Breast uplift

Breast uplift, also known by its medical name of mastopexy, is a popular surgical procedure.

This operation involves removing excess skin, tightening the breasts and elevating the position of the nipple. The size of the areolas is usually reduced also. The aim of the operation is to make the breasts appear more youthful and feel more supported. Bra size following this operation is a little unpredictable but on average patients go down one cup size as the breast tissue is ‘re-packaged’.

Why do people consider mastopexy?

Patients seek mastopexy for problems such as:

  • Drooping of breasts
  • Excess skin of breasts
  • Feeling that breasts have prematurely aged – nipple positions too low
  • Unable to wear tops without a bra
  • Wide areolas (the pigmented area around the nipples)
  • If severe, physical symptoms such as discomfort when exercising and rashes under the breasts

Mastopexy is sometimes also performed with other procedures such as:

  • Removal of implants (explantation), when it can be useful to tighten the breasts after they have been stretched by implants
  • Exchange of breast implants, if drooping of the breasts has occurred.
  • Breast augmentation (insertion of breast implants, augmentation mastopexy), as some patients request more fill in their breasts in addition to an uplift
  • Operations to correct size and shape differences between breasts e.g tuberous breast deformity.
What does the consultation involve?
Mr Chester will take a full medical history and perform a breast examination. Mr Chester will take measurements of your breasts and check you for breast lumps. Your height and weight will also be measured. Mr Chester will discuss whether surgery is appropriate for you and will go through the operation in detail. He will discuss the benefits, limitations and potential risks associated with mastopexy. If your breasts are very large it may be preferable for you to have a breast reduction.
How long will I be in hospital ?
You will come into hospital on the day of surgery. Patients are normally in hospital for one night after the operation.
What happens during the operation?
Mastopexy is performed under general anaesthetic (put to sleep) and takes around 2 hours to perform. Excess skin is removed and the breast tissue is reshaped. Areolas are usually made smaller and the nipples are moved to a higher position on the breasts. Mr Chester will explain the likely scarring, but if a significant uplift is required, they are usually anchor-shaped. For smaller uplifts, procedures with less scarring can sometimes be performed; the simplest of which involves removing a doughnut of skin, leading to a single circular scar on each breast around the areolas. The wounds are closed with dissolving stitches. Mr Chester uses small surgical drains which consist of narrow tubes coming out of the sides of the chest to take away excess blood or fluid following the surgery. Drains are usually removed before you go home.
What is the recovery period following mastopexy?
You should be able to get out of bed and walk on the same day as your surgery once the general anaesthetic has worn off. In the first two weeks you will need to take it easy and will need help with activities such as shopping, housework, and looking after young children.

You should be able to perform light activities after 2 weeks and exercise after 6 weeks. Heavy lifting should be avoided for 6 weeks and strenuous upper body exercise may need to be deferred until 3 months after the operation. You are likely to need at least 2 weeks off work depending on your occupation. If you have a physical occupation then you may require around 4-6 weeks off work. You will not be able to drive for approximately 1-2 weeks. You will need to wear a sports bra for 6 weeks after surgery to help support and shape your breasts.


Mr Chester normally sees patients following mastopexy surgery at around 1 week, 2 weeks, 6 weeks and 3-6 months post-operatively, although this is only a guide and sometimes patients can require additional appointments for dressings etc. Mr Chester provides most, if not, all of the aftercare himself as he likes to check patients himself and offer reassurance at all stages.

Before and after photographs

48-year-old lady with degree of asymmetry. Uplift on both sides performed with removal of small amount of tissue on right side to improve symmetry. Photos on right at 7 months post-op

21-year-old lady following significant weight loss. Uplift performed with removal of small amount of tissue on left side to improve symmetry. Photos on right at approximately 3 months post-op.
Here are some examples of patients who have mastopexy performed by Mr Chester in various stages of healing. Scars usually take 1-2 years to fade completely.

19-year-old lady requesting uplift surgery after 2 stones of weight loss. Mastopexy performed without removal of any breast tissue. Post-operative photographs on the right have been taken at approximately 9 months.


“I visited Dr Chester for a consultation for a mastopexy (breast uplift) after a recommendation from my GP. I was already booked in with another surgeon but wanted to make sure i was going with the right person. As soon as i met Dr Chester he made me feel at ease and helped explain the procedure in much more detail. I was unsure whether i should have implants of just an uplift and he helped explain both procedures to give me a more clear idea. After this first consultation i cancelled my other surgeon and knew this was the right option. I had a mastopexy and i trusted myself in his hands completely. I was terrified on the day of surgery but he did all he could to ensure me everything was going to be ok. He has continued to see me after the surgery to see how i’ve been getting on and my scarring is no where near what i expected. The surgery was 3 months ago and i had a full mastopexy (scars underneath and round the nipple) and they have faded amazing within this timescale, you can hardly notice them. I made the decision not to have implants and just have the uplift through weight loss. My breasts before were low, sagging and i had a lot of loose skin and I’m only 22! I am so much more confident now and can wear the type of clothes that i should be for my age. This operation has had much a positive effect on my life and i would strongly recommend Dr Chester for any surgery. He takes the time to help and support you through the process and will instantly make you feel at ease through any procedure. I can’t thank you enough!”

BAAPS guide on mastopexy

For any enquiries or to book an appointment with Mr Chester please get in touch with his secretary