Average Cost
Procedure Time
2-5 hours
General or local with intravenous sedation
Recovery Time
7-14 days
Duration of Results

What you should know

What Is A Breast Lift?

As gravity takes over, the breasts begin to sag. Add in skin changes, weight-gain or -loss and pregnancy, and it’s no surprise that your once-perky breasts are now in need of a little help. A breast lift, also known as a mastoplexy, is the only way to reposition the breast back to where it belongs. The goal of a breast lift is to restore the breasts to a higher, more youthful position. Most sagging results from overstretched skin and breast lift surgery removes the excess skin and tightens underlying breast tissue so the breast is supported in a higher position.

Think of the breasts as balloons during pregnancy—while you’re carrying, they grow to make room for the expanding milk ducts; then, the glands shrink and the breasts lose fullness and volume. If the nipples point upward or forward, you probably don’t need a lift but maybe just some volume restoration. If they point downward, then you probably need a breast lift. If you want a long-lasting solution, you may want to consider a breast lift. But just lifting the breasts won’t solve the problem in everyone. If there is a loss of volume and sagging skin then you probably need a lift with an implant to recapture the shape.

A breast lift leaves behind more scarring than an augmentation does. For those that are opposed to the idea of having large scars on their breasts, and are good candidates, going with an implant that may be a bit larger will give some lift and produce far smaller scars. An incision is made at or around the areola, vertically down the areola and down the breast crease or horizontally at the breast crease. The incision your doctor chooses to use is based on the size and shape or your breasts and the size and shape of the nipple area.

Breast Lift with Implants

Women who have had multiple pregnancies may benefit more from a breast lift with implants. The significant increase in breast size during pregnancy has a major impact on the breasts. Two things can happen to the breasts after giving birth and breastfeeding, although the extent of these changes varies from woman to woman: the ligaments can stretch so they are no longer able to suspend the breast in its pre-pregnancy position, and the skin may not shrink back when breast size decreases after giving birth. A breast lift addresses both of these issues, but does not change the amount of breast tissue a woman has, so many women opt to have implants placed in along with their lift. In addition to increasing size, this can boost firmness as well. An implant can act like an internal splint, possibly helping to prevent further sagging down the line.

What to Expect With a Breast Lift

You can expect breast lift scars from incisions to begin to fade within three months; topical steroid cream or silicone gel can promote healing. Common side effects include:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Swelling and minor bruising
  • Affected area tightness or discomfort
  • Redness, discomfort or itching at the incision sites
  • Heightened or decreased breast sensation developing raised, red or irregular scars.

Who Should Consider a Breast Lift

A breast lift is for the woman whose breasts droop too much. She’s inherited that tendency, lost a lot of weight, or she’s experiencing post-pregnancy sagging.

You may be an ideal candidate for a breast lift, if you have these conditions:

  • Sagging breasts that lack firmness
  • Nipples that have begun to point south rather than straight ahead
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • A lifetime of weight fluctuation
  • Age-related breast sagging

In addition, surgeons grade the degree of breast sagging and the level of ptosis (the medical term for drooping) may dictate your breast lift options. It all comes down to where your nipple falls in comparison to your breast crease. You can see how you stack up by standing sideways in front of a mirror.

GRADE 1: Your nipple is above the breast fold. Often an implant alone may be able to give you a subtle lift.

GRADE 2: Your nipple is at or slightly above the fold. This level of sagging may require inserting an implant, removing excess skin or repositioning the nipple—or a combination of these approaches.

GRADE 3: Your nipple is beneath the breast crease. If an implant is going to be used, excess skin must be removed and the nipple must be repositioned.

Who Should Not Consider a Breast Lift

Anyone who is not experiencing sagging in the breasts.

Inside Tips: Breast Lift

It is common for a breast implant to be recommended along with a breast lift. Placing a breast implant can help return firmness to the breast or restore lost breast volume.

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