During a breast lift, incisions are typically made around the nipple, straight down from the nipple to the inframammary fold, and underneath the breast. Due to incision length and moving tissue around, there will be swelling in the breasts. This can take as long as 3-4 months to fully subside. This will also depend on whether an implant is also placed during breast lift surgery.


However, the majority of the swelling tends to diminish in the first month to six weeks. The final few months are like “icing on the cake” when the final shape becomes more evident and a more natural breast contour is seen.

If a breast lift with implants is performed, the implants (typically under the muscle) will sit high for several weeks until they settle into their final position. This is because the muscle is tense and “holds on” to the implant until the contraction has fully released and the implant can settle down. This process typically takes 6-8 weeks (but can sometimes take longer) and will happen concurrently with the healing of the breast lift surgery.

While the surgical swelling is still evident, the breast shape can appear “boxy.” See the image below for an example of the progression of breast lift surgery results. As you can see, some patience is required on the part of the patient during the post operative period.

However, patients who desire a breast lift feel that the final result is worth the wait. Once the implants (if used) settle and the swelling diminishes, the final result is a more youthful, perky, and full breast with an attractive contour.


The incisions are usually closed within a few days, but Dr. Burgdorf asks that patients wait three weeks after surgery to swim (pool, hot tub, or ocean) or soak incisions in a bath tub. This will minimize risk of infection. After the incisions are fully closed, patients are able to resume water activities and will begin scar treatment provided by our office.

The scars mature over the course of a year, and make take several months to a year to fade. The scar around the nipple is fairly imperceptible as there are already skin color changes from nipple to breast skin. The incision underneath the breast is usually not seen since the weight of the breast hides it well. The scar running from the base of the nipple down to the inframammary fold is the most visible, but tends to fade very well and become fairly imperceptible. It is important to remember that the scars are necessary for the desired final breast shape to be obtained.

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