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Breast Lift

Breast Lift Surgery

Breast lift surgery is performed for women whose breasts have begun to lose their shape and firmness. Several factors can cause the breasts to droop and sag, including pregnancy, significant weight loss, and the normal aging process.

A breast lift procedure at Dr. Neil Zemmel’s Richmond, Virginia plastic surgery practice can elevate the breasts to a higher location on the body and restore their youthful shape. Dr. Zemmel has helped many women achieve beautiful, natural-looking results with this procedure. He can perform the breast lift to help you enhance your figure and self-confidence as well.

Breast lift surgery is often appropriate even for younger women whose breasts have become stretched and lost their shape due to pregnancy or significant weight loss.

Optimal Candidates for Breast Lift Surgery

There are several important factors to consider before undergoing breast lift surgery. Women with realistic expectations about the procedure are usually the happiest with their results. Also, breast lift surgery is more effective for women with smaller breasts. Dr. Zemmel can “lift” and reshape larger breasts, but the results may not last as long. It’s also important to consider that due to the effects of gravity and the aging process, breast lift surgery results will not last for an entire lifetime. However, Dr. Zemmel can provide shapely results that last for many years.

Patients should be aware that if they become pregnant after their breast lift surgery then the results may be offset and the procedure may need to be performed again.

Consultation with Dr. Zemmel

Your consultation with Dr. Zemmel is a chance for you to learn everything that is involved with breast lift surgery and to have all of your questions answered. Dr. Zemmel will discuss your goals and expectations for surgery. He will learn where you desire the breast to be positioned and the new location of the nipple and areola. He will explain the different breast lift surgery techniques and the steps in your procedure that will be taken to achieve the results that you desire.

All aspects of breast lift surgery will be discussed, including the anesthesia to be used, the locations of the incisions, the discrete but inevitable scars that result, and the length of the recovery period. Dr. Zemmel will make sure that you are comfortable with all of these factors prior to beginning treatment. Specific instructions will also be given to you to follow before surgery, including guidelines on eating, smoking, and taking other medications.

Breast Lift Techniques

There are four different breast lift surgery techniques. The type of technique that is used depends upon the amount of breast tissue that is to be lifted and the amount of excess skin that is to be removed. In the first technique, a small crescent shape incision is made above the areola. This technique is used most often for patients with small breasts. To perform the “doughnut” breast lift technique, a circular incision is made around the entire areola. This technique is performed for patients who require a greater amount of breast lifting. The other two techniques, the vertical and full-anchor lifts, are performed for patients with larger breasts who have the most significant amount of drooping skin and tissue. In the vertical lift, an incision is made around the areola that extends downwards to the crease of the breast. The full-anchor incision is similar to the vertical lift except the incision goes all the down to the crease of the breast and a horizontal incision is made along both sides.

There are three common incision patterns:

  • Around the areola
  • Around the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease
  • Around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease



There are inherent risks with the breast lift, as there are with all surgical procedures, such as a negative reaction to the anesthesia. In rare instances some patients may permanently lose feeling in their breasts after surgery. However, when performed by a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon, there is very little chance that complications will arise during or after breast lift surgery.

Dr. Zemmel is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, meaning that he passed a rigorous evaluation process to measure his surgical skills and aptitude. He performs breast lift surgery in fully accredited operating rooms and is assisted by an accredited anesthesiologist. Dr. Zemmel and his team take every precaution to ensure that the cosmetic procedures at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery are completely safe.


Dr. Zemmel and the Richmond Aesthetic staff will be there to provide guidance and support throughout the entire recovery period. Dr. Zemmel will call you the night of your procedure to make sure that everything is okay, and we will have you come to the office a few days later for a follow-up appointment. Patients may experience mild discomfort for a few days after surgery, but pain medications can be prescribed to eliminate these symptoms. A special bra will be worn for three to four weeks after surgery. Most patients will be able to return to work within one or two weeks, however it’s important to not lift anything over the head or engage in strenuous activities for at least three weeks.

We invite you to schedule a breast lift consultation at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery to discuss your specific questions and goals with Dr. Zemmel.