Mastopexy (Breast Lift)

A Mastopexy, most commonly known as a breast lift, is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and manipulate the surrounding tissues in order to reshape the breasts.


Over time, the body naturally loses some of its elasticity, which will cause the breast tissue to sag or droop. Additionally, events such as pregnancies, breast feeding, major fluctuations in body weight and even genetics may contribute, and even hasten, a change in your breast shape and position. A breast lift can take breasts that have lost their shape or firmness and restore them.

It is important to note that although the Mastopexy (Breast Lift) Procedure has proven effective in reducing the enlargement of the areolas, it cannot significantly increase or decrease the size of the breasts – only reshape. To achieve a change in breast size, a method of breast augmentation is appropriate. For women looking to restore the former shape and firmness of their breast, the Mastopexy Procedure continues to be a popular alternative to implants. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Mastopexy Procedure has seen an increase of 70% since the year 2000.

If you notice that your breasts sag or have lost their shape by becoming flatter or elongated. If you see that the position of your breast has changed, with one lower than the other. Perhaps you are bothered by stretched skin and enlarged areolas. If any of these conditions best describes your particular situation, you are a likely a candidate for a Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Procedure.

To be recommended by Dr. Kuhlman-Wood for a Mastopexy (Breast Lift), you will need to be physically healthy. In addition, you should maintain a stable weight, as any major weight changes after a Breast Lift may reverse the results and require an additional surgical correction.

If you are a smoker, you will be required to quit for at least four (4) weeks prior to surgery and remain smoke free until your surgical results have been fully achieved. Smoking has been proven to interfere with the body’s naturally healing process. For your safety and to achieve the desired surgical outcome, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood screens for Nicotine prior to surgery.

During your initial consultation with Dr. Kuhlman-Wood, be prepared to discuss the following:
  • Why you want a Mastopexy (breast lift)
  • What are your expectations
  • What are your desired outcomes. Please be aware that desired outcomes beyond the physical quality of your breast may also be discussed.
  • Your previous Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments.
  • Your Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.
  • Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will ask about your Family history of breast cancer and results of any mammograms or previous biopsies.
  • Any Dramatic changes in weight, if it applies.
  • Any Major social changes, such as divorces, deaths in your family, or new relationships.

Schedule Your Mastopexy Consultation

In addition to a meaningful discussion, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will more than likely discuss and do the following:
  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors.
  • If applicable, and with your written consent, take photographs for "Before & After" comparisons.
  • Discuss your plastic surgery options and recommend a course of treatment, including non-surgical options that may be available.
  • Discuss likely outcomes as-well-as any risks or potential complications.

At Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery™, our entire staff is committed to providing a frictionless surgical experience. It begins with listening to your needs and continues through appropriate education and care across your entire surgical experience. This includes providing you the care you need while you recover.

Where will my Mastopexy be performed?

Dr. Kuhlman-Wood performs all Mastopexy Procedures at either Northwest Specialty Hospital or PleasantView Surgery Center. Both facilities are Doctor-owned and have impeccable records of patient success and satisfaction. Factors such as schedule availability, procedural complexity and your individual needs will determine the location of your procedure.

What should I expect on the day of Surgery?

On the day of your Mastopexy procedure, you will check in at the front desk and be placed in the pre-operative section of the surgical center. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will meet you prior to surgery to answer any questions you may have, calm your nerves and verify you are ready for the procedure. During this time, an IV will be placed to delivery the necessary Anesthesia (Anesthesia types vary depending on patient and procedure). Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will have determined an individualized technique for your procedure depending upon the shape and size of your breasts, position and size of your areolas, the amount of sagging and extra skin, and the overall elasticity of your skin. Using a special marker, she will place marks on your body to serve as her surgical guides.

In surgery, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will make incisions appropriate to your individual findings. The tissue of the breast will be lifted and manipulated to improve the firmness and shape, and the areola and nipple will be repositioned. The areolas will be reduced if necessary, and excess skin will be removed. After these steps are completed, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will tighten the remaining skin and close the incisions with sutures, stitches, skin adhesives, surgical tape, or some combination of these materials. It is important to note that incision lines can sometimes be hidden by natural breast contours, but ones that are visible on the surface of the breast will fade over time.

Recovering after your Mastopexy

Dressings and/or bandages will be placed over the incisions after the procedure is complete. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood and her staff will provide you with individualized instructions detailing your post-operative care. These instructions will detail information about your dressings, how long you’ll need to wear them, how to change them, and how to keep your incisions clean and free of infection. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood may have you wear a support bra or elastic bandage in order to minimize post-operative swelling as-well-as support your breast’s new shape and size – especially as they begin to heal.

Small tubes called drains may need to be placed underneath your skin in order to collect any fluid or blood that may result as a natural part of the body’s healing process. The staff at Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery™ will schedule your necessary follow-up visits to have any drains or non-dissolving stitches removed. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will prescribe and council you on the appropriate medications to take to prevent infection, aid in your healing, and reduce pain. She will also provide guidance on when it is appropriate to resume your normal daily activities, like exercise and work.

There are many factors that can determine the cost of a Mastopexy (Breast Lift). However, you should expect to pay between $7,000 and $10,000. This includes Dr. Kuhlman-Wood’s surgical fee, the cost of anesthesia, facility fees for the hospital and/or surgical center, medical tests, clothing and bandages required after the procedure, and prescriptions for pain medication and antibiotics. It also includes 90 days of post-operative care.

Health insurance plans typically do not cover the Mastopexy (Breast Lift) Procedure; however, Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery™ does offer financing to help break up the cost over time. Although monetary cost is important, it is only one of several factors to consider. It is equally important to find a surgeon who is board-certified by the ABPS, trustworthy, and close enough to reduce travel time between visits – especially after your procedure. Perhaps most importantly, choose a surgeon with whom you are comfortable to share in your surgical journey.

RealSelf Patient Reviews of Kate Kuhlman-Wood, MD