Breast Lifts: How Are the Results Achieved?

Breast LiftWe are all aware that the shape of the breast can change over time. This can be contributed to a number of things such as weight loss or gain, pregnancy, breastfeeding, aging, and the effects of gravity. There may be a loss of volume so that it is difficult to fill out your bra completely, a lack of firmness to the breast tissue, or a descent of your nipples so that they now point toward the floor. A breast lift can help improve the appearance your breasts. But how are these results achieved? Let me explain the procedure and the techniques available so you can decide if it is right for you.

A breast lift, also referred to as a mastopexy, raises the position of the breasts on the chest wall by reducing the skin envelope and re-coning the breast. The breast’s firmness and contour are therefore restored. Typically the areolae also become enlarged as an effect of changes to the breast; therefore, with a breast lift, the areolae can be reduced in size to better match the rejuvenated breast.

There are many different types of breast lift procedures, and it is important that the technique used addresses your concerns and fulfills your expectations. The techniques can most easily be described by the scar patterns produced.

A periareolar lift, also called a donut mastopexy, results in a scar isolated to the circumference of the areola. It is typically the procedure used when a minimal lift is needed or in cases where implants are utilized to add volume. You might be a candidate for this technique if you are correcting volume and/or a minimal droop of the breast.

A vertical lift, or lollipop mastopexy, is often referred to as a short scar technique as it results in a scar around the areola plus a vertical scar extending from the areola to the crease of the breast. This technique produces significant re-coning to the breast resulting in a firmer, perky shape. You are likely a candidate for this technique if you have a modest degree of drooping and are willing to accept an additional scar beyond the areolar circumference.

A Wise pattern technique results in an anchor pattern of scarring that extends around the areolar complex, vertical to the breast crease, and along the breast crease. It is significantly more scarring than the vertical technique and is reserved for long, pendulous breasts or breasts with little skin elasticity. This technique may be required in cases where significant weight loss has contributed to the breast shape.

Breasts can also have a degree of lifting by placing an implant. This is particularly true after breastfeeding where it is mostly a loss of volume that creates drooping. The breast can be restored with an implant alone resulting in a minimal scar either in the breast crease or partially around the areola.

As you can see there are a number of techniques available, and many of these methods can work and work well to achieve your goal. What is most important is to understand the technique that is best for you. During a consultation at the Emory Aesthetic Center, we will evaluate your current breast shape, volume, and skin elasticity. We will listen to your concerns and get a complete understanding of your goals and expectations. At the completion of your consultation, a surgical plan will be created specific to you.

If you are considering a breast lift, let the surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center help you define your goals and customize a plan using the best technique for you.

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