Limitations and risks of breast lifting

Limitations and risks of breast lifting

17th Oct 2017

The breast lift or mastopexy is a plastic surgery intervention that aims to enhance the beauty of the breasts by contouring them to a more sensual shape. Due to gravity, the breasts lose their elasticity and shape over time. The physiological aging process is aggravated by several factors such as breastfeeding, pregnancy, and sudden weight loss. Depending on the individual, the breast lift can be associated with augmentation or reduction procedures.

It is important to explain to the plastic surgeon how would you want your breasts to look so he can advise you on the most suitable procedure for your case. However, it is also essential to understand that there are limitations and risks associated with the procedure.

Is the breast lift procedure right for me?

The answer is yes if:

– Your breasts have become saggy with time

– The nipple and areola are facing down

– After the pregnancy, the skin has become more loose

– You are happy with the dimensions of your breasts but want them to be firmer

– Your breasts are small and sagging (in this case, the ideal choice would be a combination of breast augmentation and breast lift).

Natural supplements, magic creams, and potions are never the solution when it comes to getting back or achieving a firm and beautiful bust.

The need for a breast lift

With aging or after giving birth, many women are worried about their sagging breasts. Just like facial skin, breast skin also loses elasticity and they become saggy over time.

Breast dimensions increase during pregnancy and breastfeeding, stretching the skin and therefore altering the appearance of breasts. After breastfeeding, the breasts start to reduce their dimensions and the skin that used to be firm now becomes loose and saggy. At the same time, both weight and hormonal fluctuations accelerate the sagging of the breasts.

What is the role of mastopexy?

Mastopexy is the only effective solution for breast lifting. Other so-called treatments such as creams and certain physical exercises are unable to offer visible results. This is the type of intervention for patients with drooping breasts (even if they have a satisfactory size) where the breasts lack consistency or firmness and the areola- nipple complex is facing downward.

In most cases, the breast lift is performed together with a breast augmentation procedure. There are also cases when the breast reduction surgery is performed in the same sitting with a mastopexy. Sometimes, when the breasts are heavy and voluminous, they can cause back pain. This is when the plastic surgeon will recommend a combination procedure.

The procedure is performed by excising the excess skin tissue. It can be performed by using multiple techniques, depending on the patient’s anatomy and the complexity or degree of the sagging. We recommend the Wonder breast lift as it leaves minimal scars and is designed to avoid ulterior complications and side effects.

Limitations of the breast lift surgery

There are patients with moderate to severe breast ptosis believing that after the breast lift surgery, their breasts will stay the same size but have a better shape and be more elevated. Unfortunately, this is not possible. When talking about severe breast ptosis, a lot of skin tissue needs to be removed to offer a good shape. The cup size before the surgery is given by the mammary gland (that will remain after the intervention), as well as the sagging skin that will be excised. This means that after the procedure is performed, the patient will have considerably smaller breasts.

One of the limitations of mastopexy is that it will reduce the size of the breasts. Mastopexy alone can’t provide you with elevated breasts in the same size as before the procedure. This is not a reasonable expectation and the plastic surgeon has to make sure you are aware of this. The surgeon will estimate what the size of the breasts after the procedure will be. It is important to be aware of the limitations of the breast lift surgery before scheduling the intervention so you can be satisfied with the results of the procedure. We had patients coming in after getting a breast lift from another surgeon to request a revision surgery as they were not satisfied with the volume of the breasts after the initial intervention. What they were actually looking for was a breast augmentation procedure and not a revision surgery.

If you are suffering from large breasts and want a reduction in dimensions apart from the lift, make sure to inform your surgeon. The breast lift will reduce the size of your breasts and elevate them to a more natural position, but the reduction might not be enough after this procedure. In this case, the plastic surgeon will recommend a separate breast reduction intervention. A breast lift only excises skin tissue while a breast reduction also eliminates some of the mammary gland tissue to provide the patient with the expected results.


While it is a commonly performed procedure, mastopexy comes associated with certain risks and potential complications. The procedure is performed with large incisions; the larger the amount of skin tissue to be removed, the bigger the incisions will be, posing risks such as delayed wound healing and vicious scarring. Some of these risks can be avoided if the patient chooses a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon, but some of them might occur nevertheless. The possibility of these complications is increased when the patient is a smoker and fails to follow the post-operative recommendations related to wound care and lifestyle habits. Other risks entailed by this plastic surgery procedure are common to other types of plastic surgery interventions. These include:

– Seroma and hematoma

– Excessive bleeding

– Infection

– Unsatisfactory results after the procedure

The pain is minor and can be easily managed with the help of medication. The bruises and swelling that can occur around the areola will disappear within a few weeks from the intervention. Keep in mind that any plastic surgery implies some risks and there is no way to be able to prevent or avoid them all. Aside from the complications mentioned, there are also risks associated with the type of anesthesia administered during the surgery.


The new shape and position of the breasts are visible shortly after the breast lift surgery and the final result will be noticeable within a few months. The effectiveness of this procedure has made it so sought after for women from all over the world. However, it is important to remember that there are always risks and limitations to the procedure.

The results of the breast lift surgery, either performed by itself or in combination with a breast augmentation or reduction, can be greatly impacted by an ulterior pregnancy or a significant weight fluctuation.

Breast lifting provides a youthful and firmer contour of the breasts. It is performed in association with a mastopexy to elevate the breasts while reducing the size, while the breast implant surgery lifts and augments the volume of the breasts.

Having realistic expectations from the procedure is an important step in achieving desirable results. This is why it is important for the patient to understand and accept the limitations of the procedure, both in terms of what it can do and how long the results will last.

It is not reasonable to expect the results of the mastopexy to last a lifetime, especially if you haven’t properly followed the recommendations of the plastic surgeon. Even after the breast lift procedure, the external factors that have initially led to the sagging of the breasts will continue to work and influence the result of the procedure. This does not mean that the intervention is unnecessary as the breasts will sag again, as it can take decades for the sagginess to become as severe as it was when the surgery was initially performed.

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