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.
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.
Breast Lift Techniques
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.
Dr Milovic uses the following limited or minimal scar techniques to achieve a breast lift, for suitable patients, including:
- Lejouror “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). It is very effective and produces a long lasting result with minimal scarring.
- Periareolar Sampaio-Goes Method
This technique was pioneered by Dr Jaio Sampaio Goes, a Brazilian surgeon has produced excellent results in elevating the nipple and breast tissue, as well as less scarring than the traditional inferior pedicle method. This breast lift procedure involves only one incision around the areola and will 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 would use this procedure more rarely than his modified vertical scar method for large breasts. 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. 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 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
- The Inferior Pedicle Method
This is a traditional 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 technique 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. 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 will 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.
To find out which technique is most suitable for you, book a consultation with Dr Milovic at either of his Deakin, Canberra and Malvern, Melbourne clinics.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it right for me?
As a highly qualified Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr Vlad 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 Vlad 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
Will I need anaesthesia?
Breast lift surgery is generally done as a day procedure under general anaesthesia .
Modern anaesthesia is safe and effective, but it does have some risks. Ask Dr Vlad and your Anaesthetist for more information. You can be assured that Dr Vlad 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.
Dr Vlad 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. Please make sure you have an up-to-date list before the surgery.
Will I have scarring?
The scarring after breast lift surgery will depend on which incision option is chosen–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 Vlad will provide you with a scar treatment plan to expedite the healing of your scars. There are several treatment options including silicone gel and laser skin therapy.
We have the Palomar® Artisan laser system, which is proven to give excellent results for scar reduction. Laser 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.
Where will the surgery take place?
Depending upon your general health and the extent of the procedure, breast lift surgery is typically performed as a day procedure or alternatively with an overnight hospital stay. Dr Vlad will only perform your breast lift surgery in safe, accredited operating facilities.
What is the recovery period after Breast Lift surgery?
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 be in pain for a few days after surgery, however, pain medication will 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 Vlad 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 Vlad and/or his Practice Nurse.
Will my breasts start to sag again?
This varies from woman to woman and also depends on the size of the breasts. Breast lift results will be long-lasting. The final results of your breast lift should appearing 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.
Incision lines are permanent, but will continue to fade over time. To expedite the healing process, Dr Vlad offers his patients a scar minimization program, including silicone gel or tape, as well as laser scar treatment.
Over time, your breasts can continue to change due to ageing and gravity, but you’ll be able to retain your new look longer if you:
- Maintain your weight
- Keep a healthy lifestyle
Can my nipples lose sensitivity?
There is that possibility as most breast lifts involve incisions around the nipples. Nerves do regain function, although the process is slow. Therefore, expect a period of at least two years before sensitivity returns to normal or near normal. If this does not happen within that time, sensitivity will most likely not return. You should understand and discuss these limitations with Dr Vlad before electing to have breast lift surgery.
What are the costs?
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 surgery. This is called ‘informed financial consent’.
Costs associated with the procedure may include:
- Dr Vlad’s surgical fee
- Accredited hospital or surgical facility costs
- Anaesthesia fees
- Prescriptions for medication
- Post-surgery garments
- Medical tests
After your initial consultation with Dr Vlad, 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 Practice Nurse who will take your pre-operative photos and measurements for your compression bra(s).
We welcome any questions you may have regarding fees.