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Learn more about the benefits, risks and recovery involved with lifting breast tissue and the areola, and then scroll down to view our extensive before and after gallery.

What is breast lift surgery?

A breast lift, clinically known as mastopexy surgery, is a procedure that excises breast skin and raises the breast tissue and areola complex on the chest. It is a procedure Dr Sharp performs every week in Brisbane hospitals. During the procedure, excess skin is removed to tighten the surrounding tissue and to reshape and support the breast. For women with breast ptosis – whereby the nipple sits below the inframammary fold, or points down (see the image below to understand the different types of ptosis) – a mastopexy results in the nipple-areola complex sitting higher on the breast.

The internal breast tissue is usually reshaped as well. Sometimes the areola becomes enlarged over time, and if the patient wishes, a breast lift can reduce the areola circumference too.

Depending on the degree of ptosis, this procedure can sometimes be considered medically required. If this applies, Medicare private health insurance rebates may be applicable. If your procedure is considered cosmetic, rebates will not apply.

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breast lift mastopexy Brisbane Dr Sharp

Why have a breast lift?

Common goals of breast lift surgery include:

  • ETo change the alignment of the nipple and breast or raise the nipple position in relation to the rest of the breast.
  • ETo lift up sagging breasts (improving breast ptosis).
  • ETo alter the breast shape.
  • ETo change the size of the areola.

Over the years, factors such as pregnancy, nursing, and the force of gravity naturally impact a woman’s breast. As the skin loses its elasticity, the breasts often lose their shape and firmness. Breast lift is a surgical procedure to raise the breasts.

If your breasts are small or have lost volume — for example, after pregnancy — breast implants inserted in conjunction with a breast lift can increase both their fullness and their size.  Pictured: before and 3 months after mastopexy with Dr Sharp (results vary between patients).

Proudly contributing to the

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What breast lift surgery won’t do:

Breast lift surgery alone does not significantly change the size of your breasts or round out / increase fullness of the upper part of your breast.

Contact us if you want to find out more about augmentation mastopexy surgery, whereby the breasts are lifted and then enlarged either as two separate procedures or as a single combined operation (pictured below at 3 months post mastopexy and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp).

Sometimes women choose to have this surgery after experiencing normal volume loss following breastfeeding. While the appearance of a woman’s breasts after breastfeeding may be pleasing to her, and no woman should feel pressure to change their breasts to meet social or beauty expectations, this procedure is available to women should they choose to exercise their right to access cosmetic surgery and is commonly referred to as postpartum breast surgery. We believe any  well-informed decision a mother chooses to make about her body should be respected, without judgement.

Brisbane breast augmentation and mastopexy
Brisbane breast augmentation and lift
Dr Sharp Brisbane breast augmentation lift before
Dr Sharp Brisbane breast augmentation and mastopexy lift

above: before and three months after breast lift and augmentation (augmentation mastopexy) surgery with Dr Sharp. Results vary between patients.

How do I know if a mastopexy is right for me?

Before you decide on breast lift surgery, there are some important issues to keep in mind:

  • EBreast lift surgery does not significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast. If you want your breasts to look fuller or smaller, you might want to consider either breast augmentation or breast reduction surgery
  • ESurgeons generally recommend waiting until breast development, child birth and breastfeeding have stopped before undertaking breast lift surgery
  • EAlthough breasts of any size can be lifted, the results may not be as long-lasting in women with heavier breasts

Pictured, right: before and 3 months after breast lift surgery with Dr Sharp. Results vary between patients. 

Brisbane breast lift surgeon Dr David Sharp


A breast lift may be an option for you if:

  • EYou are physically healthy
  • EYou have realistic expectations
  • EYour breasts are fully developed
  • EYour breasts are sagging and have lost their shape and firmness
  • EYour breasts have a flatter, elongated shape or are pendulous
  • EWhen unsupported, your nipples fall below the breast crease
  • EYour nipples and areolas point downward
  • EYou have stretched skin and enlarged areolas
  • EOne breast is lower than the other
  • ERemember that the shape and size of your breasts before surgery will influence the surgical procedure and the outcome.

