Breast Lift Scars and Recovery: A Complete Guide

Breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, is a surgical procedure used to lift and reposition sagging breasts, resulting in a more refreshed and lifted appearance. The procedure can be performed in conjunction with breast implants or areola reduction. Let’s discuss the breast scars.

As with any surgical procedure, there will be breast lift scarring. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take to minimise scars with scar management post surgery. We’ll cover the steps we recommend in this guide so that you can have peace of mind. We’ll also review the breast lift recovery stages and different types of scars. It’s important to understand which type of scars you will have and how you can minimise your breast lift scar.

Causes of Breast Lift Scars

Breast lift scars after 6 months will of course look less visible than directly after surgery and your scars will continue to heal. Many people ask how do healed one year breast lift scars look. Most patients notice the scars have significantly improved!

Skin Type and Scars

Depending on your skin type, scars might heal differently. Type 1 Skin is the fairest skin and has the lowest risk of abnormal scarring. Meanwhile, Skin Type 6 (the highest on the scale), which ranges from deep mahogany to very dark brown, has a higher chance of developing more noticeable scars over time. As you move up in the Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale, there will be greater risks for scarring. Your healed mastopexy scars may be influenced by your skin type.


The mastopexy scars will vary depending on where the surgical incisions are made. The surgeon will determine the best type of lift surgery (and associated incisions) for you based on how severe your sagging is. Please note if you are considering breast augmentation with your lift the scars may differ from those shown below.

Types of Scars


The types of scars after breast lift surgery include lollipop scarring, donut scars, anchor scars and crescent scars. The lollipop breast lift scar is the most common as this type of lift is used to achieve a standard lift (for those with moderate sagging).

Most scars will fade into a pale flat line where the incision was made. In some cases, your scar may take one of the following forms. This varies depending on skin type and after-care.

Keloid Scars

Some incisions may heal into a keloid scar – a raised and thick scar. Keloids may span larger than the initial incision. Some people are at a greater risk for abnormal wound healing and these types of scars, which depends on a few different factors.

  • Those higher on the Skin Type Scale are at higher risk.
  • Those who have a family history of keloid scars are also at greater risk, as it can be genetic. It’s important you mention your family history of keloid scars to your surgeon.
  • Those between 20 to 30 years old are believed to be at higher risk.

Hypertrophic Scars

A hypertrophic scar is a thick raised scar. Such scars are most commonly found in areas of tight skin following trauma, burns or surgical incisions (from plastic surgery or other surgeries). Hypertrophic scars are limited to the area where incisions occurred and can shrink over time.

Contracture Scars

Contracture scars are scars that make the skin feel tight. They can happen when a large area of skin has been damaged so the edges of the skin draw together.

Luckily, these types of abnormal scars can be minimised with scar management. There are steps you can take prior to surgery to improve your health and ensure your scars heal well. During your breast lift surgery recovery, there are breast lift scar treatment options.

Prevention of Breast Lift Scars

You can take many steps before you have any incisions or scars to prevent them. Before surgery, we recommend you:

  • Refrain from smoking
  • Eat a balanced and nutritious diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid the sun

Best Practices to Minimise Scarring

For both breast lift and augmentation recovery, there are best practices for minimising the risk of breast scars post-surgery. We highly recommend you:

  • Keep the incision site clean and dry
  • Avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting
  • Wear a supportive bra
  • Follow a healthy diet and exercise routine
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid sun exposure (especially on the Gold Coast and in hot climates)
  • Attend follow-up appointments with your surgeon

Tips for Choosing the Right Surgeon

When it comes to surgery, safety should always be your highest priority. Choosing the right surgeon is critical. Dr Mark Doyle is dedicated to helping his patients look like younger versions of themselves. Once you have done your initial research and you are booking your consultation, make sure that you take a list of questions with you. We recommend you ask these 10 questions.

Dr Mark Doyle, Specialist Plastic Surgeon

  • Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons – FRACS (Plas)
  • 30+ years of cosmetic surgery experience 
  • 15,000+ hours in the operating theatre
  • 200+ positive reviews
  • Extensive expertise in surgical planning and 3D imaging
  • Committed follow-up and 12 months aftercare including scar treatment
  • Served thousands of happy clients! See for yourself with these Mastopexy Before and Afters

Dr Doyle enjoys a reputation as one of Australia’s best plastic surgeons. He is renowned for his exceptional surgical ability, artistic skills and caring bedside manner. Rest assured you’re in good hands and highly experienced hands!

Breast Lift Recovery: Understanding the Healing Process

Recovery after breast lift and augmentation can be different for everyone, we’ll cover the most common things to expect during the recovery process. Following your surgery, it is normal to experience discomfort, swelling and bruising for a few days. Dr Doyle will provide guidance on how to manage any pain or inflammation as well as medication.

Immediately following the procedure you will be wrapped in surgical bandages. You will need to wear a compression bra afterwards for an allotted period of time. The bandages and sutures should be removed around one week later. Dr Doyle will inform you of the necessary post-surgery care steps for your breast scars including follow-up appointments.

