The Different Types of Breast Lift Techniques
Sagging of the breasts is a natural occurrence that comes from natural aging, changes in weight, pregnancy, and genetics. Breasts can be affected in terms of firmness, size, or projection. Without support, breasts can hang below the breast fold to the point where the nipples nearly point downward.
Mastopexy (i.e., breast lift surgery) is an effective way to correct sagging or address breasts that appear uneven. A breast lift raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. Sometimes the areola becomes enlarged over time, and a breast lift can reduce this as well. Breast lift procedures restore breast projection and improve the shape and symmetry of the breasts.
It is important to note that breast lift surgery does not increase the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast. Those types of results are created through breast augmentation, which is often performed in conjunction with a mastopexy procedure. In fact, breast lifting will often lead to a slight decrease in the perceived size of the breasts. Commonly women report dropping one cup size after breast lift surgery when compared to their preoperative bra size. To learn how breast lift differs from breast augmentation please read this blog post.
There are three common types of breast lift techniques, each differing in terms of the amount of excess skin removed and incision placement:
Traditional breast lift technique
The traditional breast lift technique (sometimes called a Wise pattern or anchor lift) uses three incisions: one incision around the border of the nipple, a second vertical incision from the nipple to the fold under the breast, and a final crescent incision along the breast fold. A traditional breast lift technique is ideal for women that have significantly droopy breast as it allows the surgeon to remove larger amounts of excess skin and tissue.
Vertical breast lift technique
A second technique, called vertical breast lift (also known as a circumvertical or lollipop lift), utilizes the first two incisions of the traditional breast lift (around the border of the nipple and the vertical incision) but not the third crescent incision. The vertical technique is ideal for women with a more moderate degree of sagginess.
Circumareolar breast lift technique
The final technique, circumareolar breast lift (sometimes called a periareolar or donut lift), uses a single incision around the nipple border. Since this technique limits the removal of excess skin and tissue to the area around the nipple, it produces a fairly subtle result. With this technique the nipples can be elevated but internal breast tissue cannot be rearranged. This technique is only useful for women who have a relatively light degree of sagging. This technique also tends to reduce the projection of the breasts and may decrease nipple projection.
Which breast lift technique is right for you?
An experienced board certified plastic surgeon can help determine which technique is most appropriate and would provide the best results for an individual. Surgeons with a vast amount of breast lift experience will look at the degree of sagging, overall breast size, and amount of excess skin to determine the best lift technique.
To learn more about breast lift surgery or to find out if it’s right for you, please contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation.