Getting a Breast Lift After Weight Loss

Woman wearing long yoga pants standing on scale.

Improving your health by losing a significant amount of weight represents a major commitment. But the sense of accomplishment after shedding 50 or 100 pounds, or even more, may unfortunately be tempered by deflated breasts and excess skin that remain. Plastic surgery, such as a breast lift at our Columbia, MO, practice, can help.

Breast lift surgery, also called mastopexy, can restore a woman’s shape, allowing her to wear clothes that showcase her figure, and increasing her confidence in her body. But losing a large amount of weight is only one of the reasons women may want breast lift surgery. Patients who have had children can also benefit, as can women whose breasts have started to sag as they age.

In this blog post, I’m providing information meant primarily for patients who have lost significant weight — either through lifestyle changes or bariatric surgery. Some things to consider include:

You’re Not Alone: Statistics show that the majority of people who lose 50 to 100 pounds or more undergo plastic surgery to complete their personal transformations. Research indicates 70% or more of men and women who have massive weight loss pursue some form of plastic surgery. Breast lift and breast lift combined with augmentation are among the most popular choices for women.

Age Plays a Role: Skin loses its elasticity as we age. Patients in their 20s and 30s may find that their skin adjusts better to their bodies’ new contours after weight loss than older patients do. As the skin loses its elasticity, it can’t “snap back” as well, so it sags after losing weight. That’s why many of my body contouring patients who want excess skin removed are older, but the procedures can be performed for all men and women, regardless of age.

Reach Your Target Weight: Because plastic surgery after massive weight loss removes excess skin, it’s important that patients are at or near the weight they want to maintain before undergoing the procedure. Patients who continue losing weight may see the benefits of the surgeries compromised. Most plastic surgeons will want patients who have lost significant weight to maintain their new weight for about 6 months or so before scheduling body contouring procedures.

You May Need an Augmentation: A breast lift elevates the breasts and nipples to a more youthful position, removes excess skin, and improves any existing asymmetry. But it can’t restore the volume that’s often lost when patients lose significant weight. Combining breast implants with a breast lift is a common approach for women who want the fuller breasts they had before losing weight.

You Have Options: During consultations with post-weight loss patients, I explain their surgical options to achieve their cosmetic goals. In some cases, breast lift incisions can be customized to meet the patients’ preferences. It’s also possible to combine other body contouring procedures with a breast lift, or to instead schedule operations in stages, which can be a safer and equally satisfying approach.

To get a good idea of the kinds of results you can expect after having a breast lift, I encourage you to browse my photo gallery showing before-and-after pictures of actual patients.


Breast lift before-and-after photos

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John J. Seaberg, MD, FACS