If you're considering a surgical breast
lift, one way to see if it might help
you is to put a pencil under your breast
and see if it stays there. If it does, a
breast lift might be an option.
The most common breast lift operation,
called mastopexy, repositions the nipple
higher on the chest wall. Women usually
get this procedure on an outpatient
basis, meaning there's no overnight
stay. It takes about three hours and is
usually done under general anesthesia.
Some women also get breast implants at
the same time as their breast lift.
Your surgeon should describe your
options and explain the procedure in
Age and Breastfeeding
You can get a breast lift at any age
after your breasts have finished
developing. You can also get one before
or after you are pregnant. You will
still be able to breast feed after a
Insurance and Breast Lifts
Most breast lifts are considered
cosmetic surgeries. Health insurance
companies usually don't cover them
unless they are done as part of a
Check with your health insurance company
in advance so you're clear on what costs
you'll need to pay.
Getting Ready for the Surgery
The first step is to consult with a
plastic surgeon. When you do, tell the
surgeon what your goals are. If you're
also getting breast implants, bring
photos showing the size and shape of the
breasts you'd like.
The surgeon will consider your health
and describe your options. The surgeon
should also explain the procedure in
detail and go over the risks and what
the recovery will be like.
Complications after breast lifts are
relatively rare. The main three are
bleeding, infection, and scarring. Your
surgeon will give you instructions for
preparing that will help lower your risk
of complications. Those instructions
will include such things as not smoking,
making sure you are off medications that
may make bleeding more likely, and
taking antibiotics if necessary.
You should also start planning for the
recovery period. For instance, you will
have to avoid heavy lifting for at least
4 to 6 weeks after your breast lift. If
you have young children, you may need to
line up help.
Getting the Breast Lift
You'll get your breast lift in a
hospital setting, an outpatient surgery
center, or the doctor’s personal
operating room. You will meet with the
anesthesiologist, surgeon, and nursing
staff prior to the procedure.
The surgeon will mark the proper
position where your nipple will go.
After that, you'll be brought to the
operating room where you'll get general
anesthesia or sedation.
The surgeon will remove extra skin and
lift your breast tissue up into the
proper location. If you're getting
implants, the surgeon will insert them
and then close and bandage your breasts.
You may have tiny drains in your breasts
for 24 to 48 hours.
After a Breast Lift
Your surgeon will remove the bandages
and any drains during your follow-up
visit on the first or second day after
your breast lift. The doctor will also
check the nipple's color and blood
After the operation, expect to be
uncomfortable for a few days. Your
doctor will usually recommend that you
wear a bra or have a special dressing in
place to provide the support you will
need during your recovery. For the first
week, you may need pain medication.
If you've gotten breast implants, be
careful to avoid any impact to your
chest, which could make the implant
Within two to three weeks, your surgeon
will remove all your stitches. The size
and shape of the breast will continue to
improve as time passes.
There may be slight differences in
symmetry between the two breasts. If so,
your plastic surgeon will do a small
touch-up procedure to help reposition
the nipple as necessary. Minor
adjustments can be made later on.
During your recovery, it is very
important to limit your activity as
directed by your surgeon and to
immediately report any side effects or
problems you're having. Any surgery has
risks, including infection. With breast
reduction surgery, permanent loss of
sensation in the nipples or breast skin
is very rare.