What is the Benefit of a "Tailor Tack" Procedure for a Breast Lift?

Doctor Answers 7

Breast Lift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Many plastic surgeons use markings prior to surgery to decide how to re-shape the breasts in a lift. A tailor-tacking method involves changing the plan during the operation by temporarily closing the tissue and tightening the tissue to decide on placement of the incisions.

Everett Plastic Surgeon

Tailor tacking a breast lift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Tailor tacking during a breast lift is similar to a basting stitch during sewing, to hold the skin or fabric of the breast into the desired shape prior to trimming skin excess. Skin will stretch in all directions though has a bias or relaxed tension line like cloth and tacking can help define and confirm the shape of the breast. Rather a technical term for surgeons, perhaps interesting to patients.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

The "tailor tack" method in breast lifts allows for more predictability and precision

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A "tailor tack" approach for a breast lift allows for more precise determination of changes that will be made before making them. Thus, it allows for more predictable and refined results rather than making a commitment that may not be correctable. It is somewhat akin to the saying: "measure twice and cut once" rather than "cut and hope for the best".

I always employ this technique with my breast lifts.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

You might also like...

Breast lift refinement

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Tailor tacking is a term used to describe how skin is temporarily fastened together during surgery prior to making final incisions and suture fixation.  It similar to a phrase used in carpentry:  "Measure twice, cut once."  Tailor tacking is often performed quickly with staples.  Fine adjustments are made, then skin and excess tissue is excised and sutured for the final results.  Hope this helps!

Jason Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

"Tailor Tack" breast lift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Tailor tack is a term used for many operations just pulling the skin together in a fashion so that a closure can be performed. For mos breast lift procedures I use a Lejour or modification which employs a lollipop incision with a superior pedicle giving a lift.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tailor tacking for mastopexy

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for the question.

Tailor tacking  is an important part of the mastopexy and mastopexy/augmentation procedure. It involves TEMPORARY  closure of the skin (for example with temporary skin staples)  to double check the amount of skin that is to be excised during the procedure. This maneuver is done to ensure that enough skin, but not too much, is removed. On the one hand, it is important that enough skin be removed to achieve the aesthetic breast lifting results the patient is looking for; on the other hand, is important not to move too much skin creating tension upon closure and potential wide scars.

The tailor tacking technique is very important when performing breast augmentation/mastopexy procedures. Again, this technique allows for a double check of the skin excision prior to the actual excision being carried out. In this procedure (breast augmentation/mastopexy)  if too much skin is removed it will limit the size of implant that can be used and/or the surgeon may experience tension upon  closure of the skin resulting in  wide scars, wounds healing problems, and/or implant exposure.

On the other hand, when performing breast augmentation/mastopexy surgery, if too little skin is removed the patient will be left with loose skin and may be dissatisfied with the end result achieved. This loose skin may need to be excised at a later date.

You should also be aware that the complications discussed above can occur despite using the tailor tacking technique  leading some surgeons to prefer a two-stage breast augmentation mastopexy procedure.The combination breast augmentation / mastopexy surgery differs from breast augmentation surgery alone in that it carries increased risk compared to either breast augmentation or mastopexy surgery performed separately. Furthermore, the potential need for revisionary surgery is increase with breast augmentation / mastopexy surgery done at the same time.

In my opinion, the decision  to do the operation in a single or two  staged fashion becomes a judgment call made by a surgeon after direct examination of the patient.  For me, if I see a patient who needs a great degree of lifting, who has lost a lot of skin elasticity, or  whose goal is a very large augmentation then I think it is best to do the procedures in 2 stages (in order to avoid serious complications). However, doing the procedure one stage does increase the risks of complications in general and the potential need for further surgery. This increased risk must be weighed against the practical benefits of a single stage procedure (which most patients would prefer).
Conversely, if I see a patient who requires minimal to moderate lifting along with a small to moderate size augmentation (and has good skin quality), then doing the procedure one stage is much safer. Nevertheless, the potential risks  are greater with a 1 stage  procedure and the patient does have a higher  likelihood of needing revisionary surgery.

I hope this helps.

What is the benefit of tailor-tacking during breast lift?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Plastic surgeons mark the patient's breast lift before going into the operating room. Of course these markings are made before the implant is in place.

Once in the operating room most surgeons will insert the implant, and then simulate the breast lift by stitching the breast using the markings made before surgery. This is called tailor-tacking. The surgeon can then confirm the accuracy of the preop markings before actually cutting out the skin required to do the breast lift.

Tailor-tacking avoids the unpleasant discovery that there is not enough skin to close the breast over the implant.

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.