Breast lift

Over time, breast tissues are slowly but surely affected by gravity and fall from their original position. Pregnancy or significant weight loss can both exacerbate this process. A breast lift can help restore your breasts to their youthful or pre-pregnancy size and shape. The surgery removes some breast skin to lift, narrow, firm, and reshape the breasts, while also reducing the size of the areolae if they have become stretched.

Breast lifts slightly reduce breast size, although not as much as a breast reduction. In some patients whose breast tissues have atrophied significantly, a breast augmentation can be combined with a lift. This restores the loss of breast size, and is known as an augmentation-lift. Overall, the goal with a breast lift is to achieve the effect of a push-up bra without needing to wear one.

During your consultation, you should expect to discuss your overall medical history, breast health history such as prior mammograms or family history of breast disease, any surgeries or procedures you have undergone, and medications and supplements you use. After meeting Dr. Nagarkar and his nurse, you will also have medical photographs taken in the office to assist with the surgical planning.

Dr. Purushottam Nagarkar, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Plano and Frisco
Dr. Nagarkar on his philosophy of breast lift surgery:

Breast lifts used to have the reputation of having results that did not last very long. However, over the years, breast lift techniques have come a long way. Today, with the use of special suturing techniques, breast implants, and internal meshes, breast lifts can be both long-lasting and have excellent immediate results. As with all other breast surgeries, after a comprehensive examination and discussion, I like to make detailed measurements to help design the best surgery for each patient. These measurements also help me determine whether we can safely perform a lift and a augmentation at the same time.

Who is a good candidate for breast lift:

Most patients without any major medical problems and without a history of breast cancer can be good candidates for a breast lift. Patients who may wish to become pregnant in the future are generally not good candidates. Pregnancy can often undo much of the benefits of the surgery. In addition, patients who have large breasts may get a better and more long-lasting result with a breast reduction rather than a lift.

How to prepare for surgery:

Dr. Nagarkar will let you know if any laboratory tests are required prior to your surgery. In most patients, a pre-operative mammogram will be needed to obtain baseline information and help detect any changes in your breast tissue. You must stop smoking or using nicotine-containing patches or gums for 6 weeks before surgery. This is critical as smoking increases the risk of significant complications. Finally, you will discuss with Dr. Nagarkar which medications and supplements you should stop taking before surgery, and which ones you can continue. You will get detailed written instructions for pre- and post-operative care. In addition, you will receive any postoperative prescriptions you might need so that you can have them filled by your pharmacy in advance.

What to expect on the day of surgery:

Breast lifts are generally outpatient surgeries that last around two hours. The exact time depends on the complexity of the case, and whether you have chosen to have other procedures performed at the same time. You should plan on having nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery. You will need to have someone drive you to and from the surgery, and to stay with you for 24 hours afterwards. If you had several procedures performed at the same time, you might need to stay overnight in the hospital for observation. A licensed and certified anesthesiology provider will be present during your procedure to provide anesthesia and monitor you at all times during the surgery.

What to expect after surgery:


Your surgery is designed and performed to achieve the ideal result and as close to 100% symmetry as possible on the operating table. In the first 48 hours after surgery, you will have significant swelling which is often asymmetric in nature. It will take 2 to 3 months for the swelling to resolve and for you to see your final result. Your scars may appear raised, and inflamed at first, but will fade, soften, and flatten, over the course of 6 months to a year after surgery.

The first few days:

Recovery after breast lift is usually quite rapid. You will be able to go home the same day. The evening after surgery, it is critical that you are out of bed and walking. This reduces the risk of forming blood clots in your legs. Dr. Nagarkar will call you the next day to make sure you are doing well, and to answer any questions you might have.


Narcotic pain medications are usually only needed for a day or two, and often are not required at all. Often, anti-inflammatory over the counter medications like Tylenol and Ibuprofen are adequate.

Incision care:

Your incisions will all be closed with internal absorbable sutures, and surgical glue, so you can generally start showering the day after surgery, although bathing, swimming, or getting in a jacuzzi should not be done until at least 3 weeks after surgery. You will also have a surgical bra to support the breasts that you should wear for the first 6 weeks after surgery, whenever you are up and about. You should protect your fresh scars from sun exposure for at least 6 months after surgery, because they are extra sensitive to sunlight during this period. Dr. Nagarkar may discuss special scar care techniques such as silicone sheeting or moisturizers with you. If you are prone to forming keloids, it is very important that you discuss this with him prior to your surgery.


Most patients do not require surgical drains.


You can return to your regular diet after surgery, but for the first day or two, stick with lighter meals. Anesthesia can sometimes make your digestive system a bit sensitive, and having a double cheeseburger the evening after surgery is not recommended. You should refrain from high-sodium foods because salt may increase swelling or prolong the time required for your swelling to resolve.


Recovery after breast lift is usually quite rapid. Most patients only need to take a few days off work.


You will be able to go back to non-strenuous activities such as walking, using a computer, writing, and so on, immediately after surgery. You should not lift anything over 10 pounds (or a gallon of milk), for 2-3 weeks after your surgery to allow your tissues to heal.


You can resume driving once you are no longer taking narcotic medications, and when you feel that you are in full control of your car. This often takes a week or two.


Aerobic exercise such as yoga, running, cycling, barre, etc., must be stopped for three weeks to allow the tissues to heal. Strenuous activity too early in the recovery brings a high risk of bleeding, which can cause significant complications.

Follow-up visits:

You will see Dr. Nagarkar in the office usually 7 – 10 days after surgery to examine the incisions and ensure that you are healing appropriately. We will see you again at the 4-6 week mark at which time Dr. Nagarkar may clear you from any activity restrictions if you are healing appropriately. Finally you will have appointments around 3 months, 6 months and 1 year after surgery.

To meet Dr. Nagarkar in person, schedule your consultation or call us.