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Breast uplift is cosmetic surgery to remove excess skin and reshape your breasts.

What happens during breast uplift surgery (Mastopexy)?

Breast uplift is performed under general anaesthetic and usually takes about one-and-a-half hours. There are three types of incisions used during this surgery. Based on careful evaluation of your individual situation your surgeon will recommend a particular incision. The options include:

  • Incision around the areola (dark area around the nipple)
  • Incision around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease
  • Incision around the areola, vertically down to the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease.

Your surgeon will remove excess skin and reshape breast tissue. They will also reposition your nipple lifting it higher.

Following your procedure dressings will be applied to the incisions. There may be a small drainage tube placed temporarily in your breasts to drain any fluid or blood following surgery.

The drains will be removed before you are discharged from hospital. You may be asked to wear a special bra to help support your breasts.

You will need to rest until any effects of the general anaesthetic have worn off. You may need pain relief medication.

Going home after breast uplift surgery (Mastopexy)

The length of stay for most patients is up to one night. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home. If you are leaving hospital the same day as the surgery you should arrange for a friend or relative to stay with you for the first 24 hours following surgery.

Your breasts may be swollen and look discoloured immediately after surgery. Incision lines are permanent but will gradually fade. The results of breast uplift usually improve gradually over the first six months.

Avoid lifting heavy objects or any strenuous activity for the first 6 weeks after your uplift. Since everyone heals differently you should discuss your return to work and normal activities with your surgeon.

This chart is a guide to stages of recovery from mastopexy surgery. Everyone heals differently so your results may vary.
Day  1-7
Week 2
4 to 6 weeks
6 to 9 months

You may have some discomfort for a week. Mild painkillers will help with this but avoid taking aspirin.

Keep walking around to avoid post-operative complications.

Sports bra worn day and night for about 3 weeks.

Might pull and hurt a little when you move around.

Any non dissolvable stitches will be removed.

Gradually begin to increase your activity.

Depending on your job, should be able to return to work after 2 weeks.

Avoid lifting or pushing anything heavy for at least four weeks.

No need to wear a bra during the night but keep one on during the day.

Loss of sensation to breast and nipple area continues to


Scars will begin to soften and fade.

You can begin to judge the result.

Every surgical procedure has a risk of complications. Be sure and discuss any concerns you might have about these risks with your surgeon.

Specific complications of breast uplift surgery may include:

  • Swelling inside the breast
  • Developing a lump in the breast
  • Numbness or persistent pain on the outer part of the breast
  • Stiff shoulder
  • Loss of skin, including the areola and nipple
  • Change in breast and nipple sensation
  • Cosmetic problems
  • Reduced ability to breastfeed.

Breast uplift (mastopexy) consultants at Edinburgh Hospital

Edinburgh Hospital

40 Colinton Road, Edinburgh, EH10 5BT

0131 447 2340

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