Breast Lift


What It Does

A Breast Lift (or mastopexy) is often indicated for patients who have concerns that their breasts have lost their youthful shape and firmness. Due to age, gravity, weight loss, pregnancy, and other factors, breasts may sag or lose their shape, become pendulous, have nipples and areolas that point downward, or may vary in shape. A breast lift raises the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support a new breast contour. A breast lift will also decrease the size of enlarged areolas and ultimately provide a more youthful and uplifted breast profile.

A breast lift alone will not significantly enlarge or reduce breast size, but this procedure can be performed in conjunction with a small tissue reduction or an implant if desired and appropriate.

Procedure Basics

Breast lift surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, an out-patient/ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital. If performed on an out-patient basis, be sure to have someone available to drive you to and from surgery and stay with you the first night following surgery.

Under general anesthesia, your surgeon will make incisions that may vary based on your breast size and shape, position, and size of areolas, degree of sagging, and your skin elasticity and amount of excess skin. The underlying breast tissue is lifted and reshaped, nipples and areolas are repositioned to a more youthful height (enlarged areolas may also be reduced in size), and excess breast skin is removed. The breasts are supported and skin is tightened with deep suturing and incisions are closed.


 You will be given specific instructions concerning post-surgical medications, breast care, and when to follow up with your surgeon. The success of your procedure and healing will be greatly enhanced by carefully following your doctor’s post-surgical instructions. Be sure to attend any follow up visits with your surgeon as directed.

In general, you will need to care for the dressings and bandages applied to the incisions following your surgery. Elastic bandages or a support bra should be worn to minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal. A small, thin tube, or drain, may be placed under the skin temporarily to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. The final results of surgery will appear over several months as the breasts heal and settle and incision lines, although permanent, continue to fade.

Additional Information

Although considering a breast lift is a personal choice, your plastic surgeon will review your medical history and current health status to determine if a breast lift is appropriate. Your surgeon will also discuss the risks of breast surgery, which includes unfavorable scarring, changes in nipple or breast sensation (temporary or permanent), excessive firmness, skin discoloration, persistent pain, along with other possible side effects and risks.

If you are considering a future pregnancy after your breast lift, it is important to know that your breast skin may stretch and offset the results of the lift. You should also discuss any planned significant weight loss with your surgeon, as this may also adversely affect the breast shape and position.

Additional Resources

There is a wealth of information available concerning breast lift surgery provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons ( ; click on “Cosmetic” and choose from the list of procedures. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Inc. ( also provides in-depth information; choose “Procedures” for a list of topics.

To schedule a consultation to discuss breast lift surgery with Dr. Christine Kelley, please call 317/575-0330.