Why Do We Need Breast Lifts?

Unlike breast augmentation (implants) or breast reductions, a breast lift does not concern itself primarily with the size of the breasts. Instead, its focus is on shape providing a more youthful appearance to breasts that have become saggy or deflated. While technically deflation and sagginess can often be improved with breast implants alone, not every woman who wants to correct breast sagginess wants larger breasts. 

For women who are happy with their breast size, a breast lift alone can provide excellent results. There are other women who want augmentation alone but who may need a breast lift because of sagginess that cannot be corrected with an implant alone.

What Does Breast Lift Treat?

Generally, someone is considered to have sagging breasts or ptosis if their breasts appear to have an elongated shape, the nipples fall below the breast crease, or the nipples point downward. 

A breast lift corrects excess skin, low nipple position, and areolar enlargement. If you have found your breasts have lost their shape after weight loss, pregnancy, nursing, or natural aging, then a breast lift maybe the ideal method of restoring their previous appearance. 

Within the realm of excess tissue and skin falls the appearance of the nipple-areolar complex as well. If you have found that your nipple has become a size that you are no longer happy with, it can be surgically corrected during a breast lift. Many women who have gone through childbirth opt for this option after milk production increases the circumference of their nipple size. 

Am I a Candidate for a Breast Lift?

If you would like to improve your breast shape by removing excess skin and re-contouring the breast shape, you are likely a candidate for breast lift surgery. The most critical part of candidacy is an understanding of what can be realistically achieved in terms of shape and an acceptance of the scarring required as a tradeoff.

As an invasive procedure, anyone at high surgical risk may not be considered a strong candidate.

You are generally considered to be a good candidate for breast lift surgery if you:

  • Have good physical health
  • Maintain a stable weight and are active
  • Do not smoke

It is also exceedingly important that you have realistic expectations about what can be achieved through breast lift surgery. For that reason, our team always encourages our patients to review plenty of before and after photos and ask as many questions or raise as many concerns as they would like about the process and results. The more information you have, the less likely you will be disappointed by what would otherwise be considered a successful breast lift. 

How Should I Prepare for Breast Lift?

When you decide to come in for a breast lift consultation, you should keep a running list of questions or concerns as you think about it in the weeks leading up to your appointment. This way, when you come into our office, we can answer all of your questions so that you have all the information you need to make an informed and comfortable decision regarding whether you are ready to move forward. 

In some cases, you may need to perform blood work before your procedure as a safety screen. You will be given a list of pre-operative instructions to follow in the weeks leading up to your procedure. You will always be asked to stop smoking and stop the use of any nicotine products at least four weeks prior to this procedure as this cannot be safely performed with nicotine in the blood stream.

What Should I Expect from a Breast Lift Procedure?

A breast lift procedure is broken into four sections: anesthesia, incisions, reshaping, and closure. 


Breast lifts are usually performed under general anesthesia to ensure your comfort and safety.


The incision pattern needed will depend on the amount of correction being performed. There are three types of incisions: circular, lollipop and anchor.

Circular — This incision is made around the circumference of the nipple-areolar complex. While it provides the least amount of correction, it is ideal for women who have minor amounts of excess tissue or women looking to focus on areolar size primarily. 

Lollipop — The lollipop incision includes the same pattern as the circular incision, with an additional vertical incision running from the bottom of the areola to the fold beneath the breast. This approach is ideal for patients who only need a moderate amount of correction. 

Anchor — In addition to the lollipop pattern, the anchor technique includes an additional horizontal incision across the inframammary crease in the fold of the breast. This provides the greatest amount of reshaping and is the most common mastopexy procedure performed.


Your surgeon will then lift the breast tissue to a more natural position by removing excess skin, and thereby creating a more pleasing, uplifted shape. Areolar size is often reduced at the same time based on the aesthetic preference of the patient. 


After the breast has been shaped, the incisions are closed with layered sutures that provide ample support to the breasts as they heal. In most cases, surgical tape is applied over the closed incisions. Drains are rarely used for this procedure. 

What Should I Expect During Breast Lift Recovery?

A surgical bra and gauze are placed at the completion of the procedure. This will provide the needed support to minimize swelling and bruising.

Post-operative instructions are again reviewed before you leave for home. These will contain written instructions on how to properly care for your breasts. While many women can cope with the minor pain or discomfort associated with this procedure using only over-the-counter medication, stronger pain medicine is usually provided. 

You can expect to experience varying degrees of pain, discomfort, swelling, soreness, bruising, and tenderness for three to four weeks after the breast lift is performed. These side effects are expected and depend entirely on your body’s healing process. You will likely need to take some time off of work, usually about one week and will need to refrain from strenuous activity or exercise until cleared by your surgeon. 

What Kind of Results Can I Expect from a Breast Lift?

The results of breast lift are long-lasting. Since skin is permanently removed, your breast appearance will always be more perky and youthful than it would have been without the procedure. With that being said, no treatment can prevent the effects of gravity and the aging process. Pregnancy, nursing, and weight fluctuation can cause changes and future cosmetic concerns may develop. 

The scarring from the procedure will be noticeable at first, but the scars eventually fade and become less visible with time. Scar management is an important part of the process, and the doctors help guide their patients through the process to help achieve the best possible scars.

Can I Combine My Breast Lift with Other Procedures?

Breast lifts can be combined with a host of other cosmetic procedures, such as:

  1. Breast Augmentation — This procedure adds a breast implant, helping to restore volume and adding more upper breast fullness and breast projection. 
  2. Breast Reduction — Breast tissue can be removed from the breast during this process to create a smaller overall breast size.
  3. Liposuction — Plastic surgery is all about creating balance throughout the body. If your breasts are returned to a perkier appearance, addressing stubborn pockets of fat throughout the body can also improve your overall body proportions.
  4. Tummy Tuck — For patients who turn to breast lifts after pregnancy and nursing, loose abdominal tissues are also common. A tummy tuck can also be performed to address sagginess of abdominal tissues. 
  5. Brazilian Butt Lift — A Brazilian Butt Lift(BBL) uses your own fat to naturally increase the size of your buttocks. Coupling a BBL with a newly improved breast appearance can leave you feeling even better about your body appearance.  
  6. Mommy Makeover — Any of the previously mentioned procedures (and nearly any other procedure we offer) can be included during a Mommy Makeover. This treatment is the name given to a group of treatments performed on a woman to reverse the changes done to her body during pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing. It is infinitely customizable, making it an excellent option for any mom. 

How Much Does Breast Lift Cost?

Our office is happy to provide a current pricing range for this procedure. During a consultation with our office, you will be given an exact quote to know precisely what to expect as you move forward in the decision-making process. 

Breast Lift in San Diego, CA

If you are ready to learn more about how a breast lift can help restore your confidence, schedule a consultation with our office by calling Umansky Plastic Surgery at (858) 281-4560 or by filling out our online contact information form. After filling out the questionnaire, one of our highly trained team members will get in touch with you to schedule a meeting at your earliest convenience. We are looking forward to being your trusted partner throughout your aesthetic journey.