By Dr Mark Hanikeri
It is no secret that many women notice a change in the shape of their breasts as they get older. Sagging and drooping breasts often occur as a result of significant weight loss, pregnancy, breastfeeding and the natural ageing process as the skin loses much of its youthful elasticity.
Fortunately, it is possible to restore the shape and firmness of the breasts with breast lift surgery. The procedure, also known as mastopexy, works by removing excess tissue and repositioning the nipples. It is a highly effective procedure and, in some cases, can be combined with breast implant surgery.
Who is suited to breast lift surgery?
Breast lift surgery is often an effective option for women who would like to have their breasts reshaped for a more youthful appearance. The procedure is best suited to women who do not plan on becoming pregnant again. It is also best to undergo surgery only once a healthy and stable body weight has been achieved.
Patients need to be in overall good health before undergoing surgery and should not smoke. For people who are considering this procedure, it is best to meet with your surgeon to discuss any questions or concerns.
How does the procedure work?
There are a number of techniques which can be used to successfully perform breast lift surgery. The technique that Dr Hanikeri chooses will depend on a number of factors, including the amount of excess skin that needs to be removed, as well as the degree to which the nipple needs to be elevated.
Some of the techniques that Dr Hanikeri uses include:
- The circum-areolar ‘donut’ technique, which is best for minor lifts;
- The circumvertical ‘lollipop’ technique, which is sometimes required for more considerable elevation; and
- The ‘anchor scar’ technique (this is also referred to as a Wise Pattern Skin reduction), which is used for very significant skin resection and nipple elevation.
Your surgeon should explain each of these surgical techniques in great detail during your consultation. The technique used will depend on each patient’s aesthetic goals and areas of concern.
How long does recovery take?
In most cases, patients are able to resume light activity and exercise within two weeks or so following breast lift surgery.
Normal activity and exercise can usually begin between four and six weeks following the procedure. Dr Hanikeri typically recommends that patients take a week or two off work after surgery to ensure that they can recover and rest sufficiently.
Although scarring is generally minimal following breast lift surgery, Dr Hanikeri usually recommends topical scar therapy from around four weeks following surgery. Scar therapy, such as the use of silicone tape, should be used until around three months after breast lift surgery.
Dr Mark Hanikeri is a specialist plastic surgeon and an ASAPS Member with extensive training and experience in his field. To read about Dr Hanikeri’s credentials, hospital accreditations and training, click here.