Breast Lift Techniques

Several different breast lift techniques exist to surgically lift and reshape sagging breasts, and each technique has its own incision placement. Which technique works best for you is a decision best made after discussing your options with a qualified board-certified surgeon.

The crescent lift technique is ideal for women whose breasts are sagging only mildly. The process involves removing a crescent-shaped piece of tissue above the areola (the area of colored skin surrounding the nipple). The surgeon then closes this crescent, which pulls the tissue into a higher position and creates a more upright, youthful-looking breast. The areolae may become slightly egg-shaped if you have heavier breasts or do not wear a properly supportive bra after the surgery. The scar is usually hidden by the edges of the areolae.

The doughnut lift (also known as the concentric, periareolar or Benelli lift) is a technique that works well for women who need a bit more lift than a crescent lift provides, but it may produce scars around the areola. During this procedure, a doughnut-shaped piece of tissue around the areola is removed. The surrounding tissue is then sutured to the areola, creating a better shape for the breast. One disadvantage is that the breasts may be flatter in shape after a doughnut procedure. The scar is usually hidden by the edges of the areolae.

The Benelli-lollipop breast lift technique is also recommended for women who have a medium amount of sag. In this procedure, in addition to the incision around the areola, there is a straight incision from under the areola to the mammary fold at the bottom of the breast. There is more visible scarring than with either a crescent lift or a doughnut lift.

The anchor lift, or full mastopexy, results in the most significant scarring, but it is sometimes the only option for women with severely sagging breasts. The technique involves an incision shaped like an anchor or an upside down T that starts at the base of the areola and goes vertically down to where the breast meets the ribcage. Nipple repositioning may be necessary during this procedure, as the nipples are moved further up on the breast during the process.

Mastopexy can be done in conjunction with areolae reduction or nipple repositioning. Areolae reduction is a procedure to decrease the size of the areolae complexes.

With the crescent, doughnut, and lollipop procedures, there may be some puckering around the areolae. This is because the surgeon must gather in some tissue when he or she is suturing a wide piece to a narrower piece. This puckering may not be noticeable and may resolve on its own. Your surgeon may advise you to use medical paper tape or silicone sheeting can help to prevent or reduce puckering.

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