A ‘Breast Lift’, or ‘Mastopexy’, is a surgical procedure designed to correct a sagging breast.
The ideal candidate for this procedure is the woman whose breasts have sagged as a result of:
- Overly large breasts which have put excessive weight on the breast’s supportive Cooper’s Ligaments and allowed them to stretch.
- Pregnancy & Breast Feeding as a result of which the breasts have become engorged and their skin envelope has been stretched. Unfortunately, after pregnancy and breast-feeding have finished, the breast tissue shrinks but the skin doesn’t shrink back to its original state leaving the breasts smaller and the skin looser.
- Age – post-menopausally, the breasts decrease in volume and the skin progressively loses elasticity.
DEGREES OF SAGGING (KNOWN AS ‘PTOSIS’)
BREAST LIFT TECHNIQUES
Various surgical techniques are available to the surgeon for Breast Lifting depending on the degree of sagging (known medically as ‘Ptosis’). They are colloquially named according to the pattern of scar the surgery will leave:
- Anchor Pattern – used for the more advanced degrees of ptosis.
- ‘Lollipop’ Mastopexy – for lesser degrees of ptosis
- ‘Doughnut’ Lift – involves removing a ‘doughnut’ pattern of skin from around the areola.
- ‘Crescent’ or ‘Batwing’ Lift– used for only minor degrees of sagging.
If you only have the mildest degree of Ptosis known as ‘Pseudo-ptosis’ (where the breast mound has fallen below the breast crease but the nipple is still above it – see diagram above), you MAY NOT need a formal Breast Lift as Pseudo-ptosis can often be corrected by implants alone.
FAQ’S ABOUT BREAST LIFTS:
- How long does the procedure take?
This will depend on the design of the Breast Lift and can take as little as 2 hours for a ‘Crescent Lift’ to 4 or more hours for an ‘Anchor Lift’.
- Do I have to stay in hospital?
- Is there any scarring?
Yes, the extent of the scarring depending on the pattern of skin excision necessary as shown above.
- What is the recovery time?
Unless you are also having implants inserted to increase the size of the breasts, recovery is fairly quick as only excess skin has been removed. Generally, this is around 7-10 days. However, it takes a number of months for your breasts to assume a more natural, rounded shape after the more advanced Breast Lift techniques.
- Costs involved:
A partial Medicare Rebate is available for those who meet all the following Medicare criteria:
- The nipple has fallen below the level of the crease under the breast; and
- It is not less than 1 year and not more than 7 years since the last pregnancy.If you qualify for an Item Number under Medicare, you will then also be able to claim part of your Anaesthetist’s Fees.
Hospital Theatre Costs can be expensive depending on the duration of your surgery. However, if you hold Private Health Insurance with Hospital Cover AND you qualify for a Medicare Item Number as specified above, your hospital fees may be fully paid by your Fund.
BREAST LIFTS + IMPLANTS
- If a woman is happy with her breast size and is only bothered by the Ptosis, only a Breast Lift is necessary.
- However, as is often the case, if the woman has also lost breast volume and desires the breasts to also be larger, implants also need to be inserted. Naturally this will increase the duration of the surgery and accordingly the final costs as well.
- Although implants are usually inserted at the same time as the Breast Lift, some surgeons recommend waiting 6 months after the Breast Lift before inserting implants.