Mastopexy, an alternative to augmentation mammoplasty?

Picture of Dr. Victor Urzola

Dr. Victor Urzola

Plastic Surgeon

Before answering the question, we must understand what a mastopexy is. Mastopexy is known as a breast lift where the nipple-areola complex is repositioned to a height desired by the patient. This surgery is also used to symmetrize the breasts and, although it can be performed by adding implants, it is not necessary.

Who can have this surgery?

Mastopexy is a solution for breast ptosis or sagging. This can be the result of genetic causes; in other words, there are patients who are born with sagging breasts, without the proper shape and/or asymmetrical. On the other hand, the skin of the breasts may be affected after significant weight loss or after the breastfeeding period.

Similarly, breast lifts are a solution for people who have lax skin due to aging. They are also used in patients with very large breasts who wish to reduce them to a more comfortable size, without neglecting aesthetics. 

It should be clarified that this type of surgical procedure is known as Gynecomastia when it is a male patient.


This type of surgery may vary depending on what is intended to be achieved. That is, it depends on whether the procedure includes breast reduction, reduction of the nipple-areola complex or breast augmentation with the help of implants.

The plastic surgeon will choose the plastic surgeon will choose the type of surgery to be performed, depending on the patient's wishes. This will affect the type of scars resulting from the surgery.

Mastopexies are performed under general anesthesia and, in most cases, last a maximum of two hours. After another hour in the recovery area of the hospital, the patient can go home.

Post-surgery care

After surgery, the patient must remain in the hospital recovery area for one hour and then she can go home. 

During the first 15 days after the operation, the patient will not be able to drive. At the same time, she will have to wear a special bra for one month. It is also recommended to abstain from sexual intercourse for two weeks.

Risks or complications

The most frequent complications are open wounds, pigmentation of scars or keloid scars, alterations in the sensitivity of the nipple-areola complex, hematomas, infections and even bleeding after surgery in case of a lot of effort. However, these risks are quite infrequent.

Rememberto follow the instructions and care recommended by the surgeon.

So, is Mastopexy a better option than Mammoplasty?

Since mammoplasty is much better known than mastopexy, many patients consider mastopexy as the only solution for their situation. However, there are certain degrees of breast ptosis that can be improved with a Mastopexy. Sometimes, even the volume of the breast (that is, the tissue that the patient already has) can be used to make a breast lift and give an excellent shape to the breast. This technique is known as Autoprothesis. In other cases, the patient wishes to have larger breasts, so a prosthesis can be used in combination with Mastopexy. 

The plastic surgeon will determine which procedure is appropriate depending on the patient and her needs. 

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