What is a Breast Lift?

Breast lift surgery reshapes and raises sagging breasts and can also be performed to reduce the size of the areola. If you have small breasts that have lost volume due to pregnancy or other factors, breast implants can be included to increase both size and firmness.

Real Patient Results

Breast Lift Surgery

Breast lift surgery usually takes an hour and a half to three hours to perform and is usually done under general anesthesia. The type of incision and the residual scar left on the breast will be determined by the amount of loose skin marked for removal. For patients who require a minimal amount of tightening, the scar may be confined to a circle around the areola. In a moderate surgery, this scar may be combined with a vertical scar to maximize reshaping. If you are receiving a breast implant during your mastopexy, the implant will be placed under the breast tissue and in some cases under the muscle of the chest wall. For a patient requiring a substantial amount of 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 which excess skin and tissue will be removed. After excess skin and tissue are removed, both the areola and nipple are repositioned and the breast is lifted and reshaped. Stitches are often placed 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 surgery, the surgeon will place an elastic bandage over surgical gauze. Your breasts will be uncomfortable, 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, bandages will be removed. You will then wear a soft support bra 24 hours a day for three to four weeks. The stitches will be removed 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.

Moisturizer can be used 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 stitch or 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 that this loss of sensation persists 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 breast-feed. 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.

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 wider scars are more common in smokers. It may be necessary for smokers to have a separate lift and implant surgeries, rather than performing them at the same time.

Contact us today to learn more about our cosmetic surgery office or to speak with one of our plastic surgeons.