Overview A breast lift is a surgical procedure performed by a plastic surgeon to change the shape of the breasts. During a breast lift, a plastic surgeon removes excess skin and reshapes breast tissue to raise the breasts. A breast lift is also known as mastopexy. You might choose to have a breast lift if […]
A breast lift is a surgical procedure performed by a plastic surgeon to change the shape of the breasts. During a breast lift, a plastic surgeon removes excess skin and reshapes breast tissue to raise the breasts. A breast lift is also known as mastopexy.
You might choose to have a breast lift if your breasts sag or your nipples point downward. A breast lift might also boost your self-image and self-confidence.
A breast lift won’t change the size of your breasts. However, a breast lift can be done with breast augmentation or breast reduction.
Why it’s done
Breasts change with age. They often lose firmness. And they become less elastic, which means the skin doesn’t snap back into place after being stretched. There are many causes for these kinds of breast changes, including:
- Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the bands of tissue that support the breasts (ligaments) might stretch. This happens as the breasts get fuller and heavier. The stretching might cause sagging breasts after pregnancy. This may happen whether or not you breastfeed your baby.
- Weight changes. Changes in weight can cause the breast skin to stretch. It also can cause breast skin to become less elastic.
- Gravity. Over time, gravity causes ligaments in the breasts to stretch and sag.
A breast lift can reduce sagging and raise the position of the nipples. The surgery can also lift the darker areas surrounding the nipples (areolae). The size of the areolae may be made smaller to keep them in proportion to the newly shaped breasts.
You might consider a breast lift if:
- Your breasts sag — they’ve lost shape and volume, or they’ve gotten flatter and longer
- Your nipples fall below your breast creases when your breasts aren’t supported
- Your nipples and areolae point downward
- Your areolae have stretched out of proportion to your breasts
- One of your breasts falls lower than the other
A breast lift isn’t for everyone. If you plan to become pregnant in the future, you might delay getting a breast lift. Your breasts could stretch during pregnancy and offset the results of the breast lift.
Breastfeeding may be another reason to delay a breast lift. Although breastfeeding is usually possible after the procedure, it may be harder to produce enough milk.
While a breast lift can be done on breasts of any size, those with smaller breasts will likely have longer lasting results. Larger breasts are heavier, which makes them more likely to sag again.
You’ll notice a change in the appearance of your breasts right away. Their shape will continue to change and settle over the next few months.
Initially, scars will appear red and lumpy. While scars are permanent, they’ll soften and become thin within 1 to 2 years. Scars from a breast lift can usually be hidden by bras and bathing suits.
You might notice that your bra size is a little smaller after a breast lift. That may happen even if you haven’t had a breast reduction in combination with the procedure. This is simply a result of your breasts becoming firmer and rounder.
Breast lift results might not be permanent. As you age, your skin will naturally become less elastic. Some sagging might occur, especially if you have larger, heavier breasts. Keeping a stable, healthy weight can help you retain your results.