Breast lift / mastopexy

You may be considering a breast lift if your breasts have lost shape and are droopy. 


A breast uplift or mastopexy lifts breasts that have become saggy or droopy. For some women, their breasts may have developed this way, for others the change occurs with ageing or after pregnancy and weight loss. Breast ptosis is characterised by a drop in the position of the nipple and the breast tissue. This leads to a lack of fullness in the upper parts of the breast and a loss of the youthful appearance of the breast. Breast ptosis can affect younger women as well.

How do I know if I am suitable for the procedure?

You might be suitable for breast lift surgery if you have concerns that your breasts are droopy or sagging. Your nipples may be pointing downwards and your skin may be loose. Many women mention that they have lost the shape of their breasts and that their breasts feel empty at the top half.

Will a breast uplift make my breasts fuller?

A breast uplift will improve the overall shape of your breasts and lift the breasts and nipples. While it can add some fullness to the upper part of your breasts, this will be subtle and not the same effect that you would achieve with breast implants. A lift combined with implants or fat transfer may be a better option if you are looking for added volume and fullness in addition to a lift. You can see examples in our before and after gallery.

What types of breast uplift are available?

There are many types of breast uplift procedure that can be tailored to your needs. A mild droop can sometimes be improved by increasing the volume of the breast with a breast implant alone (see breast augmentation). More severe drooping can be treated by removal of loose skin and tightening. This is a similar procedure to a breast reduction, but very little breast tissue is removed.

Periareolar breast lift

A periareolar uplift is where the scars are around the nipples only. This type of breast lift may be suitable for correcting very mild drooping, especially if the nipple-areola requires a reduction in size. Skin is removed from around the nipple in a doughnut fashion.

breast uplift scar around nipple only

Scars for peri-areolar breast lift


Vertical scar breast lift

With a vertical scar lift, the scar is described as a lollipop scar – around the nipple and vertically down below it towards the breast crease. This technique can be used for moderate breast lifts.

scar for vertical breast uplift

Scars for vertical uplift “lollipop.”


Anchor shaped breast uplift

An anchor-shaped lift is the most common type of uplift in our practice. The scars are around the nipple, vertically and along the breast crease. This type of procedure allows for the correction of significant breast droopiness and can give the most consistent results.

anchor breast uplift

Scar pattern for “anchor” shaped breast lift


Combining a lift with implants

If you are looking to lift your breasts and add volume, then a breast lift can be combined with breast implants (augmentation mastopexy). Augmentation mastopexy is a more complicated procedure, and great care is required in assessing you for such surgery.

Patient experience of breast lift with implants


I’m worried about scars – how long does it take for them to settle down?

The main downside to breast lift surgery is the fact that it leaves scars around the nipple and vertical or anchor shaped scars. Unfortunately, there is no other way to lift breasts once they have dropped to a certain extent without removing and tightening skin. The nipple cannot be moved upwards without cutting around it. Fortunately, most women are very well prepared for scarring as they have researched the procedure beforehand and will have been shown several before and after photos. Scars can take up to 18 months to fully mature, sometimes longer. Most before and after photos show results at around six months when the scars can still be quite red. You can expect significant improvement and fading of the colour beyond six months, and there is considerable variability between patients.


Breast uplift scars at 6 months and at 3 years


Note that scars are often red at 6 months but after time these tend to fade to a whiter colour.


Breast (mastopexy) scars at 6 months and 18 months



How do you move the nipple up, do you have to detach it?

In order to move the nipples up to a higher position on the breast, a cut is made around them. The areola is reduced in size as it has usually been stretched. The nipple remains attached to the underlying breast tissue so that it can keep a blood supply. It is the underlying breast tissue that is repositioned with the nipple attached to it so that it can sit at a higher position on the breast.

What is the recovery like?

Surgery is carried out as a day procedure or with an overnight stay. You will be seen in the dressing clinic 1 week after surgery and then a few days later to have stitches removed. You should take at least 1 week off work to rest. The wounds should be fully healed by 2 weeks but this can take longer if you have delayed healing. Light exercise can usually be resumed at 4 weeks and you should be fully recovered by 6 weeks.

How long will it take for my breast shape to settle?

Initially, your breasts will be tight and can look a little “boxy” in shape. By 6 months they will look much more rounded and will continue to improve in shape for up to 18 months.


Change in shape of the breast over first 6 months after breast lift/ reduction



How much does it cost?

Breast lift from £5250

Breast lift with Implants (small lift) £6500 (full lift) £7500

Consultation £150

All inclusive costs for one year following surgery


Further reading

Information on breast lift from BAAPS

Download an information leaflet


breast lift Scotland

View our gallery

Breast lift (mastopexy)

Type of Anaesthetic

Length of Surgery
2-3 hours

Nights in Hospital

5-10 days off work
4-6 weeks before strenuous exercise

View our gallery

Before and After

Aftercare advice

Surgery Aftercare


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