What is a Breast Lift (Mastopexy)?
Breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, is a surgical procedure that may raise and reshape breasts that have lost volume. The surgery involves removing excess skin, tightening the remaining breast tissue, and repositioning the nipples to a higher position.
Breast lift (mastopexy) surgery is typically performed on women who have experienced breast ptosis (inferior descent of the nipple relative to the breast fold and lower pole skin redundancy) due normal life factors including ageing, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss.
This procedure can be done in conjunction with either breast augmentation or Breast reduction for patients who wish to change the size of their breasts in addition to reshaping them.
Dr Patrick Briggs is a Melbourne based Specialist Plastic Surgeon with experience in these types of procedures. He regularly performs breast lift (mastopexy) surgeries along with many other procedures for patients with excess loose skin.
Different Types of Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
There are various techniques a surgeon can choose to use for a breast lift/Mastopexy. The surgical technique a surgeon picks depends on several factors including; patients current breast shape, the results they desire, amount and quality of skin on the breast and the current breast proportions. Below are the main Mastopexy techniques.
Crescent Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
- It may be suitable for candidates who need only a minor elevation.
- The surgeon will remove a small crescent-shaped piece of skin above the areola.
- This allows the nipple to be raised slightly.
- This technique may be suitable for patients with mild volume loss and minimal excess skin.
- It involves one tiny incision and creates a small level of scarring.
- This technique is not suitable for people that want a major lift.
Peri-Areolar/”Donut” Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
- This procedure gets its name from the type of incision the surgeon will use.
- A circular incision is made around the areola, and a small amount of skin is removed.
- This technique may be suitable for patients with mild to moderate volume loss and some excess skin.
- It is not suitable for patients who want a significant lift.
- This technique also has comparatively less visible scarring.
Vertical/”Lollipop” Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
- An incision is made around the areola and down the front of the breast, creating a “lollipop” shape.
- This allows the surgeon to remove more skin and lift the breast higher.
- This technique may be suitable for patients with moderate to severe volume loss and excess skin.
- This technique may be suitable for those who desire resizing as well as a lift.
Anchor Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
- Also known as an “inverted T” Breast Lift (Mastopexy). As expected, the incision made in this technique resembles an anchor or upside down t shape.
- This technique is a great option for women who desire major lifting and reshaping.
- It involves 3 incisions;
- Around the areola
- Vertical incision down the breast
- And one along the crease beneath the breast.
- This allows the surgeon to remove the most skin and significantly lift the breast (if necessary).
- This technique may be suitable for patients with significant excess skin.
The specific type of breast lift surgery recommended for a patient will depend on the amount of excess skin present, as well as the patient’s individual goals and preferences.
How to Prepare for Surgery
- First you will need to get a referral from a General Practitioner or Medical Specialist (as of 1st July 2023)
- Then you will be able to book a consultation with a surgeon.
- During the consultation, the surgeon will determine whether you are suitable for surgery or not.
- It is important to have clear and realistic expectations about what the surgery may achieve.
- Be Healthy – A healthy body and mind not only helps with the surgery but also with recovery.
- Make sure that your weight has been stable and you do not plan to have any more children in future.
- Quit smoking and drinking for 6 to 8 weeks prior to getting the surgery as it hinders the healing process.
- Your surgeon will most likely ask you to get a complete medical evaluation, take certain medications, along with quitting or minimizing the intake of any anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Ask the surgeon if you need to make any necessary adjustments to your current lifestyle and give you complete guidance regarding the pre and post-operative care.
- Organise to have time off work
- Arrange for a caretaker to take care of you for the first few days after the surgery.
What can I Expect During Surgery?
The chosen Breast Lift (Mastopexy) technique usually depends on a couple of factors such as; the amount of lift you need, shape, desired aesthetic and size of your breasts.
- Dr Briggs will begin by marking the position of nipples on your breasts in a standing position.
- Afterwards, you will be administered general anesthesia. It is given to ensure that you sleep through the surgery and do not feel a thing.
- Dr Briggs creates an incision – depending on the technique chosen.
- The surgeon will reshape your breasts while lifting up the areolas.
- At this point, the surgeon may reduce the size of your breasts.
- The surgeon will remove any extra skin
- Finally, the surgeon will close the incisions with sutures
- Note that if you are undergoing a breast augmentation along with a lift, the surgeon will insert the implants along with repositioning your nipples and lifting up the breasts.
Am I a Suitable Candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?
