Breast Lift

Breasts evolve over time, as events like pregnancy, breastfeeding and weight fluctuations and even the natural process of ageing can result in sagging and drooping of the breasts.

A breast lift or mastopexy surgically restores sagging breasts by lifting and reshaping. The surgery also removes loose skin, and the nipples and areola are repositioned.

Dr Damon Thomas performs breast lifts for his patients in Melbourne. If you wish to address the changes that have occurred to your breasts, request a private consultation with Dr Thomas to discuss your options.

Candidates for Breast Lift Surgery

  • Breasts that are sagging or drooping
  • Breasts that appear deflated due to pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Breasts that have lost their shape after massive weight loss
  • Development of loose skin that exacerbates the drooping
  • Nipples and areolas that point downward instead of forward
  • Breasts that are asymmetrical or in different positions

Options in a Breast Lift

There are different techniques used for a breast lift, which tend to vary based on the amount of correction required. The most common incision options include:

Lollipop Incision

This incision encircles the areola and extends down the lower portion of the breast, resembling a lollipop. This incision formation is the most common technique used for breast lifts and can be suitable in milder cases of ptosis. While there is visible scarring after a lollipop lift, the incision made around the areola is created within the pigmented area to help disguise noticeable signs of surgery.

Anchor Incision

When more correction is needed, Dr Thomas may combine the lollipop incision with a horizontal scar across the lower breast crease. This technique is known as the anchor incision since the formation is similar to a ship’s anchor. The incision underneath the breast is placed into the natural folds of skin, which helps conceal visible scarring after surgery.

The right incision for you will depend on how much lift you require, whether the nipple and areola need to be repositioned, and whether other procedures will be performed at the same time. Dr Thomas will carefully evaluate your situation and desired results to help you select a surgical technique for your needs.

About the Procedure

Dr Thomas performs breast lift surgery under general anaesthesia in one of the accredited hospitals near his office. The procedure should take about one to two hours, depending on the amount of correction that will be done and whether other procedures will be performed at the same time. 

During the surgery, Dr Thomas will remove excess loose skin, while repositioning the breasts at a slightly higher profile on the chest wall. While the surgery does not change the position of the base of the breast, it has an impact on the overall contour. Excess skin is also removed to create a smoother, more youthful contour.

Dr Thomas performs many of his breast lifts as day procedures, which means you will be allowed to return home after a short time in recovery. Some patients may opt for an overnight stay in the hospital, providing them the additional opportunity for rest and monitoring before heading home. An overnight stay is particularly helpful for patients who are in need of more correction or are choosing to have more than one procedure performed at one time. Because general anaesthesia is nearly always used, you will need to have someone drive you home and remain with you for the first day or two after your surgery.

See Before and Afters

What to Expect After Surgery

After breast lift surgery, Dr Thomas will provide you with compression garments to wear that hold the breasts in their new position and minimise swelling. Discomfort during the early days following surgery is to be expected and can be managed with prescribed oral pain medication. 

Most patients return to light activities within one week following their procedure, although more strenuous activities will be restricted for longer. Dr Thomas and his team will monitor your recovery process and advise you on when to resume activities based on your individual healing progress.

Incisions from breast lift surgery will also take some time to heal and for the scarring to become less noticeable. Most patients find that it can take up to one year for the scars to settle into their more permanent appearance. Dr Thomas will provide instructions on wound care that will help your incisions heal and ensure the scarring is as unobtrusive as possible.

Risks and Complications of Breast Lift Surgery

Complications can arise after mastopexy. Some of the risks and adverse outcomes of breast lift surgery include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Changes in skin sensation
  • Loss of nipple sensitivity
  • Seroma or hematoma
  • Asymmetry
  • Delayed healing including nipple and areolar or breast tissue necrosis / loss
  • Unfavourable scarring
  • Need for revision surgery

Activity Guidelines After Breast Lift Surgery

The following post-operative instructions are targeted to minimise the risks of breast lift surgery. Recovery time can vary depending on the individual and the extent of the surgery. A general timeline for breast lift recovery is below.


Day 1

  • Expect to experience some initial pain, swelling and discomfort.
  • Take prescribed pain medication as directed to help manage discomfort.
  • Rest as much as possible and limit movement.
  • Avoid any activities that could contaminate the incisions or increase heart rate or blood pressure. 
  • Wear a compression garment under your clothing for several weeks to assist with swelling and wound healing.

Days 2-5

  • Swelling and bruising may peak during this time.
  • Patients can typically resume gentle activities, such as showering and walking.
  • Continue prioritising rest and limiting movement to maintain the integrity of the healing incisions.

Weeks 1-2

  • Swelling and bruising will begin to subside.
  • You may experience some numbness or tingling in the breasts or nipples, which should improve over time.
  • Most patients return to work and resume light activities.
  • Continue to avoid strenuous activities, such as exercise or heavy lifting.
  • Avoid any activities and environments that could contaminate the incisions, such as hot tubs/spas and pools.

Weeks 4-6 

  • Patients can typically resume most normal physical activities.
  • Scarring will still be noticeable but should fade over time.

3-6 Months

  • All physical activities may be resumed. Listen to your body and use discomfort or tightness as a guide so you don’t overdo it. 
  • Scarring should continue to fade.
  • Continue to monitor their breasts and report any concerns to their surgeon.

Breast Lift Results

The preliminary results of a breast lift are typically visible immediately after the surgery, although swelling and bruising may temporarily affect the appearance of your breasts. It may take several weeks for the swelling to resolve and the final results to emerge.

The longevity of a breast lift varies from person to person depending on factors such as the extent of the operation, your skin elasticity and your lifestyle. While the natural ageing process will continue, the results of a breast lift can last for years with proper care and maintenance.

To ensure that the results of your breast lift last as long as possible, follow Dr Thomas’ post-operative instructions carefully and attend follow-up appointments as directed. Additionally, a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise and avoiding smoking can help you sustain the results of your breast lift over time.

A Note on Results

The results of any medical treatment, aesthetic or otherwise, will affect patients differently based on various individual, genetic, environmental, diet, exercise and other factors. For that reason, you should always expect to see some variance between the results featured and the results you can achieve. What works for one person may not work for another, and each patient’s unique needs and expectations must be considered when determining the best course of action. 

Therefore, it is essential to have a thorough consultation with a qualified and experienced medical professional who can help to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on your specific circumstances. It is also important to understand that breast lift surgery is not a quick fix and requires patience and commitment to achieve the desired results.