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Breast Lift - Mastopexy

What is a mastopexy?

A breast lift (mastopexy) reshapes the breast and lifts it to a higher position. It attempts to reverse the effect of gravity and restore a 'droopy' breast, to leave a more youthful, pert breast shape. The volume of the breast is not changed.

Why have it?

With age, the combination of gravity and the gradual loss of the skin's elasticity the breast 'droops' down into a lower position, and consequently loses its original shape. The effects of pregnancy and breast-feeding worsen this problem.

Reasons not to have it

Being overweight and smoking can increase the incidence of complications from mastopexy surgery. It may be wise to delay surgery until smoking is stopped or cut down, and a proportion of excess weight lost.

Aspirin increases the risk of bleeding by preventing blood from clotting. If you are taking aspirin, you will be asked to stop this for at least ten days before the procedure.

Further information


Mr Roblin will examine your breasts to ensure that there are no abnormalities. He will assess the skin elasticity and the degree of droop of the breasts, which will influence the decision for which type of mastopexy he will offer.

You will be asked about your general health, particularly information regarding heart disease, diabetes, and deep vein thrombosis (clots in the leg). Mr Roblin will want information about your medical history and any previous surgical procedures.


There are a number of types of mastopexy that Mr Roblin employs. The choice will depend on his assessment of your breast in the consultation. The nipple is lifted into a higher position and the breast itself is reshaped to give it a more pert appearance. Varying amounts of skin are removed. The amount of skin removed determines the resulting scars. These range from a single scar surrounding the areola, to a vertical extension down to the crease on the underside of the breast and in some cases extend transversely along this crease.


The operation is performed under general anaesthesia and takes 2-3 hours

Length of stay

1 night following the operation. There will be a drain in each breast, which will be removed between first or third day. You are able to go home with the drains in the latter case.

Risks/Possible complications

Early (1-2 days):

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding (haematoma)
  • Infection
  • Discomfort
  • Partial or total nipple necrosis very rarely

Later (after one week):

  • Altered nipple sensation
  • Scars - can be lumpy, may stretch and widen. These will continue to improve and mature for up to a year
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Fat necrosis (a part of the breast feels firm)
  • Loss of nipple sensation
  • Asymmetry
  • Too much or too little tissue is removed.
  • Breast-feeding may not possible afterwards
General anaesthetic
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Chest infection
  • Allergic reaction to drugs or tape


Immediately after the operation
  • You will feel bruised and sore and there will be some swelling
  • Pain is usually moderate and controlled with standard painkillers
  • A drain will be placed in each breast that may stay in when you go home
  • A supportive bra (or sports type) to be worn day and night for 2 weeks, then in the daytime for 6 weeks. No underwired bra to be worn during this time.
  • Walking is encouraged, but no heavy lifting or straining
After return home
  • Socialising with friends at 1 week
  • Return to office work at 2-3 weeks
  • Driving at 2-3 weeks
  • Heavy work at 4 weeks
  • Under wired bra can be worn at 6 weeks
  • Swelling and bruising up to 6-8 weeks
  • Return to gym and strenuous activity 2 months
  • Final result 4-6 months

Permanence of results

The new shape of the breasts will be permanent, but as with normal breasts over time gravity will lead to a degree of ptosis (droop).