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A breast lift is fundamentally different from breast augmentation in that the procedure is intended to enhance, not the size, but the shape of the breasts. Breast lift surgery raises and reshapes sagging breasts, by removing excess skin and repositioning the remaining tissue and nipples to improve its appearance. A breast lift can also reduce the size of the areola – the darker skin surrounding the nipple. If a patient’s breasts are small or have lost volume (after pregnancy), getting breast implants in conjunction with a lift can increase their firmness and size.

1 to 3 hours

Side Effects
Possible complications or reactions to anesthesia. Temporary bruising, swelling, discomfort, numbness, dry breast skin. The rare side effects of bleeding and infection can cause scars to widen. Permanent and noticeable scars.

Back to work: 1 week or more. Strenuous activities: 1 month. Fading of scars: May take up to a year.

A breast lift can leave you with unevenly-positioned nipples, or a permanent loss of feeling in your nipples or breasts. Wide scars.

Variable. Results may enhance or last longer when breast implants are inserted as part of the procedure. The effects of gravity, pregnancy, aging, and weight fluctuation may take their toll again.


The most common procedure involves an anchor-shaped incision following the natural contour of the breast. The incision outlines the area where breast skin will be removed, defining a new location for the nipple. After excess skin is removed, the nipple and areola are moved to a higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is then brought down and together, to reshape the breast. Patients with little sagging and smaller breasts may require a less extensive incisions. If so, a surgeon may use the “doughnut (or concentric) mastopexy” procedure, in which circular incisions are made around the areola, and a doughnut-shaped area of skin is removed.

Patient Status
Outpatient - Usually outpatient in the surgeon’s office. Some cases require inpatient services.