Discover a More Vibrant and Natural You with Breast Lift Surgery

The Michael Horn Center for Cosmetic Surgery offers world-class breast lift surgery in Chicago designed to raise and restore the shape of your breasts to a more youthful profile and contour.


Known as a mastopexy, a breast lift procedure involves the removal of excess skin at precise target locations and nipple/areola repositioning to maximize lift and firmness while producing a more desirable breast profile. A breast lift can be performed as a standalone procedure, a solution to sagging or misshapen breasts or in combination with breast augmentation or breast reduction surgery in line with your cosmetic goals.

Breast Lift Chicago

Are you wondering if a breast lift is the right choice for you?

Breast lifts are a great choice for those looking to help lift up a sagging bosom, or who have a different breast shape than they did prior to weight loss or pregnancy. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding breast lifts:

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Why Breast Lift Surgery?


Like all skin tissue, breast tissue experiences a loss of elasticity and firmness with age, causing breasts to sag and lose their youthful shape as they become more prone to loose and excess skin.

Breasts also lose their shape naturally as a result of pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight gain and weight loss, while some patients may also develop sagging or misshapen breasts at a young age due to heredity. Nipples and areolas mayenlarge or reposition for the same reasons and combined with sagging and a loss of firmness and perkiness, can affect a patient’s figure, confidence and sense of youth.

Like any cosmetic procedure, the decision to have breast lift surgery should only be made for personal reasons and not be influenced by anyone else. If your breasts developed sagging, the nipples point downwards or below the breast creases, breast lift surgery may be the solution. A breast lift can turn back the clock and raise your breasts, reposition the nipples, and make your breasts look and feel firmer, perkier, and younger than before.

Which Conditions Can be Treated with Breast Lift Surgery?


It’s important to note that a breast lift does not necessarily impact the size of your breasts, but the raising and reshaping of their profile can make it appear so. To achieve physically larger breasts, breast augmentation surgery will be required. A breast lift can be performed in combination with a breast augmentation, which may be recommended to achieve your total cosmetic goals. The optimal solution for your needs will be discussed in detail during your consultation visit. A breast lift procedure is the ideal solution for:

  • Sagging breasts due to aging, pregnancy, weight loss or weight gain
  • Naturally-developed sagging breasts
  • Enlarged nipples and areolas
  • A loss of breast volume as a result of aging, pregnancy, or weight loss
  • Stretched, flat and elongated breast tissue
  • Misaligned or asymmetrical breasts, areolas and nipples
  • Areolas and nipples that point downward or are located at or below the breast crease
Chicago Breast Lift

What are the Benefits of Breast Lift Surgery?

A breast lift can have many benefits from improving the appearance of your breasts and figure to boosting your self-image and the desire to dress more freely and with confidence. Benefits of breast lift surgery include:

  • Raised breasts
  • Raised nipples
  • Reduced areola size
  • Improved breast contour
  • Improved breast proportions
  • Improved breast profile
  • A more natural-looking breast shape
  • A more shapely figure
  • Removal of excess breast skin
  • Perkier breasts
  • Rounder breasts

Who is the Ideal Candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?


You may be the ideal candidate for breast lift surgery if:

  • Your breasts sag because of hereditary reasons or because of shape and volume loss over time
  • Your breasts lack the perkiness, shape, and volume you desire
  • Your breasts have gotten flatter and more elongated due to aging and gravity
  • You have had weight fluctuations that have caused your breast tissue to stretch and lose elasticity
  • Your breasts are stretched and sag as a result of pregnancy
  • Your nipples and areolas are pointed downward or are positioned at or below your breast creases
  • Your breasts are misaligned or asymmetrical
  • You have enlarged or stretched areoles due to hereditary reasons, pregnancy, or aging
Woman with Breast Lift in Chicago

How Does Breast Lift Surgery Work?

Breast lift surgery is performed while the patient is sedated or asleep, and takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete. After completion, the patient can go home on the same day. The type of incisions made during your breast lift surgery and their locations will depend on the following factors:

  • Condition and appearance of your breasts
  • Elasticity and texture of skin tissue
  • Shape and size of your breasts
  • Degree of sagging
  • Size and location of areolas
  • Achieving minimal scarring

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Depending on your cosmetic goals, breast lift surgery typically involves the following steps:

  • Sedation or General Anesthesia

For safety purposes and to ensure a comfortable procedure, sedatives or general anesthesia will be administered in accordance with your medical history and the course of treatment.

  • Surgery Incisions

Your surgeon will make precise and predetermined incisions at target locationswhich are dependent on factors as stated above. These may include incisions made:

  • Around the areola
  • Horizontally along the breast crease
  • Vertically downward from the areola to the breast crease
  • Breast Shape and Tissue Modifications

After incision, your surgeon may make the following modifications to your breast tissue dependent on factors as stated above. The modifications may include:

  • Lifting and/or reshaping the breast tissue
  • Raising or repositioning the nipples and areolas
  • Reduction of areola size by removal of areola skin tissue
  • Removal of stretched or excess breast skin tissue
  • Sealing the Incisions

After all modifications to your breast and skin tissue have been made, the surgeon will tighten the skin around the incisions and seal them closed using stitches, surgical tape or adhesives to promote rapid healing, minimal scar tissue, and optimal cosmetic results.

