What is a Breast Lift?

A Breast Lift, also known as mastopexy, raises the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the tissue around the breast to reshape and support the new breast contour.

A Breast Lift can make you look better, and in many cases, more importantly, can make you physically feel better in and out of clothing. Surgery is often much easier than many think, and usually, patients can drive in 3 days, return to light work in 4 days, exercise in 3 weeks, and swim and go to the beach in 1 month.

Why Do Women Request Breast Lifts?

A Breast Lift is for the woman whose breasts droop more than desired. The tendency is inherited, can occur with weight change, or sagging can happen post-pregnancy, with hormonal changes, or just aging and gravity. The breast may be asymmetric, the nipple may point down, balance is lost and the overall appearance is an “aged look.”

Breast droop is both common and natural. Most women regardless of modest size have some breast droop even when young. However, when the breast relaxes too much, simply wearing a bra and getting it to fit comfortably and look good can become a challenge.

Some women develop breast droop right away during puberty. And when there is some asymmetry with droop, it can be more annoying when bras just don’t give the support, look and control you desire. Breast droop can gradually occur with puberty, weight changes, hormone changes, after pregnancy, and with aging. Breast droop can make your breast look smaller, less defined, and older than you are and feel. And if your breast is droopy when they first develop, and asymmetric, a Breast Lift can dramatically change the anatomy to a pleasing appearance that will then age much more naturally, look more normal, and fit in normal clothing, bras, and swimwear.

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The reality is that when you have sagging breast, a bra often feels like it “folds” your breast upward, and invariably leaves a gap in the upper part of the bra that can be a challenge in clothing and bathing suits, even with padding. Breast sagging causes challenges such as finding bras that fit comfortably, looking good in your clothing, being able to participate in sports or to workout in a gym without concern or embarrassment, and wearing bathing suits with comfort at the pool without constant “repositioning” of your breast and clothing.

And the more sagging you have, the wider your breast can look in a bra. A drooping breast can cause discomfort at your shoulders with or without a bra. Many patients will notice an improvement in how their chest and shoulders feel even right after the surgery is completed.

Deciding on Surgery

Where to start when considering surgery for sagging breast?  The best way is to explore options during a consultation where you will find that challenges you may be experiencing are almost always shared by others. Options can include treatments depend on the amount of breast tissue you have, your skin characteristics, and your desires for outcome.

Many patients think they must have implants to have a well-proportioned breast, and find that techniques for breast reshaping and lifts often result in great appearance without the need for implants. Many who feel that they are too small often find that with repositioning breast tissue into a more symmetric and better space, they appear to have more projection and more aesthetically pleasing breast that fits more comfortably with bras and clothing off the rack. Sometimes breast implants are considered as an option for volume enhancement as well.

Breast Lift surgeries are one of the most common procedures we do today. No surgery is magic, and yet achieving improved symmetry with your breast can result in comfort and confidence in and out of clothing. Breast Lift surgery (mastopexy) lifts and repositions the breast to a higher, more youthful position. It reshapes a sagging breast & can dramatically affect the way your bra functions, how your clothing fits…how comfortable you are during daily activities & exercise.

Regardless of the causes, breast changes are often unpredictable, unavoidable, bothersome, challenging, uncomfortable, embarrassing, and problematic.

Dr. Rudderman is specialized in many surgeries of the breast and can perform the artistically demanding and rewarding surgeries that correct these problems. Dr. Rudderman is one of Atlanta’s surgeons of choice. He is specialized in many complicated problems of the breast and he employs delicate, advanced techniques to achieve the most natural-looking results possible.

Benefits of Breast Lift Surgery

Dr. Rudderman feels that Breast Lift operations are one of the most artistically demanding operations her performs. He customizes every procedure to match your anatomic characteristics and desires.

Dr. Rudderman’s Breast Lift surgery can achieve the following:

  • Breast Lift surgery rejuvenates breast shape and contour
  • Breast tissue is elevated to a more youthful position
  • Uneven, asymmetrical breasts improve with Breast Lift surgery
  • Nipple/areolar are resized, shaped, positioned and balanced
  • Breast Lift surgery restores a more youthful, pleasing shape
  • Breast Implants may be used to enhance your Breast Lift Surgery
  • Special techniques using your own natural tissue may be used
  • Rudderman customizes every single Breast Lift surgery

For years, Dr. Rudderman has been using the optimal combination of procedures, proper timing, expertise, artistic skills, and a safe personalized plan…to help guide women through procedures …to transform their body so they look better and feel healthier.

