For some women, pregnancy or weight loss, leads to a loss of volume and significant sagging or ptosis of the breasts. This can be addressed by surgery called mastopexy, sometimes referred to as breast lift. This surgery does not change the volume or size of the breast but by tightening the skin restores a more youthful shape and projection.

Surgery can always be carried with a scar limited to the margin of the nipple areola complex and extending down to the crease, a so-called lollipop pattern. Surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and most patients will spend only one night in hospital after their procedure.


Infection occurs in approximately 3% of patients and usually evolves between the time of discharge from hospital and the date to return for the first outpatient visit. Symptoms and signs include swelling, redness, pain, fever, feeling unwell and ultimately a discharge of pus from the wound. Superficial infections can be managed by antibiotics alone but more severe infections, perhaps even the development of an abscess, may require re-hospitalisation and perhaps even additional surgery.

Bleeding occurs in approximately 1 in 20 patients and is typically an early event, occurring within hours of surgery. Treatment usually involves a return to the operating theatre where, under general anaesthetic once more, the wounds are open and any blood that may have collected is removed before closing the wounds again. This complication occasionally occurs following discharge from hospital and is clinically very obvious because of the swelling and discomfort that it causes in the breast that is affected.

Most women undergoing a mastopexy will be left with relatively fine scars, which ultimately become pale and relatively inconspicuous but never disappear completely.

Secondary surgery is necessary for some women. This is commonly used to smooth out the vertical scar and is often possible under local anaesthetic on an outpatient basis.

Key Points - Mastopexy

  • Mastopexy surgery is performed to lift the breasts, providing improved projection and fullness
  • Mastopexy surgery is performed under general anaesthetic, usually with one night in hospital
  • Surgery leaves a lollypop-shaped scar
  • Patients are advised to wear a firmly supporting sports bra for 4-6 weeks post-operatively
  • Appearances typically settle and improve over the first 8-12 weeks | Tel: 01342 330303