A breast lift, or mastopexy, raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. Loss of skin elasticity, gravity, and other factors such as weight loss, pregnancy and breastfeeding ultimately affect the shape and firmness of the breasts. Patients who are generally satisfied with the size of their breasts are good candidates for a breast lift. Others may be unhappy with the loss of breast volume over time. In such cases, implants can be inserted in conjunction with a breast lift. There are several different techniques to lift the breast tissue.
Classically, breast lifts were done through an incision similar to traditional breast reductions, resulting in a scar around the areola, down the center, and underneath the breast. This can be though of as an anchor type or upside-down T configuration. While this method works well for many patients, it results in more scarring, and in certain patients can give rise to a breast that lacks proper projection.
Other options for breast lifts involve shorter incisions. These techniques work well for most women who do not have excessively droopy breasts and can also be combined with an implant in order to increase the breast size. In a vertical breast lift, a lollipop incision is made around the nipple and then straight down to the breast crease. Instead of creating a skin sling to suspend the breast tissue, this technique rearranges the tissue to a higher position resulting in a more pleasing shape and a longer lasting result.
For patients that require smaller lifts, a peri-areolar lift can be considered. This method utilizes an incision around areola (the pigmented part of the nipple/breast).