Many women seek mastopexy because pregnancy and breastfeeding have left them with stretched skin and less volume in their breasts. However, if you’re planning to have more children, it may be a good idea to postpone your breast lift. While there are no special risks that affect future pregnancies (for example, in most cases mastopexy doesn’t prohibit future breastfeeding, however it is possible it may interrupt sensation etc involved with breastfeeding), pregnancy is likely to stretch your breasts again and offset the results of the procedure.

What is involved in breast lift surgery?

Your breast lift procedure can be achieved through a variety of incision patterns and techniques.

The appropriate technique for you will be determined based on:

  • Breast size and shape
  • The size and position of your areolas
  • The degree of breast sagging
  • Skin quality and elasticity as well as the amount of extra skin

Step 1 – Anaesthesia

Mastopexy surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic with a specialist anaesthetist meaning you will be asleep during surgery.

Step 2 – The incision

There are three common incision patterns:

  • Around the areola
  • Around the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease
  • Around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease – this is the incision pattern most commonly chosen by Dr Sharp.

Step 3 – lifting your breasts

The incision outlines the area from which breast skin will be removed and defines the new location for the nipple. When the excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved to the higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is then brought down and together to reshape the breast. Stitches are usually located around the areola, in a vertical line extending downwards from the nipple area, and along the lower crease of the breast.

If you’re having an implant inserted along with your breast lift, it will be placed in a pocket directly under the breast tissue, or deeper, under the muscle of the chest wall.

Step 4 – Closing the incisions

Some incision lines resulting from breast lift are able to be placed in the natural breast contours; however, others are visible on the breast surface. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and improve over time.

Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts. Sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape may be used to close the skin.

Step 5 – See the results

The results of your breast lift surgery are immediately visible, although swelling and bruising may be present immediately after surgery, and your final result may take 6-12 months to fully present. Remember that scars – both internal and external – take 24 months to mature. During this time, daily massage and scar therapy with a Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist that specialises in scar can be helpful in relaxing tight scarring. 

How do I choose my surgeon?

It is important to choose a specialist plastic surgeon that has experience performing this surgery. Breast lift surgery carries low morbidity and mortality rates, and performed frequently by Dr Sharp, meaning he performs this operation on a weekly basis. However it is a major procedure – and therefore, choosing the right surgeon is of upmost importance.

Mastopexy surgery should be performed by a qualified plastic surgeon who has undergone specialist training and examination, and is registered as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (denoted by FRACS (Plast) after a plastic surgeon’s name). Dr Sharp is also a member of The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. Confirm your surgeon’s credentials here.

Dr Sharp is a specialist plastic surgeon with a special interest in cosmetic and plastic breast surgery. He understands that for many women, breast shape and size is important – and appreciates the levity of this procedure for those who have considered it for many years before finally making the serious decision to undergo surgery.

It’s normal to feel both nervous, and an excited sense of anticipation, when planning your breast lift. But it is equally important not to rush the decision making and informed consent process! Dr Sharp will take the time to ensure you have as many consultations as you require, and will customise your treatment to suit your body and expectations – and address any concerns you may have.

Breast lift + pregnancy

If you are planning future pregnancies, Dr Sharp recommends that you postpone having a breast lift until you think you have completed your family. If you have had a breast lift with Dr Sharp and become pregnant, it will be likely that you will be able to breastfeed. However, after pregnancy or breastfeeding, you may find that you have had a recurrence of breast sagging or ptosis and require further surgery to return your breasts to their original post-mastopexy condition.

Dr Sharp has a special interest in postpartum breast surgery. Click here to read more about postpartum breast surgery options.

Do breast lifts remove stretch marks?

A mastopexy will not remove stretch marks, however some stretch marks may be removed or reduced if they are located on the excess skin that is removed during the breast list.

If you are concerned about stretch marks, talk to us about the non surgical treatments available, using medical grade laser and skin therapies to reduce pigmentation and marks on the breast without surgery.


Breast lift scars

Breast reduction surgery involves scars, which will always be visible but will improve over the 24 months after surgery. Scarring is influenced by surgical approach, post operative scar care, diet/nutrition, genetics and skin type. It is important to choose a qualified specialist plastic surgeon, to ensure the right techniques and post operative care is taken to support healthy scar development.

