Breast Lift

Home > Breast > Breast Lift

As a woman matures, factors like gravity, pregnancy, and breastfeeding may take their toll on her breast appearance. A loss of firmness and shape can result from the breast’s skin losing its support and elasticity. A mastopexy or breast lift is a procedure designed to reshape and elevate sagging breasts. The procedure can also reduce the size of the areola (dark area around the nipple) and balance asymmetries between the breasts.

If you have breasts that have lost volume over the years, breast implants can be included to increase both size and firmness.

For more information about a breast lift, call 615-467-6777 or schedule a consultation today!

What is a Breast Lift?

Mastopexy usually takes an hour-and-a-half to three hours to perform and is typically done under general anesthesia.

When considering a breast lift, you should be aware of the multiple incision techniques available.  The amount of loose skin marked for removal will determine the type of incision and scar location left on the breast after surgery.

For patients who require a minimal amount of tightening, our board-certified plastic surgeon may confine your incision to a circle around the areola. In a moderate surgery, she may combine this incision with a vertical incision to maximize reshaping.

If we combine breast augmentation with a breast lift, we will place the implant under the breast tissue or the muscle of the chest wall. For patients who require substantial skin tightening, an anchor-shaped incision is made, following the breast’s natural contour.

The incisions will determine the new nipple location and outline the areas from where we will remove any excess skin and tissue. After this removal, we reposition the nipple and areola while lifting and reshaping the breast. To close, we will place sutures around the areola, down from the nipple to the underside of the breast, and along the crease below the breast.

After Breast Lift Surgery

After your breast lift is complete, your surgeon will place an elastic bandage over surgical gauze. Your breasts will be swollen and bruised for a day or two. Any discomfort you experience can be relieved with oral medications. One to two days after your surgery, the bandages will be removed. You will then wear a soft support bra 24 hours a day for three to four weeks. We will remove the sutures after a week or two. Initial swelling will tend to flatten the breasts, but your true shape will become evident as the swelling resolves. Most of the sutures are placed under the skin and will dissolve over time.

You can apply moisturizer if your breasts are dry after treatment. If you do use moisturizer, do not tug at your skin during application and keep the moisturizer away from suture areas.

Post-surgical swelling will cause some numbness to your breast skin and nipples, but this loss of sensation will fade during the next six weeks. Some patients report the loss of sensation persisting for a year or more, and in rare cases this condition is permanent. If you experience any complications following your visit to our cosmetic surgery practice in Nashville, Tennessee, contact our breast lift surgeon immediately.


Following treatment, you may be up and moving in a couple of days. Most patients do not return to work for a week or more following the surgery. You will need to avoid overhead lifting and strenuous activities for three to four weeks following your procedure. Because your milk ducts and nipples will be left intact, treatment should not affect your ability to breastfeed. As with all surgery, we recommend no activity that causes an increase in heart rate or blood pressure for two to three weeks after surgery.

Breast Lift Candidates

Candidates for a mastopexy procedure are women in good health who are realistic about what a breast lift can achieve. Optimal results are found with women who have sagging breasts that have lost firmness.

Many of our patients desire a breast lift because the effects of childbearing and breastfeeding have stretched their breast skin, causing their breasts to droop and lose firmness. Although breastfeeding is still possible after a breast lift, we recommend only considering the procedure after you finish having children.

Meet the Doctors

Learn about our Board-Certified plastic surgeons and why you should choose two RealSelf 500 award winners for your next procedure!

Meet the Doctors

Learn about our Board-Certified plastic surgeons and why you should choose two RealSelf 500 award winners for your next procedure!

Potential Risks

As with any other surgery, a breast lift presents some possible complications or reactions to the anesthesia. Bleeding and infection are not common. Poor healing and wide scars are more common with smokers. It may be necessary for smokers to have a separate lift and implant surgeries, rather than performing them at the same time.

Finding a Surgeon

Although any doctor with a valid medical license can legally perform a breast lift, few are trained and qualified to perform this procedure. When considering a mastopexy, you should only interview board-certified plastic surgeons who have an emphasis in their practice toward breast surgery and body contouring. Also, plastic surgeons have rigid training focusing on cosmetic surgery. This training includes several years of medical school and residency focusing on surgical skill and techniques. Board-certification with the American Board of Plastic Surgery ensures the surgeon is current with all advanced practices and procedures.

Schedule a Consultation

Ready to book your procedure with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons? Contact us today to schedule your consultation and begin your aesthetic journey!

Why Choose Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville?

Drs. Melinda Haws and Mary Gingrass are board-certified plastic surgeons who have dedicated their careers to helping other women find beauty and body self-esteem. Both surgeons have emphasized breast surgeries as a focus of their practice.

They have surrounded themselves with a dedicated and compassionate team of medical professionals committed to enhancing your beauty and body contour.

For more information on how we can improve your breast appearance and self-confidence, call 615-467-6777, schedule an in-person consultation here, or a virtual consultation here.

Breast Lift FAQs

If you need added volume, a breast lift will not increase the size of your breast, but breast augmentation with implants will. Breast lift will add firmness and enhance breast position, but it won’t increase breast size. You can combine both procedures for optimal breast enhancement.

If you combine your breast lift with implants or have us perform breast augmentation as a standalone surgery, you can usually expect symmetry issues to be resolved. This is an issue that will be discussed in detail during your breast surgery consultation.

An incision around the areola will offer the most concealed scarring but minimal tightening. This is sufficient for many women who seek a breast lift. But if substantial skin tightening is required a vertical or anchor technique may be required.

If the nipple is left attached to the underlying breast tissue, then yes. But if there is significant excess skin to remove, we may have to remove the nipple for repositioning, but this is a very rare occurrence.

That depends, and it’s a good question to ask during your breast lift consultation. Just understand that pregnancy can have a severely negative impact on your mastopexy benefits.