Breast Lift


Breast Lift Newport Beach

Breast lifting is extremely popular, particularly among women of childbearing age. Many women have naturally descended breasts (isn’t that a nicer term than “droopy breasts?”). Others develop descent – the medical term is “ptosis” – after one or pregnancies. Breastfeeding and previous augmentation with excessively large implants may increase the risk for ptosis as well. There are a variety of breast lift techniques available to Dr. Sayed. The choice depends on a number of anatomic factors, scar preference, volume of tissue, and patient expectations. What most breast lifts have in common are the following:​

  • Raising and repositioning the nipple
  • Restoring breast tissue to a higher, less descended location on the chest wall
  • Slightly reducing the volume and projection of the breast (this is one reason you may wish to combine breast lift with breast implants)
  • Tightening and removing sagging, loose breast skin by placing an incision around the nipple, as well as possibly vertical and horizontal ones depending on the amount of skin excess

Patients seeking breast lifting in Southern California or South Florida have a number of options available. Dr. Sayed can simulate a variety of methods using Crisalix® software, both with and without implants.

Breast Lift 101

One way to know if you need a breast lift is to perform the “pencil test.” Put a pencil in the fold under the breast. If your breast falls over the pencil and holds it in place (or if you have to significantly pick up your breast to be able to set the pencil there), you most likely are a candidate for a breast lift. This is an important part of determining whether you can achieve your cosmetic breast surgery goals with implants alone, a lift alone, or in combination.

Breast lifts reposition the nipple by moving it with a column or mound of breast tissue that stays attached to the nipple. In order to reposition the nipple, the surgeon must place an incision around the whole nipple-areola complex. The so-called periareolar or Benelli mastopexy involves tightening the breast with the removal of a donut of skin around the nipple. This is appropriate for a modest lift. Patients needing more than a few centimeters of lifting require a vertical and/or horizontal scar as well (*shown with an asterisk in the second figure).

Breast Lift FAQ’s

1. How do I know if I am a candidate for breast lift surgery?​

​Some of our selection criteria to include you as a breast lift candidate include:​​​

  • Minor to major descent (droopiness) to the breasts
  • Enough breast volume to maintain reasonable projection once lifted (if there is any question, we may suggest an implant to maintain or even increase your breast projection and volume after lifting)
  • General good health, meaning you do not have major uncorrected cardiovascular, respiratory, kidney or other major organ conditions
  • If you are having simultaneous breast augmentation, age 18 or older for saline implants, 22 or older for silicone (FDA recommendations)
  • No masses on breast examination – if you have a significant family history of breast cancer or are over 30 we will request a preoperative mammogram if you have not had one within a year
  • Nonsmoker or willing to commit to NO NICOTINE IN ANY FORM for at least 3 weeks preop and for the duration of your recovery
  • Available support system of friends, family, caregivers or others who can help you to keep your appointments, complete your preop and postop tasks, and emotionally bolster you through this exciting journey
  • Reasonable expectations of how much breast enhancement is possible with specific techniques

2. How long does breast lift surgery usually take?​

​Most breast lift procedures are about 1.5 to two hours in duration, depending on the incision approach, size of the breasts, degree of asymmetry, and other considerations. If you are having breast augmentation combined with a lift, the operation may take up 3 hours. Other combinations are also possible, like breast augmentation combined with breast lifting and a tummy tuck (also known as a “mommy makeover,” or breast augmentation and liposuction). A breast reduction is similar to a breast lift but involves removing more tissue from the breast than a lift alone.

3. What is recovery from breast lift surgery like?​

​Most breast lifts are performed on an outpatient basis in a AAAASF-certified operating room, meaning the facility is up to very high standards of accreditation. Patients usually spend up to a couple hours in the postoperative suite before being discharged in the care of a companion, family member or friend. Dr. Sayed gives a 24 hour phone number to all patients who can reach him for urgent questions, and we also issue access to a patient engagement application that allows the patient or companion/caregiver to send SMS messages, photos, video and other content to our team in a secure, private digital format. This keeps us mutually informed on your recovery and allows us to update your instructions while requiring a respectful number of face-to-face visits in the office.

​Early postop recovery findings can include bruising and swelling, mild discomfort, the implants riding in a slightly high position (if you have augmentation with your breast lift), numbness or diminished sensation in nipples, and some mental adjustment to the process of healing which most patients undergo. Most patients are advised to take a few days out of social circulation and we’d prefer that you not drive yourself in the first 10 days or as long as you are taking any prescription pain medication. Most sutures are dissolvable but there may be a few that need to be removed at around 14 days postop.

​We ask that you abstain from exercise for 2 weeks and then return to light fitness routines after that. You will be asked to wear a surgical bra and avoid underwires for a few weeks, and it will be easiest for you if you wear tops that button down in the front in the first 10 days or so. Dr. Sayed and his team provide close postop care in the office and with our remote engagement tools. You will be asked to take some supplement medications to aid in your recovery, which may include medications for pain, bruising, swelling, and dietary optimization.

4. How long do breast lift results usually last?​

​This really depends on a few factors. These include the weight of the patient, size of the breasts, presence of implants, childbearing and breastfeeding status, general health, and other issues. Obviously, if a breast lift is performed prior to childbearing, things may change considerably. Use of proper breast support with well-fitted bras can help maintain the shape and position. A certain amount of normal “bottoming out” can happen with breast lifts, but this usually maintains a reasonable natural position to the breast that is still pleasing.​

5. How can I prepare for my breast lift surgery?

  • Have a reasonable expectation of what surgery can accomplish
  • Look at before and after photos and understand what kinds of techniques you are interested in
  • Don’t smoke or take nicotine in any form for at least 3 weeks and ideally longer before (and after) surgery
  • Stay well rested and well hydrated and eat a nutritious diet balanced with plenty of protein
  • If your diet is lacking in vitamins, take vitamin C and zinc supplementation but ask Dr. Sayed about other supplements. We have a list of ingredients we ask you to avoid in the immediate preop phase to optimize healing and minimize bleeding risk
  • Designate a caretaker who can help you through the first 5 to 7 days after your breast lift
  • Identify whether any female relatives in your immediate family have any history of breast cancer

6. How much does a breast lift cost in Southern California?

​We don’t like to publish pricing as it is subject to market changes and dependent on the types of procedures you consider. We do have a fee schedule available in the office after your consultation, and we can give you an estimate through virtual consultation tools available on this site like our Zwivel® page. Feel free to contact us for a pre-consultation and we are happy to provide more information. The cost of your surgery will partly depend on where you have it and whether you are combining breast lift with a breast augmentation or other procedures.