Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Breast Lift Overview

Breast lift surgery, technically known as mastopexy, is used to correct what most people would call sagging breasts. Breast lift may be performed by itself or in conjunction with breast augmentation and the insertion of breast implants. Whether or not you need a breast lift and/or a breast augmentation can only be determined by a plastic surgeon's exam. Your plastic surgeon will take specific measurements to determine where the nipple and areola are positioned relative to the breast crease (inframammary fold). Your plastic surgeon will use those measurements to determine if fullness can be restored with breast implants alone or if a breast lift is required to help restore a youthful appearance.

You May Want Breast Lift If....

Typically, you may benefit from a breast lift if you have one of the following conditions:

  • You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts sag, have lost shape and/or volume
  • Your breasts have become elongated
  • Your nipples fall below the breast crease
  • Your nipples and areolas point downward
  • You have stretched skin and enlarged areolas
  • One breast is lower than the other

Types of Breast Sag

Before you read about the types of breast lifts, it good to know a little about which conditions might actually require a breast liftPlastic surgeons generally identify 3 different conditions that most people would label "sagging breasts." The conditions are:

Usually Ptosis is the only condition that warrants a breast lift. The simple insertion of breast implants will restore youthful fullness to your breasts in most cases of Empty Sac Syndrome and pseudoptosis.

Types of Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Your plastic surgeon may determine that you require a breast lift to restore your youthful appearance. If so, there are several different types of breast lift with which you should be familiar. Which type of breast lift is right for you generally depends on the degree of ptosis exhibited by your breasts.

Crescent Breast Lift

Also known as a crescent lift or nipple lift, this is a simple breast lift that corrects mild (grade I) ptosis. Your plastic surgeon will remove a crescent shaped piece of tissue above your areola. He/she will then raise your nipple to a higher position.

Benelli Breast Lift

The Benelli breast lift is also known as a donut mastopexy, circumareola breast lift and apex lift. The Benelli is typically considered less invasive than other types of breast lifts. It will correct mild to moderate ptosis (grade I or II). Your plastic surgeon will remove a donut-shaped piece of tissue from around the areola then re-attach the remaining tissue to the areola.

Vertical Mastopexy Breast Lift

Also known by the names lollipop breast lift, LeJour lift, and modified Benelli, the vertical mastopexy provides more lift than the Benelli for those with moderate (grade II) ptosis. Your plastic surgeon will remove a donut-shaped piece of tissue just like in the traditional Benelli breast lift. In addition, your plastic surgeon will make a straight incision from under the areola to the breast crease. The vertical mastopexy provides more lift for than the Benelli, but less than the full mastopexy discussed below.

Full Mastopexy Breast Lift

The full mastopexy breast lift is also known as an anchor lift or inverted-T. This breast lift will correct severe grade III ptosis. Your plastic surgeon will make an anchor-shaped incision that starts at the base of the areola and travels to the bottom of the breast, where it meets the ribcage. Your plastic surgeon then cuts out a crescent-shaped piece of skin right above where the breast meets the rib cage. He/she will remove and re-position your nipple so that it sits in a more youthful position.

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