As women age, or after breastfeeding or weight loss, they can experience what is termed ‘sagging or droopy breasts’—which is medically referred to as ptosis. Younger women can also experience ptosis as a result of significant weight loss or due to heredity. A breast lift or mastopexy can improve the position and shape of the breasts without decreasing their size. Dr Vlad Milovic—our specialist plastic surgeon—has helped women across Melbourne and Canberra achieve the results they want with breast lift surgery. Every procedure is customised to suit the unique needs and goals of each individual to create beautifully rejuvenated breasts that enhance the figure and boost confidence.
A breast lift procedure can improve the sagginess of breasts, as well as nipple repositioning, such as reducing areola size and raising the position of downward pointing nipples and areolas. However, breast lift surgery does not significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast i.e. create upper pole fullness.
If you want your breasts to look fuller, consider breast lift and breast augmentation surgery.
What Is Breast Lift Surgery?
A breast lift (mastopexy) is a plastic surgery procedure designed to restore youthful elevation and shape to breasts affected by ageing, genetics, pregnancy, and/or weight fluctuations. A breast lift procedure can address breast sagginess by removing excess skin and reforming the remaining tissue into firmer, more ideally shaped breasts that are positioned higher up on the chest wall. The surgeon can also perform nipple repositioning and areola reduction, which can create more optimal aesthetic proportions and raise the position of downward-pointing nipples and areolas. Breast lift surgery alone cannot significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast (i.e. create upper pole fullness). In order for lifted breasts to achieve enhanced fullness, breast lift surgery must be combined with fat grafting or the placement of breast implants.
Are You a Candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?
As a highly qualified plastic and cosmetic surgeon, Dr Milovic will determine whether you are a good candidate for breast lift surgery. If you have sagging breasts that you’re dissatisfied with, you’re a non-smoker (or you’re prepared to give up smoking at least six weeks prior to and after your surgery), you’re mentally and physically healthy, and you understand the breast lift surgical procedure, you should qualify. Dr Milovic will discuss all these factors, and other relevant information including risks and complications of the surgery, with you prior to your decision on breast lift surgery.
A breast lift may be a good option for you if:
- You are physically healthy
- You have realistic expectations
- Your breasts are sagging and have lost their shape and firmness
- Your breasts have a flatter, elongated shape or are pendulous
- When unsupported, your nipples fall below the breast crease
- Your nipples and areolas point downward
- You have stretched skin and enlarged areolas
What Types of Breast Lift Are Available?
There are several state-of-the-art breast lift techniques Dr Milovic can use to perform your breast lift surgery. The location of the incisions will depend on the size and shape of your breasts, the amount of skin and tissue that may need to be removed, and your preferences. The most appropriate breast lift technique will be discussed with you, once Dr Milovic has assessed the shape and volume of your breasts, the position of your nipples, and the condition of the skin on your breasts. He will also ascertain your desires and aesthetic goals. Together, a decision will be made on which incision option can give you the best possible results. Often women choose to have breast augmentation in conjunction with a breast lift, and Dr Milovic will usually perform them together in one procedure.
Dr Milovic offers both traditional and minimal-scar techniques, which are explained in detail below:
Limited or Minimal-Scar Techniques
Dr Milovic uses the following limited or minimal scar techniques to achieve a breast lift, for suitable patients, including:
Lejour or “Lollypop” Method
The Lejour method, also known as the “lollypop” or “vertical scar lift” has two incisions, one around the areola and another vertically down from the lower edge of the areola to the crease under the breast (infra-mammary fold). This technique is generally very effective and can produce a long-lasting result with minimal scarring.
Periareolar Sampaio-Goes Method
This technique was pioneered by Dr Jaio Sampaio Goes, a Brazilian surgeon. It can produce excellent results in elevating the nipple and breast tissue while resulting in less scarring than the traditional inferior pedicle method. This breast lift procedure involves only one incision around the areola and can be suitable in selected cases, depending on your anatomy and goals.
The Inverted “T” Or “Anchor” Method
For women with extremely large breasts, the inverted T or anchor method may be more appropriate, although Dr Milovic uses this procedure more rarely than his modified vertical scar method for large breasts. With this technique, the nipple-areolar complex can be suspended on the superior medial pedicle, and the skin and glandis re-draped with an anchor type closure. This technique results in a vertical and horizontal scar.
The Crescent Lift Technique
For a minor breast lift—best suited for women with smaller breasts and minimal ptosis—a crescent mastopexy may be appropriate. With this technique, the skin from the upper area of the areola is removed, leaving a minimal scar around the outer edge of the upper areola.
The above breast lift techniques—Lejour, periareolar, inverted “T”, and crescent lift—are preferred by Dr Milovic when performing breast lift procedures because they are effective and produce minimal scarring, thereby creating a pleasing aesthetic result. Not all patients will be suitable candidates for limited scarring techniques
Traditional Breast Lift Technique
The Inferior Pedicle Method
The inferior pedicle method is considered a traditional breast lift method; however, Dr Milovic typically would only use this approach in breast revisional reductions/lifts where this technique was used in the original surgery. This method involves three incisions—around the areola, vertically down from the lower edge of the areola to the crease under the breast (or inframammary fold), and horizontally along the natural curve of the breast crease. A downside of this technique is that it can result in a “boxy” shaped breast, as well as resulting in a thickening of the skin at the bottom of the breast.
To find out which technique is most suitable for you, book a consultation with Dr Milovic at his Melbourne office.
What Happens During the Breast Lift Procedure?
Depending upon your general health and the extent of the procedure, breast lift surgery is typically performed under general anaesthesia as a day procedure or alternatively with an overnight hospital stay. Dr Milovic will only perform your breast lift surgery in safe, accredited operating facilities
While you are under anaesthesia, Dr Milovic will perform your breast lift surgery according to the plan he has developed using the techniques he has described during previous appointments. For patients who choose to combine breast lift with breast augmentation, Dr Milovic will also place breast implants or perform fat transfer procedures to enhance the volume of your breasts. Once the procedure is complete, your breasts will be carefully bandaged.
What Can I Expect During Breast Lift Recovery?
After your breast lift procedure is completed, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. You’ll need to wear a compressive bra to minimise swelling and support your breasts as they heal. You may experience some discomfort for a few days after surgery, however, pain medication can help to reduce the discomfort if you need it.
Discolouration and swelling of the breasts are to be expected for a few weeks after surgery. Dr Milovic recommends that you take at least two weeks off post-surgery and avoid physical activity that requires lifting or raising the arms. Gentle stretching can prove beneficial and exercise, such as walking, can commence within seven days. Most patients return to work within ten days—unless their occupation involves strenuous movements, then a period of at least three to four weeks is recommended. You will be given post-surgery instructions to follow, and if you have any doubts, please speak to Dr Milovic and/or his practice nurse.
What Do Breast Lift Scars Look Like?
The scarring after breast lift surgery will depend on which incision option is chosen. As with any surgery, there can be no guarantee for a perfect outcome. After surgery, the scars are typically reddish in colour but these typically fade in time to a light pink. After one or two years, the scars should become barely noticeable. In our experience, most of our patients believe that the aesthetic results of the procedure are well worth the resulting scar.
If scarring is a concern for you after surgery, Dr Milovic can provide you with a scar treatment plan to expedite the healing of your scars. There are several treatment options including silicone gel (or tape) and laser skin therapy.
We have the Palomar® Artisan laser system, which is proven to give excellent results for scar reduction. Laser treatment offers a non-invasive solution that uses fractional laser technology to deliver rapid, reliable scar removal with minimal healing time, minimal infection risk, and little to no pain.
How Long Does a Breast Lift Last?
The length of time that breast lift results last varies from woman to woman and depends upon a variety of factors. The size of the breasts, the type of breast lift performed, genetics, health, and ageing can all impact the quality of results over time. Breast lift results are designed to be long-lasting. The final results of your breast lift should appear over a few months after surgery, as breast shape and position continue to settle. As with all cosmetic surgery, patience is the key to a good recovery and satisfying results.
As the years pass, your breasts will continue to change due to ageing and gravity. The techniques Dr Milovic uses combined with his advanced level of experience and skill help him to produce results that generally retain lift and shape over an extended time and age gracefully. Typically, patients who maintain a stable weight and keep a healthy lifestyle are able to preserve their youthful-looking breasts for longer.
What Can My Breast Lift Results Look Like?
The best way to get an idea of what your breast lift results could look like is to explore before-and-after images of Dr Milovic’s patients. During your consultation, Dr Milovic can provide you with photos of patients whose breasts and treatment plans closely match your own. We also invite you to view examples of successful procedures in our breast lift photo gallery.
How Much Does Breast Lift Surgery Cost?
Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery, but it should not be the only consideration. You have the right to be informed about the costs you can expect before you have your breast lift surgery. This is called ‘informed financial consent’.
Costs associated with the procedure may include:
- Dr Milovic’s surgical fee
- Accredited hospital or surgical facility costs
- Costs for breast implants or ancillary procedures
- Anaesthesia fees
- Prescriptions for medication
- Post-surgery garments
- Medical tests
After your initial consultation with Dr Milovic, you will receive a written estimate of fees and an information pack to read before your second pre-surgery appointment. The second appointment is free of charge. Once you book your surgery, you will also see our staff who will take your pre-operative photos and measurements for your compression bra(s).
As Dr Milovic personalises each procedure for each patient, we are unable to provide you with a price estimate or “ball park” price range without first meeting Dr Milovic at an initial consultation and after he considers you to be a good surgical candidate.
More Information About Breast Lift Surgery
Does breast lift surgery require anaesthesia?
Breast lift surgery is most often performed under general anaesthesia, which means you will be completely asleep during the procedure. Modern anaesthesia is generally considered safe and effective, but it does have some risks. We encourage you to ask Dr Milovic and your anaesthetist for more information. You can be assured that Dr Milovic will engage the services of a qualified anaesthetist who is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and NZ College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) to perform your sedation or general anaesthesia.
For your safety, Dr Milovic and/or your anaesthetist will ask you about your general health, all the medications you are taking or have taken, and any allergies you may have prior to surgery. Please make sure you have an up-to-date list before the surgery.
Will I be able to breastfeed after breast lift surgery?
If you plan to have more children after breast lift surgery and want to be able to maintain the ability to breastfeed, it is important to mention this to Dr Milovic during your consultation. The majority of breast lift patients are able to breastfeed without any issues, granted they were able to breastfeed before the procedure. The techniques Dr Milovic chooses can avoid interfering with the nerves and milk ducts that make breastfeeding possible. It is important to be aware that pregnancy and breastfeeding after breast lift can potentially alter the quality of the surgical outcome—for this reason, Dr Milovic usually suggests that women wait to undergo breast lift once they are done having children.