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Breast Lift in Chicago, Illinois

Your skin loses elasticity as you get older, and this includes your breast area. Over time, poor skin elasticity and gravity cause your breasts to sag and lose shape and firmness. Weight gain and pregnancy also cause sagging by stretching the skin.

Breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, lifts the breasts to restore a firm and perky profile. Excess skin is removed to tighten the tissue around the breasts. If you are unhappy with how low your breasts hang or want firmer breasts, breast lift surgery may be right for you. 

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What is a Breast Lift?

Breast lift surgery is a popular option for women in Chicago, IL who want to regain a firm, perky breast profile. The surgery creates a youthful, more feminine appearance to the breasts.

A breast lift removes the excess stretched skin to reshape the breast tissue. The procedure may also help if your areola or nipple point downward. If necessary, large areolae can be reduced during the surgery to restore the natural-looking proportions of the breast.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Breast Lift

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Pros: Corrects stretched skin and areolas, as well as asymmetry and unusual breast shape; Restores downward-pointing nipples to a forward-facing position; Short downtime, often as little as five days, and typically does not require prescription pain medication; Long-lasting results that last ten years on average; Low risk of complications.

Cons: Bleeding and infection, as with any surgery; Permanent scars that are hidden by a bra or bikini; Risk of changes to sensation in the breast or nipples – may last only a few weeks; Not intended to enlarge the breasts – can be combined with breast augmentation for women who want perkier, larger breasts; Breast asymmetry or irregularity; Risk of difficulties with breastfeeding, typically involves reduced breast milk production; Damage to the nipples or areolae due to disrupted blood supply.

Breast Lift FAQs

These are the most frequently asked questions about breast lifts in Chicago, IL.

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  • What are the different types of breast lifts?

    There are four basic types of breast lift techniques, and a plastic surgeon may combine techniques to produce the best possible results. Your surgeon chooses the technique that is best suited for your anatomy and degree of aesthetic improvement that is needed from the procedure.

    Crescent Lift

    A crescent lift is ideal for correcting a minimal amount of sagging. The incision runs halfway around the edge of the areola along the top margin. This technique is usually only done when the breast lift surgery is being combined with breast augmentation. As such, it is not used very often.

    Donut Lift

    The donut lift (or peri-areolar lift) is a technique that produces a single small scar, and it is recommended for mild breast sagging. A circular incision is made around the areola. As with the crescent technique, a donut lift is usually performed in conjunction with breast augmentation. Your surgeon may opt for this technique if you want to reduce the size of your areola as part of the breast lift procedure. Expect some light scarring around the edge of the areola after the surgery. Due to the placement of the incision, though, the scar is not noticeable except upon close inspection. It blends very well with the natural pigmentation of the areola.

    Lollipop Lift

    The vertical or lollipop lift is the breast lift technique that is most commonly used for moderate sagging. It allows for more extensive reshaping of the breast. During the procedure, the cosmetic surgeon removes excess skin and reshapes the entire breast. The technique requires two incisions. The first incision is around the edge of the areola, and the second incision is made from the bottom edge of the areola to the breast crease. The incision pattern looks similar to a lollipop on a stick.

    Anchor Lift

    The anchor lift is used by plastic surgeons for women who have moderate to severe breast sagging. The incision pattern resembles an anchor shape or inverted T. This technique is often used for women who are having breast reduction with a breast lift. Three incisions are made for the anchor lift. An anchor lift starts with the same incision pattern as a lollipop lift – one incision around the areola, and a second incision from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease. The third incision for an anchor lift is made along the breast crease. This technique does produce more scarring than other breast lift techniques, but the scars are still easily hidden by your bra or bikini.

  • Do I need a breast lift?

