Medically reviewed by Dr. John Rosdeutscher – Written by Sine Thieme
No woman, no matter what age, wants to have sagging breasts. They can be heavy, uncomfortable, and have an undesirable appearance. Fortunately for many women, there is a way to eliminate breast sagging – a mastopexy (aka breast lift). If your breasts have been altered by pregnancy, weight loss, or even just age, a breast lift can enhance breast shape, perkiness, and overall aesthetic look by elevating the position of your boobs, nipple, and areolas.
There may be many ways a cosmetic surgeon may perform a breast lift. The best approach is not a one size fits all procedure. The best cosmetic surgery technique will be dependent on the condition of your breasts, breast size, and your individual goals for the procedure. Each technique will have its own distinct advantages, but how can you tell which one may be best for you? It is important to be familiar with your options before making a final decision.
In this article we will address the various types and variations of breast lift procedures that exist today!
Types of Breast Lifts
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, the removal of excess skin, and your personal aesthetic goals. A board-certified plastic surgeon will recommend the ideal type of breast lift to help you achieve the best results with the least conspicuous scarring possible. Some of the different types of breast lift techniques include:
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. But if you want to achieve a bigger size and more fullness, then combining a breast lift with breast implants is something to look into. Below are a few of the different types of implants we offer a NuBody Concepts:
- Silicone – Silicone gel filled breast implants feel and look more like natural breast tissue than some of the other alternatives. There is a chance that these may leak. The gel may remain within the implant shell, or it may happen to escape into the breast implant pocket. Regardless, a leaking silicone implant will not collapse.
- Saline – Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. These offer a uniform shape, firmness, and feel. These may also leak, however this is harmless. In case of a leak, saline filled implants will collapse and the saline will be naturally absorbed and expelled by the body.
- Round – Round breast implants are the same shape all over and don’t typically run the risk of rotating out of place. The higher-profile options may help achieve greater projection.
- Form-Stable – Form-stable implants, also known as gummy-bear, are known for maintaining their shape even if the implant shell becomes damaged or broken. Form-stable implants have a thicker silicone gel inside of them compared to traditional saline or silicone gel implants. Shaped gummy bear breast implants offer more projection at the bottom and are tapered toward the top.
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
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.
Crescent Breast Lift
A crescent breast lift is typically a technique that cosmetic surgeons use for those with very minimal breast sag. Usually the incision is made around the top half of the areola. This is also usually the lift that is used in combination with breast size augmentation. This may be the most attractive option for those who desire minimal scarring.
Periareolar Breast Lift
These types of breast lifts are also called a donut lift. A periareolar lift is called a donut lift because of the circular incision that is made around the areola. Similar to the crescent lift, a plastic surgeon will likely combine this technique alongside other types of breast augmentation surgery. This technique is often used for women who want to correct the size of their areolas, have only a mild degree of sagging, and want minimal scarring (as this surgery only requires one incision).
Vertical Breast Lift
A vertical breast lift, commonly referred to as a lollipop lift, is a type of breast lift that seeks to remove a bit more skin and reshape the breast while also leaving behind larger, hidden scars. A vertical lift is called a lollipop lift due to the shape of the incisions:
- one around the edge of the areola.
- one running in a vertical line from the bottom of the areolas to the breast crease (inframammary fold).
The vertical lift procedure is best for women with moderate sagging and those who desire more extensive reshaping.
Anchor Breast Lift
An inverted T lift technique (or anchor lift surgery) is an effective type of breast reduction lift for those who are experiencing extensive sagging and require dramatic reshaping. This procedure requires three different incisions:
- the first incision made around the areola,
- the second running from the areola to the breast crease,
- the third running along this crease.
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.
Getting Started with 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.