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Mastopexy (Breast Lift)

What is a Mastopexy?

Breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, is a procedure designed to elevate the position of the breast tissue and nipple to a more aesthetically pleasing position.  In patients who have had previous breast augmentation a breast lift may be necessary years after the initial procedure due to stretching of tissues and the effects of gravity on breast tissue over time.


Several different incision patterns are possible depending on the degree of lift necessary and patient’s goals and desires.  These incision patterns can either be around the nipple, around the nipple and straight down or around the nipple straight down and along the breast fold.  Most commonly, our surgeons prefer using an upside-down T incision line. This incision line will surround the nipple and extend down in a vertical fashion to the inframammary fold (fold underneath breast) where it will travel along the fold. While this technique has a larger scar than some, it allows the surgeon to adequately lift breast tissue, elevate nipple, and reshape the remaining tissue in an aesthetically pleasing way. The scars are usually very well hidden in clothing and swimsuits.


This surgical procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis, in our Joint Commission certified operating suite. Surgery lasts on average of 3 hours, and then patients are discharged home that same day. Patients who undergo a Mastopexy will follow up in our office 1-3 days post operatively. 

Things to know:

  • Patients may have 2 drains after surgery. Inflammation from surgery causes an accumulation of serous fluid that is managed with these drains. You will need to milk and empty these drains, recording the output preferably twice daily and at the same time each day. Drains will remain in place until output is less than 30ml for an entire 24-hour period.
  • You must wear a soft post-surgical bra, that will be provided for you the day of surgery, for a few weeks following surgery.
  • You may begin showering in 48 hours after surgery. When showering, wash all areas with soap and water, and pat dry with a towel. It is important that you do not submerge your surgical incision in water (i.e. no bath tubs, swimming pools, etc.).
  • Sutures will be absorbable. Follow up appointments will be scheduled on a weekly basis until drains are removed, at which time follow up appointment will typically be schedule in two-week intervals. You may begin scar massage and use of scar creams approximately 3 weeks after surgery.
  • Mastopexy is commonly performed in combination with a breast augmentation to enhance upper pole fullness and increase breast volume.
Before (Side)
After (Side)

Postoperative restrictions are as follows:

no heavy lifting, pushing, or performing any activities that engage the pectoralis muscle for 4 weeks. At 4 weeks post operatively, we will gradually increase the weight you may lift and your activities over the next few weeks. At 8 weeks you are cleared for full activity.