FAQ: Breast Lift Surgery



Breast Lift Surgery (Mastopexy)

Many women regard droopy breasts as a considerable threat to their self-esteem. Whether caused by pregnancy, weight loss or simply age and gravity, loss of breast volume or over-stretching of the skin can compromise breasts’ firm, youthful appearance. Contemporary mastopexy (breast lifting) can reverse many of these problems.


What is the specific breast lift procedure?

Mastopexy literally lifts the breast, resulting in a more attractive contour. Breast droopiness, or ptosis, can be caused by three factors: a stretched skin envelope; shrunken glands caused by pregnancy or breastfeeding; and too-low nipples. After the cause of the sagging is determined, I create a custom procedure. Frequently, this involves reducing the amount of breast skin, which supports the breasts like a bra. The nipple may need to be repositioned higher, and breast volume may require reduction or enlargement.

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

The nipple and areola are left alone and moved by relocating the entire gland.

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Where are the incisions made during breast lift surgery?

Incision locations are particular to each patient, based on the amount of skin that requires removal. In the mildest breast lifts, the cut may lie around the upper part of the nipple areola. With more ambitious procedures, the incision may reach around the areola, downward vertically or even horizontally beneath the breast.

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Can I expect scars after breast lift surgery?

For several months following surgery, incisions can turn red and raised. Typically, these scars fade nicely over time. The final result depends on your individual capacity for healing.

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What sort of pain should I expect during/after a breast lift?

The surgery is done while the patient is under local or general anesthesia. Afterwards, the discomfort is said to be minimal. You will be offered pain medication after the procedure; most of our Bay Area breast-lift patients require very little.

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Will I need to take time off work for a breast lift?

I recommend taking a minimum of five days off from work to recover. After one week, you may resume non-strenuous activities, limiting lifting and stretching for an additional two weeks.

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Will I require any blood transfusions during breast lift surgery?

It is extremely rare to need a blood transfusion for a breast lift.

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Does breast lift surgery require any prior medical tests?

If you are due for a mammogram, then this should be done prior to surgery. As with all surgeries, routine lab work is done as well.

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Is it possible to increase or decrease my breast size during surgery?

Yes. Our overall goal is to improve the appearance of your breasts in the context of your body as a whole. Toward that end, we might discuss supplementary breast enlargement or reduction at your consultation.

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What are the risks and possible complications of breast lift surgery?

As with all surgical procedures, bleeding, scarring or infection may occur. Occasionally, small differences in the size and shape of the breasts may appear. Rarely, loss of nipple areola or sensation in this region may occur. Unfavorable reactions to medications and anesthetics can develop. Knowing these risks enables you to make an informed choice to proceed. Also, it is important to note that natural aging may cause breasts to droop again at a later date. Overall, in our practice in San Francisco, breast lift complications are very rare.

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Is it possible to have my insurance cover my breast lift surgery?

No. Breast lifting is a cosmetic procedure.


Dr. Mosser is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon specializing in breast lift surgery in San Francisco. If you have any further questions about breast lifts or wish to schedule a consultation, please contact us.