    The best way to know if a breast lift is right for you is to discuss your aesthetic goals with an experienced plastic surgeon who specializes in breast procedures. Prior to your appointment, you can perform a basic self-evaluation for breast lift surgery. Here’s what you can look for:

    • Downward pointing nipples: Excess skin on the breasts allows gravity to pull your breasts downward. Stand sideways in front of a mirror, and look for nipples that are not pointed straight out.
    • Nipple and areola position: Breast sagging lowers the position of your nipples and areola. When you look in the mirror, check to see if your nipples and areola hang lower than your breast crease.
    • Breast size when wearing a bra: Although a breast lift is not intended to enlarge your breast, they make look fuller because the tissue is surrounded by less skin. Check to see how wearing a bra changes the orientation and position of your breasts on your chest area.  
    • Asymmetrical or unusual breast shape: Some women have a natural asymmetry or tear-drop shape to their breasts, even at a young age. Breast lift surgery restores a more natural breast shape.
    • Pencil test: Place a pencil or pen under your breast along the natural crease. If the pencil stays in place, chances are good that you have sagging in the area. The breast will not hold the pencil in place if there is not sagging.


  • How do I prepare for a breast lift?

    Your breast lift surgery starts with an appointment with a plastic surgeon. The surgeon reviews your medical history, checking in particular for a history of breast cancer, as well as any medications or past surgeries. The surgeon also performs a physical exam to determine the best treatment option for your aesthetic goals. After the medical history review and exam, the surgeon discusses your expectations of cosmetic surgery and makes the most appropriate recommendations for your treatment plan. Use the appointment to ask any questions that you have about breast lift surgery, such as the expected outcome, cost, aftercare, recovery time, and longevity of the results.

    Your plastic surgeon may require some imaging and lab tests prior to the surgery, such as a mammogram. You may also need to stop taking certain medications for a short period of time before the surgery, Discuss this with your primary care doctor.

    Make arrangements with a friend or family member to drive you to the surgical appointment, pick you up after you are released, and stay with you for at least the first 24 hours after the procedure. Your plastic surgeon may also require you to stop smoking prior to the procedure. The reduces the risks of complications from the anesthesia and also helps your body heal properly after the surgery.

  • What should I expect from the surgery?

    Breast lift surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure either under local (with intravenous sedation) or general anesthesia. A relatively simple breast lift for mild sagging takes one and two hours, but it can take longer if you are having a breast augmentation or reduction at the same time. 

    Most patients are released to go home the same day after a short recovery period at the surgical facility. The surgeon wraps your breasts in a compression bandage or garment to hold the tissues in place and minimize swelling.

  • How long does recovery take after a breast lift?

    You may need a prescription pain medication after your breast lift, although some women only require a non-prescription medication for pain management. Your breasts will feel sore and tender, and there will be swelling in the area. The symptoms may last for several months. Full healing from breast lift surgery can take up to eight weeks.

    You may be able to walk and move around the same day as your breast lift, but this depends on the extent of the surgery. You may be required to rest for the first one to two days. Sleep on your back for at least the first two months. Avoid sleeping on your side or stomach.

    You may be released to return to work after one week, but this will only be for light, sedentary activities. If your job requires strenuous activity and lifting, you may need to stay home longer. Limit your exercise to only walking for the first six weeks. Your surgeon lets you know when you can return to your normal activities and exercise regimen.

  • Is a breast lift permanent?

    A breast lift is considered permanent, but any changes to your body, as well as the natural aging process, may cause sagging. On average, the results of a breast lift last for about 10 years, but you need to focus on maintaining a healthy weight. Even a small amount of weight loss or gain may affect the results of the procedure.

  • How much does a breast lift cost?

    The cost of breast lift surgery varies widely, even within Chicago, IL. Factors that affect the cost include, but are not limited to, experience of the cosmetic surgeon, complexity of the procedure, type of anesthesia, location of the surgery, and medical support staff for the surgery. When it comes to plastic surgery, though, you should avoid bargain shopping. Breast lift surgery is not covered by insurance, but many practices offer financing options. Find a good balance between cost and quality of care and results.

  • Are other surgeries combined with a breast lift?

