Mastopexy (Breast Lift)

Mastopexy or breast lift involves redraping the breast skin envelope to restore a youthful breast shape.

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The Procedure

Mastopexy or breast lift involves redraping the breast skin envelope to restore a youthful breast shape. The procedure will also raise drooping nipples, and improve the contour and shape of sagging breasts. The diameter of the areolar may also be reduced.

This involves the reduction and redraping of the breast skin envelope to restore a more youthful, uplifted appearance to the breast shape and to reduce the size of the areola and place the nipples back into a more natural position. This surgery will reverse the changes to the breast skin, gland and nipple that are the result of breast feeding, weight fluctuations or ageing.

The breast tissue may also be modified in order to produce a coning effect, which will restore volume to the upper pole of the breast and reduce the emptiness of the upper pole of the breast.

The procedure will raise the position of droopy nipples and breast glandular tissue and improve the contour and shape of sagging breasts.

It is also possible for the diameter of the nipple areolar complex to be reduced.

The resultant scars may be limited to a faint scar around the edge of the areolar (Circumareolar or peri areolar scar). This is usually the case if the nipple needs to be raised approximately 2cm.

If the nipple needs to be raised between 2 and 4cm, it may be necessary to have an additional vertical scar running from the bottom of the nipple areolar complex towards the fold under the breasts (“lollypop” or circumvertical scar).

When greater than 4cm of lift is required, the above incisions may also require a short horizontal scar that will sit in the fold immediately below the breast (Wise or anchor pattern).

Once the skin envelope design has been planned, these incisions permit access to the breast tissue, which can then be reshaped. The use of stitches to plicate the lateral pillars at the lower part of the breast produces a redistribution of a sagging lower pole of the breasts in order to cone the breasts and achieve a greater fullness in the upper part of the breast.

Mastopexy can be performed as an isolated procedure or in conjunction with a breast augmentation.

The advantage of combing surgeries is that the size, number and length of the scars may be reduced and the patient will only require one operation and one recovery period.

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Complications and Risks

All Procedures have potential complications and risks. These can be divided into general complications and those specific to each procedure. The latter are listed in the FAQs below.

General complications include:

  • Wound complications - bleeding, bruising, collections under the skin of blood (haematoma), pus (abscess), serous fluid (seroma), infection, wound breakdown, suture extrusion, sensory loss;
  • Aesthetic complications - poor scars, stretched scars, raised scars (keloid or hypertrophic), contour irregularities, need for revisional procedure;
  • Anaesthetic complications


  • How is the surgery performed?

    Various techniques are available depending on the degree of uplift required. The greater the uplift, the bigger the incision required. The incision (and resultant scar) can be limited to around the areola or may extend to a short vertical incision below the areola. Larger uplifts may also require a horizontal incision placed in the fold under the breast.
  • What are the potential complications and risks?

    The risks will be discussed with you in detail before you consent to the operation. The risks can be broken down into general risks associated with any operation, and those specific to mastopexy.

    General operative risks include anaesthetic complications, bruising, bleeding, infection, wound breakdown and abnormal scarring.

    Specific complications include: changes in sensation of the nipple and breast skin, asymmetry, bottoming out of the breast with time, interference with breast feeding and skin, fat or nipple necrosis (loss).
  • What costs are involved?

    • Dr Belt’s surgical fee
    • Assistant’s fee
    • Theatre fee / day bed, and overnight bed if not a day case
    • Specialist anaesthetists fee
    • Costs of sports bra / crop top
    Rebates are available through both Medicare and Private Health Funds under specific Medicare restrictions.

    Please contact Dr. Belt’s rooms and his staff can answer any questions you may have. A personalised quote and information can be sent to you regarding your procedure.
  • What happens after the operation?

    Mastopexy is usually performed as a day case procedure. Drains are not normally used. You will be given a prescription for strong painkillers upon discharge from the hospital. You will be advised to wear a crop top for the first six weeks (day and night). I recommend that you plan a very quiet week immediately after your surgery and avoid driving for 2 weeks and vigorous exercise for 6 weeks.

    The stitches are dissolvable and therefore don’t need removing. You will be seen regularly after the operation at one week, two weeks, six weeks and six and 12 months.

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