Breast lift (Mastopexy)

Mastopexy (also known as Breast Lift), is an operation to lift the nipple and areola (the area of dark skin around the nipple) into a higher position, and reshape the breast by removal of excess skin and repositioning of the underneath breast tissue. It is normally done to re-create a youthful and firm appearance to the breasts, which naturally become droopy with age. Drooping breasts can also occur after pregnancy, breast feeding, and significant weight loss or can just be a characteristic people are born with. Mr Wilson will assess your needs and discuss these options with you.

The Surgery

Surgery is done under general anaesthetic (with you asleep). There are a number of ways to perform a mastopexy. A cut will be made around the areola, and often from here vertically down to the breast crease. Occasionally a horizontal cut is also made in the breast crease itself. Mr Wilson will explain where the cuts will be made. The operation takes about 2 hours to perform. You may have drains (small plastic tubes) placed at the time of surgery to remove blood from the wound; these are normally removed on the ward before you leave hospital the next day. You will need to purchase a soft bra with no under-wiring to support the healing breasts after surgery for up to 6 weeks. You are likely to need at least 2 weeks off work, depending on your employment. Do not perform any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for at least 6 weeks.


  1. Haematoma. A collection of blood in the wounds can occur even if drains are used. This is normally obvious within a day of surgery, and if significant you may need to return to theatre to have this removed under general anaesthetic.
  2. Wound Infection. This can occur any time after surgery until the wounds have healed. The features are usually spreading redness, warmth and tenderness of the wounds.
  3. Altered Nipple Feeling. Sometimes the nipple, areola and surrounding skin are more sensitive after surgery, sometimes they are less sensitive. Such changes are often temporary and often settle after a few months but changes can be permanent in a few people.
  4. Scarring. The operation is not possible without creating scars. Normally these are narrow and start off red and fade over a few months.
  5. Unevenness of size and shape. The breasts may not be exactly symmetrical following the procedure, especially if there was any difference in size and shape beforehand, which is not uncommon.
  • The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
  • The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of England