Breast Lift

Before & After Photo Gallery of Breast Lift
Before & After Photo Gallery of Breast Lift

Ann Arbor Breast LiftA breast lift or mastopexy is a cosmetic surgical procedure designed to raise a drooping nipple-areolar complex to a position above the inframammary fold. This helps to create a more youthful breast position.

Why might a woman request a breast lift or mastopexy?

Breasts lose elasticity (ability to retain shape) and firmness due to pregnancy, aging and weight gain or loss.

How is breast droop evaluated?

The degree of sag or droop is based on a classification system developed by Regnault. This system grades breast droop as: grade I (minimal), grade II (moderate with nipple areolar complex below the inframammary fold) , or grade III (severe with the nipple areolar complex pointing downward and below the breasts).

Are other procedures combined with the actual lifting of the nipple-areolar (NAC) complex?

With a mastopexy or breast lift, the breasts are raised, uplifted and reshaped. This restores more firmness, and a younger, more youthful appearance. In some cases the lifting is combined with breast augmentation(restores lost upper pole volume).

The actual technique that is chosen depends on the amount of necessary lift needed and volume needed.  Surgical options include the crescent lift, the periareolar lift, the lollipop lift, the vertical lift and the Weiss pattern lift (usually with reduction).


Dr. Burke prefers the minimal incision vertical lift when possible. He often combines this with Quill barbed sutures to provide additional lifting and a faster recovery.  Where possible, skin closure is with tissue glue, avoiding skin sutures and minimizing scar formation.

Where there is adequate breast tissue, breast lift alone may be considered.

If there is excess breast volume with droop, a vertical mastopexy with reduction is preferred.

Here in a patient with grade III droop and macromastia, a Keyhole mastopexy was performed along with reduction.  This raises the NAC (nipple-areolar complex) vertically and minimizes scarring.


If there is volume loss in addition to droop (ptosis), a combined lift-augmentation may be considered. Thanks to new implant profile choices and use of the Keller funnel, smaller incisions are required. In some cases, choice of a higher profile implant may provide additional lift  so that a less invasive mastopexy (lift) may be chosen.


Here, a woman who was in her late 30’s and who had 3 children presented for a Mommy Makeover. Her main concerns were sagging of her breasts (grade II ptosis) with lack of upper breast fullness.  She was treated with a combination of breast implant insertion (Mentor round smooth cohesive gel 400cc placed in a dual plane position by a periareolar incision) and a vertical mastopexy (lift) incorporating the periareolar incision used for insertion of her implants.

If breasts are also too large, a breast reduction is usually done at the same time as the lift. This is a combined breast reduction-mastopexy.

Breasts that are smaller than desired may  be augmented or enlarged at the same time.

Want to know more about the Cost of a Breast Lift?  

This is an interview with Dr.Burke and Lisa, his patient discussing her experience with his rapid recovery, minimal trauma breast augmentation/lift as part of her mommy makeover:

View Breast Lift results photos

View Breast Lift with Augmentation results photos

Who is a Candidate

  • Women with drooping or sagging breasts due to pregnancy, genetics, aging, weight loss or gain.
  • If your nipple-areolar complexes (pigmented areas around the nipples) are enlarged.

Intended Result

  • An elevated, more youthful breast contour.
  • Nippple-areolar complexes of the desired size and at the correct height.

Procedure Description

  • The procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis under conscious sedation.
  • With more difficult cases, or if the patient desires, the procedure is done in the hospital under general anesthesia.
  • The design of the incisions can vary but usually include incisions around the nipple-areolar complex and front of the breast. Sometimes the incisions must extend to the crease under the breast.
  • The nipple-areolar complex is repositioned higher, the excess skin is removed, and the breast is reshaped in a pleasing contour and in a more normal position.

Recuperation and Healing

  • The patient goes home in a support bra with light dressings over the incision lines.
  • The bra is worn for 4-6 weeks to provide additional support during initial healing.
  • Sutures are usually removed within 2-3 weeks.
  • Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication or nasal spray.
  • Light activities may be started in 7-10 days.
  • Lifting may resume in 6 weeks.

Other Options


  • The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare.