Meet your Surgeon
Dr. Steve Merten
Meet your Surgeon
Education and Training:
- Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from Sydney University in 1991
- Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) in 2001
- Fellowships in Aesthetic (Cosmetic) Surgery at the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery and Monash University
- Fellowship in Breast Reconstruction at the University of British Columbia, Canada
- Clinical Senior Lecturer in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery and Plastic Surgery Fellowship Program Director at Macquarie University, Sydney
- Consultant Plastic Surgeon Concord Hospital, Sydney
- Supervisor of Plastic Surgery Training, Concord Hospital
- Consultant Plastic Surgeon at numerous top Sydney private hospitals, including:
- Macquarie University Hospital
- Hunters Hill Private Hospital
- North Shore Specialist Day Hospital
- Plastic Surgery Representative NSW Members Advisory Committee Avant Mutual
- Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
- Member, Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
- Member, Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS)
- Member, Australian Medical Association
- Member, ANZPATH (Australia and New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health)
- Member, WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health)
What Is Breast Lift Surgery?
Age, childbearing and weight changes can all lead to the breasts drooping on the chest wall. This is due to the ligaments that provide the breasts’ youthful look stretching over time, leading to what is known as “breast ptosis.” Mastopexy, or breast lift surgery, is aimed at correcting this. The procedure helps
to improve the shape of the breast by elevating the nipple position and improving the projection and position of the breast on the chest wall. This is accomplished by removing breast tissue and reshaping the breast.
If there is enough breast tissue left, then it is possible to reshape it, remove excess skin and produce a higher, firmer breast. If there is little tissue and you would like to increase your breast size, a breast lift with implants can usually be performed in the same procedure. A breast reduction can also be performed in conjunction with a lift if the breasts are overly large and heavy. A consultation will provide a range of effective options that can help transform the look of your breasts, regardless of their current state.
How Can Breast Lift Surgery Help Me?
Healthy women of any age—following breast development, childbirth and breastfeeding—can improve sagging breasts or lost firmness with a breast lift. Other benefits include:
- Improved confidence and self esteem
- Improved breast appearance
- Enhanced positioning of areolae and nipples
- Increase firmness of soft breasts by removing excess skin
- Increased volume of breasts when combined with insertion of breast implants
- Reduced skin irritation under breast folds
What Can I Expect in the Breast Lift Consultation?
During the consultation process, our Sydney plastic surgeon will discuss what you hope to achieve in your breast lift results, go over your medical history (including medications, allergies and past treatments) and perform a physical examination to evaluate your needs. An X-Ray may be necessary based on your age and health history. With all of this information in mind, our surgeon can recommend the most beneficial options that can address your needs and help you achieve your expectations.
If you have any questions throughout your breast lift consultation, please do not hesitate to ask. The Pure Aesthetics Plastic Surgeon will do their best to ensure you understand what to realistically expect with your procedure and results. They will also educate you on the recovery process and possible risks of the surgery. During your second consultation, they will go into more detail about your surgery and further discuss the potential complications that can arise.
What Does the Breast Lift Procedure Involve?
The major component of breast lift surgery is to remove the excess loose skin. This involves removing excess skin around the nipple (but not the actual nipple) and in the lower breast. The nipple is then repositioned to a higher level on the chest. In some patients, “internal re-arrangement” of the breast tissue is also performed, using internal stitches to hold the breast up from within. As the breast is reshaped, a small amount of breast tissue may need to be removed; however, this is generally not enough to result in a noticeable cup size difference. Dissolving stitches are used to close the incisions to minimise post-operative scarring.
The breast lift procedure is performed under general anaesthesia in the hospital setting. Our anaesthetists are highly experienced in the latest techniques to help you feel comfortable throughout your procedure. The operation takes approximately three hours to complete, and you will need to stay in the hospital overnight.
What Is Breast Lift Recovery Like?
After your breast lift surgery, the anaesthesia will begin to wear off, allowing you to gradually feel like your normal self again. After your overnight hospital stay, you can return home to relax. For the first few days, you will need to wear supportive dressings, which will then be replaced with a soft support bra that you will wear for a few weeks. Since the incisions are closed with dissolving stitches, these will not need to be removed.
Patients typically need to take about two to three weeks off work. However, you should be able to do normal day-to-day activities, including caring for children. You should avoid strenuous exercise for about four to six weeks.
After the initial recovery, you can enjoy your more youthful, lifted breasts. Keep in mind, however, that gravity and the aging process will still be in effect. As a result, breasts may begin to droop if not supported. Our surgeons recommend all patients to wear supportive bras most days to help slow this process.
When Will I See My Breast Lift Results?
You should begin to see your breast lift results immediately after surgery. However, mild swelling may affect your breast appearance as the tissue continues to heal over the first six weeks. The final look of your breasts, including both shape and positioning, may continue to change for several months. Scarring will also fade during this recovery period, though it may appear red and raised for a few months. Our team will provide you with post-operative care instructions to help minimise scar appearance and assist with the healing process.
What Complications Can Arise from Breast Lift Surgery?
All surgical procedures come with some degree of risk. The most common complications that can occur with surgery include:
- Anaesthetic problems
- Bruising, bleeding, haematoma formation
- Deep vein thrombosis
Breast lift surgery, specifically, are associated with the following risks:
- Nipple necrosis
- Reduction in nipple and areola sensation
Will Breast Lift Surgery Leave Scars?
As your incisions continue to heal, the skin will have some degree of scarring, which should gradually become less noticeable over time. Although you will have scars from your breast lift surgery, our surgeons take great care to minimise their length and appearance. They are experienced in the latest “short scar” surgical techniques, which prevent scarring underneath the breast in most cases. Depending on how much excess skin there is, the scars range from a half circle at the border of the upper areola, to a full circle around the areola, then possibly with the addition of a vertical scar from the bottom of the areola to the lower level of the breast; in the most severe cases, there may also be a scar along the underside of the breast in the fold where the bra sits. Your surgeon will thoroughly explain these techniques during your consultation, advising on the most appropriate approach for your needs.
Before & After Breast Lift Pictures
How Much Does Breast Lift Surgery Cost?
Since the breast lift procedure is customised to each patient’s unique needs, the total cost will vary. On average, you can expect to pay at least $11,300 for your breast lift surgery, which includes the fees for the surgeon, anaesthetist, and hospital. In some cases, you may be eligible for medicare and health insurance rebates. Please keep in mind that you will need to confirm with your insurance provider whether you are eligible for any coverage. To receive a personalised cost quote, please contact us to schedule your consultation.
What Else Should I Consider Before Having Breast Lift Surgery?
In addition to researching breast lift surgery, asking a lot of questions during your consultation, and looking at before and after photos, the following questions can help guide you in your decision to undergo surgery:
- Are you hoping to lose weight in the future?
- Do you plan to become pregnant in the future?
- Do your expectations align with what can realistically be achieved through surgery?
- Will you need assistance from friends or family during your recovery?
- Have you considered the possible risk of sensation loss in the breasts and nipples?
- Are you comfortable with the fact you will have some scarring after breast lift surgery?
- Do you understand that your breasts can still change in the future, due to the effects of gravity, aging, and weight gain/loss?
As the surgeon talks with you about surgery and possible complications that can occur, it can also be helpful to ask questions about how to address problems should they occur in your recovery.