    Breast lift surgery can be combined with breast augmentation and breast reduction. Breast augmentation with a lift is often recommended for women who have sagging due to pregnancy and want their breasts to be larger than what they had prior to pregnancy. Breast reduction with a lift is recommended for women who have breast tissue removed to reduce breast size, and the surgeon finds that there is excess skin in the area.

  • Is a breast lift safe?

    Breast lift surgery has a low mortality risk, and it is considered to be safer than many other cosmetic surgery procedures. You can minimize the risks by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon, specifically one who specializes in breast lift surgery, and by following all instructions from the surgeon before and after the procedure.

    The risks associated with breast lift surgery include:

    • Nipple, areola, or breast numbness
    • Damage to the nipple or areola if blood flow is compromised
    • Difficulty breastfeeding
  • What are the alternatives to a breast lift?

    There are no non-surgical alternatives to a breast lift that will have the same results. Breast lift tape and topical creams are sometimes recommended, but neither is effective. Breast-focused exercises won’t significantly impact sagging skin and breast tissue. 

    Non-surgical fillers and fat removal procedures aren't going to offer the same full, permanent results as breast lift surgery. Non-invasive skin tightening treatments may help to some degree.

  • How do I find a provider in Chicago, IL who specializes in breast lift surgery?

    A breast lift is a type of surgery, even though it is elective. As such, there are laws that govern who can perform the surgery, as well as where it can be performed in Chicago, IL. Work with a surgeon who is licensed to perform surgeries in Chicago, IL and has many years of experience in breast lift surgery. This is the best way to ensure that you have complete peace of mind and feel confident in your decision to have a breast lift.

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Jul 19, 2024

I wish there was an option to give more than five stars because it doesn’t feel like it’s enough. Dr. Fine, Michelle, Karen, Barb and the ENTIRE NSPS team deserve a 10-star, 5 Diamond, AAA+ and all other things amazing rating.

And while the circumstances that brought me to the NSPS office were far from ideal, I am overjoyed to write this review because of my experience and I hope it helps others. I completed my last surgery at the end of October and have spent a lot of time thinking about how to accurately articulate just how outstanding Dr. Fine and the NSPS team is – (I don’t think enough superlatives exist to do this, but I will try).

At 39 years old, and zero history of breast cancer, I was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in 2017. To say it was devastating, unimaginable news, is an understatement. I was ready to do whatever my oncologist surgeon recommended -- he’s the expert. But when you’re actually told the best course of action is a bilateral mastectomy, it is overwhelming.

That’s when I was given the names of a few plastic surgeons to research and pick one to be on ‘my team.’ I know my guardian angel, or someone from above, was looking out for me big time when they guided me to Dr. Fine and NSPS.

Simply put, not only is Dr. Fine a surgical maestro, he is also a caring, kind, understanding and empathetic human. I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction plus a subsequent three surgeries, (due to complications from chemo). I couldn’t be happier with the results. Physically, I look better than I did before the surgeries.

But, my experience with Dr. Fine was far more than just the masterful work of one of the nation’s top (if not the top) plastic surgeons. It was a long process – and there were bumps along the way with chemo. I spent a lot of time at the NSPS office. And sent a lot of texts.

Michelle, Dr. Fine’s Physician’s Assistant, was with me every step – she’s been with Dr. Fine for a number of years and is the definition of top-notch. She patiently answered all of my questions (as ridiculous as they might be), replied to all of my texts and was someone I could count on to be there. Her passion for her work is palpable. And her genuine care for her patients unmatched.

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For as unbelievably awful as it is to receive a cancer diagnosis, it is just as unbelievably amazing to have people like Dr. Fine, Michelle, Karen, Barb + team there to get you through it. I do believe Dr. Fine, Michelle, Karen, Barb and the entire staff are angels masquerading as people.

I'll never forget a nurse telling me after I was diagnosed that I was living in 'extraordinary times.' She was right. The care I received from Dr. Fine, Michelle, Karen and the entire NSPS team was extraordinary. I’m so very blessed they were with me during the scariest time of my life (so far). And I thank my lucky stars for them every day.

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