Timeline of Breast Lift Recovery

We’ll cover the initial healing phase and what you should expect from breast lift recovery day by day.

Week 1

When you wake up after your surgery you will have mild bruising and swelling and tape over your incisions and be wearing a compression bra. You’ll be able to go home the same day and likely feel dizzy and sleepy from the general anaesthesia. Arrange for someone to drive you home and take care of you for the first 24 hours.

You may feel sore and uncomfortable. The medication provided to you will help ease some discomfort. After a few days, you should be able to move around a bit more and also should start feeling a bit better. Swelling and bruising will continue for about a week during your breast lift recovery time. If breast scarring is a concern for you, read more about our tips to reduce scars after breast surgery.

You will need to wear the compression garment provided to you for 6 weeks. Let’s cover the breast lift recovery week by week.

Weeks 2 to 6

Approximately 10-14 days post-surgery you will be reviewed by our nurse. Allow yourself at least 1 to 2 weeks to recuperate before returning to nonstrenuous work. No ocean water or pool water for 3 to 4 weeks post-surgery or until your wounds are fully healed. Most patients may resume light exercise 5 to 6 weeks after surgery.

Approximately 6 weeks into your recovery you will be given a sample of Strataderm and shown how to apply it to your wound for further breast scarring care. Strenuous exercise is restricted for 6 – 8 weeks as it may cause increased swelling, and bleeding, which may lead to disruption of the healing process. This includes avoiding activities such as upper body weight training, push-ups and running.

Final Healing Phase – Weeks 7 to 12

You should expect a full breast lift and augmentation recovery in 12 weeks. Your next appointment will be a check-up with Dr Doyle and our nurse. All appointments following this vary slightly between patients. However, review appointments are quite common approximately 3 months and 6 months post-surgery. During one of these visits, you will have photographs taken for your medical records.

Tips for Faster Recovery

During the healing process is quite common for your breasts to heal differently. One may swell more or the shapes may initially differ. The shape and size will change throughout healing. It’s crucial that you follow postoperative care instructions given by the surgeon.

  • For comfort and reduced swelling sleep with your upper body slightly raised on 1 to 2 pillows for as long as swelling persists.
  • Avoid wearing an underwire bra for 3 months due to the incision being where the underwire falls as irritation and complications may occur.
  • If you want to reduce swelling further you may apply icepacks, however, we do not recommend heat packs.
  • Continue taking medication to manage pain as needed
  • Avoid strenuous exercise, until approved by your surgeon.
  • Patience is key during the recovery stages. Get plenty of rest and don’t rush your recovery!


Is It Normal for My Breast Lift Scars to Be Red and Raised Immediately After Surgery?

Yes! This is your body’s healing response to an incision. Breast lift scars over time will continue to heal and fade. The redness should subside and the height of the raised scar should decrease.

How Long Will It Take for My Breast Lift Scars to Fade?

Your scars will be reddened for about 12 months, then should start to fade and soften. Avoid exposing scars to the sun. If the sun is unavoidable, always apply sunscreen, the sun increases your odds of scars darkening.

Are There Any Treatments That Can Be Used to Improve The Appearance of Breast Lift Scars?

You can use creams that your surgeon recommends, most commonly silicone gels are recommended. With every surgery at Gold Coast Plastic Surgery, we offer infrared lite which improves circulation which promotes healing and can help ease pain and inflammation. You can chat with our team about other medical aesthetics options.

Now that you’ve reviewed the breast scar and recovery process, are you ready to book your consultation? During your consultation, Dr Doyle can answer any questions you have and explore which option is best for you.

About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plast) – Queensland Plastic Surgeon

Servicing patients in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and New South Wales NSW – Northern Rivers, Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore and more.

Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience performing BreastBodyFace and Nose surgery. Dr Doyle is a fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon with 30+ years of experience. He has completed all required training and only carries out approved surgical practices. There are absolutely NO undertrained doctors or cosmetic doctors acting as surgeons in our clinic.

As a highly esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr Mark is committed to achieving the best possible results for all his breast, body, face and nose patients, both men and women.


Do Your Research

What to Bring to Your Plastic Surgeon Consultation

  • Bring a friend or relative for support and discussion regarding your choices
  • Take notes and read all provided information thoroughly
  • Read about what to expect in your Initial Surgery Consultation

Book Your Plastic Surgery Consultation

  • Get a Referral from your GP or specialist – this is required to book a consultation with Dr Doyle.
  • Email us or call on 07 5598 0988 to arrange your consultation appointment.
  • Pay your $300 Consultation Fee in advance to secure your consultation.

Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.

Send an enquiry form today or phone 07 5598 0988 during Clinic Hours.

  • Dr. Mark Doyle AHPRA Registration: Dr Mark Doyle MED0001375519 Specialist Plastic Surgery – MBBS FRACS FRCS

*DISCLAIMER: All information on Gold Coast Plastic Surgery website is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Results can vary significantly and depend on individual patient circumstances. All images on this website, unless specified as real patient images, are stock images used for illustrative purposes only. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your surgeon. Book a consult for details regarding your cosmetic surgery procedure.