breast lift newport beach

Breast Lift Overview

A breast lift, medically known as mastopexy, is a surgical procedure that elevates and reshapes sagging breasts. The goal of the procedure is to raise the nipples and eliminate excess skin, thus restoring youthful contour and firmness as well as a perkier and more balanced appearance. A breast lift can also reduce the size of the areola so it is more proportional to the overall breast.

Dr. Matthew J. Nykiel, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Southern California, performs breast enhancement procedures with an eye for refined and natural-looking results. His extensive experience and meticulous approach have made him a sought-after surgeon for breast lift surgery in Newport Beach and Upland.

Wondering if a breast lift is the right fit for your body goals? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Nykiel to explore your possibilities.

What Is a Breast Lift?

The simplest way to understand a breast lift is that it is moving the nipple and areola to a higher position on the breast mound. Research into the ideal placement of the nipple for aesthetics has found that the nipple sitting slightly below the middle of the breast (approximately 55% of the way down) creates the most youthful and attractive appearance.

Thanks to gravity, the aging process and the endless natural variations in body types, this is not where the nipple sits for many women. A breast lift is designed for precisely this issue, bringing the position of the nipple up so the breast has a more lifted and perky look. The procedure also removes excess skin and tightens the remaining skin to reduce sagging and give the breasts a firmer, more youthful feel.

Why Choose a Breast Lift?

The most common reason women invest in breast lift surgery is to address the effects of childbearing. After pregnancy and breastfeeding, your breasts may be left with lax skin, stretch marks and enlarged areolas. These are perfectly natural changes, but they are not always welcome!

Weight loss can produce similar effects. If you have lost a significant amount of weight, or gone through substantial weight fluctuations during your lifetime, your skin may have lost its elasticity and ability to “snap back” around a smaller breast size, leaving you with drooping and deflated breasts.

A breast lift may also be motivated by a desire to look and feel more youthful. Perhaps you think it would make you feel more comfortable in your clothes or more confident in your skin. All of these are valid reasons to have a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options.

Am I a Candidate for a Breast Lift in Newport Beach?

Ideal candidates for a breast lift typically have the following characteristics:

  • Are experiencing sagging or drooping breasts
  • Are in good general health
  • Understand both the benefits and the limitations of breast lift surgery
  • Have realistic expectations for the results of the procedure
  • Seek aesthetic improvement rather than perfection
  • Are committed to following all instructions for a healthy recovery

A Note From Dr. Nykiel

It can be both exciting and daunting to come in for a consultation. I do my best to make the experience as comfortable, informative and fun as possible. These are some of the topics we’ll discuss during your consultation:


What outcome are you hoping to see from the procedure? We’ll discuss what’s bothering you and what goals are most important to you so that I can design a treatment plan that is precise and personalized.

Medical History

Come prepared to chat about your personal medical history and any medical conditions that run in your immediate family. This helps me and my team make safe and appropriate decisions about your care.

Procedure Options

Once I know what your goals are, I will outline the treatment options available to you. This includes a detailed description of the procedure steps, risks and benefits, recovery timeline, results expectations, and more.


Your consultation is the ideal time to raise any questions or concerns that are on your mind. Open communication is important to me, and I will always do my best to be forthright and thorough in our conversations.

What Are the Treatment Steps for a Breast Lift?

Dr. Nykiel will begin the operation by making incisions. The location and extent of the incisions depend on the degree of lift you desire and your individual anatomy. Common incision patterns are described below.

After the incisions are made, Dr. Nykiel will reshape the underlying breast tissue to improve breast contour and firmness. He will also remove excess skin and reposition the nipple and areola to a more youthful height.

To finish the procedure, Dr. Nykiel will close the incisions with a meticulous suture technique designed to minimize scarring. Most breast lift surgeries take two to three hours to complete.

What Types of Incision Does Dr. Nykiel Use During a Breast Lift?

The incision technique (and therefore the resulting scar pattern) for breast lifts depends on the degree of sag and the amount of skin that must be removed. No matter which technique is used, the goal is to optimize results and minimize scarring. Dr. Nykiel will discuss the following options in detail during your consultation:

Peri-Areolar or ‘Donut’ Incision

This incision is made around the areola in a circular shape. It is discreet but limits the amount of lift that can be achieved. This is only suitable for patients whose nipple sits just below the breast fold and requires minimal lift.

Vertical or ‘Lollipop’ Incision

This approach involves a circular incision around the areola and a vertical incision down to the breast crease. It is suitable for moderate lifts where there is noticeable sagging but it is not extreme.

