A breast lift or mastopexy is a surgery that reshapes and lifts breasts and nipples to provide a firmer and youthful-looking appearance of the breasts. It is beneficial for patients who are satisfied with their breasts size but wish to improve their firmness or shape. A breast lift surgery lifts saggy or droopy breasts that are left after breastfeeding, aging, weight loss or pregnancy. Sagging breasts can also develop because of genetic predisposition and gradually breasts lose their shape and firmness – the nipples point downward or are placed below the crease where the breasts meet the ribcage.

Procedure info at a glance

Will I be awake or asleep during the surgery?Local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia can be used
Do I stay in hospital after surgery?Might be needed to stay for 1 night
What is the recovery time? When can I return to work/exercise?2-3 weeks; back to the gym after 6 weeks
How long will the surgery last?1.5-3 hours
How long until the final results of surgery are visible?6-12 months after the surgery


  •     Removal of excess skin
  •     Reshaping of breast tissue to improve breasts contours
  •     Positioning the nipples and areolas into right symmetry
  •     Reducing and reshaping the size of areolae if necessary


The sagging of the breasts starts when the skin and ligaments of the breasts stretch too much. This results in less support to the breasts tissue that lies beneath the skin and makes the breasts sag lower on the chest. This shape of the breasts is less aesthetically appealing because the breasts don’t appear perky as before.

Breast lift surgery successfully solves the issue of sagging breasts because a part of the skin on the breasts is removed and breast tissue is lifted on the chest wall. Also if necessary the areolae are resized. Once the extra skin is removed, breasts are firmer and youthful-looking again.

This surgery can also make the breast more symmetrical especially regarding the position of the nipples. Breast lift surgery provides greater self-confidence to the patients and they can finally enjoy wearing clothes that fit them properly.

Another benefit of this surgery is that it can be combined with breasts augmentation to improve the shape and add more volume to the breasts.


The main advantage of this surgery is a change in shape, contours and feel of the breasts. A perkier look of the breasts can be restored as well as the firmness and younger appearance. The patients return their confidence and finally feel good in their bodies. Their clothes fit better and there is no need to wear a full support bra anymore.

Maybe this sounds a bit surprising, but breast lift surgery can actually improve physical health. The weight is taken from the chest and the neck or back pain is reduced. Also, if there was skin irritation present under the breast, that should stop after the surgery.

The patient’s breasts restore their attractive shape which again helps increase the patient’s self-esteem.



    This surgical procedure is quite popular because it effectively improves the shape and appearance of the breasts. Most patients who wish to improve the look of their breasts are good candidates for this surgery.

    Generally, the patients should:

    ● Be older than 18
    ● Not be pregnant or breastfeeding
    ● Be realistic about the expectations
    ● Be physically and emotionally ready for the operation
    ● Have stable weight with a BMI less than 30
    ● Be non-smokers

    It is important that the patients stay at their target weight for 3 months before the surgery because significant weight loss or gain may affect the outcomes of the breast lift.

    It is also advised that the patients choose to undergo this procedure after having their family because breast lift may affect breastfeeding. The incisions made during the surgery may impact the ability of nursing. Moreover, getting pregnant after the operation can affect the outcomes of breast lift surgery as well, because the sagging can return after the pregnancy.

    Breast lift surgery won’t achieve a dramatic change in the size of the breasts. A combination with breast augmentation surgery could provide the patient’s specific goals. With breast implants, the upper part of the breast will appear fuller because a breast lift can’t add more volume to the breasts.


    When the patient decides to undergo this surgery and arrives at Lucia Clinic, first she is consulted with Lucia’s Plastic Surgeon. They discuss the patient’s concerns, medical history and expectations. It is important to be completely open with the surgeon and answer the questions thoroughly. This way, the surgeon can create a customized procedure plan that will specifically address the patient’s needs and deliver the best possible results.

    The surgeon also inquires about possible allergies, past medical issues and medications, herbal supplements or vitamins that the patient is taking.

    After these questions are answered, the surgeon examines the patient’s breasts:
    ● Measures the breasts size and shape
    ● Assesses the breasts skin and tissue quality and quantity
    ● Examines the position of areolae and nipples

    After that, the surgeon discusses the surgical techniques and methods and determines the breast shape and size that will be accomplished after the surgery.

    It is important for the patient to fully understand everything that the surgery involves, all the potential risks and the procedure results.


    It is very important that the patient arranges for somebody to drive her home after the surgery. The patient won’t be able to drive because of anesthesia. Also, somebody should stay with the patient for the first 24 hours in case of any complications.

    The surgeon can recommend the patient to avoid smoking because the recovery will be faster. Nicotine should be avoided at least for 6 weeks before and after the surgery.

    Since the patient needs to rest after the surgery, it is recommended to finish all household chores prior to the surgery. The patient should avoid any reaching up and stretching in order not to cause any damage to the stitches.


    When the patient arrives at the hospital, before the surgery, the surgeon draws guide marks on the patient’s breasts to show the patient the goals of the procedure. The patient will receive anesthesia - either general or local. It all depends on the agreement that the surgeon and the patient have reached prior to the surgery.

    The surgeon then cleans the patient’s chest to keep it sterile and avoid infections. Then the surgery can start.

