Uplifting: Gravity-Defying Breasts with a Little Help
Do you ever have those mornings, when you look at your reflection in the mirror, and it’s as if you have two deflated balloons hanging from your chest and you wonder if your bra can even pull them all the way up? You are not the only one. Unfortunately, the sag comes with age and as a result of weight loss, heredity, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
However, it doesn’t mean you have to take it lying down, or rather, hanging low. There is a solution. Breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, is a surgical aesthetic procedure that addresses sagging uneven breasts, decreased breast volume, dropping nipples and stretched areolas (the darker area surrounding the nipples), which restores breast projection and improves breast shape.
There are three types of breast lift surgery techniques which primarily describe the pattern of skin removal and the resulting scars associated with each technique. Your board-certified plastic surgeon will determine the incision patterns based on the degree of sagging, amount of excess skin, and overall size of your breasts.
Traditional breast lift incisions are made around the outer border of the nipple, with a vertical incision from the 6 o’clock position of the outer border around the nipple to the fold under the breast and another incision at the fold under the breast. This incision is also referred to as the “anchor lift” because of its anchor-like outline. Ideal candidates for this technique are women with extremely droopy breasts.
The vertical breast lift incisions are made also around the outer border of the nipple, with a vertical incision from the 6 o’clock position of the outer border round the nipple to the fold under the breast. This incision is also referred to as the “lollipop” because of its lollipop-like outline. Ideal candidates for this technique are women with moderate degree of sagging breasts.
Circumareolar breast lift incisions sometimes referred to as “donut” or “Benelli” involve skin removal limited to the area around the outer border of the nipple. With this operation, the plastic surgeon can only elevate the nipples but not rearrange breast tissue internally to lift the breast, so the results are less dramatic. Ideal candidates for this technique are women with mild to moderate sagging breasts.
You are a good candidate for a breast lift if….
- Your breasts appear different from each other in terms of size, firmness and/or substance.
- Your breasts hang down loosely below the breast fold.
Your plastic surgeon may suggest combining breast augmentation or breast reduction with a breast lift in order to achieve your aesthetic goals. I recommend you:
- Postpone undergoing a breast lift procedure until after childbearing and breastfeeding because pregnancy may stretch the breasts and reduce volume, compromising the surgery results.
- Ask your plastic surgeon to explain his/her plan for internal rearrangement of the breast tissue that will produce a lifted appearance.
- Review as many before and after photos as possible, taken from multiple angles, so that you have a clear idea of the kind of breast shape and projection that your plastic surgeon is likely to replicate. Ask for photos taken at least one to two years postoperatively, so that you have a clear idea of what the ultimate scar appearance is likely to be.
- Do your research to ensure your plastic surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)