A breast lift, also referred to as a mastopexy, helps to restore shape and volume to the breasts. Natural aging, weight loss, and pregnancy can all affect how the breasts are positioned, causing drooping or volume loss. A mastopexy procedure can be performed with or without implant although nipple repositioning is typically necessary.
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
There are 4 different techniques that can be used during a breast lift procedure: crescent, peri-areolar, vertical, or inverted T. The names of these lifts describe the shape of the incision made during surgery. The crescent lift offers patients minimal scarring but is used to correct very minimal sagging. The incision is made on the upper portion of the nipple, running halfway around the edge of the areola in the shape of a crescent moon. Excess skin is removed and when the incision is closed, a slight lift is achieved. The crescent lift, while infrequently used, is typically only performed when a breast augmentation is also being performed, using the same incision to insert the implant. The second method is the peri-areolar lift. This method can correct mild sagging with only one continuous scar. The peri-areolar lift, also referred to as the “donut” lift, creates a circular incision around the entire edge of the areola. Like the crescent lift, the donut lift is also typically performed alongside an augmentation procedure. Patients who opt for this method can also benefit from a reduction in areola size as well as a discreet scar hidden within the edges of the areola. The vertical, or “lollipop”, lift is a technique used to correct moderate sagging and can also address breast shape. Unlike the previous two methods, the lollipop lift requires two incisions: one around the perimeter of the areola while the second incision runs vertically from the bottom of the areola to the inframammary, or breast fold. For patients with severely sagging breasts, the inverted T or “anchor” lift may provide the best results. This lift requires three separate incisions and is much like the lollipop lift, but with an additional incision running horizontally within the breast crease. This method is commonly used for patients who are receiving a breast reduction alongside a breast lift procedure. In order to determine which technique should be used for your individual needs, it is important to have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. Your doctor will be able to evaluate your unique case and help you decide if surgery is needed, what incision would be best to achieve your goals, and whether additional surgeries such as an implant or reduction are necessary.
The goal of a breast lift is to address a number of concerns including sagging breasts, lost shape or volume, nipples that point downwards, enlarged areolas, or different breast positions.
What to Expect
A breast lift, also referred to as a mastopexy, helps to restore shape and volume to the breasts. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a breast lift procedure.
- Stop taking blood thinning medications for 2 weeks
- Stop smoking 4 weeks before and after surgery
- No alcohol 1 week before surgery
- Stop using self tanning products
During Treatment: Crescent Lift
- Incision is made on the upper portion of the nipple, running halfway around the edge of the areola
- Excess skin is removed and a slight lift is achieved
- Typically performed in conjunction with augmentation
Soreness and swelling is to be expected after surgery. Compressive garments or a support bra should be worn constantly during the healing process. Drainage tubes may be placed postoperatively to collect excess blood and fluids. Results are visible immediately but will improve with time as swelling subsides and incision lines fade.
The ideal candidate for a breast lift surgery is done having children and has breasts that sag, are asymmetric, have lost shape or volume, or has downward pointing nipples.
Not Recommended For
Breast lift surgery is not recommended for patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or under the age of 18.
Side effects of breast lift surgery can include changes in nipple or breast sensation (which may be temporary or permanent), breast contour and shape irregularities, breast asymmetry, fat necrosis, seroma, and potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola.