What is a breast uplift?

Cosmetic surgeon Mr Gerard Lambe explains how a breast uplift works, and discusses other important information about the procedure.

A breast uplift is an operation designed to restore the youthful shape of the breast without a significant change in size.

It can be combined with a breast enlargement procedure in certain cases where reshaping alone cannot achieve your desired goals.

Spire patient Angela, pictured above, had a breast uplift, as well as a breast reduction and tummy tuck at the same time; read her full patient experience of the procedure.

Who is suitable for a breast lift?
Ladies who have noticed a loss of fullness in the upper part of the breast, or who have sagging breasts secondary to age or pregnancy, may be suitable for a breast uplift. It is best if you are also close to your ideal weight, fit and healthy and a non-smoker as this means you are more likely to get the a good result from your surgery.

What scars will I have?
The pattern of scarring required varies considerably depending on the amount of lift that is required, and will be discussed with your consultant.

Generally, scars can be kept to a minimum by correcting around the pink part of the nipple (areola) but more significant lifts require a scar that runs vertically down towards the fold of the breast and sometimes also a small horizontal limb in the crease of the breast. This is something you should discuss fully with your surgeon at your consultation.

How long does surgery take?
The surgery is done while under general anaesthetic and takes between three and four hours to complete. You may or may not require drains and usually you will need no more than a one night stay.

You should arrange for someone to collect you from the hospital and if you have young children it is best if you can have help at home in the weeks after surgery to aid your recovery.

Are there any complications?
Common minor problems relate to wound healing being delayed - this can be helped by avoiding smoking and following post op instructions carefully. As in a breast reduction, moving the nipple can lead to changes in sensation and there can be implications for breast feeding after this type of surgery.

How long is the recovery period?
You should usually be able to resume light exercises after a week and normal exercise by two to three weeks. The scars following mastopexy can be red for a number of weeks or months after surgery and it can take some time before the scars start turning pink/purple and then start fading into a white line. You should begin massage to the scars once healed.

How long do the results last?
This is dependent on a number of factors. Pregnancy has the greatest effect on the post op results so you should consider the timing of surgery carefully for this reason, but how heavy the breast is and the quality of skin can also cause a recurrence of the droop.

Over time it may be necessary to further tighten the skin and you should discuss this fully with your surgeon.

Mr Gerard Lambe is a consultant plastic surgeon at Spire Cheshire Hospital.


The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional.