An aesthetically pleasing breast has the nipple at the right height, fullness and  shape which is in proportion to the rest of the body.  As women age or after childbirth the breast will naturally change shape, loose volume and the nipples can drop, giving a deflated appearance.  Whilst this is a natural consequence of the ageing process, many women choose to rejuvenate their breasts with a ‘lift’ also known as a ‘mastopexy’. Occasionally an implant is also required to restore volume.

Who is suitable for a breast lift?

Typically older women, those who have had children or who have lost some weight and wish their breasts to be returned to how they were when they were younger or before they had children. Women who also want larger breasts may wish to consider a breast lift combined with a breast augmentation or mastopexy augmentation.

Is it possible to have a breast lift without the scars around the nipples?

There are a small group of women who have good skin quality, wish to have breast enlargement and who only need their nipples lifted a small amount who will get a lift from breast augmentation alone.  However, for most women, in order to achieve the desired result, it will be necessary to place some type of scar around the nipple to lift the nipples adequately and create a pleasing breast shape.

What does the operation involve?

There are many surgical options available to women considering mastopexy and your surgeon will discuss the most appropriate option based on your desired outcome, your individual anatomy – skin quality and quantity, breast volume and nipple position.

Vertical scar or ‘lollipop’ mastopexy

This technique allows maximum moderate raising of the nipples with reshaping of the breast but without a horizontal scar in the crease of the breast.  The new nipple position is marked preoperatively as well as the vertical lines that will be brought together to form the vertical scar that will run from the nipple to the crease underneath the breast.   The skin is then closed with absorbable stitches and supportive dressings applied.

Wise pattern or inverted T mastopexy

If the nipple has to be lifted a long way or there is a significant amount of excess skin that must be removed then an ‘inverted T’ shaped scar may be required.  This technique is similar to the vertical scar procedure in that a scar is placed around the nipple and straight down to the crease under the breast.  In addition however, a horizontal scar is also placed in the crease under the breast. Most patients are best by this style of mastopexy.

Periareolar or ‘donut’ mastopexy

This type of breast lift is suitable for the minority of women who only require the nipples to be lifted a small amount or for women with larger nipples who are requesting a reduction in the diameter of their areolae as well as a lift.  Using this approach the only scars on the breast are around the nipples at the junction between nipple skin and the surrounding breast skin.

What happens after the operation?

Your surgery will last between two to three hours and you will usually be able to go home the same day as your surgery. Drains are not routinely required.  You will be placed in a supportive bra before going home and asked to leave all dressings intact until you return 1 week later for a wound check and dressing change.  You should be able to return to light duties at work at 1 – 2 weeks.  Strenuous activity or exercise should be refrained from until 6 weeks after your surgery.

How long do the results last?

A breast lift has an immediate and permanent effect however breast shape and size can continue to change throughout your lifetime with the effects of ageing and gravity which cause gradual sagging and loss of volume.

What are the risks of a mastopexy?

Breast lift surgery is fairly low risk. Possible complications are bleeding, infection, delayed healing, prominent scars and changes in the sensation of the nipples.   All women have asymmetrical breasts to some degree and occasionally there is noticeable asymmetry after surgery too.

BAAPS Patient Information On Mastopexy


Stacked mastopexy in which the drooping part of the breast is moved to the top of the chest to reverse the empty appearance of the cleavage

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Mastopexy using the ‘Wise pattern’ of skin removal and inverted ‘T’ scar

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Removal of breast implants and stacked mastopexy to give fullness to the breasts even after the implants have been removed

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