As the female population ages, breast lift procedures are very much in demand at Dr. Joshua Lampert’s plastic surgery practice. Typically, breast tissue continues to develop as young women age into their early 20s, often creating a fuller and rounder breast. In the mid 30’s, breasts often start an involutional phase and atrophy. For women who have undergone childbirth, the breast-feeding process and weight loss can cause the breasts to droop even further. When the breasts lose their buoyancy, exercise unfortunately cannot restore the breast to a more youthful position, nor can diet reverse lost elasticity and firmness. The only option for restoring a more youthful breast contour is to undergo a breast lift, either with or without breast augmentation.
Many board certified plastic surgeons will include a breast lift as part of a properly performed breast implant surgery when the breast have drooped. Placement of breast implants without a lift can result in even worse deformity. The the weight of the implant will ultimately cause the breasts to sag even more and increase the possibility of movement of the implant or implant malposition. The breast can also continue to droop off of the implant and create a double bubble, or Snoopy dog deformity.
For women who are satisfied with the size of their breasts, but not happy with the sagging and droopy appearance, a breast lift alone is the perfect solution to regain that youthful breast shape silhouette.
When should I consider a breast lift?
The first indication that a breast lift is in order is the “happiness factor” – look in the mirror and decide if the shape or position of your breasts is bothering you.
Other indications that a breast lift might be needed include:
- Nipples are pointing down towards the ground or nipple position is below the breast fold
- Breasts sag and are missing volume or appear scooped out on the top
- The areola have become enlarged
- Volume has been lost or is mostly located at the inferior pole or bottom of the breast
Breast Lift Techniques
Breast lift, or mastopexy, involves making an incision to lift, shape and tighten the breast tissue. For very small lifts, an incision around the areola can be used. For more significant breast lifts, an incision around the areola and below the areola down to the breast fold may be used to more significantly lift and contour the breasts. Some patients have a breast implant placed at the same time, if desired. A breast lift and breast augmentation performed simultaneously is referred to as a Breast Augmentation Mastopexy, or “Aug Pexy” for short. The advantage of an implant is that it can provide even more upper pole fullness to the breast once lifted.
For any breast lift, or mastopexy, the nipple is repositioned and any excess skin is removed. The incisions are then closed. The result is a reshaped breast, positioned higher on the chest with renewed internal breast tissue structure to hold the breast in place. If volume has been lost, an implant can be used to fill out the breast and further enhance the overall appearance of the breasts.
Before & Afters
All plastic surgeons should be judged on the aesthetic merits of their work. Review Dr. Lampert’s before and after gallery to see what he has accomplished.
Incision Choices for Breast Lift
In performing a breast lift, there are several incision options. Dr. Lampert will choose the incision technique that creates the smallest scar and while lifting the breast to the desired position. The type of incision depends on the degree of sagging, the size of the breast and whether or not an implant will be inserted.
Donut Scar Lift or Circumareolar Scar Lift
This incision goes around the areola and is used for breasts with mild sagging or droop. This technique also works well to reduce areola size or make the areola more round in shape. Frequently, a permanent suture is used to prevent areolar widening.
The lollipop lift can be used for breasts with a moderate to significant amount of sagging or droop. This incision is also called the ‘keyhole’ incision. The scar goes around the areola and then travels down. The scar continues from the bottom of the areola across bottom pole of the breast down to the breast crease. It does not go horizontally along the crease.
Lollipop Lift with a small “T” or side extension
Can be used for breasts with a more significant amount of sagging or droop as well as most breast reductions. This incision is the same as the Lollipop Lift described above, but has a small extension well hidden in the breast crease. Typically, the incisions are much smaller and better hidden than the classic Anchor Scar described below. Dr. Lampert feels that both the Lollipop and the Lollipop with small extension seem to provide the breast with a better and longer lasting shape with less “bottoming out” over time when compared to the classic Anchor Scar Technique.
The indications for this lift are far less common than the above mentioned procedures. Some breasts with very minimal sagging can benefit from this technique which removes a crescent shaped section of tissue just above the areola. When the section is closed with sutures, a slight lift is created. The crescent lift leaves a scar on the upper half of the areolar margin. This lift is typically good for breast asymmetry cases, or patients with flat, oval-shaped areola or very asymmetric appearing areola. The problem with this lifting technique, in general, is the minimal lift that is created and the potential for the areola to be pulled into an oblong shape.
Dr. Lampert uses this technique much less frequently and reserves it only for the most severe cases of sagging. The incision circles the areola and continues vertically to the crease of the breast finishing horizontally along the crease. Dr. Lampert prefers to use the Donut Lift or variations of the Lollipop Lift far more frequently and whenever possible.
Best Results Come from Board Certified Plastic Surgeons
The key to a successful breast lift is twofold:
- Choosing the right technique to provide the reshaping and lift required while minimizing scarring.
- And more importantly, choosing the right surgeon to perform the procedure.
He spends a large amount of time with each patient, answering questions, finding out their goals, presenting solutions and alternatives—all with the intention that their surgery meets or exceeds their expectations.
Dr. Lampert stays current on the latest developments in all aspects of plastic surgery. He attends conferences throughout the year and presents his own findings in peer reviewed publications. Contact his office for an initial examination and consultation. Find out how you can have the youthful look that only a skilled surgeon can restore.