Full or ‘Anchor’ Incision

This incision combines the peri-areolar and vertical incisions with a horizontal incision along the breast crease. This technique allows for the most lifting and reshaping, making it the best approach for patients with a significant degree of sagging. It is also the most commonly used technique.

What Anesthesia Is Used During a Breast Lift?

Breast lift surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia. The patient is completely unconscious and does not experience any pain or discomfort during the surgery, maximizing comfort and well-being.

General anesthesia is administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist who monitors the patient’s vital signs — including heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels — throughout the procedure to maintain safety.

“Went to Dr. Nykiel for my breast lift and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. For years I held off and I finally am more confident now. I am still healing but loving my results. Dr. Nykiel and his staff were attentive and honest. Definitely one of the best decisions I made!”Yasmine S.

What Goes Into the Breast Lift Recovery Process?

Breast lift is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can return home the same day it is performed. Because you will have been under general anesthesia, you must have someone available to drive you home and assist you while you are recovering.

You will need to take about two to three weeks to recover. In this time, you should avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting and repetitive movements with your arms. Adhering to activity restrictions is crucial for making sure you heal quickly and achieve the best results possible.

Some degree of pain, swelling and bruising are expected after a breast lift procedure. Dr. Nykiel employs a multifaceted pain management protocol to minimize all types of discomfort post-surgery.

You will have follow-up appointments scheduled to monitor your healing progress and address any concerns that may arise. Dr. Nykiel and his team are committed to providing ongoing support throughout the recovery period.

How Is Pain Managed During Breast Lift Recovery?

Maintaining patient comfort is a priority at Butts By Design. Understanding that pain has multiple facets, Dr. Nykiel employs a comprehensive pain control protocol that addresses various pain pathways. This approach ensures that different types of pain and discomfort are effectively targeted.

Dr. Nykiel initiates pain control measures before the surgery begins, which has been proven to enhance pain relief postoperatively. After surgery, patients are placed on a tailored medication regimen, which may include gabapentin for nerve pain, diazepam for muscle pain, celecoxib for inflammation, hydrocodone for overall discomfort and Tylenol for cellular signaling pain. This combination helps to promote a comfortable and positive recovery experience after breast lift surgery.

What Are the Risks of Breast Lift Surgery?

You deserve to make informed and confident decisions about your care. To that end, we believe in maintaining transparency about the potential risks associated with breast lift surgery and other breast procedures. These include:

  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Asymmetry
  • Changes in nipple sensation
  • Complications with breastfeeding

While risks are inherent to any surgical procedure, Dr. Nykiel and his team work diligently to mitigate potential complications. You can contribute to risk reduction by adhering to the preoperative and postoperative instructions you are given.

A Note from Dr. Nykiel

My goal as a surgeon is to listen to my patient’s desires and, to the greatest extent possible, make their vision of themselves a reality. I am commonly asked whether a breast lift or breast augmentation is the best procedure, and the answer is that it depends on what your breasts currently look like and the results you hope to achieve.

A breast lift recenters the nipple and removes excess skin for the purpose of correcting sagging. A breast lift does not increase or decrease breast volume. This can make it a good choice if you are happy with your breast size but want a more youthful-looking position and a firmer feel.

A breast augmentation increases the size of the breasts. Volume is often added with breast implants made of saline or silicone, but it can also be done with fat grafting or a combination of implants and fat. Augmentation can be a great option if you desire more upper pole fullness or cleavage.

There are instances where combining a breast lift with augmentation is beneficial. This dual approach is ideal for those who desire both elevation and volume, addressing sagging while also achieving a fuller, more voluptuous look.

When Will I See the Final Results of My Breast Lift?

We know you are eager to see your results, but patience is key. Your body needs time to heal and adjust to its new contours. In general, the timeline for breast lift surgery results looks like this:

  • Immediately Post-Op: Patients notice an immediate change in breast position and shape, but swelling and bruising are present.
  • One to Three Months Post-Op: The majority of the swelling subsides, and the breasts start to settle into their new position. Scars begin to fade but are still noticeable.
  • Six Months Post-Op: Most of the residual swelling is gone, and the breasts have settled into their final position. Scars continue to fade.
  • One Year Post-Op: Scars have matured and lightened significantly, and the final, beautiful results of the breast lift are fully visible.

How Long Are the Results Expected to Last?

A breast lift can offer transformative and enduring results. With a proactive approach to postoperative care and lifestyle choices, patients can enjoy the rejuvenated appearance of their breasts for years to come.

