How Do You Fix Breast Ptosis? – A Breast Lift, Breast Implants or Both?

Breast ptosis, or sagging breasts, can be addressed through various methods, including a breast lift, breast implants, or a combination of both, depending on the specific needs and goals of the individual.

Breasts that have lost volume and have excess loose skin are known as ptotic breasts or breasts with ptosis (pronounced ‘tosis’ – the p is silent!). Ptosis is the result of losing the inevitable battle between skin elasticity and age.

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This complete guide to Breast Lift Surgery covers everything you need to know about this procedure, including:

  • Your surgery explained
  • How to assess if you are a good candidate.
  • Planning for your surgery
  • Answers to most frequently asked questions.
  • Before and after gallery
  • Read more about Breast Lift
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This complete guide to Breast Augmentation Surgery covers everything you need to know about this procedure, including:

  • Your surgery explained
  • How to assess if you are a good candidate.
  • Planning for your surgery
  • Answers to most frequently asked questions.
  • Before and after gallery
  • Learn more about Breast Augmentation
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Do you have ptotic breasts?

Breast ptosis, commonly referred to as sagging breasts, is a natural part of the ageing process. The severity of breast ptosis is typically categorized into different grades. Some signs and ways to tell if you have ptotic (sagging) breasts, include:

  • Nipple Position:
    • In younger individuals, the nipples typically point forward or slightly upward. With ptotic breasts, the nipples might point downward or below the breast crease.
  • Breast Shape:
    • In mild cases of ptosis (Grade 1), the breasts have a more natural teardrop shape.
    • In moderate to severe cases, the breasts may have a flattened or elongated shape.
  • Breast Position:
    • Ptotic breasts tend to hang lower on the chest wall.
    • The degree varies based on the severity of ptosis.
  • Skin Elasticity:
    • Reduced skin elasticity is a common factor in breast ptosis.
    • Skin that has lost its elasticity may not be able to support the breasts adequately.
  • Creases and Folds:
    • An additional fold or crease may develop underneath the breast in moderate to severe ptosis.
  • Tissue Volume:
    • Loss of breast volume and firmness is common in ptotic breasts.

It’s important to note that breast ptosis can occur for various reasons, including ageing, pregnancy, weight fluctuations, genetics, and breastfeeding. If you’re concerned about breast ptosis consider consulting a board-certified plastic surgeon or a healthcare professional who specializes in breast health. They can evaluate your specific case and discuss potential solutions, such as a breast lift or other cosmetic procedures, to address your concerns.

Why does Breast Ptosis occur?

Breast ptosis happens due to a process called “Breast involution.”

Breast involution is a natural occurrence when the milk-producing system within the breast undergoes a reduction because it is no longer needed.

This process occurs after weaning or not long after pregnancy if the woman did not breastfeed. It also happens during menopause.

When the tissues within your breast start to shrink, your breast may lose its fullness and firmness.

Breast Ptosis: What causes it?

There are many causes of Breast Ptosis including:

  • Effects of gravity
  • Bouncing on unsupported breasts (not wearing a good bra)
  • Smoking (causes thinning of the skin or dermis)
  • Significant weight loss or pregnancy – ‘over-stretching’ of skin that doesn’t bounce back
  • Number of pregnancies – ‘stretched too many times’ – weakens collagen
  • Larger breast cup size even before pregnancy
  • Ageing of the breast glandular tissues ‘breast laxity’

The amount of ptosis or degree of sagging is partly determined by your inherited characteristics like skin elasticity and breast density.

Some patients’ breasts are denser than others. Your breasts are made from both heavy breast tissue (like mammary glands) and lighter fat.

  • The ratio of these two components influences your breast density and your breast density can influence the degree of Ptosis
  • Denser breasts may be effected faster and further over time but other factors may also play a factor

How to classify Breast Ptosis

  • Grade 1 Ptosis – MILD – Shape Malformation
  • Grade 2 Ptosis MODERATE – No Bra Support/running is a problem
  • Grade 3 Ptosis SIGNIFICANT – Size change (Stretched post-pregnancy or after significant weight gain/loss)
  • Grade 4 – Allotrophic Skin – Poor collagen strength

Most patients seeking a breast lift are at the moderate or more severe stages. Others feel they’ve been left ’empty’ after breastfeeding.

