Over time, most breasts experience some degree of sagging. This is typical as women grow older, and may be made worse by loss of skin elasticity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, significant weight loss, or even gravity.
A breast lift (mastopexy) is used to restore a more youthful breast shape by lifting and tightening the breasts, as well as repositioning and enhancing the appearance of the nipple and areola (the dark area surrounding the nipple). Excess breast tissue may also be used to improve fullness in the upper breast. A breast lift may also help to correct breast asymmetry, or unevenly proportioned breasts.
Women considering a breast lift are encouraged to wait until breast development has stopped, and until after they are finished having children, as pregnancy and breastfeeding will have an effect on the final result.
Good candidates for breast lift surgery include healthy women who are bothered by sagging breasts, lack of breast firmness, or downward pointing nipples.
A breast lift restores a more youthful shape, but does not restore lost volume. If you would like to improve the volume of your breasts, ask your plastic surgeon about breast augmentation.
There are a few different techniques used for breast lifts, depending on the desired result and the extent of sagging. Each technique will result in a different scarring pattern depending on the type and size of the incision.
Regardless of which technique is applied, incision lines will fade over time but will be permanently visible. Your doctor will discuss recovery strategies that will help reduce the visibility of scars.
Full recovery after breast lift surgery may take 4-6 weeks. This is when swelling and bruising fades and the final breast lift results are apparent.
We recommend patients avoid wearing underwire bras for at least one month following the procedure.
Patients should not lift anything heavy, or lift anything over their head for 4 to 6 weeks following surgery, as this may cause stretching in the upper chest.
More information on Breast Lift surgery
Healthwise Patient Education Library - Breast Lift