As we age, gravity, pregnancy, and nursing all take their toll on the elasticity and shape of the breast. You may notice your breasts becoming pendulous, the breast substance lacks firmness, your nipples point downward, or your breast hangs below the crease. A breast lift will raise and reshape the breast.
Mastopexies vary widely. An analysis is done of your breast shape, skin elasticity, and breast volume. For some, just a lift is needed. For others who have lost volume or have small breasts, breast enlargement can be performed in conjunction with the mastopexy to give the desired volume and shape. There are different kinds of lifts, with different locations and amount of scar.
During your breast lift consultation, we will review your goals and the possible ways of achieving them.
– Dr. Greenberg
The periareolar lift, also known as the Benelli or donut mastopexy, involves a scar just around the areola. This is appropriate for a small lift only. When I use it, it tends to be for a small repositioning of the nipple. The issues are the permenant suture around the areola, a tendency for the skin to bunch and wrinkle if too much lift is needed, and the areola can widen if the suture fails.
The vertical lift, which I also refer to as the lollipop, is my favorite lift. I find it allows me to reshape the breast in addition to lifting. This shaping gives a firmness and roundness to the breast. I do internal suturing which helps hold the shape and lift. The scar is smaller than the traditional anchor scar lift. The scars are flat and tend to fade well with time.
The inferior pedicle or Wise technique is likely still the most common lift. This leaves you with an anchor style scar, so in addition to the scar around the areola and vertical scar, you have a long scar running the length of your underwire. This is the traditional technique and was the workhorse of breast lifts and reductions for over 20 years. I rarely do this technique anymore. I like the shorter scar, shaping, and better longevity I find with the vertical technique.
Lift with an implant. If you are smaller than you want to be, you need an implant. The implant gives you the size you want. Also an implant will give more fullness, particularly in the upper part of the breast and cleavage. In this case, the potential negatives of an implant are overcome by the great positives of volume and shape the implant provides.
If you are the size you want, I tend to recommend just a lift, with no implant. An implant guarantees you a second surgery at some point. Implants turn hard, deflate, get infected. Implants do not age as natural tissue ages. The vertical lift, in my hands, can give a great shape. I have patients whose friends think they have implants, not a simple lift. Many older surgeons, particularly those who do the anchor lift, believe you need an implant for shape. I would respectfully disagree.
During your breast lift consultation at my Palo Alto office, we will review your goals and the possible ways of achieving them. If you are actively smoking, you need to stop before doing this surgery.
The surgery lasts about three hours. Recovery time is two weeks.