How is a breast lift surgery performed?

How is a breast lift surgery performed?

25th Jul 2017

How is a breast lift surgery performed?


Oftentimes, women feel uncomfortable with age-induced modifications in the structure and shape of their breasts. Others are unhappy with the appearance of the breasts after massive weight loss, pregnancy or breastfeeding; whereas for certain patients, the breasts develop in a peculiar way due to their genetic makeup. These are some of the reasons why plastic surgeons recommend the breast lift surgery to patients who desire to improve the outline of their breasts. The result of the intervention is an improved overall figure with more youthful-looking breasts.

The breast lift surgery is performed to elevate the breasts by eliminating the excess skin and tightening the tissues of the breasts. This cosmetic procedure can provide a new contour to the breasts and make them appear raised and perky. Moreover, this surgical intervention can also be performed to correct enlarged areolas. Keep in mind that this is a complex surgery and certain steps need to be followed during the intervention.

Breast Lift Procedure: Important Steps

With the aid of current technological and medical advancements, plastic surgeons have devised several methods of performing this procedure. The operative plan is selected according to the condition of the patient. As such, the best technique is decided based on the following factors: the size and shape of the breasts, as well as the location and size of the areola, how much excess tissue is present and the patient’s skin elasticity. Once all of these factors have been taken into consideration, the plastic surgeon can proceed with the surgery.

The breast lift intervention usually involves the following steps:

Step 1: Administration of Anesthesia

Before the plastic surgeon can perform an incision, the patient needs to be asleep. For this particular type of surgery, most surgeons will go with general anesthesia, but it can vary depending on the patient’s health and the surgeon’s preference. In addition, it is not uncommon to use IV sedation. During the consultation prior to the surgery, the surgeon and anesthesiologist will decide upon the most suitable anesthesia to be used for your case. The anesthesiologist will be in the operating room during the surgery to ensure that the anesthesia has no adverse effects on the patient.

Step 2: Performing the Incision

Several types of incisions can be performed during this surgery, so make it a priority to discuss this with the surgeon before the procedure is scheduled. This is essential to make sure that you are comfortable with the placement of the incision. Here are three of the most frequently used incisions:

  • Periareolar incision
  • From the bottom of the areola to the breast crinkle
  • Along the inframammary (IMF) fold

If you have noticed a considerable degree of sagging in your breasts, your surgeon might decide to use an inverted T incision. Patients with moderate breast ptosis can choose a lollipop lift and those with mild breast ptosis can get the donut lift. In some cases, the breast lift surgery is not sufficient to get your desired results, so the plastic surgeon might suggest combining it with a breast augmentation that will yield a crescent lift.

Step 3 – Reshaping the Breasts

Once the incisions have been made, the plastic surgeon lifts the underlying breast tissue and reshapes it to contour the breasts. The nipple-areola complex will also be elevated and repositioned so the patient can achieve perkier breasts and a youthful appearance. If the patient also wants to have enlarged areolas corrected, the surgeon will reduce the dimensions of the areola-nipple complex during the surgery.

Step 4 – Suturing the Incisions

The surgeon will check if there is any remaining skin to be eliminated before the incisions will be sutured. An experienced plastic surgeon will choose the best method to hide the incisions in the natural folds of the body. Keep in mind that most of the incisions performed for a breast lift surgery will be noticeable on the breasts. Incisions turn into scars, which are permanent marks of the surgery.

Your surgeon’s objective will be to create the smallest incisions possible, but this is completely dependent on the condition of your breasts. The plastic surgeon will consider the breast tissue, quantity of surplus skin to be removed and your personal objectives.

Surgical tape, glue and sutures can be used to close the incision site. Subsequently, the breasts will be bandaged. Make it a priority to carefully listen to your surgeon’s recommendations and strictly follow them to prevent any potential mishaps.

Step 5 – The Results after Breast Lift

The patient will be pleased to find out that the initial results of the intervention will be visible soon after the procedure. Expect your breasts to look perkier and more elevated after the surgery. On the other hand, the final results of the intervention will be fully noticeable only when the wounds have healed and the swelling has subsided.

After the surgery, you will be advised to avoid massive weight fluctuations as they can alter the results of the intervention. Gaining weight contributes to fat accumulation and weight loss can cause breasts sagginess again. In other words, the results of the surgery can be sustained only if the patient maintains a constant weight. Make it a priority to have a balanced and healthy lifestyle and regular exercise. Pregnancy is another condition that can negatively impact your breasts. Patients who want to have more children are advised to postpose the breast lift surgery.

When the patient adheres to these conditions, the results of the surgery are pretty much permanent. Even if the skin on the rest of your body will start sagging, the breasts will maintain their perkier appearance for longer.

After the Breast Lift Surgery

Upon recovering from the anesthesia and for the days following the surgery, the patient might experience some level of pain, swelling and nausea. Swelling at the surgical site is a normal side effect of the intervention and a part of the natural healing process. The discomfort and pain can be easily managed and controlled with pain relief medication.

The patient is required to be very careful for the first two to four weeks after the intervention. Strenuous activities are to be avoided, but moderate exercises should be performed daily to prevent blood clotting. The patient can usually resume work after two weeks, but make sure to ask for your doctor’s opinion before getting back to work.


The breast lifting intervention is an efficient and frequently performed treatment option for sagging breasts. As a result, there are many techniques and methods available to conduct the surgery. The plastic surgeon will be the one to select the operative plan according to your needs and expectations. Being aware of the main steps of the procedure should help you prepare for the surgery and recovery period.

Share this article: