Breast Lift Surgery

Indications for a breast lift include:

  • Sagging of breast tissue.
  • Downward facing nipple.
  • Restoration of breast shape after breast feeding.
  • Skin stretch following weight loss.

A breast lift, or mastopexy, involves repositioning the breast tissue and nipple on the chest wall, restoring a youthful appearance and feel. Consequently, there is improved upper breast fullness and cleavage with centralization of the nipple over the projecting breast tissue. Nipple sensation is retained and scars fade with time. There are many causes for breast decent, or ptosis, and these must be carefully taken into account when deciding on the optimal surgical procedure. Common causes include post-pregnancy volume loss, weight loss and aging. In some instances, the native breast tissue volume is insufficient to create the desired result. In these cases, a breast implant (silicone or saline) may also be required to achieve the desired volume, shape and projection. Anticipating this requires expertise and careful consideration on the part of the surgeon.

An aesthetically pleasing breast lift involves addressing the breasts themselves as well as the surrounding tissues, a component that is often ignored. A beautiful painting is complemented by the frame, which in this case is the axillary, or armpit, and lateral chest “bra fat”. Your initial consult will include an evaluation of these regions as potential targets for treatment. This attention to detail can significantly enhance a breast surgery result.

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The Breast Lift Procedure


Breast shape changes with time and life events like pregnancy and weight loss. In patients who have adequate breast volume, restoring the breast to a natural shape and position is possible without an implant. Your breasts, tailored to you.

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Types of Breast Lifts

Measurements will be taken to facilitate incision location, lift technique and implant choice, if required.

The incision is disguised in the upper areolar margin and generally heals very well. The crescent lift is only used in cases that involve minimal nipple malposition.

The incision is disguised in the areolar margin with a vertical extension to the breast crease, allowing the skin to be more aggressively tightened while simultaneously elevating the nipple and areola. There is less scarring than the anchor lift and the areola can often be reduced in size if the patient desires. This technique is useful in patients with mild to moderate breast ptosis.

The incision is similar to the lollipop incision in that it is disguised in the areolar margin with a vertical extension to the breast crease. There is an additional horizontal incision that is hidden in the breast crease, which allows for maximal skin removal, tightening and nipple/areolar repositioning. The areolas can be reduced in size if the patient desires. This technique is useful in patients with moderate to severe breast ptosis.

What to Expect

All procedures are done in a balanced and natural esthetic.


During the in-depth consultation, we will thoroughly review your goals and expectations. Patients are encouraged to bring photographs of several breast results that best represent their desired look. These will not only help me understand the result you have imagined but also shape our discussion on how your goals will be achieved. In some instances, this may necessitate just a lift. In others, a lift as well as an implant will be required. This is a decision we will make together after a thorough discussion of the risks and benefits of each portion of the procedure.

During your consultation, many measurements are recorded, which ultimately facilitate incision location, lift technique and implant choice, if required. Implants are either silicone or saline, and this is a decision that we will make together. Breast implants have been rigorously studied, demonstrating saline and silicone to have equivalent safety profiles.



Surgery is performed at an accredited surgery center in Newport Beach, California, USA and typically lasts 1-3 hours depending on the degree of shaping required to achieve your desired look. Under the care of a Board Certified Anesthesiologist, general anesthesia (fully asleep) is used to ensure maximal comfort and safety.

There are several different ways to approach a breast lift and the incisions used will depend on the existing breast size and shape. Three typical lift procedures include the crescent lift, lollipop lift, and anchor lift. Care is taken to place the incisions in existing creases so as to minimize the long-term visibility of scars.


Patients are discharged home the same day and generally experience very minimal discomfort, often returning to light work within a week following surgery. Post-operatively, patients are advised to avoid strenuous exercise or heavy labor for 6 weeks following the procedure in order to ensure proper healing. I ask that my patients wear a supportive bra without underwire for 6 weeks following surgery.


The results are expected to be long lasting provided patients maintain an active lifestyle and avoid significant change in natural breast volume (i.e. substantial weight change and pregnancy). Skin gradually loses its innate elasticity as we age, which unavoidably compromises the robustness of the result in time. As such, patients may desire additional revisionary procedures to re-elevate and tighten the breasts.


A breast implant is used to augment the existing breast volume. In many instances, the existing breast tissue is deficient at the top portion of the breast. If there is sufficient breast tissue, a mastopexy will lift and reposition the existing breast volume to this area. In situations where the native breast tissue is insufficient, a mastopexy alone will result in a concavity at the top of the breast. In these instances, an implant is required to augment the shape.

