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Breast lift (Mastopexy)

Loss of skin elasticity, gravity and other factors such as weight loss, pregnancy and breast-feeding ultimately affect the shape and firmness of the female breast.

Breast lift or mastopexy is a procedure designed to restore the shape and firmness of the breasts and raise them to their initial position, without changing their volume. Mastopexy can also reduce the size of the areola (the darker skin around the nipple).

In certain cases, with mild ptosis (sagging), the appearance of the breasts can be enhanced just by enlarging the breast with a breast implant, without actually performing a mastopexy. In other cases, where sagging is combined with loss of volume (as is often observed following pregnancy and breast-feeding) a combination of breast augmentation and mastopexy is required to achieve the desired result.


General anesthesia

Hospital stay
Day case or 1 night stay

Return to work
7-10 days

Full recovery
4 weeks

Breast Lift

How is a mastopexy performed?

Individual factor and personal preferences will determine the specific technique suited for each patient. In general, the procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic and takes approximately 1-2 hours.

Inverted T Mastopexy

In most cases an incision is placed around the areola, another one runs vertically from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease underneath the breast, and a third one runs horizontally beneath the breast following the natural curve of the breast crease (inframammary fold), forming an inverted “T”. The excess skin is removed, usually along with part of the (enlarged) areola, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position, and the skin is brought together to reshape the breast.

Vertical Mastopexy

Some patients, especially those with relatively small breasts and minimal sagging may be suitable for modified procedures with less extensive incisions. The horizontal limb of the incision may be smaller or even be done with altogether

Periareolar Mastopexy

In selected cases where the problem lies mainly in a lower position of the nipple, with minimal sagging on the inferior part of the breast, there may be only a circular incision around the areola.

If the breast volume has shrunk down considerably, a silicone breast implant could be used to restore it.

The sutures used are usually placed internally and are dissolvable. Occasionally a small drain is placed on each side to prevent the collection of blood (haematoma).

What can I expect after the operation?

As already mentioned the procedure takes approximately 1-2 hours and usually requires an overnight stay in hospital.

The sutures used are placed internally and are dissolvable. The post-operative pain is usually well tolerated and can be easily managed with regular painkillers.

Your breast will initially appear swollen and slightly higher than expected. Within the following 2-3 months the swelling will gradually subside and your breast will assume its final appearance. The use of a support bra (maternity or sports bra) is recommended for a month.

The scars in mastopexy may be quite lengthy and take several months to settle. Initially the scars will be red, hard and lumpy, but with time they usually fade and flatten. This process of scar maturation may be expedited by daily massage. Nipple sensation may be initially reduced but usually returns over the months to follow.

Your ability to breast-feeding will not be affected by the procedure, but you should be aware that a subsequent pregnancy and lactation might cause the sagginess to relapse. You should also keep in mind that a breast lift won’t keep you firm forever. The effects of gravity, aging and weight fluctuations will eventually take their toll again.

When can I resume my normal activities?

You will be up and about on the afternoon of surgery, and you will be able to assume very light duties from the following day. More strenuous activity should be avoided for a week and sexual activity (and handling) should also be reduced for the first couple of weeks. Full recovery to your previous activities, including exercise is expected in 4 weeks

Mastopexy Before-After

Pictures (c) ASPS, ASAPS, AAFPRS, ADAM, Allergan

Download our Breast Lift brochure in PDF format

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