Best Surgical Techniques and Incisions for Breast Lift
Breast sagging is a natural change in the female breast as they age. As a woman ages, the breasts lose their firmness and fullness owing to changes in tissues of the breast. This can be corrected with innovative breast lift techniques. Different factors influence the degree of sagging and how early it occurs. Sagging is caused by one or a combination of the following factors:
As women age, the ligaments of the breast naturally lose their elastic properties, this compromises breast fullness, which results in the skin around the breast to sag. Breast sagging as women age has been attributed to the decline of the hormone estrogen in them. Estrogen is crucial for maintaining breast volume and preventing sagging.
Gravitational forces acting downwards cause the breast to be pulled downwards, which puts considerable strain on the breast ligaments, compromising their function.
When you suddenly lose weight, the amount of fat around the breast decreases. Fats are required to hold the skin tightly in position. As a result of a sudden loss of anchoring fat cells, the skin becomes loose and sags.
Smoking leads to the destruction of proteins required for proper skin elasticity- the elastin. As the skin around the breast loses its elasticity it becomes more prone to sagging.
In addition to these, a higher number of pregnancies and heavy exercises involving the breast which put excess strain on the breast ligaments also have shown to cause premature breast sagging.
Whatever may be the cause of drooping of the breast; the desired outcomes can be achieved through a breast lift.
Breast Lift Surgery to Correct Sagging Breasts
A breast lift, also known as Mastopexy, is a surgical procedure that repairs uneven and/or drooping breasts, making them firmer and perkier by removing surplus skin from the breast. The procedure is also able to fix stretched areolas, as well as plump up decreased breast volume.
This procedure can be performed along with breast enlargement or breast reduction surgery. The surgery requires removing the stretched, excess skin, elevating the nipple and areola to a forward-facing position, and reshaping the breast tissue, which offers a better contour to the breast.
There are some relevant things to consider before you undergo breast lift surgery:
- The surgery does not remarkably change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast. If you want to increase or decrease your breast size considerably you should consider either breast augmentation surgery or breast reduction surgery.
- Before undergoing breast lift surgery, it is advised to wait until complete breast development, childbirth and breastfeeding have concluded.
- Even though breasts of any size can be lifted through this procedure, the outcome may not be as long-lasting in women having heavier breasts.
Types of Breast Lift Techniques
Breast lift surgery is a highly individualised procedure and may not be suitable for everyone so there are several methods Dr Doyle can take while doing a breast lift. However, the best breast lift technique for you will be dependent on the state of your breasts and your goals.
Each method has its distinct benefits, it’s essential to be familiar with the alternatives you have before deciding on undergoing the procedure.
Here are some of the most common breast lift techniques performed by Dr Doyle:
Lollipop Breast Lift Technique
Also known as a vertical breast lift technique, it is one of the most effective techniques for reducing breast sagging and providing a long-lasting natural result. Dr Doyle prefers this technique owing to the longevity of the outcome and the natural aesthetic looks of the results.
For this procedure two incisions are made, one that encircles the areola and the other extending from the areola to the lower natural crease of the breast. As the incisions form a lollipop like structure, it is termed as a lollipop breast lift. It is suitable for moderately sagging breasts.
The lollipop technique is not ideal for women having massive breasts with excessive sagging of skin; anchor breast lift is much more suited for those cases. Dr Doyle will advise you on the technique which you can most benefit from, assessing the degree of breast sagging.
Advantages of a lollipop breast lift:
- Natural breast lift results, giving excellent projection and a youthful breast appearance.
- Aesthetic nipple elevation.
- Helps reduce the size of the areola.
- Gives excellent projection and rounding of the breast, giving a very natural shape and look
- The scarring is less noticeable compared to other available options.
- Recovery after lollipop lift is relatively shorter than other breast lift techniques, especially the anchor breast lift. Women can resume their jobs after a week of the procedure.
Anchor Breast Lift Technique
Also termed Inverted T lift, breast lift done through this technique is appropriate for women seeking a dramatic change of their breasts and helps remove excess sagged skin.
This technique involves making three incisions-
- A vertical incision extending from the base of the areola to the lower breast crease.
- A concave incision along the lower crease of the breast.
- A peri-areolar incision.
An anchor breast lift can be done alongside breast size reduction surgery to reduce massive breasts with severe sagging. This breast lift technique is reserved only for cases with massive breast sagging where the lollipop technique may not bring the desired results.
One reason for its limited use by surgeons is the scarring associated with this technique. Breast lift done through inverted T technique causes more scarring in comparison to other available methods.
Revision Breast Lift Technique
Sometimes even the best-executed breast lift procedures may not give the desired results. Revision breast lift surgeries are the best option for women not satisfied with the results of previous breast lift and who want to improve the appearance of their breasts. It can also help restore breast symmetry lost after initial breast lift surgery due to surgical complications or due to age-related changes in the breast over time. It is also used sometimes in cases of breast augmentation requiring correction.
In revision breast surgery, Dr Doyle usually chooses the same incision used for the initial procedure to remove excess skin and improve breast contour. This helps avoid multiple scars around the breast.