What are the Types of Breast Lift Incisions?

Different types of breast lift incisions can be utilized by your surgeon to accommodate varying breast tissue textures and conditions, diverse cosmetic goals, and for the purpose of minimizing scarring in every patient’s unique case. During your consultation, your surgeon will examine the condition of your breasts and recommend a specific incision type to help you achieve the cosmetic changes you seek while avoiding visible scarring and enhancing the overall shape, appearance and condition of your breasts. The types of breast lift incisions are:

Crescent Lift

This breast lift incision type is ideal for the correction of minimal sagging and is typically performed in conjunction with a breast augmentation. During a Crescent Lift, an incision is made surrounding the upper half of the areola. This incision type produces minimal scarring that will fade over time.

Donut Lift

A peri-areolar breast lift, or a Donut Lift, is an incision type designed to correct mild breast sagging via a circular incision that fully surrounds the areola. This incision type is also utilized in the case of areola reduction for enlarged areolas as well as in breast lift surgery performed at the same time as breast augmentation. When fully healed, a donut breast lift will leave a single, minimally visible scar tracing around the boundary of the areola.

Lollipop Lift

A vertical breast lift, or a Lollipop Lift, is a breast lift incision designed for the correction of moderate sagging, and one that allows for the removal of excess skin tissue and a greater range of breast shape and contour modifications. A Lollipop Lift includes a total of 2 incisions, connecting a Donut incision surrounding the areola to a vertical incision that extends downward from the areola to the breast crease.

Anchor Lift

An inverted T breast lift, or an Anchor Lift, is an incision type that involves a total of 3 incisions that give your surgeon far more access to tissue removal and breast reshaping than possible with other incision types. An Anchor Lift is ideal for patients seeking the correction of significant breast sagging and pendulous breasts as well as excess breast tissue removal and optimal reshaping and contouring. It connects a Donut incision surrounding the areola to a vertical incision running from the areola to the breast crease, where it meets a third incision running horizontally along the breast fold. An Anchor Lift is also an ideal incision choice when performing a breast lift in conjunction with a breast reduction. This type of incision involves some visible scarring, however, administered skin care should cause the scars to fade and become almost imperceptible over time.

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Will There Be Scarring After Breast Lift Surgery?


During your consultation visit, your surgeon will conduct an examination of your breasts to determine the best incision type and location to minimize scarring. Breast lifts are designed to produce the smallest, most-concealed, and least-visible scars possible while creating the desired cosmetic effect. In many cases, the incision lines are concealed naturally by the breast tissue itself, and while scarring is permanent, the minimal and precise nature of the incisions should lead to the fading of scar tissue to the point of imperceptibility over time.

How Do I Prepare for Breast Lift Surgery?


During your consultation visit, you and your doctor will discuss all the steps you need to take to be fully prepared for breast lift surgery. These may include:

  • Getting a mammogram. Your doctor may request the results of a recent mammogram or for you to receive a baseline mammogram before and after surgery to observe how the procedure affects your breast tissue and for post-operative reference.
  • Not smoking before or after surgery. It is strongly advised not to smoke at least one month before or after surgery to prevent decreased blood flow to your skin and to ensure proper healing of incision sites and the affected breast tissue.
  • Avoiding specific medications and supplements. You and your doctor will discuss the types of medications you need to avoid before surgery, such as aspirin and anti-inflammatory medicines and drugs as well as herbal supplements to prevent increased bleeding during surgery.
  • Making changes to your medication regimen. Any medications you are currently taking will be discussed with your doctor during your consultation visit. Your doctor may request medication adjustments or that you take certain medications before surgery.
  • Losing weight. Your doctor may recommend weight loss in the case that you have gained weight in the year prior to electing for breast lift surgery. This will ensure optimal and lasting results to your breast profile, shape and tissue.
  • Making arrangements for post-operative assistance and your recovery. Breast lift surgery includes a recovery process that is best managed with the assistance of a close friend or family member. You will be required to have a personal contact bring you home after surgery (UBER will not be permitted) and will benefit from some assistance with your daily activities during the first several days of your recovery.
Woman with hat with Breast Lift Surgery in Chicago

What Should I Expect During My Consultation Visit?

Deciding on breast lift surgery isa major decision in your life, and it’s perfectly natural to feel anxious and have many questions about the procedure and what to expect. For best results, try to be as open as possible with your doctor and discuss any thoughts, feelings, and desires about breast lift surgery and your best expectations.

