Breast Lift Frequently Asked Questions

1. Breast lift vs breast augmentation: How to tell which is needed?

A Breast Augmentation is done to enhance or enlarge the breast. A Breast Lift is performed to raise the breast back into the “normal” position. The procedures may be performed alone or in combination to not only lift, but enlarge the breast. If the breast has a normal position, with most of the breast tissue above the base/inframammary crease and if the nipple is not below the base, then a Breast Augmentation would be the best choice. If however, the breast skin has significant laxity and the nipple sits low on the breast, a Breast Lift is the correct option.

2. Can breast lift with implants provide symmetrical breasts?

A Breast Lift is designed to create symmetric breasts. If asymmetry exists prior to surgery, a breast lift alone or combined with an augmentation can very commonly create a very even and symmetrical breast shape.

3. What kind of breast lift leaves minimal scars?

The Breast Lift with the smallest scar is called a Concentric Mastopexy or Doughnut Lift. The procedure involves a surgical scar just around the areola or outer area of the nipple. However, most often the Breast Lift also has a small scar that extends vertically down from the nipple to the base of the breast or below the breast in the crease.

4. Can breast lift and breast augmentation procedures be performed on the same surgery?

Breast Lift and Breast Augmentation surgery are often performed together. Patients who require a Breast Lift will quite commonly have a significant loss of volume that makes the breasts appear “droopy”. Combining an implant with the lift, can create a very natural, fuller breast. In our experience, the combined procedure has a much longer lasting result than just a Breast Lift alone.

5. Is it possible to breastfeed after breast lift surgery?

We have numerous patients who have had Breast Lifts done prior to pregnancy and nursing. There have not been many issues. While no one is guaranteed that they have the ability to breast feed after pregnancy, Breast Lifts should minimally alter that option.

6. Should I wait until after pregnancy to get a breast lift?

While pregnancy does change the breast shape and size, it is a matter of the severity of the breast changes before pregnancy that should determine the timing of surgery. The best, longest lasting result would clearly occur when breast changes are minimized, i.e. pregnancy and weight changes. We have had many patients that would prefer the improvement over waiting until pregnancy. Make sure that all those issues are completely discussed with your Plastic Surgeon.

7. What questions should I ask my doctor before a breast lift?

Any question should be on the table when considering cosmetic breast surgery. Make sure your MD is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. Ask how many Breast Lift procedures the doctor has performed. Ask to see pre and post-operative photographs. Make sure you ask about risks, complications and physical limitations.

8. What is the recovery time from a breast lift surgery?

Recovery time after a Breast lift alone or combined with an Augmentation is in stages. The toughest part is the first 24-48 hours, when pain medication will be necessary. Patients will often take between 4-7 days off of work. Heavy lifting or strenuous exercise may be limited for 4-5 weeks. Most patients can resume driving after 2-3 days.

9. What is the difference between a crescent breast lift and a vertical lift?

A crescent lift includes a small semi-circular incision above the areola/colored are of the nipple. This may be performed in combination with a Breast Augmentation to reposition a nipple that is slightly low with minimal skin laxity. A Vertical Lift may include an incision all the way around the areola and a vertical incision to the  base of the breast. This procedure is done in patients with more severe skin laxity and droop of the breast and nipple. Both procedures are performed as outpatient operations at an accredited surgery center.

10. Can I combine breast lift and areola reduction in one surgery?

Very commonly areola reduction is included with the Breast Lift procedure. With pregnancy, nursing or weight changes, the areola can enlarge and expand as it drops in position. Often there is also asymmetry of the areola from one breast to the other. Correction of asymmetry and reduction of the enlarged size makes the final result that much more natural and appealing.

11. Will a breast lift without implants make breasts look smaller or larger?

A Breast Lift without implants will often  make the breasts appear slightly smaller. However, the improved position and shape should improve the appearance significantly such that the reduced size is not of any consequence. As described above, combining an implant with the Breast lift will often improve the final result and provide a longer lasting improvement.