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How can I tell if I need a combined breast lift with my breast implants?

Have the effects of childbirth or weight loss changed your breasts?

If you are now considering the possibility of surgery to increase breast fullness, nipple/areola complex position and skin reduction, you might also feel confused about whether or not you require a breast implant using implants only, or a breast lift (called a mastopexy) as well.

Learning about the benefits and risks of having breast augmentation and lift surgery, either separately or in combination, will provide confidence heading into a surgical procedure – knowing that you are well informed and making an educated decision about your body. Dr. David Sharp is an experienced plastic surgeon that performs breast augmentation and lifting surgery in Brisbane, and has published an informative guide to help you better understand your options.

Breast implant Brisbane plastic surgeon profile Dr David Sharp

Understanding breast implants:

Breast augmentation involves the strategic placement of silicone breast implants through an incision made beneath the breast fold. These implants are positioned within the breast pockets behind the existing breast tissue.

Dr. Sharp has a special interest in natural looking augmentation surgery, and predominantly uses a combination of high quality anatomical and ergonomic implants frequently to mimic a natural ‘tear-drop’ shape. Not all breast implants are created equal and it important to know your implants in detail before undertaking augmentation surgery. Read more about the breast implants that Dr. Sharp uses here.

In most cases, a ‘dual plane’ technique is utilised, where the implants are positioned under the pectoral muscle at the upper portion to ensure adequate coverage and to reduce rippling during physical activity (some rippling may still be visible however, especially if you have very little breast tissue or breast fat) and the implants are placed over the pectoral muscle at the sides and bottom of the breast, to lift the breast tissue slightly and follow the breast’s natural curvature.

Pictured, right: before and 3 months after two stage breast lift and augmentation with Dr Sharp (patient also underwent abdominoplasty). Results vary and are indicative of this patient only. View full gallery here. 

Dr Sharp breast augmentation and lift two stage
Breast lift augmentation, abdominoplasty and body lift with Dr Sharp 04

When would I need a breast lift on its own, or with breast implants?

For women experiencing more pronounced ptosis (breast sagging) or when the nipples begin to sit on the lower half of the breast, a breast implant alone may not be sufficient to achieve the desired lift. In such cases, a surgical breast lift may be recommended, which involves incisions made under the breast, along the midline, and around the nipple. This procedure primarily focuses on reducing excess skin and reshaping the breast, rather than reducing breast tissue.

Can I combine a breast lift and breast implants?

Yes, it is possible to have both a breast augmentation and breast lift. Whether this can be done at the same time is something that is decided upon consultation with Dr, Sharp, with various factors relating to your anatomy and surgical objectives taken into consideration. This is a procedure Dr. Sharp frequently performs for women looking to lift and enlarge their breast.

Can this be done at the same time, or over two separate operations?

Dr. Sharp offers both one and two stage breast lift and breast implant procedures.

The one stage approach involves undergoing a breast lift and then implants being placed during the same general anaesthetic procedure. The benefits of this approach include:

  • A single general anaesthetic, which carries anaesthetic risk-reduction benefits
  • A single recovery period, which can be an important consideration for women who want to try to avoid requiring two recovery periods and associated time away from work, leisure or family activities


The risks or downsides to a one stage breast augmentation and lift can include:

  • The weight and pressure of the implant on the breast lift incision line can cause the scar to widen and be more prominent, and while this will improve over time (scars take 24 months to mature) they may always be more prominent than they’d have been if a two stage procedure had been undertaken.
  • As the breast lift results settle, scars soften and skin stretches, the breast implant position may change and further surgery may be required in future if you are not satisfied with the aesthetic appearance of your breasts.


The decision to perform a one or two stage procedure will be discussed at your first consult, and will be guided by your informed decision as a patient as well as your skin condition/laxity and current anatomy.

A two stage breast augmentation and lift involves the breast lift occurring first, allowing about 6-9 months for the initial scar healing phase and then proceeding with a breast augmentation as a separate surgery.

Can I tell whether or not I need a breast lift without having a consultation with the surgeon?

Your current nipple/areola complex position and cup size can provide you with a quick indication, but we recommend a consultation with Dr Sharp in order to obtain a conclusive surgical opinion.

Firstly, when looking at your breast side-on in the mirror, does your nipple sit below your inframammary fold (see diagram)? If your nipple is located below the fold or points downward, an implant alone may not provide sufficient long term lifting.

If your breast are a C cup or larger, and implant without a breast lift may sit too low on your chest wall, looking low and heavy.

Conversely, if your nipple is more centrally positioned on the breast, pointing forward, and you are currently a B cup or smaller, you may be a candidate for an augmentation with breast implants alone.

Do I need a breast lift? ptosis grading

How much does a breast augmentation and lift costs in Brisbane?

An accurate quote, tailored to your surgery, is provided at the time of your initial consultation – but here is a brief preliminary indication:

– Breast augmentation starts from $12,000.
– Breast lift starts from $9,500.
– Breast lift and augmentation start from $18,000 as a one-stage procedure or $25,000 as a two stage procedure.

Our surgery quotes are comprehensive, covering the surgeon’s fee, high-quality implants (for augmentations), hospital day stay, garments, anesthetist’s fee, postoperative visits and 12 months of LED therapy for scar minimization. This procedure can be performed by Dr. Sharp at Greenslopes Private Hospital or South Brisbane Day Hospital. 

The Sharp Clinics
Dr David Sharp plastic surgery Brisbane

About Dr. David Sharp:

Dr. David Sharp is an experienced specialist plastic surgeon in Brisbane, with a special interest in breast, body and facial cosmetic surgery.

With over two decades of experience in medicine, Dr. Sharp has performed over 20,000 surgical procedures in Australia and has an established surgical and non surgical practice in Brisbane.

Read more about Dr Sharp's credentials and expertise here. 

For more information and to schedule an appointment with Dr. David Sharp, please contact our patient support team at 3202 4744 or visit our online booking request form here.

This information is intended for general knowledge and should not replace personalised advice from your surgeon. Always consult with your surgeon for individual care.

Ready to begin your breast augmentation or lift journey?

If you feel ready to discuss breast surgery further and find out if it is right for you, please don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated patient support team at 3202 4744.