A beast lift: The procedure and risks explained

Cosmetic Procedures

What is a breast lift?

Many women’s breast might start to sag as they age, or after weight loss, pregnancy, and breast-feeding. A breast lift is aimed to re-sculpt your breast to give them a more youthful position, on your body and of being perkier and with more youthful contours. Thereby making you feel more comfortable and confident with your appearance.

For optimal results, the breast lift procedure might be done with other cosmetic procedures such as a breast reduction or a breast augmentation.

Who is it for?

It is natural for the breast to start to decline in their position as you age. But to correct this, you should ideally be in good health, and have some reasonable expectations of the surgery.

The ideal candidates for a breast lift include those who:

Have “B” or “C” cup breasts. I have found that lifts performed in larger and therefore heavier breasts, have the potential to not last as long. And are above the age of 18. There is no upper age limit.

What a breast can’t do

Breast lift surgery does not significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast. If you want your breasts to look fuller, consider breast lift and breast augmentation surgery.

If you want smaller breasts, consider combining breast lift and breast reduction surgery.

What is the procedure?

Normally the procedure is done on an outpatient basis. Before you get to the doctors rooms, you should ensure that you have a driver to take you home, as you will be unable to drive yourself home.

The procedure itself, the technique your doctor has selected to use to do this procedure based on your case. Each technique has their own incision pattern and way of reshaping the breast mound. In some cases the surgeon will combine the breast lift with breast implants or fat grafting to enhance the size and position of the breast. Alternatively, the surgeon, based on your requests and needs, will reduce the size of the breasts and remove excessive breast tissue.

On average the procedure takes 90 minutes.

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.

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.

Cosmetic procedures

What are the risks?

With all surgeries there are a possibilities for complications. With a breast lift the same can be said.

Since with a breast lift there is a small possibility that you will lose feeling in your nipple. Furthermore, although uncommon, you could develop hematoma. Hematoma is bleeding from the wound. It is for this reason that prior to the procedure, you must not take any blood thinning substances, which includes medicine like aspirins or supplements like flax seed. Plus, as with any operation, there is a small risk of infection. In most cases, this will respond well to antibiotics.

Other complications and risks you should discuss with your doctor are:

  • Anesthesia risks
  • Poor healing of incisions
  • Breast contour and shape irregularities
  • Breast asymmetry
  • Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Possibility of revisional surgery.

In the end, the decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of breast lift surgery are acceptable.


There will be a healing time after the surgery. During this time, your breasts will be sore, swollen and bruised. The doctor will most likely suggest you wear a support bra to aid with the swelling reduction and minimizing impact to allow the breast to heal.

But after the surgery you will be unable to do some activities like bending, lifting and straining as these will place you at rest for bleeding and swelling. In fact, everything that could put pressure on your breasts should be avoided.

After consultation with your doctor, they will advise you when to return to work or other activities.