What is breast lift surgery?
A 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.
New statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show breast lifts have grown 70% since 2000, outpacing breast implants 2-to-1.
Sometimes the areola becomes enlarged over time, and a breast lift will reduce this as well.
A breast lift can rejuvenate your figure with a breast profile that is more youthful and uplifted.A woman’s breasts often change over time, losing their youthful shape and firmness. These changes and loss of skin elasticity can result from:
- Weight fluctuations
What breast lift surgery won’t do
Breast lift surgery does not significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast.If you want your breasts to look fuller, consider breast lift and breast augmentation surgery.
If you want smaller breasts, consider combining breast lift and breast reduction surgery.
Breast lift candidates
You may be a good breast lift candidate if:
- You are physically healthy and maintain a stable weight
- You do not smoke
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts sag or have lost shape and volume
- Your breasts have a flatter, elongated shape or are pendulous
- When unsupported, your nipples fall below the breast crease
- Your nipples and areolas point downward
- You have stretched skin and enlarged areolas
- One breast is lower than the other
Breast lift surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
Breast lift recovery
During your breast lift recovery, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions after the procedure is completed.
You’ll need to wear an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling and support your 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.You will be given specific instructions that may include:
- How to care for your breasts following surgery
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
- When to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual breast lift recovery period.
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
- Are stitches removed? When?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
Breast lift results
The results of your breast lift surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade.
You can view breast lift before and after photos in our gallery.
Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover from surgery.The final results of your 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 of your breast lift surgery will be longlasting.Over time, your breasts can continue to change due to aging and gravity. You’ll be able to retain your new look longer if you:
- Maintain your weight
- Keep a healthy lifestyle
Following your physician’s instructions is essential to the success of your surgery.
It’s important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
Breast lift surgery and pregnancy
Breast surgery should be entertained after child bearing is completed.
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 risks and safety
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of breast lift surgery are acceptable.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any breast lift risks and potential complications.
Breast lift risks include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Bleeding or hematoma formation
- 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 revisional surgery
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all of your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
Breast lift and breast implant placement
Some women may want to consider placement of a breast implant in addition to the breast lift.
An implant can provide improved upper breast fullness or cleavage. Implants can be placed at the same time or as a second procedure, depending on the experience of the surgeon.