The following procedures are NOT performed by Dr Doyle because the results of these procedures are nowhere near as good or predictable as the procedures listed above. They are only listed for the sake of completeness.
Crescent Breast Lift Technique
This is the type of breast lift in which an incision is made above your areola. As the shape of the incision made is crescentic, it is termed as a crescent breast lift. Through this incision, mild to moderate sagging of skin is corrected. Crescent breast lift is usually done in conjunction with breast enlargement surgery. It also helps correct cases of nipple asymmetry. This procedure can only ever give a minimal amount of lift and the shape of the areolae become oval and therefore give a poor cosmetic result.
Peri-Areolar Breast Lift Technique
Also known as a doughnut lift or a Benelli lift, this variant of breast lift is a minimally invasive method of correcting mild to moderate degrees of breast sagging through a solitary circular incision around the areola. In addition to removing surplus skin from around the breast area, the technique also helps simultaneously reposition the areola and nipple in a higher position in the breast. Although it sounds like a good procedure, the amount of breast lift achievable is minimal and the scars around the areola often scar badly.
Scarless Breast Lift Technique
This incorporates various cosmetic techniques to reduce the size of the incision, thus making the post-operative scarring as unnoticeable as possible. The technique used may be radiofrequency based or laser liposuction. As the incision made is limited, it can effectively be used only in cases with minimal sagging of the breast skin.
Also, most of the techniques used, involve making some form of incision, so in the true sense, the technique is not scarless as the name suggests.
Breast Lift Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What causes the breast to sag?
Factors that cause the breast to sag include:
Age: As women age, the ligament of the breast naturally lose their elastic properties, this compromises breast fullness, which results in the skin around the breast to sag. Breast sagging as women age has been attributed to the decline of the hormone estrogen in them. Estrogen is crucial for maintaining breast volume and preventing sagging.
Gravity: Gravitational forces acting downwards cause the breast to be pulled downwards, which puts considerable strain on the breast ligaments, compromising its function.
Weight loss: When you suddenly lose weight, the amount of fat around the breast decreases. Fats are required to hold the skin tightly in position. As a result of a sudden loss of anchoring fat cells, the skin becomes loose and sags.
Smoking: Smoking leads to the destruction of proteins required for proper skin elasticity- the elastin. As the skin around the breast loses its elasticity it becomes more prone to sagging.
In addition to these, a higher number of pregnancies and heavy exercises involving the breast which put excess strain on the breast ligaments also have been shown to cause premature breast sagging.
What is the cost of a breast lift?
Breast lift is a highly individualised cosmetic procedure. The cost of undergoing breast lift surgery differs between patients based on the degree of changes required. Also, its expense may differ between surgeons as well based on their experience and expertise. The total cost of the procedure will also include the surgeon’s fee, anesthetist’s fee, and the hospital fee among others. You can enquire about the approximate cost of the procedure during your consultation with Dr Doyle. Alternatively, you can view our surgery pricing page as a guide.
Will my insurance cover a breast lift?
Breast lift is primarily an elective cosmetic surgical procedure done without medical indication and therefore it is not covered by insurance. Breast reductions, however, are covered in part by Medicare and private insurance, and if you are having a reduction in association with a breast lift then they are often covered.
What is the best surgical technique for a breast lift?
There is no single procedure for a breast lift that provides the desired result in every individual. The correct method depends on the degree of sagging you have. For mild to moderate breast sagging, lollipop breast lifts can be effectively used, whereas if you have massive sagging, an anchor breast lift is the best surgical technique.
Dr Doyle prefers the Lollipop technique for correction of mild to moderate drooping of breasts because:
- It gives natural results.
- It is associated with little scarring which can be easily concealed.
- It is associated with fewer complications post-operatively.
- It has a quicker recovery period and less down-time.
- It gives excellent projection and rounding to mild to moderately sagging breasts.
Anchor breast lift is beneficial for women with massive breasts who cannot achieve sought outcome with the Lollipop technique of breast lift.
When should you consider a revision breast lift?
Revision breast lift surgeries are an excellent option for women not satisfied with the outcomes of preceding breast lift and who want to improve the appearance of their breasts
A revision breast lift should be considered as an option when:
- You are not satisfied with the results obtained from the previous surgery.
- There is persistent drooping of the breast skin after the original surgery.
- Age-related breast changes have masked the outcome of the previous procedure or created breast asymmetry.
Book a Consultation
To learn more about breast lift techniques or to find out if you are a good candidate for the surgery, book a consultation with Dr Mark Doyle, Specialist Plastic Surgeon on the Gold Coast.
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- Nipple Reshaping and Areola Reduction: Who Is the Ideal Candidate, Benefits, and More
- Combining Plastic Surgeries: When Can Multiple Procedures Be Combined?
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 Breast, Body, Face and Nose surgery. As a highly esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr Mark is driven by an intense passion for helping patients achieve a happier, more beautiful self through advanced cosmetic surgery procedures.
He maintains a strong commitment to achieving the best possible results for all his breast, body, face and nose patients, both men and women.