It’s important to remember that no surgery is immune to the forces of aging and gravity. Over time, you may notice new changes in your breasts’ shape and position. Significant weight gain or loss can also impact the size and shape of your breasts. Even with these changes, however, patients who undergo breast lift surgery tend to maintain a more youthful appearance than patients who do not.

You can support the longevity of your breast lift by leading a healthy lifestyle. This means adopting a balanced diet, exercising regularly, staying hydrated and maintaining a stable weight. A good skincare routine, including daily moisturizing and sun protection, can also help preserve your results.

“I was referred to Dr. Nykiel by two friends. I absolutely fell in love with the staff and him. They all made me feel so comfortable! I had a tummy tuck and breast lift, I am almost 6 weeks out and it’s unreal how GREAT I feel. Thank you for changing my life and making me comfortable through the entire process.”Ronda K.

Elevate Your Confidence With a Breast Lift

Dr. Nykiel and the Butts By Design team are committed to helping you achieve your aesthetic aspirations with unparalleled expertise, an artistic eye and a patient-centric approach. You deserve to feel confident and beautiful in every phase of life, and we are excited to be your partners on that journey.

To get started, call 949-416-0038 or schedule your consultation online. We offer in-person appointments at our locations in Newport Beach and Upland, as well as virtual consultations for your convenience.

Breast Lift FAQ

What procedures might enhance the results of my breast lift?

There are many options that can complement and enhance the results of your breast lift. These include:

  • Breast Augmentation: For those seeking additional volume or fullness, a breast augmentation can be combined with a lift to achieve the desired breast size and shape.
  • Breast Fat Grafting: This procedure can be an option for those looking for natural volume enhancement, achieved by using your own fat to add volume to the breasts.
  • BBL or Skinny BBL: Enhancing the buttocks can create a more youthful silhouette in conjunction with a breast lift.
  • Mommy Makeover: This comprehensive procedure can address various areas affected by pregnancy and breastfeeding, typically focused on the breasts and abdomen.

Dr. Nykiel will discuss these options with you during your consultation and help determine which, if any, additional procedures may help you achieve your aesthetic goals.

Are there aesthetic procedures for the nipple and areola?

Yes, and they can be incorporated into a breast lift procedure if desired. Nipple reduction can address overly prominent or elongated nipples, which are often a byproduct of breastfeeding. Areola reduction can reduce the diameter of the areolas for a more proportionate appearance; this is a common combination with breast lift surgery, but it can also be performed on its own.

How much does a breast lift cost at Butts By Design, and do you offer financing or payment plans?

The cost of a breast lift can vary depending on individual needs and any additional procedures that may be performed concurrently. We are committed to making aesthetic procedures accessible and offer multiple financing options to accommodate different budgets. Specific pricing and financing details will be provided during your consultation.

Can I still breastfeed after undergoing a breast lift?

Most women are able to breastfeed after undergoing a breast lift. Dr. Nykiel takes great care to use techniques that preserve the milk ducts and nipple sensation, maintaining breastfeeding functionality. A small percentage of women (approximately 2% according to studies) are unable to breastfeed regardless of any surgical procedures they have or haven’t undergone. If this is a concern for you, discuss your breastfeeding plans with Dr. Nykiel during your consultation,

How soon after a breast lift can I return to my regular exercise routine?

We generally advise against strenuous activities and heavy lifting for at least four to six weeks. Light activities can usually be resumed after two weeks, but it’s crucial to follow Dr. Nykiel’s personalized postoperative recommendations to ensure a smooth and safe recovery.

How does a breast lift affect the sensation in the breast area?

It is possible, although it is rare, for patients to lose nipple sensation after a breast lift. It is also possible for patients to develop more nipple sensitivity post-surgery. In most cases, nipple sensation stays the same.

Is there any scarring after a breast lift, and how is it managed at Butts By Design?

Scarring is part of any procedure that involves incisions. Dr. Nykiel employs surgical techniques to minimize scarring and strategically places incisions in less visible areas, such as along the natural contours of the breasts. Postoperatively, Dr. Nykiel provides comprehensive scar management guidance to optimize the healing process and final appearance of scars.

Can I see before-and-after photos of breast lift procedures performed by Dr. Nykiel?

Absolutely! Dr. Nykiel believes in transparency and is proud to share the outcomes of his work. During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to view before-and-after photos of breast lift procedures performed by Dr. Nykiel. These photos provide a realistic representation of the results you can expect and help in setting achievable goals for your transformation. Additionally, you can explore our online gallery and social media feeds to see examples of Dr. Nykiel’s breast work.