Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Complications and Risks – Mastopexy Surgery

What are the potential complications and risks of having a Breast Lift (Mastopexy)?

Any surgery you have, whether cosmetic or corrective in nature, poses a certain amount of potential complications and risks.

Potential complications and risks from having a breast lift (mastopexy) procedure include, but are not limited to:

  • infection
  • poor scarring
  • seroma (accumulation of fluid)
  • breast implant concerns or complications (wrinkling, leakage, rupture, contracture)
  • capsular contracture
  • asymmetry
  • early descending if your skin doesn’t handle the breast implant well even after having an uplift
    • the condition of your skin will have an impact on your results
    • lax skin may not always fare well after having an implant even after lifting the nipples during the mastopexy part of the procedure


Considering breast lift surgery? Information is just one click away.

Breast Lift Guide Download

Side Effects or Complications and Risks after Having a Breast Lift

Common side effects after breast surgery of all types include discomfort, sensation changes, bruising and swelling. How long do side effects, bruising and swelling last after a breast lift (mastopexy) surgery?

  • How long you’ll have swelling, bruising and discomfort after breast lift surgery can vary tremendously form patient to patient
  • Some patients may experience long term sensation changes or other problems if they have a complication
  • Fortunately, your surgeon and his team can manage most side effects after breast lift surgery
  • But be sure you understand and consent to the risks of surgery and anaesthetic before you proceed
  • And it can be very helpful to ask any and all questions you have about surgery; as we are dedicated to patient education and best-practice healing and recovery protocols including scar treatments

Follow your Plastic Surgeon’s recommendations carefully

Ignoring your surgeon’s recommendations puts you at greater risk of wound healing complications and other problems. This includes not smoking at all before or after your surgery.

  • The majority of side effects or complications from breast lift surgery tend to resolve within a few weeks or month’s time for most patients, but not all.
  • Be sure you read and understand the materials given to you during a confidential surgery consultation, before you consent to surgery.
  • Ask your surgeon for details and read the guides and other materials provided, so you know what to expect.

Managing Risks and Potential Complications after Breast Lift Surgery

Dr Rubinstein dedicates himself to advancing surgery standards including taking recommended safety measures for breast implant insertion. These include using a Keller Funnel insertion device when a breast lift also involves having breast implants for added volume after the nipple uplift.

A breast lift combined with breast augmentation using Mentor or Motiva implants is known as the mastopexy-augmentation or breast lift with breast implants.

Read why many of the world’s top plastic surgeons and Australian specialist plastic surgeons prefer Motiva implants or Mentor implants and the manufacturer-reported reduced risk of contracture complications with modern style Motiva breast prosthesis.

Dr Rubinstein has also valued the highest standards of patient care and surgical planning excellence.

I aim to rise above standard best-care practices. As a result, I take extra steps to enhance my patient’s well-being during their pre-surgery planning, their actual breast operation and their healing and recovery times.

The pre-surgery and post-op care instructions and recommended post-op protocols and garments advised by your plastic surgeon can help reduce your surgery risks and complications; be sure you follow them precisely.

If side effects after breast surgery do occur, a reputable surgeon will assist you as best they can to manage and heal any side effects or complications that might occur. However, you may require further surgery or longer healing times, or other medical measures, should a complication or side effect occur. Some side effects and risks are minor. Others can be very serious or even life threatening, but most patients find breast lift surgery to be a well-tolerated procedure in the hands of an adept and safety-minded surgeon.

Another risk of having a breast lift (mastopexy) surgery involves the fact that your breasts do change over time. As a result it may not look the same in coming months or years as it does just after surgery.

  • The shape of the breast may change over time, as you age
  • The longer-term result may not be realized for a few months and swelling may impact your early results
  • Also, if you have further pregnancies or an illness, or major weight fluctuations, your breast lift results may not be as stable as they otherwise might appear
  • If you have lax skin (little skin elasticity or resiliency), you could experience further breast sagging or ‘bottoming out’ due to the implant size (that’s why a moderate size choice is important)

Breast lift surgery on its own, without implants, is thought to have a lower rate of corrective surgery than breast augmentation, in general. But surgery satisfaction depends on many factors.

