Cosmetic surgery to lift droopy breasts to
give them a more youthful appearance is known medically as a mastopexy. The
breast uplift is done on both breasts at the same time so that breast symmetry
can be maintained.
Why consider breast uplift surgery?
In her late teens and early twenties, a
woman’s breasts are firm and the nipples point upwards or forwards. Age,
gravity, motherhood and breastfeeding then take their toll and twenty years
later, it’s very different. The skin of the breasts becomes less elastic, the
fatty tissue within the breasts is distributed less evenly and supportive
connective tissue has been damaged. The result is droopy breasts that sag and
If you are happy with the size of your
breasts but just want them to look younger, breast uplift surgery is a good
choice. This type of cosmetic surgery won’t make your breasts larger or smaller
but it will restore their firmness and fullness, giving you back a much more
What does a breast uplift involve?
A breast uplift operation takes 2-3 hours,
is done under general anaesthetic and usually requires a night in hospital. You
will receive detailed instructions on how to prepare but this generally
includes advice to stop smoking in the weeks before surgery and to fast the
night and morning before the operation. Once you are in theatre and under the
anaesthetic the cosmetic surgeon will:
Make several incisions under the breasts so
that a strip of excess skin can be removed.
Remove skin from around the areola (the
darker area around the nipple). If your areola is larger than you would like,
the diameter can be reduced at this stage.
Reshape each breast so that it forms a
tighter dome and reposition the nipple so it is higher up the breast.
Close the incisions with fine dissolvable
stitches and then apply a dressing to support the breasts.
After your breast uplift
When you come out of the anaesthetic you
will be taken back to your room and you may have a wound drain in place for 24
hours. You will be encouraged to get up and about, usually that same day unless
your surgery is in the late afternoon. Most women are ready to go home within
48 hours. Your breast surgeon will give you specific advice about washing and
wound care and you will need to wear a supportive bra for at least 6 weeks.
After a breast uplift your breasts will be
bruised, swollen and sore. You may need to take painkillers for a few days, but
most women cope with over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol and
ibuprofen. You will have some bright pink scars where the incisions were made –
these start to fade over the next weeks and months.
What risks are involved in a breast uplift?
Complications are rare, but these will be
explained in detail before your breast uplift is booked. All surgery can lead
to bleeding after the operation or infection within the first few days. In
addition, a small proportion of women having breast uplift surgery will
Loss of sensation around the nipple: the
incisions may cut nerves in the skin which then do not recover, so some of the
skin around the nipple can feel numb and will not respond to touch in the same
Keloid scars: some women respond to
surgical incisions by forming raised scars, which are more noticeable than flat
Difficulty breastfeeding later: this will
depend on the individual surgery and how it is performed. When breast uplift is
done in younger women, the milk ducts are spared as much as possible.
Dissatisfaction with the results: although
cosmetic surgeons are highly skilled, they cannot work miracles. If your
expectations before the breast uplift were unreasonable, you may not be happy
afterwards. Most women have breasts with some asymmetry – the two breasts are
rarely identical in size and shape and a mastopexy can make this asymmetry more
What does a breast uplift cost?
Typical range in a UK private hospital or
clinic is £3,190.00 - £7,370.00.