    The surgeon makes incisions and begins with the breast lift.

    There are different incisions that the surgeon can make all depending on what is expected from the procedure. The choice of the proper incision depends on the breast size and shape, the level of skin sagging, the position and the size of areolae, and the quantity and quality of the breasts’ skin and tissue.

    The incisions can possibly affect breastfeeding and breast sensation and they produce a scar. However, most scars are left close to the areola and beneath the breast and should fade away eventually and become almost invisible.


    With this incision, the surgeon is able to correct a great amount of sagging skin. The surgeon can use it for large breasts and if necessary combine the surgery with breast reduction. This incision is most frequently used.

    With this incision, the surgeon can correct mild breast sagging. It is not so frequently used because only a small amount of breast lift can be done with this incision.

    At the end of the surgery, when the surgeon is finished with lifting and reshaping the breast tissue he/she closes the incisions with stitches. If the stitches are absorbable, the patient doesn’t need to return to the hospital to get them removed.

    The surgeon might put surgical drains under the skin of the breasts. The drains lower the amount of bruising and swelling. The drains are removed when the patient is ready to go home.

    In most cases, the patient can go home the same day after the surgery, but sometimes it is required for her to stay overnight.

    Generally, the surgery can last between 1.5 to 3 hours.


    After the surgery, the patient can see the change in breast size and shape immediately. However, since this is an invasive procedure, it takes some time to fully see the aesthetic results. Every patient is different, so the results may vary. Usually, it takes from 6 to 12 months for the swelling to fully cease and for the scars to heal and fade.


    After the surgery, the patient is given a strict recovery protocol by the surgeon. It is important that the patient fully understands all the protocol rules and follows them in order to speed up the healing process.

    Before the patient can leave the hospital she needs to arrange a post-surgery appointment with the surgeon. The surgeon will assess if the breasts are healing properly and treat any complications if necessary.

    Every patient is different and requires a different healing timeframe. The surgeon’s recommendations include:

    Taking time off work

    This depends on the type of work that the patient does. If it is a physically demanding job, the patients may need to take two weeks off work. On the whole, when returning to work, the patient should start off slowly and avoid hard work for 2 to 3 weeks after surgery.

    Sports and exercise

    The patient needs to rest after the surgery. However, a light exercise like walking is advisable to lower the risk of developing blood clots. The amount of exercise is advised by the surgeon.

    During the first and second weeks, the patient can’t do any sports at all. After the second week, the patient can start with cycling for example but without vigorous movement. After 6 weeks, the patient may continue with sports and exercises as before.

    Wearing compression garment

    After the surgery, the patient may need to wear a compression garment for 4 to 6 weeks. It helps to reduce swelling and helps to get the best results. The surgeon will advise the patient what kind of garment to wear and how frequently.

    Taking care of the scars

    There are different ways how the patient can treat scars and speed up their healing. The patient can massage the scar twice a day after the incisions have completely healed. Also, the patient should avoid exposing to the sun or going to sunbeds.

    Other recommendations include sleeping on the back to avoid swelling and keeping a healthy and balanced diet. The patient should avoid food with too much salt or sugar and drinks with caffeine. Instead, drinking plenty of water is beneficial for healing.


    As breast lift surgery is an invasive procedure there are possible complications and risks. It is important that the patients fully understand them.

    Some of the risks include:

    Mild bruising and bleeding

    These complications are frequent after surgery. Excessive bleeding may happen but very rarely. In case of excessive bleeding, the patient’s breasts feel tight and are very swollen. If this happens the patient needs to return to the hospital where she will be properly taken care of. When resolved promptly bleeding shouldn’t affect the final outcome of the breast lift.

    The risk of infection

    There is a possibility of mild infection in the wound, and it can be effectively treated with antibiotics. Every surgery can bring a risk of infection and breast lift is not an exception. It is important to inform the surgeon if the patient notices any signs of infections.

    There might happen more severe infections, but this is very rare. The signs of more serious infections include having a temperature over 38 degrees, major redness around the scar, bad-smelling fluid that comes from the incision and pain that can’t be relieved with medications.

    Numbness of the breasts

    This is one of the most frequent risks of this surgery. Breasts can feel too numb or have altered sensations. This happens around the incision, nipple or areolae. Once the nerves in the breast tissue and skin heal these sensations should stop. The process of healing may last for a few months.


    Since the surgeon needs to make incisions to perform the breast lift surgeon, scars are unavoidable. These scars are generally mild and fade within 12 to 18 months. After this time the scars will fade to what they will be like forever.

    In some cases, more severe scars may appear. They are called keloid or hypertrophic scars. Some patients have a genetic predisposition for developing keloid scars. In that case, the patient must inform the surgeon about this condition.

    Seroma or a pocket of fluid

    This pocket appears beneath the skin around the incision site. Seromas can develop 7 to 10 days post-surgery. The area that is affected with seroma is usually swollen. They can be resolved without any intervention or they need to be drained by the surgeon.

    The skin starts sagging again

    Factors like aging, gravity, weight gain or loss can affect the outcomes of breast lift surgery. The skin starts to sag again and the patient can decide to have another breast lift surgery to make the breasts firm again.