Ptosis - Breast Ptosis degrees of droopiness

There are several surgical solutions for the Ptotic Breast

  1. Breast Lift without implants
  • A Breast Lift is a surgical procedure designed to lift and reshape the breasts.
  • It involves removing excess skin, tightening the surrounding tissue, and repositioning the nipple and areola to a higher position.
  • This procedure is suitable for individuals with excess skin but who are content with their current breast size and shape.

2. Breast AugmentationBreast Implants

  • Breast Augmentation involves the insertion of breast implants to increase breast size and volume.
  • While this procedure can enhance the fullness of the breasts, it does not address significant Ptosis
  • on its own.
  • It is an appropriate choice for individuals who desire larger or fuller breasts.

3. Breast Lift with implants:

  • In some cases, individuals may benefit from both a breast lift and breast implants. This combination procedure is known as augmentation mastopexy.
  • It’s recommended for those who wish to both lift and enhance the size of their breasts. The lift provides the desired shape and positioning, while implants add volume.

The choice between these options depends on factors such as the degree of breast ptosis, the current breast size, personal preferences, and the recommendations of a board-certified plastic surgeon. A consultation with a plastic surgeon is essential to determine the most suitable approach for each individual, as it should be tailored to their specific needs and cosmetic goals. It’s also essential to consider the recovery, scarring, and long-term maintenance associated with each procedure.

Scars from Surgery

All invasive surgery leaves a scar, our experienced surgeons use advanced surgical procedures and are specially trained to reduce the extent of any breast surgery scars.

We can also use special post-surgical scar minimization techniques including post-op treatment with Fraxel Laser, Healite II LED and our Recovery Packs.

Our Recovery package contains scientifically proven products to facilitate healing, along with some ‘feel good’ gifts to help you make the most of your recovery time.

Scars also usually fade away over time and may settle even further over 12 to 18 months to fully settle.

Our Plastic Surgeons

Our Surgeons want to make sure you know your options, and what results to expect from different procedures.

It is important, to have realistic expectations about what Breast Surgery can and cannot accomplish for your body or breasts. Sometimes 3D Vectra imaging can help you to imagine what you may look like after Breast Augmentation Surgery or Mastopexy.

Coco Ruby Dr Craig Rubinstein Surgeon Melbourne

Dr Craig Rubinstein, Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne, Victoria.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery Melbourne
Master of Plastic Surgery (Melbourne)
FRACS (Plast) Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Dr Craig Rubinstein is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over 20 years of surgical experience.

If you want to find out more about a procedure book a consultation.

Dr Patrick Briggs, Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Melbourne MED0001537010

FRACS, Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
FRCSI, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland
FRCS, Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons

Dr Patrick Briggs is an internationally trained, Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over 20 years’ experience.

Furthermore, he is experienced in BreastBodyFace and Gender Confirmation Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.

If you want to find out more about this procedure book a consultation.


Dr Broughton Snell Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne.

Bachelor of Science (BSc)(Honours)
Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)Honours)
Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS)

Dr Broughton Snell is a fully qualified specialist plastic surgeon having completed his Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

If you want to find out more about a procedure book a consultation.

Mr Gary Kode Plastic Surgeon MED0001405964

MBCHB(Hons) – Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (honours)
FRCS(SA) – Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons
FRACS(Plast) Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Mr Gary Kode is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, with experience in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments.

With over 33 years of experience in Plastic Surgery, he has performed approximately 25,000 procedures, spanning various areas of the body.

If you want to find out more about a procedure book a consultation.

Last updated: 01/11/2023
Author profile image
Dr Craig Rubinstein - MBBS, FRACS (Plast)
Dr Craig Rubinstein MBBS, FRACS (Plast), a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, is one of Australia's most respected Melbourne Surgeons for Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift (Mastopexy), Breast Reduction surgery and Abdominoplasty procedures. Using advanced surgical techniques to gain better body contouring and natural-looking surgical results, Dr Rubinstein is highly regarded by peers and patients for best-practice Clinic Patient-care and patient education strategies. He published a chapter on corrective surgery for Breast Asymmetry. Qualifications/Training Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) The Australian Medical Association (AMA) American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) Founder: Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery previously Cosmetic Surgery for Women and Men Bio Page:

Specialist Plastic Surgeons and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeons are dedicated to best-practice patient care and education, customising Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Phone 1300 599 990, Email us: or Book a FREE 15-minute Phone Chat with our Patient Liaison Manager or a Consultation with a Surgeon.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.