Patient Resources

Mastopexy (Breast Lift)

How to prepare:

It is important that you are not taking any medications that thin the blood prior to your surgery. You will be provided with a list of medications and the time period in which they need to be stopped before having your surgery. If you are a smoker, you must not smoke for 4 weeks prior to surgery and for 8 weeks after. You should plan to wear a loose fitting top on your day of surgery. Arrange for a friend or family member to escort you home from surgery and to remain with you for 24 hours following your surgery.

What will happen during a mastopexy:

Once in the operating room you will receive anesthesia to keep you asleep during your surgery. Prior to your surgery, your surgeon will discuss with you where your incisions will be made. Most commonly, an incision is made around the areola, down the front of the breast from the bottom of the areola to the crease of the breast, and possibly in the crease of the breast. After the incisions are made, the excess breast skin is removed and the nipple is moved to its proper position on the breast. All of the incisions are closed with multiple layers of stitches which are placed under the skin and are not visible. A surgical bra will be put on you at the completion of your operation.

What are the risks:

  • Mastopexy carries the risk of bleeding and infection.
  • Having a collection of blood or other fluid in the breasts requiring drainage in the office or back in the operating room.
  • Each individual has different ways of scarring. It is possible that you can have thickened, painful, or keloid scars after your surgery.
  • Occasionally incisions open slightly after surgery and will require wound care to the area for several weeks after surgery to complete healing.
  • It is possible to have a small amount of breast asymmetry after your surgery. Occasionally an additional procedure is needed to improve the symmetry of the breasts.
  • It is possible to have increased, decreased or lack of sensation in your nipples after your surgery.
  • A very rare complication of a mastopexy is partial or total loss of a nipple if the blood supply to the nipple is compromised during surgery.

What to expect after surgery:

You may need to take antibiotics to prevent infection and will also be given pain medication to take if needed. It is expected that you will feel some pain in the breasts after surgery. You may apply ice (wrapped in a towel, not directly on the skin) to your breasts to improve pain and swelling. You need to sleep on your back with several pillows to keep your chest elevated. It is important to only wear the surgical bra given to you, or another non-wire bra which closes in the front for the first 2-3 weeks. You should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for 2-4 weeks. Your first post-operative visit will be about 1 week after your surgery and at this time, the dressing over your incision will be removed. You are able to shower 2 days after surgery but you must avoid scrubbing along your incision. It is expected that your breasts remain swollen for 3-5 weeks after surgery.

Contact your surgeon if:

  • Your breasts begin to appear red or be hot to the touch, or if one breast becomes must more swollen than the other over a short period of time.
  • You have a fever over 101 deg F
  • You have significant bleeding through your incision

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You experience sudden chest pain or difficulty breathing