Mammary ptosis

Practical information:

  • type: remodelling of the skin on the mammary gland by removing excess skin
  • anaesthetic: neuroleptanalgesia or general anaesthetic
  • length of the operation: 2 hours
  • stay: outpatient or 24 h
  • social isolation: 5 days

Advantages: Treats drooping or low breasts.  


Mammary ptosis is defined by a sagging of the gland and a distension of the skin surrounding it.

The position of the breast is too low and is often “empty” in its upper part.

Ptosis may exist in any case but in most cases occurs after major slimming or as a result of pregnancy with breastfeeding.

It may be isolated and called pure ptosis, and it may also be associated with a certain degree of mammary hypertrophy.

Conversely a mammary ptosis may be observed in the context of too small a breast (mammary hypoplasia or hypotrophy).

The purpose of the surgical operation is to restore the areole and the nipple to their correct positions, re-concentrate them, “lift” the gland and remove the excess skin in order to achieve harmonious breasts.

Technical data:


The purpose of the surgical operation is to restore the areole and nipple to their correction position, re-concentrate and lift the gland and remove the excess skin to achieve two harmonious breasts, attractively shaped and lifted.


Drooping breasts, which we call mammary ptosis, are due to a sagging mammary gland and distended skin. The entire breast is in too low a position giving the impression of heaviness in the lower part of the breast and emptiness in the upper part.

Mammary ptosis may occur after a major loss of weight, after pregnancy or lactation. Sometimes it also appears spontaneously. Pure ptosis, i.e. ptosis alone, or a ptosis accompanied by mammary hypertrophy (breast volume too large) or mammary hypotrophy (insufficient breast volume) may be observed.



The principal objectives of mammary ptosis correction are as follows: the elimination of excess skin, the raising of the nipple and areole and the concentration and correct positioning of the gland. This results in attractive, well lifted and curved breasts.

The medical insurance policy does not cover the surgical procedure required to improve these imperfections.


The different stages of this surgical procedure are described here in more detail.

The operation enables the breasts to be raised and shaped by operating on the skin and gland, which is then repositioned and concentrated.

The excess skin is removed to obtain a suitable cutaneous envelope. The breast then takes on an attractive, firmer, supported appearance. The areole and nipple are then raised.

The scars left by the operation are due to the suture on the periphery of the skin in which the incision is made.

When the ptosis is more severe the scar takes on the appearance of an inverted T. It may be broken down as follows: a scar running right round the areole, level with the skin colour demarcation; a vertical scar starting from the bottom of the areole and running down as far as the fold of the breast; and a horizontal scar (proportional to the ptosis operated on) that is almost invisible in the breast fold.

In most cases, if the mammary ptosis is minor, only the vertical method is used.

If the mammary ptosis is very mild, only a peri-areolar scar may be left.

Finally, if the ptosis is accompanied by a mammary hypotrophy (insufficient breast volume), it is possible to proceed with fitting a prosthesis during the same operation to enable the breast to regain an appreciable volume. The surplus skin around the areole may then be removed and only a peri-areolar scar is left.

A breast lift is an operation which can be carried out once the breast has stopped growing, then any time throughout life. It is then quite possible to become pregnant and give milk, but the patient must then wait six months after the operation.

This surgical procedure by no means increases the risk of the incidence of cancer.


A consultation with the anaesthetist is scheduled two days before the operation at the latest.

Examinations and a preoperative assessment are carried out beforehand to check that no contraindication can prejudice the operation.

A mammography and an echography of the breasts are also carried out.   .

To avoid any healing problems it is recommended that the patient stop smoking at least one month before and one month after the operation.

If oral contraception is being used the patient may be asked to stop taking it to eliminate any risk, particularly in the case of blood circulation and coagulation disorders or obesity.

It is strictly prohibited to take medicines containing aspirin in the ten days preceding the operation.



Mammary ptosis surgery requires a general anaesthetic: sleeping throughout the operation.


One to two days hospitalisation are normally required.