Mastopexy (breast lift)
Your breasts are lifted and tightened by removing skin from
below and around your nipple. The nipple is raised to a higher
position and the breast tissue inside is repositioned to give you
more fullness in the upper part of your breast. The skin is then
stitched leaving you with a scar around the areola (the coloured
skin around the nipple), vertically down from the areola to the
crease under the breast and usually a horizontal scar underneath
the breast along the breast crease (i.e. the scar is shaped like an
inverted letter "T" or an anchor).
The above pictures show a patient who has undergone a vertical
scar mastopexy by Mr Pacifico
What does it involve?
A mastopexy is performed under a general anaesthetic (with you
asleep). You will wake up with surgical tapes along the wounds and
you may have a surgical drain (tube) coming out of each breast. You
will need to go into a supportive post-surgical or sports bra
What are the benefits?
Mastopexy techniques provide a breast lift and increase the
fullness to the upper part of your breast. A mastopexy will not
change the volume of your breast
How long does the surgery take?
The surgery takes about 2-hours.
What is the recovery period?
The procedure may be performed as a day case (in and out the
same day) or you may stay in hospital overnight after the surgery.
This is to ensure that there is only minimal fluid coming into your
drains, which may then be removed. You should wear a sports bra
day-and-night for at least 6-weeks after surgery, and sometimes for
How long before daily activities may be resumed?
Strenuous activity should be avoided for at least 2-weeks. You
may be able to drive after this period, but remember that you need
to be comfortable in performing an emergency stop or similar
manoeuvre. If you drive too early and you need to do an emergency
stop, the wounds may come apart from pressure of the seatbelt.
What are the success rates?
Mastopexies provide a good breast lift, but with time and the
effects of gravity your breasts will eventually have some
recurrence of droop. This may not happen for around 5-years or more
but will at some point.
What are the possible complications?
• Wound infection & wound breakdown (most likely at the "T"
• Bleeding or haematoma (a collection of blood in the wound that
would mean needing to return to the operating theatre to stop the
• Lumpy scarring (hypertrophic or keloid scarring) which can be
difficult to treat
• Change in nipple sensation (usually less sensitive, but
• Complete or partial loss of your nipple (a rare but important
• Fat necrosis (dying of some areas of fat within the breast) -
this either shows as an oily discharge from the wound or as the
formation of lumps within the breast. Rarely it may mean that you
need to go back to surgery, but can usually be treated as an
outpatient with dressings (if the wound has opened) or with massage
of any lumps
• Breast asymmetry - no breasts in any woman are identical, and
although Mr Pacifico will strive to make both sides as equal as
possible, there will be differences between them
• Bottoming out - this is the term given to when part of your
breast descends below the level of the nipple - the effect is to
make your nipples appear above your bra. With good planning and
surgical technique, this is fortunately an unusual
• Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolus (PE) - these are
blood clots that may occur in the leg (DVT) and travel to the lung
(PE) which may be very serious - fortunately they are not common in
breast lifting surgery.
• Further surgery may be needed to make adjustments to correct for
imperfections or significant differences between the breasts (in up
to 20% of cases)