This page will give you information about a breast uplift. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.
You can also download and print a PDF version of this factsheet, with space for your own questions or notes.
What is a breast uplift?
A breast uplift (mastopexy) is an operation to remove excess skin from your breasts to improve their shape.
What are the benefits of surgery?
Your breasts should have a better shape.
Are there any alternatives to a breast uplift?
Using padded bras or inserts can make your breasts appear to have a better shape.
If there is not much excess skin and your breasts are not droopy, your surgeon may be able to assess you for a breast augmentation.
If you have a large breast size, your surgeon may be able to assess you for a breast reduction.
What does the operation involve?
The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about 90 minutes to 2 hours.
Your surgeon will make a cut on the line of the areola (the darker area around your nipple) and a vertical cut underneath your areola. They will remove excess skin and reshape your breast tissue. Your surgeon will lift your nipple so it is in a higher position.
What complications can happen?
- infection of the surgical site (wound)
- unsightly scarring
- blood clots
- developing a collection of blood or fluid
- developing a lump in your breast
- numbness or continued pain on the outer part of your breast
- stiff shoulder
- loss of skin, including the areola and nipple
- change of breast and nipple sensation
- reduced ability to breastfeed
- cosmetic problems
How soon will I recover?
Your breasts will look discoloured and feel firm and swollen. You should be able to go home the same day.
You should be able to return to normal activities after 2 to 3 weeks. You should be able to return to work after 2 weeks, depending on your type of work. You should be able to do a limited amount of activity, such as lifting young children, after about 2 weeks.
Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
The results of a breast uplift improve gradually over the first 6 months. Your breasts should become softer and more natural.
A breast uplift is an operation to improve the shape of your breasts. It is suitable only for certain women. You should consider the options carefully and have realistic expectations about the results.
The operation and treatment information on this page is published under license by Healthdirect Australia from EIDO Healthcare Australia and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.
For more on how this information was prepared, click here.
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: September 2018