumb is that if your nipple veers towards the ground, sitting at or below the inframammary fold, a breast lift is probably going to be the procedure of choice for you. It may be performed alone in patients who are already happy with the size of their breasts or combined with a breast augmentation for those who want a little more volume.

Who is an Ideal Candidate for a Breast Lift?

There are any number of “life” factors that may adversely affect the skin and tissues of your breasts causing them to droop or sag. These include:

  • pregnancy
  • breast feeding
  • age
  • weight gain/loss
  • hormones
  • previous breast augmentation with a too large implant

Any woman with sagging breasts who is in good overall health, and who does not smoke is a candidate for a breast lift. It is best with any surgery that a patient be within 20 pounds of a maintainable goal weight. And, with a breast lift in particular, that you are finished having children. The reason for this is that significant weight gain or loss may re-stretch your newly restored breast skin and tissues, resulting in revision surgery down the road. And no one wants more surgery than absolutely necessary.

The Breast Lift Procedure

Dr. Van Natta employs a few different techniques in his breast lift surgeries:

  • standard mastopexy
  • mastopexy with an implant
  • breast lift with fat grafting
  • mini breast lift

The right one for you is solely going to depend on your breast anatomy and desired outcome. A standard mastopexy is the treatment of choice for patients who are happy with their current breast volume, but whose breasts sag or droop. During this procedure, Dr. Van Natta will make an anchor shaped incision on the breast in order to trim the excess skin. This is what allows him to tighten the breast envelope and lift your breasts up to a higher position on the chest wall.

A common problem with a standard mastopexy, however, is that while it initially pushes up the breast tissue and creates the upper-pole fullness that most patients desire, this doesn’t tend to last. So, for patients who want a bit more fullness, Dr. Van Natta may combine your breast lift with a breast augmentation using a small implant and/or fat grafting. The right choice is going to depend on the amount of volume that you desire. All of these options will be discussed with you in detail during your initial consultation.

A mini breast lift is appealing to patients because this approach has the smallest incision. But it’s not right for everyone. It’s best for patients who only need a small amount of correction. In this procedure, Dr. Van Natta will make a crescent-shaped incision just above the areola where any scar will blend easily into the edge of the nipple. He may combine this with a wedge shaped incision in the crease of the breast. Furthermore, with all of his breast lift procedures, Dr. Van Natta routinely uses GALAFlex mesh to support the weight of the breast like an internal bra. The mesh helps maintain the beautiful result obtained on the table for many years to come.

Breast Lift Scars Heal Very Nicely

The number one draw back for patients who are considering a breast lift is the scars. The breasts can be such an integral part of a woman’s identity that the idea of visible scaring on the chest is anxiety producing. But here’s the bottom line: scars on the breast typically heal very well. Genetics play a role, but there are also things that you can do to help your incision lines heal smoothly. The most important is to see a surgeon like Dr. Van Natta who practices precise surgical techniques to close the skin. This is the best way to insure that your incision lines will be as smooth and inconspicuous as possible. Most women don’t even notice their incision lines a year out from surgery. Or they are too happy with their results to even care.

Breast Lift Recovery

Dr. Van Natta performs his breast lift surgeries as an outpatient procedure at the Meridian Plastic Surgery Center. Patients go home after surgery and most only need a few days to recover. While you can expect to be bruised and swollen for the first couple of weeks, there is not a huge degree of pain. Patients experience more of a burning, stinging discomfort. Most do quite well with only an over-the-counter pain medication, such as Motrin or Aleve.

You will need to wear a sports bra while you heal, but can return to your daily activities within a few days. Most patients can return to light exercise after a week or so, but Dr. Van Natta does ask his breast lift patients to limit repeated outstretching of the arms. So, no upper body work, sweeping, raking or cleaning the counter tops.

While it may take anywhere from 3-6 months for the swelling to fully subside and for you to see your final final results, you will notice a marked improvement in your body contour almost immediately.

To find out more about a breast lift with Dr. Bruce Van Natta at Meridian Plastic Surgeons in Indianapolis, contact us today or call (317) 575-0330 to schedule a consultation.