Mastopexia Possible Complications and Considerations


Mastopexia is a cosmetic surgical procedure aimed at lifting and rejuvenating the breasts. It stands as one of the most widely sought-after and popular options in plastic surgery. Yet, as is the case with any surgical intervention. The potential for undesired complications is a reality. The likelihood of such complications can be influenced by both the surgeon’s qualifications and the individual characteristics of the patient’s body.

The postoperative phase of a mastopexy may, on occasion, present certain complications. Among these, one of the most common is bleeding from the incision site. Fortunately, this complication is relatively rare and typically does not necessitate further medical intervention. It is identifiable by the presence of a bruise near the location of the postoperative incision. This issue affects roughly 1-2% of all mastopexia procedures.

It’s crucial for patients considering a breast lift to have a comprehensive discussion with their chosen surgeon. Regarding the potential risks, complications, and the surgeon’s qualifications. This open dialogue can help manage expectations and ensure a safe and successful outcome in their quest for breast rejuvenation and enhancement.

Inflammation after Mastopexia

It is also quite rare that the frequency of such a complication is significantly less than 1%. With the correct technique of Mastopexia surgery. The likelihood of encountering such a complication is exceedingly low.

The cause of suppuration may be a local infection. For the treatment of suppuration, drainage, and washing of the purulent focus with an antiseptic are carried out. If the inflammation is severe, then antibiotics are prescribed.

Hematoma (accumulation of blood) after breast lift

It occurs in 1-3% of cases from all operations. It develops on the first day after Mastopexy surgery. A hematoma does not resolve spontaneously. Since it is a sufficiently large accumulation of blood that cannot resolve on its own.

It is treated promptly, and the essence of the operation is to remove blood clots. If the hematoma remains unrecognized, this can lead to suppuration of the wound. Disruption of blood supply to the skin-fat flaps, etc. Therefore, a hematoma requires the closest attention.


It is an accumulation of intercellular serous fluid in the cavity around the implant or in the soft tissues of the breast. The mammary gland with seroma increases in size. In the case of seroma, the fluid from the cavity is removed with a syringe under the control of ultrasound, or special drains are installed.

When performing an isolated breast lift, this is an exceptionally rare complication that can occur in patients with very large breasts (size 5-6). The frequency is significantly less than 1%.

Chest pain

Chest pain happens in the first days after Mastopexia surgery. Pain after surgery is a natural phenomenon, as experience shows, the intensity of pain is moderate. Most often, the use of painkillers is not even required. They pass independently.

Swelling of breast tissue after breast lift

There is always swelling after mastopexia surgery. It is especially pronounced in the first three days and is associated with tissue trauma during surgery and fluid retention. The main edema goes away during the first two months after surgery as the damaged vessels are restored. If the swelling does not subside within two weeks, then this becomes a problem that needs to be solved.

Causes of persistent edema:

    1. Rejection of compression underwear;

    2. Thermal effects (bath, bath, beach)

    3. Early physical activity.

Necrosis of the areola or skin flaps

The cause of necrosis of the areola or skin flaps is a lack of blood supply in the operated tissues. Most often, this is due to the peculiarities of blood supply or excessive damage to blood vessels during mastopexia surgery. Proper marking and compliance with all stages of the operation reduce the risk of developing this complication to a minimum.

The frequency of necrosis of the areola or skin-fat flaps is about 2% of all operations. However, total necrosis is extremely rare.

Necrosis of adipose tissue is more common after breast reduction. When a large volume of mammary glands has been removed after mastopexy. The complication is accompanied by pain and high fever. The frequency of such a complication is no more than 1%.

The surgeon urgently needs to remove necrotic fat and drain the wound. An extremely rare complication that can be observed with a reduction with a lift of a very large (10-12 size) breast.

Decreased sensitivity of the nipple, areola, and surrounding skin

In the first weeks after mastopexia, a decrease in sensitivity is expected due to damage to nerve endings. Over time, the nerve endings are restored, and sensitivity returns.

It also occurs when a large amount of glandular tissue is removed during breast lift surgery and simultaneous reduction. With such an operation, the damage to the nerve endings is more significant. Over time, the sensitivity of the skin is restored, but, due to more significant tissue damage, the sensitivity may not fully recover.

Experience shows that a slight decrease in sensitivity occurs in a small number of patients, but does not cause significant discomfort.


Divergence of the wound edges

A rare complication after mastopexy and the frequency is 1-2% of all operations. It occurs in areas of small tissue tension and when infection enters the wound. Treatment consists of applying ointment dressings to the wound. In these cases, coarser scars are observed, which then require correction.

Even though such a complication looks scary, as a rule, there are no serious consequences. After correction, the aesthetic result does not suffer in any way.

Rough scars

After a breast lift, they occur in about 2-3% of cases from all operations. The cause of scarring may be a genetic predisposition of the patient, as well as high tension at the edges of the wound.

The correction of scars is carried out after the skin is sufficiently stretched by excision and the imposition of multi-row stitches.

Repeated ptosis of the mammary glands

Over time, a natural sagging of the breast occurs. This is due to a gradual change in the quality of soft tissues and the effect of gravity. Regardless of the chosen lifting technique, after the operation. The new mammary gland will continue to descend, maintaining the correct position of the nipple-areolar complex.

As experience shows, a breast of the 3rd size confidently retains the result of a breast lift for 7-10 years. The larger the postoperative volume of the mammary glands, the stronger the secondary ptosis (sagging) of the breast will be. In some cases, it is almost impossible to maintain the correct shape of a 5-6-size breast for 5 years after surgery.

With mastopexy of a breast smaller than the third size, the result is preserved almost for life.

The high qualification of the surgeon, careful planning of the operation, accurate marking, and accurate execution of the operation. This allows postoperative complications to be minimized.


Mastopexia, a cosmetic surgical procedure aimed at lifting and rejuvenating the breasts. It is generally a safe and effective option for those seeking breast enhancement. Like all surgical procedures, mastopexy carries inherent risks and possible complications. It’s important for patients considering mastopexy to have open and thorough discussions with their chosen surgeon. Careful planning, accurate execution of the operation, and high surgeon qualification can minimize the risk of postoperative complications. Patients should also be aware of the longevity of their results, as larger breasts may experience more significant sagging over time.

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