It is highly important that you choose the best possible surgeon to minimise risks associated with your procedure. It  is also important you’re in the right frame of mind, and understand the emotional nature of cosmetic plastic surgery and the recovery period.

Also, be sure you discuss your nipple resizing and reshaping preferences with your surgeon.

One of the other risks of having breast surgery is not being happy afterwards because you didn’t understand what it involved, didn’t familiar yourself with the risks, didn’t research the procedure, gained or lost a lot of weight which impacted your results, and/or you chose it for the wrong reasons.It’s imperative you choose surgery to please yourself and no one else.

Never have a breast surgery to please a partner or friend or to try to save a relationship. That’s a recipe for disaster. And make sure you fully read and understand the risks, including that not all risks can be mitigated and unforeseen complications might occur.

Breast Lift Risks can include:

General anesthesia

Our team will provide you with the details of your anesthetists prior to your surgery to discuss any specific concerns.

Bleeding (haematoma)

This may require a visit to the operating theatre to remove the blood clot.


Your surgeon will prescribe you with antibiotics and monitor you closely with regular visits at our room.


We may recommend either Fraxel Laser treatments for scars or a skin needling scar treatment, to be started from approximately 8 weeks after your breast surgery to a few months. Ask your surgeon and the dermal clinicians for information at your pre-surgery and post-op check ups. Be sure you follow your plastic surgeon’s recommendations for scar treatments.

Delayed wound healing

Your surgeon and our clinical nurse will manage the healing process. This usually occurs within patients who are overweight, smokers or those who have an infection.

Nipple Sensitivity

You may lose nipple sensation permanently; however, this is very rare. Most patients lose nipple sensation temporarily and as nerve endings start to re-connect underneath the skin, sensations will return to the area.

Nipple Loss/Necrosis

This is a rare complication that occurs often in smokers. It may affect all or part of the nipple.

Breast Asymmetry

Most women will have asymmetry to some degree. I take this into account before the surgery. Asymmetry will also be visible after surgery to some extent but some breasts may have more asymmetry than others.


Breast surgery may affect your ability to breastfeed.


To tape, suture materials and glues, blood products, topical preparations or injected agents.

All successful surgery results and operation outcomes are the result of maintaining realistic expectations about surgical goals and the acceptance and knowledge of possible risks and complications.

Nothing is Ever Guaranteed in  Medicine

Thorough pre-operative assessment and post-operative care can support optimal outcomes.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Read more here.

Please Contact Dr.Rubinstein’s office to book a consultation or enquire about further information regarding plastic surgery procedures.

About Dr Craig Rubinstein

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Dr Craig Rubinstein FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is an experienced Melbourne Specialist Plastic Surgeon for breast and abdominoplasty surgery.

Dr Rubinstein offers women personalised abdominoplasty surgery and all forms of cosmetic breast surgery.

BOOK A CONSULTATION (03) 8849 1400

Next Steps in Your Surgical Journey

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Want more information about your Procedure?

  • Download a Free Procedure Guide on your chosen surgery.
  • Visit the FAQs and read patient reviews to learn more about your intended procedure.
  • For more information about pricing visit our cost page.
  • You can also talk to our Patient Care Team from 9 to 5 pm Monday to Friday on (03) 8849 1400

Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery

About Your First Consultation

  • Dr Rubinstein’s Consultation fee is $300.
  • A referral from your GP or specialist is essential.
  • A referral helps when claiming Medicare or Private Health Insurance coverage.
  • Please contact the Patient Care Team at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery to book your consultation.

What to Bring to Your Consultation

  • You are more than welcome to bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents provided.
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.