Will Breast Lift Decrease the Volume of a Breast?

I had a lumpectomy 3 years ago, that breast sags now and the other one just a little.

Doctor Answers 19

Depending on how much skin is removed, you may lose some volume

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A breast lift involves removing breast skin, or at least the top layer of skin, and reshaping of the underlying breast mound. Some breasts tend to be more elongated and flatter than the nice round shape that breasts start off with. If a lot of skin has to be removed, in order to develop a nice shaped breast, then a patient may lose as much as a half cup size. This is especially true in larger breasts that have noticeable sagging, where the nipple is at least 1 inch below the inframmary crease.

A sagging breast generally appears larger (optical illusion) than a lifted similarly sized breast.

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This depends on your preference. In most instances the breast lift will reduce the skin but not necessarily the volume. However, a lifted breast gives the optical illusion of a smaller breast when compared to a sagging (ptotic) breast. IF you desire a reduction, express your wish to your plastic surgeon and it can be accomplished.

Breast lift concentrates the volume, often making the breast seem larger

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If only skin is removed, the skin envelope which contains the breast tissue is left smaller after a breast lift. This makes the breast feel fuller and higher on the chest.

If your breasts have atrophied following childbirth or because of the lumpectomy, you may also need breast implants for a full breasted look.

Breast Lift and Volume of Breast?

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Thank you for the question.

Breast lifting surgery involves removal of skin to tighten up the  breast skin  “envelope”. This skin excision serves to the decrease the breast  skin surface area and elevate the breasts on the chest wall.  The nipple/areola complexes are moved superiorly as well.

 Although breast lifting does not necessarily involve removal of any breast tissue/volume,  sometimes the breasts “look smaller” after breast lift surgery.

 I hope this helps.

Breast lift can decrease the volume of a breast

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A breast lift will excise excess skin or sagging and help recontour  the breast mound. To create a significant lift or remove a large amount of sagging tissue, skin and breast tissue must be excised. This process may decrease the volume of the breast. For this reason, a breast lift is best used when the patient's priority is to change the shape or position of the breast. If the patient wants additional volume to the breast, and auto augmentation or a breast lift with implants may be the best option.

Breast lift does not make breasts smaller.

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A well done breast lift definitely does not decrease breast volume. The lift is done internally. The breast tissue is reshaped and moved up. Only a tiny amount of skin is removed.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Typically yes

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The goals of the lift are to rais the nipples, even the breasts, shape the breasts, and eliminate the stretched skin. A variable but small amount of breast tissue may also be removed for shaping, or to improve symmetry between breasts.

When this is done, the tightened skin envelope compresses breast tissue and raises it, making the breast slightly smaller.


Should not.

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Thank you for your question.

A breast lift should not decrease your breast volume too much. However, usually skin (not breast tissue) is removed to lift the breast, so there will be a minimal reduction in size. Your breast may also feel firmer or tighter as the volume of tissue is fit into a smaller area.

Best regards,

Dr. Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Breast volume after mastopexy

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Hi Eva,

This is a great question. After you undergo a breast lift, particularly one in which a large amount of skin is removed, your breasts may look smaller. Even if breast tissue has not been removed, the breasts are not as droopy, thereby making them look smaller. The overall breast volume, however, will not have changed significantly. As a result, your breasts will be perkier and firmer, and should fill out your existing bras well.

Some mastopexies, however, are really small breast reductions. In addition to lifting the breast, breast tissue is removed. This may be done to correct an asymmetry or to reduce volume.

Best advice is to see a board-certified plastic surgeon, discuss your goals, and see if he or she can meet them to your satisfaction.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

Breast Lift will not really decrease breast volume

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Hi Eva,

2 questions in one.

1."Will Breast Lift decrease the volume of a breast?" - Not really. A breast lift (mastopexy) removes some breast skin but mostly lifts the breasts making them perkier. It does not add volume and the only volume loss is the little excess skin removed by the procedure which rarely really affects breast size.

2. " had a lumpectomy 3 years ago, that breast sags now and the other one just a little" - If the breasts are otherwise equal in volume and only differ in the amount of sagging, the lifting would have to be different on one side than the other to TRY and approximate symmetric breasts. IF there is a volume difference between them as well, and you want them to be more symmetrical, the larger breast can be made a little smaller to try and match the smaller breast. All this can be done as part of the lifting procedure.

I hope this was helpful.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.