A suitable candidate for breast lift (mastopexy) surgery is generally someone that:
- Is generally healthy (both physically and mentally)
- At a stable weight
- Suffers from significant asymmetry or unevenness in their breasts
- Have nipples that point downwards.
- Have significantly more weight at the bottom of the breasts in comparison to the top.
- Does not plan on having any more children (pregnancies after surgery may affect the results)
- Has realistic expectations
- Understands the limitations of the procedure.
- Is a non smoke
- Is able to take adequate time off work to rest after surgery
- And is willing to follow pre- and post-operative instructions provided by their surgeon.
The best way to determine if someone is a suitable candidate for breast lift surgery is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Potential Outcomes of Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Surgery
Mastopexy has a number of potential outcomes, including;
- Breast Position
- Breasts can lose volume due to ageing, pregnancy or weight loss.
- Altered Nipple Position
- A breast lift (mastopexy) may reposition the nipples.
- Fewer Skin irritations
- Excess skin on the breasts can cause painful chafing under the breasts.
- When you undergo breast lift (mastopexy) surgery, skin irritation and redness may be reduced.
Before and After Photos
Due to the recent updates in guidelines by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), our website is currently undergoing substantial revisions. As a result, we have had to remove the majority of our Before and After photos to comply with these new regulations. Our utmost priority is to maintain the accuracy and compliance of our content, and we are actively working to reintroduce a more extensive collection of before and after photos in the near future. You can view additional Before and After photos of Dr Briggs’ patients, during an in-person consultation at our clinic.
You can visit the clinic to see more of patient Before and After Breast Lift photos done by Dr Patrick Briggs.
The photos on this website and in our office are for informational purposes. The images demonstrate the potential outcomes of procedures. Individual results will vary, and effects cannot be guaranteed. The photos do not promise or guarantee specific results. They are meant to help visualise potential outcomes.
Each patient is unique, and many factors affect surgical results.
In consultations, Dr. Briggs evaluates each patient and discusses realistic expectations.
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If you’d like more information about a particular surgery, please call our surgical support team on (03) 8849 1400.
Risks and Complications Associated With Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Surgery
Like any other surgery, there are some potential risks and complications.
Dr Briggs will make sure that you are fully aware of the risks so you can make an informed decision.
- Anesthesia-related risks such as feeling nauseous and dizzy for a few weeks after the surgery
- Excessive bleeding or clot formation
- Risk of infection is always there if proper pre and post-operative instructions are not followed
- Poor healing after the surgery
- Temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the nipple region
- A rare occurrence but some patients experience breast shape irregularities
- Asymmetrical breast shape and size
- Fat necrosis
- Fluid accumulation, leading to swelling and discomfort after the surgery
- Deep vein thrombosis,
- Cardiac complications
- Pulmonary complications
- Revision surgery
The surgeon will discuss all the risks before surgery. Visit our Risks of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery page for more information.
Recovery After Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Surgery
Breast lift (mastopexy) recovery in Australia typically involves a period of post-operative care and several follow-up appointments with the surgeon.
After the surgery, the patient may experience a degree of pain, swelling, and bruising, which can be managed with pain medication and compression garments. It is important to follow the surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully to ensure proper healing.
The recovery time varies from person to person, but most patients can return to work within a few weeks, and resume regular activities, including exercise, within four to six weeks. The surgeon will advise the patient on when it is safe to resume these activities.
During the recovery period, the patient should avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity and wear a supportive bra at all times. The surgeon will monitor the healing process during follow-up appointments and advise the patient on when it is safe to resume normal activities.
It is important to note that the recovery process may be different for each patient, and it is important to follow the surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully to ensure desired results and a smooth recovery.
Minimizing Scars after Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
It is important to remember that all surgical procedures leave scars, including ‘so-called’ scarless methods.
Plastic surgeons are careful about scar placement and management, with surgical scars generally fading over time and should finish fading after 12 months. They will never fully go away.
We will arrange post-op appointments with our specialist nursing team after your procedure to check if everything is healing well and to monitor your progress.
You will see your surgeon and/or nurse and/or dermal team about six to eight weeks later for a scar consultation and to organise scar management treatments, if required.
The Coco Ruby dermal team conducts a series of follow-up scar treatments using a customized selection of Skin Needling, Healite II LED and massaging with oils, Fraxel Laser, V-Laser, Silicone strips & gels and Steroids can also help minimize scars. Ask the Coco Ruby Team!
Please avoid subjecting your incision to abrasion or excessive stresses during the recovery period.
