Woman covering chest with bath robe (model)

Women considering a breast lift naturally want to know how long the results will last and often ask if a breast lift is permanent, among other questions. A breast lift—also called mastopexy—restores a perkiness to sagging breasts that may have also lost volume, either because of aging or having children.

In this blog post, we’ll explain how long the results of breast surgery last and answer some other common questions about the procedure, which has become increasingly popular in recent years. In a survey of plastic surgeons conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), breast lift was the 5th most popular procedure performed in the U.S. in 2021.

How Long Do Breast Lift Results Last?

So, is a breast lift permanent? In a sense, yes. That’s because the changes created during the surgery are permanent. But because the aging process continues, breasts gradually sag over time. You’ll enjoy the improved appearance of your breasts for years, and the way your breasts look in 10 or 20 years will always be better than if you didn’t get a breast lift. In some cases—especially women who get breast lift surgery at a relatively young age—women choose to get a second mastopexy to restore the youthful contours of their breasts.

One way to extend the life of the results is to wait until you are finished having children before getting a breast lift. Other ways to prolong your breast lift results include avoiding significant weight fluctuations, wearing supportive bras, and leading a healthy lifestyle (which includes not smoking).

Can I Combine Breast Implants With a Lift?

You can definitely combine breast augmentation with a breast lift. The combination procedure is common because the 2 procedures accomplish unique cosmetic goals. Breast implants add volume and create fullness in the upper areas of the breasts. If you’re also concerned about breast sagging, implants won’t produce a lifted appearance, but the addition of a breast lift can.

However, breast implants can add a slight extra weight to your breasts. (A 300cc breast implant weighs about two-thirds of a pound.) That extra weight may mildly affect the longevity of your breast lift, especially as your breast skin loses its elasticity with age.

When Can I Go Braless After a Breast Lift?

As mentioned earlier, wearing bras that support your breasts is one way to help your results last longer. It’s especially important, however, to wear a support bra for several months after your surgery before going braless. It’s best to discuss the specific timing with your plastic surgeon. Remember, gravity is always pulling down on the breasts.

Is There an Alternative to Breast Lift Surgery?

The short answer is no. Creams or breast lift tape that promise to lift the breasts do not work. Exercises that build chest muscles won’t affect the sagging breast tissue or tighten excess breast skin. If you’re concerned about breast sagging, only surgery can reshape the breasts to create a lifted appearance.

Will I Have Visible Scarring After a Breast Lift?

Incisions always result in scars. In most cases, a surgeon makes a vertical incision during a breast lift that extends from the areola to the crease under the breast. Another horizontal incision may also be needed along the breast crease—a technique called an anchor incision. The incision pattern used during breast lift surgery depends on the degree of sagging that needs to be corrected. When the sagging is minimal, a surgeon may only make an incision around the areola for a breast lift.

Scars typically fade during the first year after surgery. Applying medical-grade scar creams to the incisions can also help minimize their appearance.

Will I Need a Breast Lift if I Have Implants Removed?

That’s something patients need to discuss with their surgeons during the consultation. In some cases, especially if the implants are smaller, a woman may be happy with the appearance of her breasts after breast implant removal surgery. Plastic surgeons often recommend a breast lift, though, to remove excess skin and reposition the nipples. Otherwise, the breasts may appear deflated and saggy.

How Long Is Recovery After a Breast Lift?

Most breast lift patients can return to an office job about 1 to 2 weeks after the surgery. If your work requires lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds, however, you may need to take up to a month off while you heal. During that time, you’ll also need to avoid lifting small children. Even though you may feel like yourself after 2 weeks or so, it’s important to avoid strenuous exercise until you’re cleared by your surgeon. Trying to do too much too soon can impact the healing process and your results.

Get All of Your Questions Answered

Women who come to our South Carolina plastic surgery practice to discuss breast lift surgery often say they want to feel confident again when wearing a bikini or removing their clothes in front of a partner. Discussing the procedure with a plastic surgeon is the place to start. You can request a consultation for breast lift surgery at our Charleston practice, Crantford Costa Plastic Surgery, using the online form or by calling us at (843) 722-5904 to schedule an appointment.

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