Breast Lift

As time passes, pregnancy, breastfeeding, major weight loss, hereditary factors or simply the aging process can cause changes to the appearance and contours of your breasts. These changes include sagging of the breast envelope, breast deflation with loss of volume and nipples that point downward. These changes can be very frustrating to many women, and you are not alone if you feel the same.

Thankfully, Maryland plastic surgeon, Dr. Joseph Michaels, MD, FACS, can perform a mastopexy, or breast lift surgery, to address these aesthetic concerns. Women who seek out Dr. Michaels are more than satisfied with their revitalized breasts. They report being more confident and comfortable with their upgraded appearance after undergoing breast lift surgery.

What is a breast lift?

What is a breast lift?

Mastopexy is a surgical procedure where Dr. Michaels will tighten the breast skin, elevating the breasts to a higher, more youthful-looking position on the chest wall. The breast is made of three types of tissue: skin, breast gland and fat. Your breasts are approximately 50% glandular breast tissue and 50% fat. Weight loss that occurs following pregnancy, lifestyle modifications or weight loss surgery can cause the fat component within your breasts to decrease. This can lead to a deflated and sagging appearance to your breasts, with nipples that now point toward the floor. Breastfeeding can further contribute to this loss of volume, leaving your breasts smaller and flatter than they were before you had children. 

As time passes, our body gradually stops producing elastin and collagen, two proteins that are integral to healthy, elastic skin. Without sufficient amounts of these proteins, the skin loses its elasticity, and the breasts start to sag.

By repositioning the drooping breasts, this improves the appearance of the breast profile. Dr. Michaels will also move the nipples to a more centered location on the breast to correct the look of southward-pointing nipples. Finally, Dr. Michaels can reduce the size of overly enlarged areolas (the darker-pigmented skin encircling the nipple) so they are in better proportion with your newly lifted breasts.

Before and After Photos

Benefits of Mastopexy

Women experience enhanced self-esteem and increased comfort within their bodies after breast lift surgery. What may have been thought to be an uncontrollable aspect of life, is now amenable to help women achieve their aesthetic goals.

  • Perkier, fuller breast profile
  • Reduced physical discomfort 
  • Improved physicality
  • More proportioned silhouette

If you are ready to experience the benefits of mastopexy for yourself, contact Dr. Michaels’ Rockville, MD or Fairfax, VA office to schedule a private consultation.


Those looking to undergo mastopexy are unsatisfied with the look and feel of their breasts. They may desire a fuller appearance and firmer feel. Women wanting to receive a breast lift should be in good health. This means they are non-smokers with no pre-existing health conditions that may impact their surgery or recovery period. 

Are you a candidate for breast lift surgery in the DMV area? Do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Michaels’ amazing staff. They will be happy to help you schedule your mastopexy consultation!

Consultation in Maryland

A private consultation with Dr. Michaels is your opportunity to discuss your goals for breast lift procedure. During this appointment, the doctor will inquire about your health and medical history. You will be able to ask any questions you may have about breast lift surgery. Dr. Michaels will inform you of the details of the procedure and he will perform a physical examination of your breasts. From there, Dr. Michaels will determine your candidacy for breast lift surgery. He will provide you with his medical opinion in the event another procedure may better suit your needs. A customized treatment plan will be created with your anatomy, goals, and aesthetics in mind. 

Ready to learn more about Dr. Michaels and breast lift surgery? Fill out our quick form today and one of our associates will get back to you to schedule your informative in-person or virtual consultation with Dr. Michaels!

Preparing for Breast Lift Surgery

During your consultation, you Dr. Michaels will direct you to stop smoking as soon as possible, not only for your general wellness, but to also prevent any complications during and after surgery. He may also instruct you to stop taking any medications that may thin your blood, including aspirin, herbal supplements, and ibuprofen. Patients will need to have a trusted adult drive them home after surgery and stay with them for 24 hours. Depending on your age and/or your personal and family history of breast disease, a mammogram will be required prior to undergoing breast surgery. If there are any additional instructions you will need to follow prior to your mastopexy, Dr. Michaels will inform you of them during your consultation and pre-operative appointment.


There are several breast lift approaches to rejuvenate the look of the breasts, each of which Dr. Michaels reviews with patients during consultation. He recommends a treatment protocol that is appropriate to your unique body type and satisfies your distinct desires. In general, breast lift surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, under general anesthesia.

To start the procedure, Dr. Michaels creates an incision on the breast. He eliminates any excess skin from the breast region. He will then tighten the underlying tissue and re-shape the existing breast mound. This tightening and reshaping of the breast tissue will elevate the newly molded breast to a more rejuvenated position on the chest wall. 

If the areola is larger than you want it to be, Dr. Michaels will also excise some of the skin around the outer perimeter of the areola to reduce its overall size. He will also move the nipple to a higher, more centered position on the breast during the procedure. The nipple remains attached to the tissue underneath to help preserve nipple sensation. Lastly, Dr. Michaels closes the incision with dissolvable stitches and dresses the treated area with bandages and an overlying surgical bra.


