Can You Do a Breast Lift from the Arm Pit?

Can You Do a Breast Lift from the Arm Pit?

Doctor Answers 8

Dear Lounginglizard

We are in the process of developing such a technique. It utilizes an armpit incision and endoscopic dissection on each side. To date, standard techniques involve incisions placed on the breast and are useful for minor and major ptosis (sagging).  This endoscopic technique will not work for all breast shapes.

Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Breast Lift cannot be accomplished through the armpit

Hi there-

I certainly understand patient's constant and ever-present search for the magic pill or treatment that will allow them to achieve their desired appearance without cost, scars, recovery, and inconvenience.

On the other hand, it is very important that patients like yourself understand that this constant push for things that on their face are too good to be true is a large part of the reason so many women are reported injured, disfigured, killed, or just defrauded each year by "practitioners" of cosmetic surgery.

Here in my home town of Orlando, there was not too long ago a "cosmetic surgeon" (he was trained as an ER doctor) who did a breast lift on a woman by putting a screw into her collar bone and attaching a strong suture that he looped around her nipple under her skin. He told her that the great thing was that whenever she wanted it lifted more, she could just have a minor procedure to tighten the suture. He didn't tell her that no one had ever done the operation before, or that her collar bone would hurt forever, or that her breasts were going to look freakish and weird. Scary.

But the really scary thing is that she actually agreed to it! 

Why do you think that woman agreed to let him do this on her? I can tell you- because just like you, she was looking for something that in her heart she knew was too good to be true.

And unfortunately, in today's world, if you wave a little money in the air, you will find a "cosmetic surgeon" who will tell you whatever you want to hear.

All well- conceived, safe, and effective breast lifts require scars on the breasts. All scars are permanent. These are necessary truths of breast lifting, and it is important that you accept them.

On the other hand, it is equally important that you be clear that it is NOT necessary for breast lift scars to be ugly or conspicuous.

Find a talented and experienced plastic surgeon Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, and visit for a consultation. 

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Breast Lift - Mastopexy Procedures

While there are various mastopexy or breast lift techniques that involve limited scars.  There is no method through the armpit to lift the breast.   

Craig Mezrow, MS, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Is Breast lift possible with armpit incision?

Modern day plastic surgery techniques have not yet been developed that allow for breast lifting thru an axillary (armpit) incision. Breast augmentation using an axillary approach would not be an option if you have been advised that you require breast lifting in order to achieve your desired results.

Antonio Gayoso, MD
Saint Petersburg Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Breast lift via the armpit

A breast lift can not be performed through the armpit.  In order to perform a breast lift the nipple areola needs to be lifted, the tissue needs to be molded and excess skin needs to be removed.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Axillary Breast Lifting?

Thank you for the question.

No, breast lifting cannot be done “from the armpit”.

Breast lifting involves some amount of skin excision.   The skin excision serves to “tighten up” the breast skin envelope. How much skin needs to be removed will depend on each specific patient's situation. In other words, some patients require more “lifting”  and have the need for additional incisions. Generally, these incisions range from around the areola, vertical breast incisions, and transverse incisions (“anchor”).

Most patients (If properly selected and who are doing the operations and the right time of their lives) accept the scars associated with breast augmentation/breast lifting surgery as long as they are happy with the improvement in contour, size, and symmetry. This acceptance of the scars is the essential “trade-off” associated with many of the procedures we do and the field of plastic surgery.

It may be in your best interest to meet with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss options.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 reviews

Breast Lift With the Least Scarring

Lifting and shaping the breast  requires removing extra skin so that the envelope that holds the gland is a good fit for the amount of breast volume.  It cannot be done through an axillary approach, even though breast implants can be placed through that site.  There a re a variety of breast lifts.  The one with the least visible scarring is the periareolar lift.  In that, a ring of skin is removed at the edge of the areola.  the larger circle is reduced to the size of the smaller like a "purse string".  This gives a conservative lift with minimal scarring and can be used with implants.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews


A breast lift requires incisions on the breast.  The most minimal is a circumareolar lift, next adding a vertical or "lollipop" scar and finally an "inverted T" scar including a portion along the crease beneath the breast.

None of these procedures can be accomplished through an axillary ("arm pit") approach. 

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

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.