A breast lift (medically known as a mastopexy) is a plastic surgery procedure in which the breast are reshaped and excess skin is removed, while raising the breast and nipple to a higher more youthful position. Essentially we put the same amount of breast tissue in a smaller skin envelope. The end result? Aesthetically pleasing, perkier breasts.


Saggy breasts can give the illusion of decreased volume (too much skin relative to breast tissue), cause back and neck pain (if the breasts are too heavy), cause local irritation due to skin to skin contact in the breast fold and may cause bras to fit poorly. It can also cause general daily discomfort. Due to factors such as genetics, weight fluctuations, age, pregnancy/breast feeding and gravity, droopy breasts is not an uncommon complaint from women at some point in their lives. A Breast lift can alleviate these symptoms and ultimately boost confidence. A breast lift can also fix other problems such as breast asymmetry or low riding nipples.


The incision used during a breast lift usually depends on the degree of breast ptosis (sagging). A circumareolar incision (around the areolar) is used for mild ptosis, a lollipop incision (around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease) is used for moderate ptosis while an anchor incision (around the areola, vertically down and horizontally across the breast crease) is necessary for more extreme cases of ptosis. A breast lift cannot be done without some type of scar and how the scar heals varies from person to person.


A breast lift does not usually change your bra cup size, but since excess skin is removed and your breasts are reshaped your bras may fit differently. Some patients do report a smaller bra cup size after a lift but those patients tended to wear oversized bras with their sagging breasts for added support.


Regardless of the possible reduction in cup size, most women find that comfort is actually improved. When the breasts are lifted, even if they feel or appear smaller, they are in their proper position and thus finding a properly-fitting bra is much easier. If extra volume is desired, a breast augmentation may need to be performed either at time of the lift or as a separate second stage procedure.


Surgery is usually done in out-patient setting. Recovery is relatively quick with most patients up and walking the next day, off pain medicine in 2-3 days, back to work in 1 week and back exercising in 2 weeks.


Your Plastic Surgeon will help you choose the procedure(s) that best fits your goals for the best possible result.

Chukwuemeka Onyewu MD

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