I take implant choice very seriously as I believe that this is the key to a successful surgery. During your consultation we will spend time discussing your vision and how this can be achieved. I take several measurements of your breasts and chest during the consultation and we will discuss how these influence our implant choice. Finally, we will review pictures that are representative of the look you are trying to achieve.

Using all of this information, we will decide on a range of implant shapes and sizes. During your surgery, I have your pictures in the room and use them for reference as I try the different implant sizes we discussed until a match is determined. In this way, your wishes are my guide during surgery. Implant size and shape is a choice we make together. Some patients become fixated on achieving a specific bra cup size. I steer my patients away from this thinking because it is poorly standardized and has high inter-brand variability. A visual representation removes this ambiguity, allowing me to better understand what you want to achieve so that we can develop an accurate operative plan.

While there is no formal expiration, breast implants are not forever devices. The FDA recommends MRI screening for silicone implant integrity at 3 years and every other year thereafter. Saline implant rupture is easily detected as an immediate loss of breast volume.

Approximately 40% of women with breast implants will undergo additional surgery within the first 10 years to revise the size of the implants or shape of the breasts, however this is not mandatory. The native breast tissue changes with time and life events such as pregnancy, which commonly motivate women to seek revisionary procedures.

Absolutely. Several studies have examined the ability of patients to breast feed following mastopexy and mastopexy/augmentation and clearly demonstrate success in patients where techniques that preserve the glands and ducts beneath the nipple were used. The techniques I use leave the breast tissue and ducts intact.

The incidence of a change in nipple sensation following breast mastopexy or mastopexy/augmentation is less than 2%. A majority of these patients experience hypersensitivity/hyposensitivity that resolves with time with a smaller percentage experiencing complete loss of nipple sensation.

The human body responds to implanted foreign objects by depositing a layer of scar tissue, commonly referred to as a capsule. As it pertains to breast implants, for reasons that are largely unknown, this scar tissue can shrink and squeeze the breast implant, causing an unnatural appearance and ultimately discomfort. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict who will experience a capsular contracture. Although the percentage of patients who ultimately get a capsular contracture is low (2-15%), it is a risk that we will discuss. Fortunately, this condition is not dangerous to your health and is remedied by removing the scar tissue and replacing the implant.

Typically, a week off of work is sufficient. At three weeks you can begin light exercise., however I ask that you avoid any heaving lifting or stooping for 6 weeks. You may drive when you are no longer taking pain medication and you feel safe to do so.

Studies show that mammography is an effective means of screening for breast cancer in women who have breast implants. Special views are required so that the breast tissue can be completely imaged so it is important to make sure that your imaging center has experience with women who have breast implants.

The FDA recommends MRI screening for silicone implant integrity at 3 years and every other year thereafter. Studies show that the risk of silent rupture of silicone gel implants is approximately 15% at 12 years. This guideline is not meant to supersede the need for yearly mammography and breast examination as a part of formal breast cancer screening.

Before & After

Stunning, natural results from patients.

Breast Lift Before & After

Implant Removal with Breast Lift

Breast Revision

Breast Revision

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Receive an in-depth consultation where we will thoroughly review your goals to personalize a plan focused on a natural and aesthetic result. Dr. Donald S. Mowlds, MD is located in beautiful Newport Beach, CA but is also available via a virtual consultation for out-of-town patients.

Or Call 949.759.5539

    Breast Procedures

    All procedures are done in a balanced and natural esthetic.

    Breast augmentation utilizes silicone or saline implants to enhance both breast volume and shape.


    A breast lift, or mastopexy, involves repositioning the breast tissue and nipple on the chest wall, restoring a youthful appearance and feel.

    Breast implants are not lifetime devices. As such, many women ultimately require revisionary breast procedures to replace their implants. Breast shape changes with time so revision breast surgery often includes additional procedures designed to create a natural, youthful breast.

    Implant removal surgery involves removing existing breast implants and the surrounding scar tissue (capsule). The breasts are often re-shaped to optimize aesthetics.


    During breast reduction surgery, breast tissue and skin are removed, contouring the breast into a smaller more aesthetically pleasing shape.


    Restoration of form and function is one of the tenants of plastic surgery and breast reconstruction, specifically, epitomizes this mantra.

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    All procedures are done in a balanced and natural esthetic.

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