How Breast Lift Surgery is Performed

Most Breast Lift procedures are accomplished with surgical incision placement that includes an incision around the areola, and a vertical incision to the crease below your breast, and some length of incision along the crease. Women are always (and rightly) concerned about how these incisions and scars will heal. Our technique used the most delicate approach with the care of tissue that promotes the greatest probability of excellent healing. It is rare to have resulting scars that are problematic and that require revisional surgery.

In the procedures, the superficial skin and soft tissue are elevated allowing for the breast tissue to be reshaped to a more normal anatomic appearance including often repositioning on the chest wall. This is accomplished by understanding and achieving the best possible balance between breast volume, skin and soft tissue, chest wall shape, nipple, and areolar size and position, all after taking into consideration your height, shape, weight, age, lifestyle, and desires.

Surgery usually takes 1 to 2 ½ hours, is outpatient, and may involve a drain placement for usually 1 day. Women with a desk-type job almost always return to work on Monday after a Thursday operation. Healing issues are rare if you are healthy and a non-smoker. Those that use tobacco products can reduce healing difficulty risk by reducing use before and after surgery. Women with children often can return to full childcare within reason in 3-4 days, including carpool and driving.

The operation and artistry are specific to each woman. During your visit, you will receive extensive education regarding your condition, your concerns, your options, your risks and benefits, and your probable predictable outcome. The goal is safe surgery, excellent appearance, normal anatomic redistribution, and an outcome that last for years and ages appropriately. Surgery is never permanent, and aging and other factors will impact appearance. The goal is for a revised breast to age naturally.

The Breast Lift Consultation

Dr. Rudderman believes the consultation is critical for you and him. The consultation includes the following: a thorough education of your options, an overview of techniques used to modify breast form, discussion on incisions, your desires regarding breast volume, desired appearance and body balance, careful, comprehensive examination to evaluate breast volume, tissue, skin characteristics and position, evaluation of your body frame, chest anatomy, and if implants are considered, a discussion of today’s breast implant options and safety considerations. During your consultation he will assess your anatomy, tissue and skin characteristics, breast volume, breast history, your desires for now and long-range, your options…and he will create a personalized treatment plan that can be performed in a safe predictable way. Occasionally, you may require treatment for one breast that may differ from the other. These treatments are not an emergency, and plenty of time will be allowed to have a full conversation to consider options. Additional visits can be provided until you feel confident that you are making the best decision for yourself in health, safety, and outcome. From the consultation evolves…trust, respect, mutual understanding, and a personalized treatment plan.

These treatments are not an emergency, and plenty of time will be allowed to have a full conversation to consider options. Additional visits can be provided until you feel confident that you are making the best decision for yourself in health, safety, and outcome.

Dr. Rudderman has done hundreds of breast surgeries and can project your likely outcomes. From the consultation evolves…trust, respect, mutual understanding, and a personalized treatment plan.

After your first consultation with Dr. Rudderman, you will realize that there truly is a difference in how surgeons approach their profession. For Dr. Rudderman…that difference means understanding your goals and providing a level of service that places safety & comfort alongside predictable and pleasing outcomes.

Contact us at 678.566.7200 to meet with Dr. Rudderman in our Alpharetta or Midtown Atlanta offices.

Written and reviewed by:

This article was written by Dr. Randy Rudderman, who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (1994). He practices medicine at his offices in Alpharetta and Atlanta.
Learn more about Dr. Rudderman, his medical training, and credentials.

Post-Surgery Expectations

  • You will wake up with a small dressing over the treated area and a surgical bra –
  • Mild swelling, & some discomfort is normal & to be expected – this resolves on its own and often requires some pain medication for 24 hours then only acetaminophen
  • You will be seen in the office 24 hours post-surgery and given a more comfortable bra
  • Swelling generally is mild and resolves in 2-3 weeks
  • Sutures are absorbable and do not need to be removed
  • You will have a type of brown paper tape on the incisions to protect the area and help with minimal scar formation
  • You may have a drain tube placed that needs to be checked several times a day. This drain is commonly removed in 24 hours.
  • Most patients who have surgery on Thursday can return to desk work Monday.
  • Avoid strenuous activity for 3 weeks. Dr. Rudderman will tell you when you can start to exercise again
  • Measurable results are typically visible immediately…but be patient…healing and stabilizing takes time. It can take months for the “new you” to be clearly seen.

