Here’s How Long Breast Lift Results Last

Written by Cameron Craven, MD, FACS, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon on May 9, 2023 No Comments

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Many women will experience dramatic changes to the shape and positioning of their breasts following numerous natural life changes including childbirth, menopause, and major weight loss. These events can cause unwanted symmetry issues or sagging of the breasts. Breast lift surgery (Mastopexy) is a highly sought after plastic surgery procedure as it has the ability to completely restore the breasts to a more perky, youthful position. Breast lift procedures can also be performed alongside breast augmentation to completely revitalize the breasts.

One of the most common questions perspective breast lift patients ask is “How long will the results last?” However, determining exactly how long a patient’s results will last can be rather complicated. Here is everything you need to know about breast lift result duration.

Are Breast Lift Results Permanent?

While a mastopexy procedure can provide dramatic results, unfortunately breast lift results are not permanent. The reason is simple: the procedure cannot stop the body’s natural aging process. After the procedure the chest area (along with the rest of the body) will continue to age normally, which will result in elasticity loss resulting in sagging of the skin.

Breast lifts are also unable to prevent changes to the breasts due to weight fluctuations. This is why the ideal candidate for breast lift procedure is an individual who is at their ideal weight and does not plan on becoming pregnant or breastfeeding in the future.

How Long Do Breast Lift Results Last?

While length or results can vary, most patients will enjoy the results of their breast lift procedure for about 10 -15 years. There are many factors that can influence result duration including the type of breast lift technique utilized and patient specific factors (specifically the lifestyle choices and genetics of the patient). Some patients can maintain the results of their lift for longer than this 10-15 range.

How to Extend Your Breast Lift Results

As with any other plastic surgery procedure, breast lift results can be extended for a longer duration with proper maintenance. The main goal of these maintenance efforts are twofold: to minimize the effects of aging on the skin along the chest and to minimize any sort of weight fluctuations post-surgery.

Some factors, like genetics, are obviously out of the patient’s control. However, there are numerous controllable lifestyle factors that can help prolong results including:

  • Proper Skin Care: Taking care of skin along the chest and décolleté will help maintain the skin’s natural elasticity, reducing sagging and wrinkling. Post procedure, patients should consult with their surgeon to develop and follow a daily skin care regimen.
  • Weight Maintenance: Maintaining post-procedure weight is one of the most important factors in sustaining breast lift results. Any major weight fluctuations (both gains or losses) can really impact the breasts and alter results. Patients who really want to keep their breast lift results should focus on eating right and exercising daily following surgery.
  • Avoid Pregnancy: Ideal candidates for breast lift procedures are women who are not considering becoming pregnant in the future. This is due to the dramatic changes that occur to the breasts during and after pregnancy.
  • Wear A Proper Support Bra: Properly support of the chest is well known to help the skin avoid trauma that can lead to drooping or sagging. Asking your surgeon for tips and suggestions on bras after your mastopexy procedure is always a good idea!
  • Don’t Smoke: Smoking (or vaping) is one of the biggest contributors to the degradation of plastic surgery results. To the extent that some plastic surgeons will disqualify individuals who smoke from getting a procedure done.
  • Practice Sun Care: While using an SPF product daily should be part of any skin care regimen, shielding the chest and breasts from unnecessary UV exposure is important enough to merit its own section. The décolletage area is often one of the most common body areas people miss when applying sunscreen. Extended exposure to UV radiation dramatically damages the skin; it reduces elasticity and stalls the development of skin health proteins like elastin or collagen. All patients should practice safe sun care: wear a high-SPF broad spectrum sunscreen daily and avoid being outdoors in high UV hours.

How Do Breast Lift Results Fade?

As stated previously, breast lift surgery will not prevent the effects of aging, menopause, pregnancy, weight changes, and smoking. These effects will cause breast lift results to fade and many women may notice that their breasts will return to their pre-procedure poisoning and appearance. Some signs of breast lift results fading can include:

Loose Skin and Wrinkled Breasts

Over time, patients may notice lines and creases developing on their breasts due to skin laxity or fat loss. Laxity develops when the skin has too little collagen and elastin. Reduced fat in the area due to weight loss is a common contributor to wrinkling in the area; and a reason why any weight fluctuation post-procedure can be hazardous to breast lift results.

Sagging Breasts, Nipples, and Areolae

Some sagging of the breast is normal, even after breast lift surgery. Patient may notice sagging in your breasts, nipples, or areolae. Sagging may progress to the nipples and areolae may point downward.

Elongation of the Breasts

Elongated breasts are the result of continual degrades in skin laxity and the ever-constant force of gravity. Breasts can become so elongated that they touch the upper part of your abdomen at rest and sway from side to side during natural movement.

Stretched Nipples or Areolae

Stretched nipples and areolae are common after childbirth due to a certain hormone that is released during pregnancy. Breast lift patients who become pregnant or breast feed following their procedure may experience re-stretching of the nipples.

Breast Lift Revision

A breast lift revision procedure is a great solution for patients who experience a decline in the results of their original lift. Many patients who underwent an initial mastopexy will qualify to undergo a revision surgery, which will effectively restore the results of their initial procedure. Best of all, revision procedures are just as safe and effective as a primary breast lift surgery.

There are no standard guidelines for knowing when it is time to consider revision breast lift surgery, patients can start discussing a revision procedure as soon as they start to feel dissatisfied with their breasts.

Cameron Craven, MD, FACS

Cameron Craven MD, FACS is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Craven specializes in the full spectrum of cosmetic surgery including breast augmentation, liposuction and body contouring, facial rejuvenation, laser surgery, eyelid surgery, and rhinoplasty, as well as reconstructive surgery for skin cancers.

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