SurgeryWise - directory of surgeons and health specialists, information, advice and more...
SurgeryWise home - surgeon directory, advice, information and more.....Surgeons and specialists near youInformation on surgery, procedures and healthRead about real patient's experiences of various proceduresHot topics - surgery and health issuesClick here to advertise with SurgeryWisecontact us
  You are at: Procedure info > Cosmetic or breast surgery > Breast lift

Breast lift (mastopexy)
















breast lifts


A mastopexy is a procedure that lifts the breasts, giving them a more pert and youthful appearance. It is primarily used for breast drooping that is caused by skin laxity, as occurs after breast feeding or in older age, or to adjust breasts that are slightly different in size or shape. Breast drooping that is caused by large, heavy breasts may need a breast reduction procedure.




How is a breast lift performed?

Occasionally, a breast lift can be performed by making an incision around the areola (darker part around the nipple) area only. Often, the incision needs to also run down towards the crease under the breast. The skin is gathered in, lifting the breast, and any excess is removed. The nipple can now be re-positioned, often higher on the chest wall, to place it in a more youthful position.

When stitching the skin, some surgeons use a technique that gathers the skin up, giving a ruffled appearance. This usually settles very well over the next year or so, leaving a shorter scar than usual. Occasionally, though, a minor further procedure may be needed to 'tidy up' the scar. A different approach when performing a breast lift is to use an 'anchor-shaped' scar, which travels from the areola straight down to the breast crease, then along the length of the crease. You should discuss with your surgeon which technique they use and which scar you should expect.


What if I also want larger breasts?

At the same time as a breast lift, implants can also be used to give larger breasts. This is called 'augmentation-mastopexy'. Sometimes, people undergoing augmentation will also need a breast lift to give a good result. The augmentation- mastopexy may be performed all at the same time, or in two stages.


What risks are involved with breast lift surgery?

  • Sensory changes - due to the cuts needed to access the breast and the tissue being stretched, the breast skin or nipples can have reduced sensation or rarely heightened sensation to the point of being uncomfortable.

  • Asymmetry - whilst the surgeon will try to make both breasts look the same size and shape, no-one starts off with identical breasts. A breast lift can sometimes make such differences less obvious, although differences can still remain. Nipple positions may also be slightly different at the end of the operation.

  • Nipple loss - whilst this is quite rare from a breast lift, it is a major complication if it happens. If only a small part of the nipple dies, then this should heal well, albeit with scarring. If the entire nipple dies, then you may need further operations to reconstruct a new nipple.

  • Wound breakdown - the skin will be closed under quite high tension during a breast lift, so could potentially have healing problems. This may mean that the wound just takes a little longer to heal, or could lead to the scar splitting, leading to slower healing and worse scarring.



Other SurgeryWise articles

You may also be interested to read our articles on breast reduction, augmentation, or other Cosmetic surgery articles



Any procedure involving skin incision can also result in unfavourable scarring, wound infection, or bleeding. This list of risks is not exhaustive, and you should discuss possible complications with your specialist. Whilst these risks will seem very worrysome, and indeed can be serious, it should also be borne in mind that many people have no postoperative problems whatsoever.

The information provided is for guidance only and you should discuss matters fully with your specialist before deciding if this is the right procedure for you. Please also read our disclaimer







Copyright © 2014 SurgeryWise Ltd