Breast Lift/Mastopexy

Breast lift (mastopexy) is one of the most popular surgical aesthetic treatments available. This innovative procedure can improve signs of breast ptosis (sagginess) to give the breasts a more youthful and “perky” appearance. Nature is not always kind to a woman’s breasts. Numerous factors, ranging from pregnancy to breastfeeding to fluctuations in weight, can result in sagging or “droopy” breasts. Even just growing older can cause breasts to lose their youthful look and shape. To combat this seemingly unavoidable problem, many women turn to cosmetic surgery. A breast lift at our practice can help restore the natural curves of your body.

What Is a Breast Lift?

A breast lift (medically known as a “mastopexy”) is an aesthetic plastic surgery procedure designed to elevate the position of drooping breasts and restore a more symmetrical, youthful-looking shape. There are many different surgical breast lift techniques plastic surgeons may use to meet the unique needs and goals of their patients. For women who desire additional breast fullness and a firmer feel, breast implants can also be placed during the breast lift procedure. Each mastopexy should be personalized for the best results, making it important to have an open discussion with your plastic surgeon about your concerns and desired outcome.

Am I a Candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?

The best candidates for breast lift surgery are typically individuals who are in relatively good general health and would like to: 

  • Reduce signs of sagging/drooping in the breasts 
  • Give the breasts and nipples a higher, more youthful projection 
  • Have firmer, “perkier” breasts 
  • Make the nipples more centralized on the breasts 
  • Diminish the size of the nipples and areolas 

Patients considering breast lift surgery will be evaluated for the degree of breast ptosis (sagging) they are currently experiencing. The degrees of breast ptosis include: 


Pseudoptosis, which is sometimes referred to as “glandular ptosis,” occurs when the breasts appear to be slightly drooping beneath the inframammary fold (the area where the lower part of the breast meets the chest), but the areolas and nipples maintain their position above the fold. 

Grade I Ptosis 

Grade I ptosis is characterized by breasts that are sagging below the inframammary fold, but the nipples/areolas are approximately level with the fold. 

Grade II Ptosis 

When the breasts sag below the inframammary fold and the nipples/areolas appear just beneath the fold as well, this can be an indication of Grade II ptosis. 

Grade III Ptosis 

Severe breast ptosis is indicated in Grade III, which is characterized by the breasts, nipples, and areolas drooping well below the inframammary fold. In these cases, the nipples are often pointing in a downward trajectory. 

During the initial consultation with Dr. Zollman, he will talk with you about your concerns and determine the grade of breast ptosis you may be experiencing. If you are an ideal candidate for breast lift surgery, Dr. Zollman can create a customized treatment plan designed to rejuvenate your breasts with results that look both natural and beautiful. 

What Are My Breast Lift Options?

Before performing a breast lift or any cosmetic surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeon—Wally Zollman, M.D.—will discuss the various options available to you for the surgical procedure. Depending on your needs and desired results, Dr. Zollman can complete a breast lift by itself or perform the procedure in conjunction with breast augmentation or breast reduction surgeries. 

There is a common procedure for performing a breast lift, but you may qualify for a modified version of this cosmetic surgery. Dr. Zollman will address these options when discussing the surgical procedure with you. 

Will I Need Breast Implants With My Breast Lift?

If you would like to add volume to the breasts in addition to giving them a firmer look and a more youthful projection, a breast lift with implants (augmentation-mastopexy) may be an option worthy of consideration. This treatment utilizes breast lift techniques to address signs of sagging while placing breast implants to increase the size of the breasts and enhance fullness. Whether an augmentation-mastopexy is right for you will ultimately depend on your overall treatment goals. Either one of these procedures can provide effective enhancement as standalone procedures; however, an augmentation-mastopexy can be ideal if you would like significant breast enlargement along with improvement in signs of breast ptosis. Dr. Zollman will talk with you about your needs and goals and make a recommendation once you are evaluated during the initial consultation. 

What Happens During Breast Lift Surgery?

The breast lift surgery procedure performed by plastic surgeon Wally Zollman, M.D. generally takes one to three hours. Because it is performed under general anesthesia, you will be asleep during the entire surgery. 

During a basic breast lift, Dr. Zollman will make an incision that will outline the area of skin that will be removed. After removing the excess skin and tissue, he will reposition your nipple and areola into their higher position. To complete the surgery, Dr. Zollman will use the remaining skin to reshape and tighten the breast before stitching the incision. 