How to find a Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Surgeon in Melbourne
Your surgical results will depend on the surgeon you choose. Since breast lift (mastopexy) is a major procedure, you’ll need a well qualified breast lift (mastopexy) plastic surgeon.
In Australia, a plastic surgeon must have the following qualifications:
- An undergraduate degree in medicine, typically a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree.
- A minimum of two years of general medical training as a junior hospital doctor.
- Completion of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) surgical education and training program, which includes at least five years of accredited surgical training, with at least two years in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
- Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Plastic surgeons in Australia must also be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and adhere to the standards and guidelines set forth by the Medical Board of Australia.
You also want to ensure the surgeon you choose has:
- Extensive experience in different Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Surgery techniques.
- Available Patient Before and After Photos .
- Detailed recovery plans.
- A reliable support team.
How much is a Breast lift (Mastopexy) in Melbourne? Prices and Costs
Many Breast Lift (Mastopexy) patients ask about the price and whether the procedure is covered by Medicare or Private Health Insurance.
All procedures are individualized and customized to achieve the desired results. For this reason, it is hard to determine an exact price that would be valid for a breast lift (mastopexy) patient without a consultation first.
During the consultation, Dr Briggs will talk to you about your options and expectations. You will also receive a specific quote for your operation after the consultation.
Visit our pricing page to learn more about payment, approximate prices, payment methods, and more.
Paying for your Mastopexy Surgery – Medicare
Some Breast Lift (mastopexy) procedures may be eligible for Medicare.
Purely cosmetic Breast Lift (Mastopexy) procedures are usually NOT covered by Medicare or private health insurance so you must fund the cost of the surgery yourself.
Paying for Surgery
Patients can pay for breast lift surgery through various methods. These methods include:
- Payment in full at the time of the procedure using accepted payment methods such as credit cards (such as Visa, Mastercard), buy now, pay-later products (such as Afterpay, Openpay, Zip Pay).
- Non-commercial payment arrangements between the medical practitioner and patient, where the payment is made in instalments.
- Medicare rebates, if the surgery is considered medically necessary. (this will not cover the total cost and patients will still have out of pocket costs)
- Private health insurance, if the patient has an appropriate level of cover. (This is unlikely to cover the total cost and patients may still have out of pocket costs)
*It is important to note that we do not encourage patients to take on debt or access their superannuation to pay for cosmetic surgery. Additionally, we do not offer or recommend financing schemes to patients, such as loans or commercial payment plans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you lose a cup size with a breast lift (mastopexy)?
- In some cases, women do experience a reduction in cup size with a breast lift (mastopexy).
- This is because the volume is redistributed to create an altered shape.
- However, in some cases, women do not experience a bra size reduction at all.
Can I go without a bra after a breast lift (mastopexy)?
- No, it is not recommended to go braless after surgery.
- Your surgeon will advise you to wear a compression or a sports bra after breast lift (mastopexy) surgery to assist with healing and maintaining results.
Is there a breast lift (mastopexy) without implants?
- Yes, it’s a breast lift (mastopexy) surgery that does not involve implants.
- Patients who wish to increase the size of their breasts often choose implants.
Do breasts sag after a breast lift (mastopexy) surgery?
After a breast lift (mastopexy), the breasts may eventually drop in position due to the effects of gravity, ageing, weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. However, this can vary depending on individual factors and lifestyle habits. To minimize the risk it’s important to maintain a stable weight, wear a supportive bra, and avoid smoking, excessive sun exposure, and other factors that can contribute to skin damage and premature ageing.
Your plastic surgeon can provide personalized recommendations to help you maintain the results of your breast lift (mastopexy) as long as possible.
How long do breast lift (mastopexy) results last?
- It depends from person to person.
- While some patients have long-lasting results, others might need slight revisions after a couple of years.
How painful is a breast lift (mastopexy)?
- After the surgery, your surgeon will give you painkillers to reduce any pain and discomfort.
- The level of pain experienced can vary from person to person as every person has a different pain scale.
Is a breast lift (mastopexy) cheaper than augmentation?
- No, a breast lift will generally cost you more than a breast augmentation.
- However, it’s important to keep in mind that these two are completely different procedures with different results.
For further reading, you can check out the following links:
Mayo Clinic – About Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon.
Both he and his team are dedicated to patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
Want more information about your Procedure?
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
- You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.
The information provided in this article is for educational and informational proposes. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article. The author and publisher of this article make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, or completeness of the content of this article. The information contained in this article is strictly at your own risk.