FAQS Breast Lift Surgery

What are some of the most common benefits of breast lift surgery? 

A breast lift can successfully reposition saggy, droopy breasts into firmer, shapelier 

ones that are located higher on a woman's chest. As a result, a better-proportioned 

body is produced, enhancing the patient's appearance and potentially elevating their 


What will happen at the initial consultation? 

During the consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss the changes that you 

would like to make to your appearance. Because plastic surgery is a highly personal 

decision, you'll want to take time to address all of your concerns and desires. 

At this time, your doctor should explain the breast lift surgery procedure, including 

what kind of anesthesia he/she will be using. Your medical history should then be 

discussed, and a visual examination performed. 

Your surgeon should also measure your breasts and take photographs, and he/she may 

possibly require a mammogram (breast x-ray). The physician should also discuss the 

new placement of your nipples and ask if you want to reduce the size of your areolas 

(the darker skin around once the surgery is scheduled, you should receive specific pre- 

surgery instructions on what you may eat and drink, and whether or not you should 

smoke. the nipples). 

How is breast lift surgery done? 

Several different techniques can be used during breast lift surgery, depending on the 

degree of sagging that you experience. Breast lift surgery consists of removing excess 

skin from around the areola, and possibly also from the bottom of the breast, and then 

tightening the skin. The insertion of breast implants for additional volume and 

smoothing of the skin may also be required for an optimal outcome. With these 

surgical steps, the position of the nipple, areola, and breasts can be elevated to a more 

youthful position. 

The specific breast lift techniques may vary, but they generally fall into two 

categories: the concentric (or doughnut) mastopexy for women with smaller and less 

droopy breasts, and the more common anchor-shaped mastopexy . In general, the more 

tissue that is cut, the more shaping that is possible. For women who experience 

extensive sagging, the skin has stretched so much that a smaller incision will not 

remove enough tissue to lift the breast. In these cases, the larger incision is necessary. 

The Concentric (doughnut) Breast Lift: 

For women with smaller and less severely drooping breasts, this procedure (which 

requires fewer incisions) may be possible. In some instances, the physician may 

administer a local anesthesia with a sedative instead of general anesthesia. 

Concentric circles (like a doughnut) around the areola are drawn and cut. The 

doughnut-shaped skin around the areola is removed and the nipple and areola 

repositioned higher. Then, the outer skin is stitched around the areola. Sometimes the 

skin that is sewn to the areola may wrinkle because there is more skin than needed. 

Often, the wrinkling will subside in just a few weeks to months after surgery as the 

skin envelope adapts to the new shape and weight of the tissues. 

If your surgeon does not think that this technique will produce the desired results, 

he/she may instead elect to make a cut that descends from the areola down to the 

bottom fold of the breast where it meets the chest. A strip of skin is removed along 

this cut and the two sides stitched together. Even with this additional vertical cut, 

these breast lift scars are less extensive than the more common anchor-shaped breast 


Anchor-shaped Breast Lift: 

For women with larger or more severely drooping, sagging breasts, the anchor-shaped 

breast lift surgery is more effective. 

The physician will draw a key-hole shape above the nipple and areola. At the bottom 

of the key-hole, he/she will draw an anchor shape from the right to the left side of the 


The skin in the (upper cross-hatched) area of the "anchor" will be removed along with 

some excess breast tissue. The nipple and areola are moved up to the (lower cross- 

hatched) "key-hole," then the skin is sutured around the areola, vertically down to the 

chest, and side to side along the newly-created bottom fold of the breast 

How long does the breast lift procedure take? 

Breast lift surgery usually takes about one to three hours to complete. The length of 

the procedure varies according to the technique used. 

Do I have to stay in the hospital? 

Usually, breast lift surgery is performed in a surgical suite on an outpatient basis, so 

an overnight visit isn’t necessary. This allows you to return home within a few hours 

of the surgery, and spend the night in the comfort of your own home. However, if a 

large amount of tissue is removed from the breasts, it may be necessary to spend the 

night in the hospital so your recovery process can be monitored by a medical staff. 

Most often, breast lift surgery is carried out under general anesthesia. If the procedure 

requires fewer incisions, a patient may be given a local anesthetic combined with 

intravenous sedation under observed anesthesia care. 

What can I expect after a breast lift? 

 After the operation, you will notice an immediate and dramatic change in the shape of 

your breasts. Most women are very pleased with what they see after surgery. Some 

numbness is normal after surgery and may persist permanently. 

What is the recovery period like? 

Your breasts will probably be sore for two or three days. The pain is greatest within 

the first 48 hours, but improves with each day and can typically be relieved by pain 


The gauze dressing will be removed after a couple of days, and the stitches are 

removed about two weeks after breast lift surgery. Your breasts will be bruised, and 

you may experience temporary numbness around the nipples as well as random 

shooting pains. These conditions generally subside within several weeks. 

For the first few days, you need to limit your activities and movement in order to 

prevent breaking the stitches and stretching the breast lift scars. Most women can 

return to work about two weeks later, although overhead lifting and strenuous 

movements should be avoided for several weeks to ensure proper healing. Your 

physician will provide you with a schedule for resuming your normal routines. 

You will wear a surgical bra that supplies support to your breasts for a few weeks to a 

couple of months after your breast lift surgery (an under wire bra is not recommended 

as it may cause a blister on the delicate postoperative tissues). 

Most bruising, swelling, pain, and loss of sensation should subside within three to six 

weeks. However, it may take up to a year for your breasts to settle completely into 

their new look and feel. Over time, your breast lift scars will fade but may remain red 

and bumpy for many months. 

Finally, you should continue with monthly self-examinations for breast cancer as well 

as regular mammograms as advised by your doctor. 

What is the long-term outcome like for most people? 

After the surgery, the breasts are fuller and shapelier. Breast lift surgery generally 

yields faint lines where the surgical incisions were made. You may also notice slight 

size or shape differences between your breasts. It is important to keep in mind that the 

body is never completely symmetrical. 

A breast lift will not keep you firm forever. Your breasts, however, will be more 

youthful and full than they would have been without the surgery. The effects of 

gravity, pregnancy, and weight changes will continue to affect your breasts over time. 

Who is an Ideal candidate? 

In general, the best candidates for breast lift surgery are women: 

 18 years of age or older 

 With stretched skin 

 With less breast volume than they had in previous years 

 Not intending to lose a great deal of weight, get pregnant, or breastfeed 

 Not currently pregnant or breastfeeding 

 In good health 

 Wanting to improve their appearance 

 Realistic in their expectations 

The above is only a partial list of the criteria that your surgeon will consider in 

determining whether or not this procedure is appropriate for you. Be sure to ask your 

surgeon if he/she considers you an ideal candidate for breast lift surgery. 

What are the possible complication and risks? 

No surgical procedure is completely risk-free. There is the potential for complications 

associated with any surgery involving anesthesia, including complications such as 

bleeding, and infection. The patient is also susceptible to: 

 Permanent and noticeable scarring 

 Unevenly aligned nipples, mismatched breasts 

 Sores or numbness around the nipples 

 Dead tissue around the nipple and areola (rare) 

Perhaps the most common risks are the quality of healing and your acceptance of the 

resulting scars. With a breast lift, the most significant tradeoff for better-positioned 

breasts is the appearance and permanence of the surgical scars that may take some 

time before they flatten and become pale.