Thank you for making me feel whole for the first time in my life. I have much more self-confidence now, I feel beautiful in everything I wear. I love my breasts for the first time ever. My husband loves them also.

Patient name withheld for privacy

What Is Recovery Like After Breast Lift Surgery?

It is common to experience some initial swelling, bruising, and soreness after breast lift surgery. Prior to your procedure, you will be prescribed medication that can help you feel more comfortable as you recover. Dr. Zollman encourages patients to closely adhere to their post-operative care instructions and call our practice as soon as any questions or concerns arise. Most women feel well enough to return to work and normal daily schedules after about a week of recovery; however, Dr. Zollman advises breast lift patients to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for several additional weeks. In order to track your healing progress, it is important to attend all of your scheduled follow-up appointments. Dr. Zollman will guide you through the recovery process and make sure you know what to expect at each phase.

Will I Have Breast Lift Scars?

Scars are an unavoidable reality of a breast lift; however, most women are surprised by how significantly their scars flatten and fade as they continue to heal and mature. Initially, scars typically appear more reddish and raised, but with time they increasingly blend with the surrounding skin. It is also important to know that one of Dr. Zollman’s goals for breast lift surgery is to keep the incisions as hidden as possible to reduce the amount of visible scar tissue. Properly tending to your incisions as they heal and taking antibiotics as prescribed is also key for limiting scarring, as infection can lead to the formation of additional scar tissue. If you are concerned about the way scarring may look after surgery, we encourage you to examine before-and-after photos of Dr. Zollman’s breast lift patients to get a more accurate idea of your potential results.

How Long Does a Breast Lift Last?

The results of a breast lift can last for many years; however, it is important to remember that the natural aging process, weight loss, large breast size, skin inelasticity, and other factors that can lead to breast ptosis will continue to have an effect on breast tissues. With that in mind these effects can be slowed and breast lift results can be maintained for longer periods as long as a few precautions are taken. Supportive bras, a healthy diet, avoidance of tanning booths, and strong sun protection can be very helpful for maintaining breast lift outcomes long into the future. 

Can I Breastfeed After a Breast Lift?

Breast lift surgery should not affect a woman’s ability to breastfeed their children as long as the individual was already physically able to nurse (a significant number of women do not have the natural ability to breastfeed). However, if you are planning on breastfeeding at some point in the future, please be sure to talk with Dr. Zollman about it during your initial consultation. The breast lift procedure will need to be performed utilizing techniques that reduce the potential that milk duct function will be compromised. With that in mind, Dr. Zollman generally recommends that women who are planning on nursing children in the future wait until their families are complete before undergoing breast lift surgery. This is largely due to the fact that a future pregnancy and/or breastfeeding may have a significant effect on breast lift results.

Can I Get a Breast Lift Without Surgery?

A surgical breast lift is the only effective way to lift the breasts to a higher position and reduce excess tissue that is pulling the breasts down. While some online articles and other publications may claim to offer exercises or other tips that can replicate the results of a breast lift, this is ultimately not possible because only surgery can remove excess skin and quite literally lift the breasts to directly improve signs of breast ptosis.

How Much Does Breast Lift Surgery Cost?

At Zollman Plastic Surgery, the average cost for a breast lift typically falls between $7,000 and $8,000. The overall price can fluctuate greatly from patient to patient based on the unique details of each personalized surgical plan. When calculating the estimated cost for mastopexy, there are many factors that determine pricing: 

  • Proposed technique
  • Complexity of the procedure
  • Type of breast implants, if breast augmentation is combined with the lift
  • Surgeon’s fees
  • Surgical facility fees and anesthesiology costs
  • Necessary post-operative garments and medications 

If you want to find out how much your customized breast lift would cost, we welcome you to contact our practice to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zollman. Following your appointment, an estimate of your total cost for breast lift surgery can be presented to you for evaluation. There is no pressure to schedule your surgery, and you can learn about the payment methods we accept and/or submit applications for financing opportunities with Link Federal Credit Union and CareCredit®. These third-party lenders can provide qualified applicants with a variety of loan options designed to make paying for aesthetic treatment more affordable and convenient. 

Contact Our Cosmetic Surgery Practice in Indiana

If you have questions about breast lift surgery or other cosmetic surgery procedures, contact Wally Zollman, M.D. today. We will be happy to provide additional information about our procedures or assist you with scheduling a consultation.

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8227 Northwest Blvd. Suite 290
Indianapolis, Indiana 46278