Breast Lift Surgery
by F. Ryan Wermeling, MD
Breast lift (or mastopexy) is for patients with drooping or sagging of the breast. A breast lift raises the breast and nipple by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to create a new breast contour.
Often the areola becomes enlarged over time; a breast lift can reduce this as well. This is achieved with incisions placed around the nipple and areola and on the lower part of the breast. Almost all breast lift techniques involve an incision around the nipple and areola but there are many types of incisions for the skin below the nipple. During your consultation we will discuss the various choices and together we will decide what is right for you.
A common technique is the circumareolar (or donut-style) lift which involves only an incision around the nipple and areola. This technique works best for women who need just a small amount of elevation of the nipple and do not need a change in the overall contour of the breast.
The circumvertical (or lollipop-style) lift involves and incision around the nipple and areola as well as a vertical incision on the lower part of the breast. This technique allows repositioning of the nipple plus reshaping and tightening of the skin of the breast. It is one of the most common types of breast lift performed.
For those women who have a large amount of excess skin the wise-pattern (or inverted-T or anchor-style) lift offers the greatest ability to reshape the breast. In addition to the areolar and vertical incisions an incision is placed in the fold of the breast in order to remove extra skin and maximize the amount of reshaping.
Combination Breast Lift and Augmentation
Combination breast lift and augmentation (mastopexy/augmentation) can be performed when both droopiness of the breast and volume loss are present. It gives the chance to combine the benefits of both types of breast surgery.
Often these two procedures can be performed at the same time, but we will discuss if this is safe for you. In cases where a larger implant is used, or the nipple must be raised a large distance it can be safer to perform the surgery in two stages.