Your Guide to Breast Lift Surgery

What is a Breast Lift?

breast lift, or mastopexy, is a procedure that addresses drooping, sagging, or uneven breasts to recreate a more youthful and lifted breast shape. Changes in your breast contour or shape may be a result of aging, weight fluctuations, heredity, pregnancy, or gravity that can cause sagging over time. A breast lift raises the breasts by tightening the surrounding tissue and removing excess skin to provide a perkier and firmer breast contour. If there is not enough or too much breast tissue and volume, breast augmentation or breast reduction may be recommended in addition to a lift. “Autoaugmentation” mastopexy uses the saggy breast tissue as internal flaps of de-epithelialized tissue to create superior breast shapes.

Am I a Candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?

A breast lift is ideal for patients who are experiencing a loss of skin elasticity and sagging in their breasts. You may also be a good candidate for breast lift surgery if:

  • Your breasts lack firmness
  • Your breasts are drooping 
  • Your breasts are relatively small 
  • Your breasts have lost shape and volume
  • Your breasts have a flatter, elongated shape
  • You have asymmetrical breasts
  • Your nipples and areolas point downward
  • Your nipples fall below the breast crease
  • You have stretched out skin and enlarged areolas
  • One of your breasts is lower than the other
  • You are physically healthy and have a stable weight
  • You have realistic expectations of the outcomes of surgery

If you plan to have children or more children soon, you may want to postpone a breast lift. Pregnancy and breastfeeding may stretch the breasts out and reduce their volume, compromising the benefits of the procedure.

What to Expect During a Breast Lift Consultation

During your breast lift consultation, Dr. Spiro will talk to you about your surgical goals, surgical options, and potential outcomes of the procedure. He will measure and photograph your breasts to determine if you are a candidate for breast lift surgery in the consultation by examining the:  

  • Current size and shape of your breasts
  • Quality of your breast tissue and skin
  • Quantity of your breast tissue 
  • Placement of your areolas and nipples 

Dr. Spiro will also determine a treatment plan for you and discuss your medical history, which will include:

  • Past medical conditions
  • Previous surgeries and breast biopsies 
  • Current medications and allergies
  • Recent mammogram results
  • Family history of breast cancer 

How Much is a Breast Lift?

During your first consultation, you will receive a quote that is specific to your surgery and desired results. Although most health insurance plans do not cover a breast lift, Dr. Spiro offers financing plans and payment options to help you pay for the surgery. The cost of breast lift surgery depends on a variety of factors: 

  • Anesthesia fees
  • Hospital fees
  • Surgeon’s fee 
  • Medical tests
  • Post-surgical garments
  • Medical prescriptions 
  • Type of breast lift surgery 
  • You choose to have a breast implant placed/cost of implants 

How to Prepare for a Breast Lift

Dr. Spiro will provide you with preoperative instructions and may recommend weight benchmarks or lifestyle changes to help you prepare for your surgery to minimize the chance of complications. Prior to your surgery, he may also ask you to: 

  • Quit smoking at least six weeks before surgery (random nicotine testing required)
  • Reduce alcohol assumption to less than two to three drinks per week, and eliminate completely 10 days before surgery
  • Pick out outfits to wear after the procedure that is front opening
  • Avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs, supplements, and herbal medications that may increase bleeding for three weeks before surgery
  • Make arrangements for someone to drive you to and from the procedure

How is a Breast Lift Performed?

There are different breast lift techniques used to reshape and remove skin from your breast, which determine the location of the incisions. Dr. Spiro will select an incision technique based on your breast size and shape, degree of breast sagging, skin quality, areola size and position, and how much extra breast skin you have. During the procedure Dr. Spiro will: 

  • Remove excess breast skin
  • Shift the areola and nipple to a higher position
  • Bring skin that was previously above the areola down beneath the breast to reshape it
  • Close your incisions and tighten the breast skin
  • Sew the breast back together and place sutures deep in the tissue to support the new breast position

Dr. Spiro may also perform a breast lift with implants procedure based on your desired results, which is a procedure that combines a breast lift with a breast augmentation.  

Types of Breast Lifts

There are a variety of incision techniques for breast lift surgery. The exact technique used will depend on your existing breast tissue, the amount of excess skin to be removed, and your personal goals. 

Peri-Areolar or “Donut” Lift

Intended for women with mild sagging and minimal volume, the peri-areolar or “donut” lift involves a singular circular incision around the areola. This technique repositions the areola and nipple higher on the breast while simultaneously tightening the breast skin. It is used almost exclusively with implants.

Inverted T or “Anchor” Lift

The inverted T or “anchor” lift is best suited for women with moderate to severe sagging. This technique involves three incisions: one around the edge of the areola, one vertically from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease, and one along the inframammary fold, hidden in the breast crease. This three-dimensional approach creates the best form and longest lasting result.

Breast Lift Recovery Time

The recovery time frame for a breast lift is six weeks, but you may go home the same day after surgery and return to work after a week depending on how you are healing. After your surgery, you may have bandages wrapped around your breasts, surgical drains, and a support garment to reduce swelling and support the shape of your breasts. Your breasts may be swollen for at least two weeks after surgery, and you may experience some bruising and numbness. Dr. Spiro will also give you specific post-operative instructions to follow, including:

Recovery: Week One

  • Avoid bending and lifting to refrain from increased swelling or bleeding 
  • Sleep on your back and rest on an incline to not put pressure on your breasts
  • Do not drive or perform straining activities 
  • Only get out of bed for short periods of time

Recovery: Weeks Two – Six

  • Avoid excessive physical activity for at least three weeks following your surgery 
  • Avoid sexual activity for at least three weeks 
  • Avoid hot showers, hot tubs, and saunas for at least two to three weeks
  • Wear a support bra for a few weeks until discoloration and swelling subsides

How Long Does a Breast Lift Last

The results of breast lift surgery should remain for well over 15 years after your procedure. Your breast may require some time to assume a more natural shape, but after your surgery, your breasts will be positioned higher and feel firmer for years to come. 

Breast Lift Before and After

View before and after photos of our breast lift procedures performed by Dr. Spiro to see our patients’ stunning transformations after surgery. 

Schedule a Breast Lift Consultation with Dr. Spiro

Dr. Spiro is a board-certified plastic surgeon in New Jersey, specializing in breast lift surgery. He and his team will carefully listen to all of your surgical goals to help you achieve long-lasting physical results. Schedule a breast lift consultation today or contact us to learn more about our breast procedures.


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Graphite/Pencil Hybrid-Painting by Dr. Scott Spiro