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Breast Lift at UCI Plastic Surgery

Pregnancy, lactation, weight loss, breast implant removal, and even genetics can leave women with “ptosis”—lax, stretched skin that causes breasts to sag and nipples to point downward. If a pencil placed under the breast against the chest stays in position once the breast rests against it, breast sag has become significant.

Today’s advanced surgical breast lift restores youthful position and fullness, ensuring recipients can enjoy their figures for years to come. In one procedure, the surgeon optimizes size, shape, nipple position, firmness, and even addresses any asymmetry as closely as possible. The breast lift is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the world and one of the highest-rated for patient satisfaction.

The doctors at UCI Plastic Surgery are leaders in the field of cosmetic surgery. Through their teaching and lecturing roles at UCI, they stay current with state-of-the-art techniques and technology. With their advanced technical skills, they consistently produce better, more natural-looking results for their patients.

To learn more about how a breast lift can improve your profile, contact UCI Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation at one of our five locations in Orange, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Yorba Linda and Newport Beach, CA.

woman playing tennis showing breasts

What Is a Breast Lift?

A breast lift, or mastopexy, raises the breasts and repositions the nipple by removing excess skin, tightening the surrounding tissue, and reshaping the interior of the breast to create a naturally youthful look. Sagging, flattened breasts are made round and plump and the nipple is placed higher on the chest. In some cases, the surgery also reduces the size of the areola, which can become enlarged over time. A breast lift may be conducted with or without breast implants, though sometimes an implant is required to reach the desired outcome.

Different techniques are used, depending on the corrections to be made, and these affect the placement of incisions.

This technique tightens the breast by removing skin in a circle around the nipple, and can be used to correct moderate sag. If the nipple is above the breast crease, for example, this technique might be a good choice. It can also be used to reduce the size of the areola.

The crescent lift uses an incision along just the top half of the areola to correct mild sagging or in cases where the main problem is downward-facing nipples. It may also be used when a breast lift is done in combination with breast augmentation.

This method combines an incision around the edge of the areola with one running vertically from the bottom of the areola to the center of the crease below the breast (the inframammary fold.) It enables more extensive lifting and reshaping in cases of moderate sagging.

This technique is used to correct extensive sagging. Three incisions are made: in a circle around the areola, vertically from the areola down to the inframammary fold, and along the curve of the inframammary fold.

In a personal consultation at UCI Plastic Surgery, your surgeon can explain which of these options will be most appropriate for the results you want to achieve.

Reasons Women Choose Breast Lift

Many women choose to have a breast lift after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Others choose a breast lift to correct sagging caused by weight fluctuations.

No matter the cause, you can determine your need for a breast lift by asking yourself these questions:

  • Do my nipples point downward?
  • Do my nipples sit below the crease under my breast?
  • Does the skin on my breasts appear stretched or the areolas too large?
  • Are my breasts asymmetrical or unusually shaped in a way that bothers me?
  • A breast lift corrects these problems.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Breast Lift?

It’s best to wait until you are done with childbearing before having a breast lift, as pregnancy and breastfeeding can change the size and shape of the breasts. If you do plan to have children after your breast lift, bring that up in your consultation with the surgeon.

You are probably a good candidate for a breast lift if you are:

  • bothered by sagging, flattened, or elongated breasts or downward-pointing nipples
  • in good health
  • close to your ideal weight
  • a non-smoker

If you smoke or use tobacco, you will need to quit at least three weeks before your surgery and remain tobacco-free for at least three weeks after.

You should also have realistic expectations about what a breast lift can do and should be considering it for your own benefit.

Start Your Journey Today!

UCI Plastic Surgery is a leader in the field of cosmetic surgery. Each of our specialists is highly knowledgeable, trained, and committed to bringing our patients the latest advancements in the field. Learn how our experts can help you obtain industry-leading results by scheduling a consultation today.

What Happens in a Breast Lift Procedure?

Breast lift surgery is performed under general anesthesia or strong sedation. While you are unconscious or sedated, the surgeon will make incisions to remove excess skin, raise the position of the nipple, and reshape the breast into a firmer, rounder form. This procedure can be conducted with or without implants, depending on your unique surgical plan. Fine stitches are used when closing the incisions to make scars as invisible as possible.

The procedure typically takes one to two hours, depending on the changes being made. It will take another hour or two to wake up from the anesthesia or sedation. You will need to arrange for a friend or family member to bring you home.

What Can I Expect in Recovery?

Every recovery process is unique to the individual, so it is hard to say exactly how your recovery will go. Generally, In the first days after surgery, you’ll experience some bruising and swelling. You’ll be prescribed pain medication and given supportive garments to wear to reduce discomfort. Expect to need a full week of downtime after the procedure. You’ll want to arrange for help in these first few days, as your strength and range of motion will be limited. You’ll need to avoid reaching for things above your head and lifting anything heavier than five pounds. While you are taking pain medication, you won’t be able to drive.

You’ll be asked to refrain from exercise for two weeks after surgery. After that, you can gradually get back to your exercise routine, resuming more strenuous activities after four to six weeks.

woman posing showing upper body

You should be able to return to office-type work after a week. If your job involves strenuous activity or heavy lifting, you’ll need to take more time off.

We will provide detailed recovery instructions, including how to contact us with questions or concerns and a plan for follow-up appointments.

FAQs Breast Lift in Irvine, CA

You’ll see a change in your breast shape right away, but it will take about a year before you see the full results. That’s how long it takes for the tissue to settle into its final position and scars to fade.


Results are long-lasting after that. Your breasts will continue to age, of course, and they’ll be affected by gravity over time. You can maintain your new breast shape longer if you maintain a steady weight and wear well-fitted bras. A professional bra fitting emphasizes surgical improvements.

Every attempt is made to maintain nipple sensation. However, depending on the technique, breast size, areola size, and other factors, some loss of nipple sensation may occur.

It’s best to have a breast lift after you’re done having children. Another pregnancy and breast-feeding can stretch breast skin.  If this is a concern for you, be sure to bring it up in your consultation with the surgeon.

A breast lift on its own does not change the size of the breasts, although changing their shape can give the appearance of a size enhancement. To increase volume and create medial fullness, the procedure can be combined with breast augmentation, carried out with implants or fat transfer.

There are several factors to determine the cost of a breast in Orange County. These include the health of the patient, body type, breast size, and other procedures you may be considering.

A breast lift is more common in patients over 40 but ultimately it is not an age determinant. Also, there are many women, especially mothers, that may need a lift due to body changes or heredity even before the age of 40.

The easiest way to determine you may need a lift is to put a pen or pencil in your natural breast crease. If it stays underneath from the weight of your breast, chances are you need a lift.

Also, you can look in the mirror, side view. If you see your nipples fall below your breast crease, you need a lift.

Yes. Many women choose to combine a breast augmentation with their breast lift to add volume and firmness. In addition, mothers often include a breast lift in a mommy makeover surgery.

Schedule a Consultation

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out whether a breast lift is right for you. We’ll answer your questions and explain what you can expect from the procedure. We have offices in Orange, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Newport, and Yorba Linda, CA.