Long-Term Results

The results of this procedure are long-lasting. Improved contour changes occur quite rapidly in the early phases of healing. Your breast will often look and feel slightly swollen in the first several days and improve daily for several weeks. The breast can and will naturally age over time. Additional surgery to further improve the appearance is unlikely. All breast need good long term follow-up for evaluation of breast disease by your practitioner of choice.

Breast Lift Frequently Asked Questions

Search our list of FAQs for the answers you are looking for.

Breast Lift surgery, called mastopexy, is designed to reposition the breast tissue and associates skin to a higher position on your chest to create or reestablish a more youthful appearance.

Any healthy patient who feels that their breasts are lower than they should be for their age and lifestyle can be a good candidate for breast lift. Most women feel that their breast have drooped after pregnancy, and many see breast droop after weight loss. Some women feel their breast developed low and desire a breast lift to look more age appropriate and naturally healthy.

Yes. All cases are supervised a Board Certified medical doctor who has specialized in anesthesiology.

Yes, he performs all of his patient’s surgeries. Many surgeons use assistants to suture or perform part of the operations. Dr. Rudderman performs the entire operation on every patient.

Yes. All of our surgeries are performed in a fully accredited surgery facility using state of the art technologies and a world-class staff with all the comfort and safety factors as a hospital surgery suite.

All surgeries involve some discomfort. Dr. Rudderman is highly skilled and uses advanced techniques and refined instruments that minimize comfort during his surgical procedures. Many patients will take either Tylenol or minimal pain medications for several days. The skin may be relatively numb for several days to weeks after breast lift operations.

Patients will notice a change in breast position right after surgery. Breast lift operation may involve several types of incisions depending on the amount of lift needed. Incisions may be around the areola only, or around the areola with a vertical incision to the breast crease, and along the crease. All patients are concerned about scar appearance. Most patients heal so well that scars will fade significantly and rarely require any additional treatment or revision.

Yes. Breast lift operations are associated with specific benefits and risks. These risks are very low in patients without prior surgery and the greatest risk are related to blood supply to the tissue including skin and nipple/areolar area. However it is not uncommon to see patients who have had a prior lift or reduction and now need revision surgery after pregnancies and aging.

Patients with moderate volume may not require an implant to restore volume because a lift by nature takes a long breast and reduces the skin to allow for the volume to be positioned in a smaller area on the chest often increasing the size appearance. Breast Lift operations do not typically involve breast tissue removal unless significant asymmetry exists. Patients may look larger but need a slightly smaller bra because a well-positioned breast requires less bra material to support than a very droopy breast.

A breast lift can be done with an augmentation when the breast is essentially empty, when the patient desires more volume, or can be done in the future after a lift usually through the same incisions.specialized in anesthesiology.

No. The technique used by Dr. Rudderman for a Breast Lift does not involve nipple removal. The breast tissue and nipple area remain connected at all times. In most cases the nerves remain active, and in many cases of droopy breast, a lift may be associated with increased sensibility of the nipple area. Many patients following a breast lift done with this technique may be able to breast-feed as well. Breast-feeding ability however is not predictable for any woman on any particular pregnancy.

When breast tissue is removed during surgery, it is sent to the Northside Hospital Pathology department for microscopic evaluation, and a report is generated for your medical record with findings noted. When skin alone is removed, it is discarded and no pathology report is generated.

You will need to avoid all rigorous, strenuous activities for a few weeks (usually 3) until healing is adequate and Dr. Rudderman tells you it’s ok. We will see you frequently during your healing process to help you return to your normal activity as soon as possible. Exercise can be an important part or recovery, and we follow your recovery closely to help you reach your goals.

Dr. Rudderman’s patients most often return to desk jobs in about 4 days. Most breast lift surgeries performed on Thursdays will return to work on Monday. If drains are placed, they usually can be removed in 1-2 days. Dr. Rudderman will give you a time frame specific to your body during consultation.

A Breast Lift surgery is typically considered cosmetic. Cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance.

Yes. Financing through Care Credit is available for all the breast procedures Dr. Rudderman performs.

You will need someone to drive you to your surgery, stay there and then drive you home and stay with you overnight after you have had anesthesia. Dr. Rudderman will advise you based on what you have had done and especially if you have small children. Your follow-up visit will usually be within 24 hours, and you will generally need to have someone drive you to this appointment.