What is a Breast Lift?

Many women start to consider a breast lift once they see major changes occur with the position of their breasts. A breast lift is a surgical procedure which involves removing excess skin on the breasts and shifting them to a more upright look. The procedure can help to reposition the breasts as well as the nipple-areola complex for a more desired look. Often times, after weight loss and pregnancy the breasts can start to sag, creating an unwanted appearance, a breast lift can raise the breasts to a more natural look. This breast procedure raises your sagging breasts by removing excess skin and tightening tissues to create a more youthful breast contour.

Before & After

Who is a Good Candidate?

To know if you need a breast lift, you should speak with our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Howland at Howland Plastic Surgery. The best candidates for the procedure are healthy individuals with sagging breasts. Individuals who are experiencing breast ptosis (sagging) due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, fluctuations in weight, aging, hereditary, or gravity can often benefit from a breast lift. To correct the sagging breasts, patients can speak with Dr. Howland about his procedures. Patients should also be physically healthy non-smokers to benefit from this procedure. Some patients may feel that a breast lift is needed right away following childbirth, but a breast lift could negatively affect your ability to breastfeed. It is important to be completely done breastfeeding before undergoing a breast lift procedure. A consultation with Dr. Howland can help to determine if this is right for you. During the consultation, Dr. Howland will examine your breasts, tissue, and amount of sagging to determine which breast lift procedure will be most beneficial.

What to Expect

Dr. Howland will go over the complete procedure with you as well as incision options during a consultation appointment in his Salt Lake City area office. The breast lift is done under anesthesia in a medical facility for your complete comfort and safety. The breast lift procedures usually take about three hours to complete, but this time frame can vary depending on the degree of sagging breast tissue as well as the incisions used.  Remember that a breast lift is not designed to increase size using a breast implant, however, if this is desired the surgery can be combined with a breast augmentation. During the breast lift procedure, an incision will be made on the breast. The location of the incisions will depend on the degree of drooping that needs to be corrected. There is a selection of incisions that can be used, including the areolar incision, the lollipop incision, and the anchor incision.

Types of Breast Lift Incisions

The different incisions options will be discussed, in detail, with Dr. Howland at the time of the consultation appointment. The breast lift procedure uses three main incisions to get rid of sagging breast tissue and to re-establish the nipple-areola complex. The different incisions are listed below for patients to start getting a basic understanding of what will be done during their breast lift procedure.


This incision is also referred to as the “donut lift” for the look of the incision. It is made around the nipple areolar border. The areolar incision is beneficial for women who have mild sagging of the breasts and is sometimes used in conjunction with the placement of breast implants.


This incision is also called the “keyhole incision” for the look of the incision. It is made around the nipple-areola area and continues vertically down to the breast crease. This type of breast lift incision is beneficial for women with a moderate degree of sagging who do not wish to use breast implants.


This incision is created around the nipple areola, vertically down to the breast crease, and horizontally across the breast fold. This type of breast lift incision is beneficial for women who have a severe degree of drooping in the breasts.


This type of incision is less commonly used than other kinds. It is made just along the upper half of the areola. Then a crescent-shaped piece of skin is extracted from above where the incision is made. After this skin is removed, the surrounding skin is reattached to the areola. Typically, the crescent breast lift is done in conjunction with a breast augmentation. This type of breast lift is beneficial for women with a minor degree of sagging.

After creating the incision, Dr. Howland will lift and reshape the underlying tissue, reposition the nipple, and excise any excess skin for a more youthful breast appearance. To fix sagging of the breasts, a breast lift procedure is the best way to go. By talking with Dr. Howland about your specific concerns and a natural lifted breast, he will create a personalized treatment plan unique to you.


Following surgery, patients will need to wear a compression garment to control swelling. This garment may be worn for a few weeks while the breasts are healing and settling into their new position. Bruising, numbness, or changes in nipple sensitivity may occur during this time. Any discomfort can be controlled with pain medication. Depending on the type of job, patients may be able to return to work within a week, though physical activity should be avoided for at least two weeks after surgery. Dr. Howland and his team will provide patients with complete after-care instructions to follow so they can achieve optimal healing and results. The recovery time period will be discussed with Dr. Howland.

If you are located in the Salt Lake City or Draper, UT area and are interested in learning more about breast lift surgery and correcting sagging breasts, contact our office today.

Frequently Asked Questions

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