Breast Lift Incisions

There are three principal incision approaches available for breast lift surgery: periareolar, vertical, and anchor. Dr. Michaels will review these options with you during your consultation and will recommend which approach is best suited to your individual needs. He may suggest a combination of incision patterns.


The periareolar approach involves the removal of a “donut-shaped” area of skin adjacent to the areola. The incision is well hidden within the outer border of the darker-pigmented areola skin. This approach allows only a modest amount of skin to be removed and allows for a small degree of nipple elevation. For these reasons, it may be a suitable option for patients with minor excess skin and nipple ptosis (drooping).


With the vertical incision approach, Dr. Michaels uses a periareolar incision in addition to an incision that runs vertically down the front of the breast, starting at the bottom edge of the areola and extending to just above the breast’s natural crease. This allows Dr. Michaels to remove more excess skin, tighten the underlying breast tissue and elevate the nipple to a greater degree.


For patients who have a significant amount of excess skin, especially in the lower pole of the breast, an anchor incision may be the best approach. The anchor incision involves making a horizontal incision under the natural breast fold in addition to the combination of the periareolar and vertical incisions mentioned above. This allows Dr. Michaels to remove the appropriate amount of skin to tighten the breast envelope and to optimize the final shape.

Regardless of which incision approach is used, the incisions do leave a scar on the breast. Over time, scars that have been properly cared for should fade until they match – or closely match – the color of the surrounding skin, so they are nearly unnoticeable. Proper care of these incision sites is essential to minimize the appearance of scars. This includes protecting the incision from sun exposure for at least one year, as even 20 minutes of sun exposure can cause scars to become red and raised from the skin’s surface. Once this happens, it is difficult or impossible to improve the look of the scars.

Related Procedures

For patients who are unhappy with both the sagginess of their breasts, as well as the loss of breast volume that often occurs as a result of breastfeeding or major weight loss, Dr. Michaels can include breast augmentation with breast lift to increase the fullness of the breasts.

related breast procedures

In addition, certain patients who desire an increase in breast volume without the use of saline or silicone breast implants might be suitable candidates for combination breast lift with autologous augmentation surgery. With autologous augmentation, Dr. Michaels increases the volume of the breast either by recruiting tissue adjacent to the existing breast tissue or by performing liposuction to obtain fat that can then be transferred to the breast to increase overall bust size. 

During your consultation, Dr. Michaels will evaluate your anatomy and carefully listen to your aesthetic concerns before identifying which procedure is most appropriate for your specific needs.

A one-on-one consultation with Dr. Michaels can help you figure out which procedure may be best suited for your aesthetic goals. Contact us today to book your appointment!

Recovery and Results

After your mastopexy, your breasts will feel tender and swollen. You will need to wear a surgical bra continuously for a few weeks after surgery. You may be able to return to work about one week post-op, but may not engage in strenuous physical activity for 2 to 6 weeks after surgery, depending on the extent of your procedure. 

Breast Lift Recovery and Results

The results of your breast lift may be immediately noticeable as your breasts will sit higher on your chest. Once any residual swelling has subsided and the healing process has taken place, you can expect a beautiful, natural-looking result! Your confidence may be boosted as you are able to wear a new variety of clothes that make you look and feel great!

If you are ready to don a flattering figure by undergoing a breast lift surgery, contact Dr. Michaels’ Rockville, MD office by calling (301) 468-5991 or his Fairfax, VA office at (703) 957-8610 to schedule a consultation today!

Quick Facts

  • Length: 2-4 hours
  • Anesthesia: General
  • In/OutPatient: Outpatient
  • Side Effects: Temporary swelling, muscle tightness, bruising and some pain
  • Risks: Pain, bleeding, infection, asymmetry, damage to nerves (in rare cases), need for revision
  • Recovery: 4-7 days: back at work. 1 week: light exercise only. 2-3 weeks: more strenuous activity allowed. 8-12 weeks: swelling resolves and patient can resume normal activity.
  • Duration of Results: Variable, as further sagging occurs with age



The results of a breast lift are long-lasting! To maintain your optimal results, it is important that you keep a stable weight. Any significant changes in your weight may compromise your results. It is important that you understand that the normal aging process will continue, even after a successful mastopexy operation. However, for patients who undergo a more extensive breast lift, they should not see significant sagging of their breasts, like prior to breast lift surgery. Your breasts can age gracefully after a mastopexy with Dr. Michaels!


A breast lift is a very customized procedure. There are a number of factors to consider when calculating the final cost of breast lift surgery. The price for mastopexy will vary between patients and yours will be unique to you. Dr. Michaels does not want price to prevent you from living your aesthetic dreams. This is why he has partnered with several healthcare financing companies to offer manageable payment options to those who qualify. The only way to receive an accurate price for the procedure is to attend a consultation with Dr. Michaels. Contact us today to book an appointment to meet with the doctor and discuss your needs. 

Additional Resources

  1. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. (2020). Breast Lift: Mastopexy. Retrieved from
  2. de la Torre, J. I. (2018). Breast Mastopexy. Retrieved from