A breast lift is also referred to as mastopexy. A breast lift is ideal for addressing sagging and uneven breasts, decreased breast volume, drooping nipples and stretched areolas (the darker area surrounding the nipples), recreating a youthful shape and lift to your breasts. If there is too little or too much breast volume, a breast augmentation or breast reduction might be recommended in addition to a lift. Every year, thousands of women undergo successful breast lift surgery, experience no major problems and are pleased with the results.
A breast lift is performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation and should take between two and three hours to complete. Different techniques for removing breast skin and reshaping the breast determine the location of the incisions and resulting scars. Your surgeon will select a technique based on your breast size and shape, areola size and position, the degree of breast sagging, skin quality, and elasticity and how much extra skin you have.
- Your surgeon will remove excess breast skin and shift the nipple and areola to a higher position.
- Skin that was formerly located above the areola is brought down and together, beneath the breast, to reshape the breast.
- Your surgeon will remove excess skin and close your incisions. As the doctor sews the breast back in place the skin around the breast will tighten, and the placement of sutures deep in the breast tissue will further support the new breast position for a longer period of time.
- Scars are usually hidden under the breasts, although some light scarring may be seen on top of the breast.
- The nipples and areolas remain attached to underlying mounds of tissue, and this usually allows for the preservation of sensation and the ability to breastfeed.
- In some patients, it may be possible to avoid the horizontal incision beneath the breast as well as the vertical incision that runs from the bottom edge of the areola to the breast crease. If you are a good candidate for a modified technique, your plastic surgeon will discuss this with you.
What are my options?
Here is a description of the different incision patterns and techniques that your plastic surgeon will choose from:
- The “anchor” incision, made around the perimeter of the areola, vertically down from the areola to the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease, produces the most scarring. It is for women with a severe degree of sagging who will not be helped sufficiently by less invasive techniques. This incision, which is the oldest technique, is often used for a breast lift in conjunction with a breast reduction.
- The “lollipop” lift is also known as a “keyhole” incision. The incision is made around the perimeter of the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease. This procedure is suitable for women with a moderate degree of sagging who will not be helped sufficiently by the periareolar technique and who do not want breast implants.
- The “donut” lift, also known as the “periareolar incision,” made around the perimeter of the areola only, is suitable for women with a mild-to-moderate degree of sagging. When used by a skilled surgeon in conjunction with the placement of implants, it can produce a satisfactory result for patients with more pronounced sagging.
- The “crescent” lift, which is less commonly used, is an incision that lies just along the upper half of the areola. A crescent-shaped piece of skin is removed above that line, and the surrounding skin is reattached to the areola. This type of lift is usually done in conjunction with breast augmentation in women with minor sagging. It cannot accomplish the same degree of lifting as the other incision techniques.
- The “scarless” lift. For a select few women concerned more about volume loss than actual sagging, there are procedures to lift the appearance of the breast that are touted as scarless.
Fortunately, significant complications from breast lift are infrequent. Your specific risks for breast lift will be discussed during your consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are an adverse reaction to anesthesia, hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal), infection and bleeding. Changes in sensation, scarring and temporary bruising are also possible.
Most Patients can return to work within a week. Patients typically wait at least a month before beginning light exercise. The scars will take from a few months to a year to fade.
Possible side effects can include general discomfort, dry skin, numbness, temporary swelling and bruising and permanent scars.
Note: Your individual concerns and particular medical history will need to be shared and discussed with your surgeon during your initial consultation. While the information provided above is meant to be educational, it is not meant to be conclusive or comprehensive. Please take the time to do extensive research on the procedure(s) you are considering and the risks associated with those treatments. My Secret Fountain of Youth Limited is a medical tourism facilitator and supplies this general information to its prospective clients on behalf of the hospitals, surgeons and dentists that we feature. This website and the information it provides shall not be construed as offers to provide medical advice. No information provided on this website should be interpreted as My Secret Fountain of Youth Limited or its personnel offering or providing medical advice or recommendations.