If you are concerned about scarring or would like to know more about scar reduction therapies, ask Dr Sharp about his pre and post operative skin optimisation program that supports you in maintaining healthy skin quality throughout, and after, your surgical journey to reduce the risk of poor long term scarring.

What kind of anaesthetic will I have?

Dr Sharp performs breast reduction surgery under a full general anaesthetic. A specifically selected range of medications are administered during the surgery to ensure your post-operative comfort. Dr Sharp works with a team of experienced and skilled anesthetists, who you can meet here.

How much time should I take off work?

You should avoid strenuous activity for at least six weeks; that means light duties at work and not lifting anything over 2kg – including shopping, handbags or pets/children. Depending on your work, you could need to take up to a month off work, although many people return to work, particularly if it involves sedentary activity, after 2 weeks.

How much do breast lifts cost?

Potential costs include:

  • Dr Sharp’s fee
  • Anaesthetist fee
  • Assistant’s fee
  • Theatre costs
  • Support garments

Breast lift surgery for cosmetic reasons is not covered by most private health insurers. However, in some cases, your surgery might be classified as medically required, and therefore have a Medicare item number. If so, you might be eligible to claim a rebate from Medicare, as well as your private health fund.

After your consultation with Dr Sharp, if there’s a possibility that your surgery meets Medicare’s criteria, you will be provided with an item number, We recommend you contact your health insurance provider and ask them if you are covered for plastic surgery, particularly siting the item number provided.

Cosmetic breast surgery (which does not carry an item number) is never eligible for rebates.

It is important to understand that, in the case of complications or revision surgery, the cost of your breast lift might extend to future surgical procedures and hospitalisations. We encourage patients to think about how they would fund further treatment beyond the immediate costs expected.

How long do the results last?

Breast sagging is a natural part of ageing; with a combination of gravity, weight change, reduction in volume/fat and skin laxity all playing a part – so ongoing sagging is an inevitable part of aging over the decades, even after a mastopexy. However, the longevity of your results can be maintained through a healthy lifestyle, supportive bras and stable weight. Pregnancy and substantial weight gain are the two most common reasons why breast lift results don’t last.

If you are having a combined breast augmentation and lift, selecting ideal implant size and shape with Dr Sharp will be an important aspect of ensuring that your mastopexy results aren’t undermined by an overly large, or poorly selected, implant.

Mastopexy recovery

Recovering from mastoepxy surgery

Your breast lift may be performed as either a day procedure or overnight stay in hospital.

During your breast lift recovery, a surgical support bra will be applied to the incisions after the procedure is completed. You’ll need to wear the support bra for three to four weeks to minimise swelling and support your breasts as they heal. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. The stitches will be removed after a week or two.

If your breast skin is very dry following surgery, you can apply our moisturiser several times a day. Be careful not to tug at your skin in the process, and keep the moisturiser away from the suture areas.

You can expect some loss of feeling in your nipples and breast skin, caused by the swelling after surgery. This numbness usually fades as the swelling subsides over the next six weeks or so. In some patients, however, it may last a year or more, and occasionally it may be permanent.

Healing is a gradual process. Although you may be up and about in a day or two, don’t plan on returning to work for a week or more, depending on how you feel. And avoid lifting anything over your head for up to six weeks, and if you feel any pain, cease the movement. If you have any unusual symptoms, don’t hesitate to call Dr Sharp.

Dr Sharp will give you detailed instructions for resuming your normal activities. You may be instructed to avoid strenuous activity and sports for about a month. After that, you can resume these activities slowly. If you become pregnant, the operation should not affect your ability to breast-feed, since your milk ducts and nipples will be left intact, however your results may be impacted by breast changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What to expect from your surgery

Breast lift results + expectations

It’s important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Observing our postoperative instructions and utilising our in-clinic scar treatments will also assist.

The results of your breast lift surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover from surgery. The final results of your breast lift will appear over the next few months as breast shape and position continue to settle.

Dr Sharp will make every effort to make your scars as inconspicuous as possible. Still, it’s important to remember that mastopexy scars are extensive and permanent. They often remain lumpy and red for months, then gradually become less obvious, sometimes eventually developing to thin white lines. Fortunately, the scars can usually be placed so that they are not visible when wearing swimwear or lingerie.

You should also keep in mind that a breast lift won’t keep you firm forever — the effects of gravity, pregnancy, aging, and weight fluctuations will eventually take their toll again. Women who have implants along with their breast lift may find the results last longer.

Your satisfaction with a breast lift is likely to be greater if you understand the procedure thoroughly and if your expectations are realistic. You’ll be able to retain your new look longer if you:

  • Maintain your weight
  • Have a healthy lifestyle
  • Have reasonable expectations

The surgery will not make your breasts perfect, nor identical. It is not a panacea for poor body confidence or low self esteem. 

Breast lift and pregnancy

Breast lift surgery and pregnancy

Breast surgery should be entertained after child bearing is completed. Changes that occur in the breasts during pregnancy can minimize or reverse the improvement a breast lift provides.

Likewise, significant weight loss after breast surgery can negatively impact breast appearance.

Breast lift risks + complications

Like any surgery, you must weigh up whether the benefits out way the risks for you. While breast lift surgery is commonly performed and carries low morbidity and mortality rates, it also carries risks. Your pre-operative consultations with Dr Sharp will enable him to discuss potential complications with you, and help you determine whether the surgery is right for you.

Breast lift risks include:

  • Anesthesia risks – which will be disused with your specialist anaesthetist 
  • Bleeding or hematoma formation
  • Infection
  • Poor healing of incisions
  • Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
  • Breast contour and shape irregularities
  • Breast asymmetry
  • Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Possibility of revisional surgery

Complications are rare, and Dr Sharp and his team manage each of these risks with the utmost care to further reduce the likelihood of them occurring. In the event they do occur, most can be treated effectively with prompt intervention.

Everyone’s body responds differently to surgery. In some cases, post-operative revision surgery might be required.

Some factors, such as weight, smoking, lifestyle or health problems can increase the chance of a complication occurring. Dr Sharp will take time to learn about your potential risk factors during your pre-operative consultations, and will determine if they are relevant to your surgery.

If you have any concerns regarding your breast lift and the associated risks, feel free to book additional preoperative consultations with Dr Sharp by calling 07 3202 4744

Breast lift; words to know


  • Areola: Pigmented skin surrounding the nipple.
  • Breast augmentationAlso known as augmentation mammaplasty, breast enlargement by surgery.
  • Breast lift: Also known as mastopexy; surgery to lift the breasts.
  • Breast reduction: Also known as reduction mammaplasty, reduction of breast size by surgery.
  • Excision: To remove the skin.
  • General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
  • Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
  • Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
  • Local anesthesia: A drug injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain.
  • Mammogram: An x-ray image of the breast.
  • Mastopexy: Surgery to lift the breasts.
  • Sutures: Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.
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When viewing before and after images, please note they are only indicative of the individual patient’s result and outcomes vary depending on a number of factors including genetics, nutrition, natural body habitus and adherence to post operative instructions. To view scarring, please click here.

Scroll down to read more about breast lift surgery with Dr Sharp, after the image gallery.

before and 4 months after breast lift surgery with Dr Sharp. Patient also underwent abdominoplasty surgery at the same time. 

before and 3 months after breast lift surgery with Dr Sharp. Patient also underwent abdominoplasty at the same time. 

before and 4 months after breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp

before and 4 months after breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp

before and 4 months after abdominoplasty, breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp. 

before and 4 months after breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp

before and 4 months after breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp

before and 4 months after breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp

before and 4 months after abdominoplasty, breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp 

before and 4 months after breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp

before and 3 months after breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp using 450cc Ergonomix full profile implants. Please note early stages of scar healing in the 24 month maturation process. 

before and 4 months after body lift, breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp

Before and 5 months after breast lift with augmentation using anatomical implant with Dr Sharp

before and 4 months after abdominoplasty, breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp

before and 4 months after breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp

before and 4 months after breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp

before and 4 months after abdominoplasty, breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp

before and 4 months after abdominoplasty and breast lift surgery with Dr Sharp

before and 4 months after abdominoplasty, breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp

before and 4 months after abdominoplasty and augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp. Please note that patient had undergone mastopexy surgery years prior, with another surgeon.