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How Long Do Breast Lift Results Last?

I am almost done with nursing my twins babies (halleluia!). It has taken quite a toll and I would like to get a breast lift, but I am wondering how long the surgery would be effective.
I'm not planning to, but what if I had another baby? Would the breast lift hold up? If I didn't have any more kids, how many years could I expect the effect of the breast lift to last?

Doctor Answers 40

In general, it is always best to wait until you are done...

In general, it is always best to wait until you are done having children before having a breast lift. Future pregnancies can stretch the result out and cause you to need to undergo another lift. Otherwise, a well performed lift usually lasts forever in terms of the nipple and areola staying up above the level of the inframammary crease. The breast may lose volume with time and need an implant to fill out the lost volume.

The keys to preserving the lift really lie in the nature of your skin and keeping a stable weight profile. Inherently, a person who needs a lift has demonstrated that their skin doesn't have good elasticity already and there isn't anything they can do to improve it other than preventing wide weight swings and by wearing supportive garments.

Longevity of current breast lifting techniques

Hi Anon,

Great question!

First of all, it's always best to hold off having any type of cosmetic breast procedure until done with child bearing and breast feeding. Breast changes during these events are most unpredictable.

I've been a plastic surgeon for almost 20yrs. I grew tired of the standard anchor technique which left women with undesirable long term results. In my quest to improve this major defect, I found that by transferring the weight of the breast to the muscles below, longevity of the lift was greatly improved. This allows me to provide patients with the upper pole fullness that other techniques cannot achieve.  Research, research, research! FYI, the anchor (Wise) technique was developed back in 1956! Best wishes,

Dr. H

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

Breast Lift After Breast Feeding

Pregnancy causes many changes in the breast, many of which are not predictable. With pregnancy the breasts enlarge, and the skin stretches. After pregnancy the breast gland atrophies and the skin may not shrink. 

If you are just finishing breast feeding, you would be better to wait before having a breast lift. Waiting 3 to 6 months after the milk has dried up is recommended to prevent problems with healing. Waiting a year is probably best to see what shape the breasts will take. If the skin is going to shrink, it can take a year for them to reach their best firmness. This also gives you time to see if you are happy with the size.

Asking how long a breast lift will last is difficult to answer, because the range is large. A lift removes excess skin and reshapes the breast and moves the nipple and areola up on the breast. It can reset the clock, but it can't stop it.

If the changes are from pregnancy, another pregnancy will likely cause the same problems. The same is true for weight gain followed by weight loss. If there is not another pregnancy, the breast will age, and drop at their normal rate. Skin tone, thickness, elasticity, the size of the breast and the judicious use of a bra all come into play.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Results from breast lift

Some patients are under the impression that plastic surgery prevents you from aging.  This is not the case.  Plastic surgery and rejuvenating procedures will set back the clock, but the clock keeps ticking.  The effects of gravity over time and loosing of you skin will result in changes.  However, you will look and feel much better with the lift than without out.  Please make sure you are seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon for your surgery.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Possible augmentation as well

A breast lift can last for an extended period of time. More importantly, you want to make sure that a breast lift is the right procedure for you. After nursing two children breasts can look deflated, in this case patients sometimes choose to have a breast augmentation and a breast lift. The augmentation will give the breasts the fullness they lost when nursing and the lift will reconstruct the way the breasts looked before children. Go to several surgical consultations and speak to the surgeons about their opinions, ask to see pictures and verify the surgeons credentials.

10-15 Years Typically

This is a commonly asked question in our practice and it’s hard to answer because of the large number of variables that are present.It’s safe to say that because of the constant force of gravity, we can set the clock back but never stop the clock from ticking.Women who don’t have breast lifts, experience progressive breast sag and women who have had breast lifts can expect some recurrent sag as well.

Factors that are associated with the development of recurrent sag include thin skin, large breasts, fluctuations in weight, pregnancy, failure to wear a support bra, certain types of disease that involve the connective tissue, and cigarette smoking.

Surgical technique is important as well but less important than the patients wound healing and soft tissue characteristics.Most breast lift procedures utilize the skin to create an envelope which supports the breast tissue.Recently, techniques have been developed that utilize internal sutures to provide additional support.If breast implants are used to add volume or create additional upper breast volume, they should always be placed under the muscle and should not be of excessive size.

In my experience, breast lifts are associated with high satisfaction rates and in many cases, last between 10 to 15 years.It’s important to realize that gravity goes to work immediately and as time marches on, recurrent sag is inevitable to some degree.

How long does a breast lift last.

I think of a breast lift like resetting the clock.  Time marches on in terms of relaxation of the skin but you will always be more lifted than if you never had the procedure.  I would wait about 6 months after you are done nursing prior to having the procedure done and be sure that you are done having kids.  Although you can have a second lift done later, the risks are always higher for wound healing problems with a second surgery.

Susan D. Vasko, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Breast Lift After Baby

I recommend a breast lift for my patients only after they are done having children.  That will create the longest lasting result.  If you have children after a breast lift, you might have to undergo the process again to get back to where you were with the first surgery.  A breast lift will not stop the clock on your natural aging process, but you won't ever be back to what you were before.  The techniques used today are much more sophisticated because they reshape the internal structure of the breast.  This will create greater longevity and a more graceful aging process.


Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Breast Lift Results Longevity

Breast Lift Results Last a Long Time

A breast lift is like turning back the hands of time - but the clock keeps ticking. That means many patients will always benefit from this procedure. There are certain factors that accelerate the breast aging process after this procedure (or even if you don't have surgery) They include:Very large and heavy breasts (with or without implants), fare skin with significant sun damage, smokers, stretch marks, large weight gains and losses, not wearing a bra, severe medical illnesses and certain underlying medical problems.

In general most of my patients have not repeated their mastopexy, breast lift, procedure as they are satisfied with their appearance and I have been in practice more than 25 years.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Breast lift results can last long time.

You should wait at least 6 months after you stop breast feeding before having a breast lift.  This will allow the breasts to shrink to their normal size from their pregnancy induced engorgement.  The basic principles behind a breast lift are to: 1) Elevate the nipple and areolar to the correct position and reduce the size of the areolar if needed.  2) Reduce the size of the skin envelope of the breast by resecting skin only and tucking the breast tissue up inside this smaller skin envelope, thus plumping the skin out and making the previously deflated apperance look full.  The results should be long lasting, yet depends on several factors. If your skin quality is good, if your breasts are relatively normal size and weight, if your breasts are more breast tissue and less fat, if you don't smoke and you wear some type of support regularly: these all favor a longer lasting result.  Patients who smoke, have stretch marks on their breast skin, want larger breasts lifted without reducing their weight, have fatty breasts and don't wear support may not have as long lasting results.  Should you have another baby after the breast lift the same engorgement of the breasts will occur and this will stretch the skin envelope, and may detract from your result.  Always have a complete consultation with your board certified plastic surgeon before deciding.  Good luck!

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.