Medically reviewed by Dr. John Rosdeutscher – Written by Sine Thieme
Which Type of Breast Lift is Best?
If your breasts have been altered by pregnancy, weight loss, or simply age, a breast lift (also known as mastopexy) can enhance breast shape, perkiness, and overall aesthetic look by elevating the position of your breasts, nipples, and areolas.
Your plastic surgeon may use a variety of incision techniques to perform a mastopexy surgery. The exact technique used will differ depending on your existing breast tissue, removing excess skin, and your personal aesthetic goals. A board-certified plastic surgeon will recommend the best type of breast lift to help you achieve the best results with the least conspicuous scarring possible.
Breast Lift Techniques
Crescent Mastopexy: Minimal Scarring Correcting Minimal Sagging
A crescent lift technique is only used for women who have a small amount of sagging to correct. The incision is carefully made halfway around the top half of the areola, above the nipple. This lift is typically only performed if a patient is having additional breast augmentation procedures (i.e. breast implants). This may be the most attractive option for those who desire minimal scarring.
Periareolar Lift: Corrects Mild Sagging with a Single Scar
A periareolar lift (also known as donut lift) is for women who are experiencing mild sagging but may still benefit from a cosmetic breast lift. A periareolar lift utilizes a small, circular incision running around the edge of the areola, above the nipple, and, like with the crescent lift, is often performed alongside breast augmentation (i.e. breast implants). These cosmetic procedures are also effective in areola and nipple size reduction. The surgery requires only one incision and the scar will trace alongside the edge of the areola.
Vertical Lift: Corrects Moderate Sagging & Provides More Extensive Reshaping
A vertical breast lift , also known as a “lollipop lift,” is one of the more commonly used techniques. This procedure allows for the doctor to remove any excess skin and reshape the entire breast with modest, easily hidden scars. A vertical lift does involve two different incisions: one around the areola and another that will run vertically from the bottom of the nipple to the inframammary fold (where the breast meets the chest), creating a “lollipop” shape.
The vertical lift procedure is best for women with moderate sagging and those who desire more extensive reshaping.
Inverted T Lift: Dramatic Reshaping to Correct Extensive Sagging
An inverted T lift, also known as an anchor lift, helps correct considerable sagging or pendulous breasts (breasts that are not self-supporting). This technique allows a plastic surgeon to remove significant amounts of excess skin and sagging breast tissue in order to ensure the best results. An inverted T lift will involve three connected incisions: one along the edge of the areola, one vertically from the bottom of the areola to the inframammary fold, and another along the crease of the breasts (this incision will be hidden in the breast crease).
Your surgeon may also utilize this technique if you are combining a breast reduction procedure with a breast lift. Although the scarring is more visible than with other techniques, the scars will fade significantly over time with proper care, and are easily hidden by a bikini top.
Breast Lift Combined with Breast Implants
A breast lift changes the position of your nipples and areolas, elevates your breasts, and removes any excess skin. The benefit is perkier breasts that look more youthful.
However, due to the removal of tissue to achieve this lift, the resulting cup size may be smaller than what you started with. Patients who want to maintain or even increase their volume with a breast lift combine it with the placement of breast implants, allowing them to achieve a bigger size and more fullness than with a breast lift by itself.
When opting for a breast lift with augmentation procedure, it is best to consult with your surgeon to determine which type of implant will best suit your aesthetic goals.
Auto-Augmentation Breast Lift
As we just showed, a breast lift alone almost always reduces your breast size. A study in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery established that most patients go down one bra cup size after a standard breast lift (meaning they neither combined it with a reduction or augmentation).
While this is not a problem per se, some women prefer to keep or slightly increase their cup size with a breast lift. For women who do not want implants, the answer is an auto-augmentation breast lift. It is a procedure where the excess tissue that is typically discarded is used to reshape the breast and retain the volume. The surgeon makes a T-shaped incision just like with a standard breast lift and removes the excess skin and underlying tissue. But instead of discarding this extra tissue, he or she carefully tucks it back into the breast and rearranges it to give the breast a perkier appearance.
Which Breast Lift is Right For Me?
Any plastic surgery should be performed by a qualified plastic surgeon who has experience and expertise in your procedure of interest. Finding out which breast lift is ideal for you can be best achieved during a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. During the consultation, you will have an opportunity to learn more about your breast surgery options, ask any questions regarding risks and safety, and receive the best recommendations available to you.
In order to determine which surgical procedure is best for you, your surgeon will likely evaluate your aesthetic concerns and determine the severity of sagging of your breasts. The types of breast lifts that will be recommended to you will be based entirely on your surgeon’s evaluation and your individual goals and needs.
Choosing a Plastic Surgeon for your Breast Lift
Breast lifts and other types of breast augmentations are available at NuBody Concepts at our fully-equipped cosmetic surgery centers in Nashville and Memphis. Our board-certified plastic surgeons, each with over 20 years of experience, have performed breast lifts on women of all ages, sizes, and forms.