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Breast Lift

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Breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, is most commonly performed to correct the appearance of sagging breasts. This procedure lifts the breasts and tightens the skin envelope to give patients a more youthful, perky appearance and reshape or reposition the nipple to face directly forward.

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Some patients may also benefit from a breast implant as well as a breast lift to add volume in addition to tightening the breasts. This is commonly performed on people who have finished having children and breastfeeding in order to restore a pre-baby appearance. During pregnancy or during breastfeeding, the breast skin “stretches out,” often loses its elasticity, and the breast tissue volume shrinks. Breast laxity can also occur with fluctuations in weight as well as with aging.

Before and After Photos

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A mastopexy can improve breast aesthetics by removing excess breast tissue and skin while achieving a natural-looking breast shape.

Mastopexies have grown in popularity in recent years, with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reporting that breast lifts have grown 114% in 2019 as compared to 2000.


A good candidate for a lift is a woman who is healthy, does not smoke, and has sagging breasts that desires an improvement to the breast shape and positioning. A breast lift is not the same thing as breast augmentation, which can enhance the size and shape of breasts with the help of implants. It is also not the same thing as breast reduction, as a lift does not aim to remove a lot of excess tissue or excess skin. A consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Wallach is the best way to know if a breast lift is right for you.


You will spend a lot of time with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Wallach reviewing your surgical goals during an initial consultation. An exam will then be performed and a surgical plan will be discussed with you at length.

During the exam, you are free to ask Dr. Wallach questions about breast lift surgery cost, as well as what to expect both leading up to and recovering from the procedure. You might want to ask whether or not you could benefit from breast implants as well, and which technique Dr. Wallach feels will give you the best result with the least amount of scarring.


The fee for this procedure will vary depending on where the procedure is completed as well as the specific plastic surgeon performing breast lift surgery. The average breast lift surgery cost runs between $10k-$30k in New York City.


The mastopexy procedure usually includes raising the nipple areola complex, maybe making the areola smaller, molding the breast tissue, and sometimes reducing the volume or adding an implant for volume. Various skin patterns may be used based upon the extent of sagging and laxity.

Breast lifts usually take between two and four hours with a recuperation time of one to two weeks. Dr. Wallach recommends that patients avoid aerobic type exercise for at least three weeks and strenuous exercise for at least six weeks after surgery.

Incision Options

The three more common skin patterns include the Wise pattern, a vertical or “lollipop” incision, or a circumareolar approach. These are based upon the amount of skin that needs to be removed, the distance the nipple areola complex needs to be lifted to place it in an aesthetically pleasing position, the amount of breast tissue that needs to be removed or repositioned, and finally the volume, if any, that needs to be restored with a breast implant.


Looks like an inverted “T” or an anchor after final closure. The Wise pattern places incisions along the breast crease, a vertical incision from that incision up to the areola, and an incision around the border of the areola. A Wise pattern incision would probably be most beneficial to achieve the desired result for patients with poor skin quality and with significant breast drooping.


Looks like a “lollipop” incision. The vertical lift eliminates the inframammary incision of the Wise pattern but uses the vertical and circumferential incision. Dr. Wallach, a New York City cosmetic surgeon, will commonly use a vertical lift technique to minimize the amount of scarring on the breast. This eliminates the use of a transverse incision along the lower breast fold that is placed as part of a more traditional “anchor type” procedure.


The circumareolar breast lift only employs an incision around the areola. This procedure is used for patients who do not require the nipple areola complex to be lifted too much. The tissue that supports the blood supply to the nipple areola complex can usually be brought on a pedicle from various directions.

This technique is usually reserved for patients with only mild to moderate breast ptosis (droop) and reasonably good skin elasticity. For this reason, most massive weight loss patients would not be good candidates for this technique because they likely have poor skin quality. But, for many mastopexy patients in New York, this technique is an excellent choice.

Dr. Wallach can combine breast augmentation with a breast lift for those patients that desire an increase in volume as well as a lift and a better breast contour. Dr. Wallach has used all three types of skin incision designs to achieve beautiful results for his patients. Sometimes a breast augmentation alone can be performed to lift the breast for minor sagging.


Most patients can go back to light duty within 3-5 days. Dr. Wallach has patients avoid aerobic type of activity for 3-4 weeks and then avoid exertion of heavy lifting for about 6-8 weeks. Patients wear a support bra without an underwire or a sports type bra for about three to six weeks before they can go back to using an underwire bra.

“I believe true confidence comes from a feeling of self-assuredness from one’s inner self. However, I also believe that it is heavily impacted by a lack of confidence with one’s outside appearance as well. Plastic surgery can help improve confidence in this way. ”

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If you would like more information about New York Surgeon Dr. Wallach and his success with New York City mastopexy procedures, we hope that you will not hesitate to contact our Manhattan office at (212) 861-6400 or by filling out our contact form to request additional details.

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Wallach has presented his findings on limited-access surgery combining breast augmentation with minor breast sagging in several peer-reviewed journals. He has presented talks to other plastic surgeons on his preferred techniques for breast lift surgery. Dr. Wallach has also given an instructional course to fellow plastic surgeons on his preferred techniques at the Aesthetic Society’s national meeting.


Is a breast lift covered by insurance?

A breast lift is not covered by insurance.

Does a breast lift cost more than implants?

The fee for a breast lift will cost more than a breast augmentation procedure. If you need to add an implant as well, the fee will be higher.

Do I need a breast lift or just implants?

If a patient does not have enough volume or desires more volume or more superior pole fullness, then that patient would benefit getting an implant as well.

Does a breast lift leave scars?

Yes, a breast lift does leave some scars. I try to limit them as much as possible. Sometimes I can limit it to the border of the areola and some I use a lollipop incision.

Do you lose sensation with breast lift?

Losing nipple sensation is very rare but can happen. Many patients have some numbness after surgery related primarily to tissue swelling. Sensation commonly improves within the first six to eight weeks as the swelling subsides. However, there are still a few patients who have permanent sensory changes to the nipple. Some studies suggest that more than 85% of patients have normal nipple sensation after one year post-surgery.

Does a breast lift make your nipples less sensitive?

Most patients have normal sensation after a breast lift. Some may have decreased sensation.

Do you still have feeling in your nipples after breast lift?

Most patients have normal sensation after a breast lift. Some may have decreased sensation.

Does insurance pay for breast lift?

Insurance does not pay for a breast lift.

How do you shower after a breast lift?

If I use drains, then I have my patients avoid showering until they come out. If I do not use a drain, then they can shower the next morning.

How long does it take for breast lift scars to heal?

It can take a year or longer for the incisions to mature.

How long do breast lift results last?

The longevity of a breast lift results are very dependent upon the genetics of the patient and the quality of the tissues.

How long does a breast lift last?

The longevity of a breast lift results are very dependent upon the genetics of the patient and the quality of the tissues.

How long does a breast lift take?

Depending upon how severe the deformity is, the procedure can take anywhere from 1-2 hrs to 3-4 hrs.

How much is a mini breast lift?

A mini-breast lift I assume is a circumareola aug or a nipple lift. So, the two procedures are different and will cost different amounts. A small areola lift may cost under $8-10K and circumareola lift with an implant may cost $10-20K

How painful is a breast lift?

A breast lift is usually not a very painful procedure if an implant is not used.

How soon after breast lift can I exercise?

I usually have patients avoid aerobics for about 3 weeks and heavy lifting or intense exertion for about 6 weeks.

Is getting a breast lift safe?

A breast lift is a very safe procedure with very few if any major complications

What is a crescent breast lift?

A crescent breast lift is a limited breast lift using a direct excision of a crescent or moon shape of skin and areola to lift the areola

What types of breast lifts are there?

There are many different skin excision patterns, as well as pedicles of tissue that are used to perform a lift

Will a breast lift reduce cup size?

Often during a breast lift, there is some skin and maybe some tissue that will be removed to create a great shape so the breast cup size may change. If an implant is added, you actually may go up in cup size.

Will a breast lift remove stretch marks?

A breast lift may remove stretch marks in the areas within the skin pattern excision.

Will breast lift affect breastfeeding?

The ability for a patient to breastfeed after a breast reduction or lift is hard to quantify. The size of the breast may not determine the ability to breastfeed either. In other words, some small-breasted women can successfully breastfeed, while there are others who have large breasts that cannot successfully breastfeed without supplementing. In general, I tell my patients that most should be able to breastfeed if they were able to before surgery, but assume that supplementing with baby formula may be necessary.

Why do my breasts sag?

As a patient grows older, the breasts begin to sag. They will sag more with large weight fluctuations. Similarly, hormonal changes during pregnancy cause the breast to become engorged. After childbirth is complete, the breasts deflate. This is analogous to a balloon that is blown up to capacity. The air slowly leaks out of the balloon and the skin of the balloon becomes weaker. This happens similarly with the breasts.

If I have a breast lift operation will I have a lot of scars?

It really depends upon what the breasts look like, and what the patient desires from the surgery. If the patient wants more volume and the breasts do not sag too much, then a breast implant through a small incision may be all that is required to make the breasts look better. On the other hand, if the patient wants a lift and no increase in volume, then a limited incision breast lift technique can be employed. This includes vertical breast lift operations, which limit the incisions to a lollipop appearance (a circle around the border of the areola and a vertical line from the lower border of the areola to the inframammary fold). Sometimes the incision can be limited to the area just around the areola.

What if I decide to have more children? Can I still have this surgery?

