Should I only get a breast lift after weight loss?

Tags:age 35-44 sagging breasts weight loss

I have wanted to get a breast lift for a very long time because of my deflated breasts after having multiple kids. I have gained some weight over the past 5 years, however I wouldn't say I am obese. I could probably lose about 20 lbs, but my question is: Is it a necessity for me to lose weight before the surgery? If I lost the weight after having a breast lift will my results be affected significantly? Thanks!

Beatrice55

F, 40, Pennsylvania

Most plastic surgeons advise their patients to be at or very close to their ideal weight before undergoing cosmetic surgery. In the case of a breast lift, this is particularly important as a change body weight may cause changes to your breast volume. The breasts are composed of fat tissue, connective tissue, mammary glands and milk ducts. As you age the fatty tissue in your breasts increase, so significant postoperative weight loss could cause breast sagging (ptosis) again.

While it’s unlikely you’ll experience major sagging by losing 20lbs, it’s best to stabilize your weight before surgery so you can preserve your new breast shape in the postoperative period. Patients who lose significant excess body fat following their procedure may need to undergo revision surgery, which can be a considerable expense.

That being said, you sound as though you are an excellent candidate for breast lift surgery. Most women who choose to undergo mastopexy have children and wish to restore their breasts to their pre-pregnancy contours. A breast lift can be performed using a variety of techniques (or incision patterns) that your surgeon will determine based on:

  • Breast size and shape;
  • the position and size of your nipple-areola complex;
  • the extent of your breast sag;
  • the elasticity and thickness of your skin.

During the procedure, the underlying breast tissue is lifted and reshaped. The nipples and areola are repositioned to a more elevated position, and reduced in size if necessary. Finally, loose breast skin is excised. Lift surgery leaves the breasts firm and shapely.

I suggest you find a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience in mastopexy. Ask to see before-and-after images of patients with similar body profiles to yours so you can better gauge the results you can expect. Your doctor will also be able to provide you with advice about losing extra weight before surgery.

Dr. Stephen T. Greenberg has 9 Breast lift before & afters:

Breast lift before image performed by Dr. Stephen GreenbergBreast lift after image performed by Dr. Stephen GreenbergBreast augmentation (Silicone breast implants), Breast lift before image performed by Dr. Stephen GreenbergBreast augmentation (Silicone breast implants), Breast lift after image performed by Dr. Stephen GreenbergBreast lift, Breast reduction before image performed by Dr. Stephen GreenbergBreast lift, Breast reduction after image performed by Dr. Stephen GreenbergBreast augmentation (Silicone breast implants), Breast lift before image performed by Dr. Stephen GreenbergBreast augmentation (Silicone breast implants), Breast lift after image performed by Dr. Stephen Greenberg

» View Dr. Stephen T. Greenberg's full profile

Breast lift surgery corrects saggy breasts by trimming excess skin and repositioning the breasts higher position on the chest wall. It requires particular expertise as it’s one of the more demanding, challenging plastic surgery procedures. A skilled surgeon will take factors such as your skin elasticity, breast size and extent of your sagging into account to determine the most effective surgical method for you. If you find a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in mastopexy, there is a high likelihood you will enjoy excellent results from surgery.

You’ve noted you could benefit by losing 20 lbs. It’s always a good idea to reach your ideal weight before undergoing plastic surgery. Significant weight loss or weight gain can affect the results of your breast lift surgery.

Breasts contain a high percentage of fatty tissue, which can increase with age. Losing weight postoperatively could mean you lose it from your breast tissue, which could in turn affect the volume and profile of your breasts, ultimately cause them to sag again.

If you were to lose the weight after surgery, it’s possible you would have to undergo a revision procedure. Mild to moderate weight loss might necessitate a minor procedure, whereas significant weight loss would require a more substantial revision, resulting in additional incisions/scars.

I would recommend that you aim to lose the 20 lbs in an incremental, sustainable fashion by increasing your exercise plan and changing your diet. One to two pounds a week over a period of several months is an achievable and healthy goal.

Hi, I would suggest that if you are planning to lose the weight, you should lose it prior to your surgery.  That way, the results won't be affected by changing weight afterwards.  However, if you lose the weight and subsequently gain it back after surgery, your results will be affected as well.  So the best advice is to have the surgery when you think you are at a stable weight, and you have to be honest with yourself to determine what that weight is.  Best of luck!

Excellent question Beatrice55.

I would definitely advise the weight-loss prior to a breast lift. Were you to have the breast lift before your weight loss you will see significant changes in the appearance of your breast that are not predictable. See a board-certified plastic surgeon for your care.

Good luck!

Dr. Carlos Burnett has 2 Breast Lift before & afters:

Breast Lift before image performed by Dr. Carlos BurnettBreast Lift after image performed by Dr. Carlos BurnettBreast Lift before image performed by Dr. Carlos BurnettBreast Lift after image performed by Dr. Carlos Burnett

» View Dr. Carlos Burnett's full profile