This will allow your doctor to understand the results you seek and fully inform you on the possibilities while providing a recommended course of treatment that is in line with your best expectations. Your consultation visit will include a review of your cosmetic goals along with the following to determine possible risk factors and ensure your complete safety:

  • Medical history and past surgeries
  • Allergies, conditions, and current or past medications
  • Lifestyle, including alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Mammograms or biopsy results
  • A full review of potential risks and complications associated with breast lift surgery, anesthesia and sedation

To determine if you are an ideal candidate for mastopexy and review your treatment options, your doctor will need to conduct a medical examination of your breasts, which includes:

  • Examining your breasts’ size and shape
  • Examining the size and location of your nipples and areolas in relation to your breast tissue
  • Taking photographs of your breasts for medical records and analysis of post-operative results, which will be held in strict privacy and will not be disclosed to anyone

What Should I Expect During Recovery?


After your breast lift procedure, the incision areas will be dressed and covered with bandages to protect the breast tissue and accelerate the healing process. Your breasts may be swollen and bruised after surgery, which should decrease and disappear within about 2 weeks. The breast tissue will feel sore or slightly painful at or around the affected areas, and you may experience numbness around your nipples, areolas, and incision areas for several weeks after surgery. You will be advised to wear a support bra or elastic bandages to reduce swelling and provide support to your breast tissue during recovery. You will also schedule a follow-up visit within 1-3 days of surgery, as well as a second follow-up visit approximately 6 weeks later.

You will receive specific instructions on how to achieve a fast, full and healthy recovery, which may include:

  • Post-surgery steps for optimal breast care
  • Post-surgery medications (these will include oral and topical medications for pain management and to prevent infection)
  • How to apply topical medications to the incision sites
  • How to massage incision sites after the bandages have been removed by your doctor to improve tissue coloration and minimize scarring
  • Garment instructions, including wearing a soft sports bra 24 hours a day for 6 weeks
  • Sleeping position instructions

You will also be advised to make specific lifestyle changes in order to ensure your safety as well as optimal healing and cosmetic results, such as:

  • Avoiding strenuous physical activity. You will be advised to refrain from any strenuous physical activity for 2 weeks. After this time period, you may begin to slowly resume exercising and engaging in physical activity starting with light and slow-paced workouts.
  • Avoiding pectoral exercises for several months after surgery. Your doctor will advise you on how long you should wait before engaging in any chest/pectoral workouts to ensure a complete recovery and optimal cosmetic results.
  • Avoiding driving for several days while taking prescription pain medication. You will also be advised against driving until you are able to sit and perform driving motions without discomfort.
  • Avoiding tanning for 2 weeks after surgery. You may resume tanning 2 weeks after surgery but will be advised to protect the incision areas from direct exposure to sunlight by covering them with a bathing suit or with sunscreen. Tanning the incision areas too early can make the scar tissue more visible.
  • Avoiding sleeping in bed with pets. Pet dander may increase the risk of infection at incision areas.Avoid letting your pets in the bed for 2 weeks after surgery.
  • Avoiding sexual activity for 1-2 weeks after surgery.
Chicago Breast Lift Surgery

Are There Risks to Breast Lift Surgery?

While the risks of breast lift surgery are generally considered rare, all major surgeries do pose a small degree of risk to the patient. The risks of breast lift surgery will be discussed in detail during your pre-operative visits along with everything you need to know to help minimize them and ensure a safe and successful procedure. You will be required to sign a consent form stating that you understand the risks involved and are making the personal decision to proceed with breast lift surgery. Potential risks and side-effects of breast lift surgery include:

  • Bleeding
  • Hematoma
  • Complications of anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to surgical materials
  • Improper healing
  • Temporary or permanent change to nipple or breast sensation
  • Scarring
  • Breast shape or contour irregularity or asymmetry
  • Fat necrosis
  • Partial or full loss of nipple and areola tissue
  • Problems with breastfeeding
  • Accumulation of fluid
  • Blood clots
  • The need for follow-up surgery

When Will I See the Results of Breast Lift Surgery?

You will notice a change in your breast shape, profile and contour immediately following surgery.


However, optimal results will take place over the course of several months. During the period following surgery, any bruising, swelling, redness and incision lines will begin to diminish and the overall appearance of your breasts will continue to improve.

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Is a Breast Lift Permanent?


While a breast lift does provide long-lasting results, its benefits are naturally susceptible to the effects of aging, gravity, and weight gain or weight loss just like breasts prior to getting a lift. Thus, a breast lift is not permanent, and you may elect to have an additional breast lift later in life should you wish to reverse some of those effects on the shape, contour and position of your breasts.

What Can I Do to Preserve the Results of My Breast Lift?


After surgery, you and your doctor will discuss any steps you can take to preserve the results of a breast lift, which typically include avoiding weight fluctuations and maintaining a healthy lifestyle that involves proper skincare. You will also be advised to avoid any risk of blunt impact, force or intensive motions during the recovery process. Because of the effects of pregnancy and weight fluctuations on breast tissue, it’s best to discuss your future plans with your doctor and postpone a breast lift surgery until after any plans to have children or lose weight have been fulfilled.

Breast Surgery Chicago

Schedule a Consultation

If you live in or near Chicago and have questions about breast lift surgery, click here to request a consultation online at our downtown Chicago plastic surgery office. Alternatively, you can Call our practice at (312) 202-9000 and one of our helpful staff members will schedule your appointment.