I usually instruct patients to delay having a breast lift until they have completed their child bearing. The breasts will go through the same changes as they did with other pregnancies. The breasts may or may not stay lifted, so it is probably best to wait.

What kind of incision will I need for a breast lift?

A breast lift can be performed using several different incision patterns. It really depends on multiple factors including the person’s breast size and shape, the quality of the skin, and the relationship of the nipple areola complex on the breast mound, to name a few. I have performed small circumareola lifts using a Benelli procedure (many times with an implant). I also commonly use a vertical lift technique. Many times the technique is a modification of the one described by LeJour. I have taught a course on this specific technique at the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s annual national meeting for many years. If a patient has severe laxity and a very low-lying nipple areola complex, I may choose an inverted T type of incision for the breast lift. I always incorporate the patient’s goals in the planning of the procedure when choosing the specific operation to perform.

Can I just have a lift around the border of my areola?

Some patients can have a breast lift procedure that encompasses only an incision around the border of the areola. Because there is a small risk of central flattening with this technique, I like to reserve this either for very small nipple areola lifts or in patients who want a breast augmentation as well. This technique is sometimes referred to as a Donut mastopexy, a circumareola mastopexy, or a Benelli mastopexy. These techniques are best for patients in which the nipple areola complex does not have to be elevated significantly, and there is little to no skin laxity.

What is a vertical breast lift?

A vertical breast lift really encompasses several different techniques. It can be referred to as a lollipop lift because the final incision closure looks like a lollipop. The incision is around the border of the areola and runs vertically from the base of the areola to the breast fold. Some of the more popular names of these techniques include the superior pedicle technique described by LeJour, Lassus, a superomedial pedicle technique described by a friend and colleague Elizabeth Hall-Findley, MD, and the SPAIR technique described by Dennis Hammond, MD. In general, these techniques are good for patients who need a moderate elevation of the nipple areola complex, and that have reasonably good skin quality. One advantage of this technique is that it often avoids an inframammary incision.

Will I need an implant with my breast lift?

If a patient wants to have larger breasts and have a lift, then implants will be necessary. If the patient is satisfied with the overall volume of her breasts then implants are not necessary. The technique chosen will depend upon the skin quality and the nipple areola position on the breast mound. I have often been able to do a circumareola lift in those who do not need a significant nipple areola lift and chose a breast implant to increase the volume. Many times I have used a vertical technique that may or may not require a small T at the fold.

If my breasts are slightly saggy can I just get breast implants?

Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. If there is some glandular ptosis (or sag) and the nipple areola is in a good position, then it is possible that you might not need a lift. However, if the nipple is not in a good position that places it on the main projection point of the breast, then a lift will be necessary. Sometimes it is as simple as lifting the nipple areola only, in a donut-type mastopexy or circumareola breast lift. If there is significant skin laxity then a vertical breast lift or inverted-T breast lift might be necessary.

Is a breast lift procedure the same as a breast reduction procedure?

In many cases, breast lift procedures are identical to breast reduction techniques except for the volume of breast tissue removed during the procedure. Both tighten the skin envelope, both raise the nipple areola complex as needed, and both can reduce and mold the breast glandular tissue.

Will I need drains after a breast lift procedure?

In many patients, I will place closed suction drains. These can often be removed within a few days to a week after surgery, and help to remove fluid that potentially can accumulate within the breast.

What is the recovery like after a breast lift procedure?

For most patients, the recovery is fairly straightforward. In general, patients wear a sports type bra with a front zipper for several weeks after surgery. Most can go back to work within a few days to a week. I usually allow patients to start light aerobic exercise about three to four weeks after surgery, and heavy lifting and exertion six to eight weeks after surgery, provided that they have healed without any complications.

Who requires a T incision breast lift?

An inverted T incision can be used for almost anyone, but it also creates the most incision lines. There is an incision around the border of the areola, with a vertical component running from the lower border of the areola to the chest fold, and then an incision runs along the inframammary fold. This technique is often reserved for those patients with severe skin and gland laxity and for those where the nipple areola complex is very low. Many pedicle variations have been described using a central, inferior, lateral, medial, or superior pedicle to preserve the blood supply to the nipple areola complex.

How much does a breast lift cost?

The fee for a breast lift will vary from doctor to doctor and also will vary if you need to use an implant or not. The average fee is somewhere between $10k-$30K.


I Love Dr. Steven Wallach, hands up with praise and his receptionist Ashley and other staff is amazing. I love my new Wallach body if I could rate 100 stars I would.

Melisa G.

New York, NY

I got Lipo 360 and Lipo done to my inner thighs and it was honestly the best experience . Everyone in the office including him make sure I knew everything that was happening and honestly I love the results so much !!

Brittani P.

New York, NY

I’m so happy with the results from the Botox shots that Dr. Wallach performed on me. He spent a lot of time talking about the different fillers that would make my face look the most natural and youthful.


New York, NY

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