There are plenty of factors that cause the breasts to sag, including genetics, aging, weight loss, and breastfeeding. A breast lift (also known as mastopexy) is a surgical option for breast sagging. A breast lift can return the breasts to a higher, more youthful position by reshaping the underlying tissues and boosting your figure. Unlike breast augmentation, a breast lift doesn’t require implants, meaning it’s a great option for women who simply want to rejuvenate their breasts, not augment them. At Reflections Center for Cosmetic Medicine, we’re now offering breast lift procedures for our Martinsville and Livingston NJ patients.

Breast Lift Candidates

Women who are generally healthy make good candidates for a breast lift. You should be at a healthy and stable weight and not subject to hormone fluctuations (which can affect your results). If you wish to improve the position and shape of your breasts without changing their size, breast lift is a good option for you.

One simple way to decide if you would benefit from a breast lift is to try the “pencil test.” This method involves placing a pencil along the breast fold. If the pencil falls, your breasts are likely still in an upright and perky position. However, if the pencil stays in place, sagging is likely to blame. To account for larger breasts, you can also assess whether your nipples fall above or below the pencil during the test. If they fall below, a breast lift is usually a good option.

How is a Breast Lift Performed?

A breast lift is performed under general anesthesia. An incision is made around the nipple and may also extend vertically between the nipple and breast fold. The incision technique used depends on your unique anatomy, among other factors.

Through the incision, your plastic surgeon will reshape and reposition the underlying breast tissue. In some cases, excess skin or other tissue can be removed to improve the contours and make up for lost elasticity. Enlarged areolae may be reduced, and the nipple and areolae will be lifted into a more upright position. Finally, the incisions will be closed. The result is a lifted, firm, and more youthful breast contour.

What is Breast Lift Recovery Like?

After your breast lift, you’ll have bandages or other dressings placed over your incisions. You’ll also need to wear a supportive surgical bra or elastic bandage to minimize swelling while you heal. Drainage tubes may be put in place after your surgery as well.

You’ll receive specific instructions about what you can expect, including steps you’ll take during recovery and information about follow-up appointments and when stitches will be removed. Generally, you can expect some discomfort while healing, particularly in the first 2-3 days after your procedure. Bruising, redness, and swelling are also common, and your plastic surgeon will ensure you have prescribed medications to take to manage these.

Most patients need to rest and recover for the first week or two after surgery before returning to work and other activities. You should wait about a month before resuming exercise but should expect longer for activity that puts pressure or strain on your chest like lifting or running. Healing is usually complete at about six weeks, but your results will continue to emerge over the course of the following months.

Schedule a Consultation

The breast lift can be a great option to restore your figure and boost your confidence both in and out of clothes. To meet with our award-winning team and learn more, we invite you to contact our Martinsville and Livingston offices.


How long does a breast lift last?

Because the aging process continues after your surgery, sagging is possible after your breast lift. However, most patients enjoy long-term results with a breast lift procedure.

Does a breast lift reduce size?

A breast lift can reshape and recontour the breasts, but does not noticeably reduce size. Excess skin is usually removed during a breast lift, but this is for the purpose of reducing skin laxity. In most cases, the underlying fat and breast tissue is simply repositioned and lifted.

Does a breast lift hurt?

Most patients feel some discomfort after their procedure. However, this can be managed with medications prescribed by your plastic surgeon or by taking over-the-counter painkillers. To avoid unnecessary discomfort, you should follow your plastic surgeon’s directions during recovery and avoid strenuous activity.

Does a breast lift require breast implants?

A breast lift does not require implants, although implants with a breast lift are very common, especially for those looking to increase their breast size in addition to reducing signs of sagging. The procedure manipulates the existing breast tissue into a tightened and lifted position that results in a more “perkier” appearance.

What’s the difference between a breast lift and breast augmentation?

A breast augmentation is ideal for patients looking to increase breast volume and size, while a breast lift is best for restoring perkiness to breasts that have started to sag or lose volume due to breastfeeding or aging. However, there are many patients who can opt for both. Be sure to ask about the best options for you during your consultation.

Is the placement of the nipple and areola affected by a breast lift?

With many breast lift procedures, each nipple and areola are usually surgically repositioned in order to provide greater symmetry. Since breasts are naturally asymmetrical, it’s possible your breast lift procedure will require a certain degree of repositioning, which will ultimately result in a more balanced appearance of the breasts.

Will I be able to breastfeed after a breast lift?

A breast lift shouldn’t limit breastfeeding ability in the future, but with most breast lift procedures, it’s recommended that you are finished having children before undergoing one. There’s a likelihood that if you were to breastfeed after a breast lift, it could affect your results. As with any procedure, each patient is different, so please consult with your plastic surgeon during your consultation if this is a concern for you.

Should I wait for a breast lift until after having children?

Many patients opt for a breast lift procedure after having children, and it’s recommended that you finish childbearing before having a breast lift to ensure long term results. If you were to have a child after a breast lift, it’s possible to reverse your results and require another procedure.

Will I maintain nipple sensation after a breast lift?

For most women, nipple sensation will return during the recovery phase of a few months. It’s rare to see cases where there is long-term loss of nipple sensation, and more often that will happen to patients with larger implants and more extensive reductions or lifts. If this is a concern of yours, be sure to bring it up during your consultation.

Is it possible to make the areola smaller during a breast lift?

An areola reduction is a procedure that can be done alongside a breast lift, which has the goal of reducing the overall size of the areola, making it complement the new appearance of more perky, upright breasts. If this is something you want to address in your breast lift procedure, be sure to connect with your plastic surgeon about this during your consultation.

Will a breast lift increase my cup size?

Some women experience some increase in cup size after a breast lift, but this is not the intended result. Breast lifts are best for lifting sagging breasts and reshaping them back to a more rounded, perkier appearance, and in fact, many patients report a reduction in breast size after a breast lift. What’s more important with a breast lift is the appearance—size is better addressed in a breast augmentation procedure.

What are some physical signs I need a breast lift?

Good candidates for a breast lift are patients who have nipples facing downward or nipples that sit below the crease underneath the breast. Other signs are easier to determine, including if the breast tissue is sagging or asymmetrical. These factors will help conclude if a breast lift is the best option for you, or whether a combination of breast procedures will be better. This will be discussed with your plastic surgeon during your consultation.
How can I maintain my breast lift results?

The best way to ensure long term results for a breast lift is to maintain healthy habits in daily life, whether it’s exercise, a healthy diet, or avoiding smoking. As you age, your breast tissue may once again begin to sag or droop, but a breast lift slows down this process. Other ideal ways to maintain long-lasting results is to avoid weight fluctuations and future pregnancies as well.

External References

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon at Reflections Center

Dr. Joe Fodero is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience. For 20 years, Dr. Fodero has built an amazing resume of plastic surgery work in the New Jersey area and is recognized as a Top Plastic Surgeon in Rhinoplasty, Breast Augmentation, and Body Sculpting. We’re so happy he’s decided to join forces with the Reflections Center team of physicians.