A breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, corrects the droopy breast by tightening not just the skin but the deeper soft tissue as well. To further create a balanced result, it also involves repositioning the nipple area higher on the chest wall.
The procedure uses incisions around the border of the nipple-areolar complex, inside the inframammary fold, and vertically between these areas, leading to a scar that resembles an inverted T or nautical anchor. For this reason, it can only reshape the lower half of the breast.
Because women with saggy breasts may also have empty-looking upper cleavage, it is not uncommon to combine breast lift and implants in one surgical setting. This approach is also suitable for patients who are not satisfied with their current “cup” size.
Nevertheless, breast lift without implants can still provide impressive results for patients who have the “right” anatomies and realistic motives and expectations. Of course, the final outcome will also depend on the surgeon’s qualifications, specifically his training, skills, board certifications and plastic surgery affiliations, reputation, and experience.
Breast lift without implants is suitable for patients who are happy with their cup size, although they could choose to have the prostheses in the future should they develop deflated upper poles and want to correct this appearance.
Whether or not implants are used at the time of surgery, it is important to reshape the breast tissue and possibly use internal sutures to hold the new contour in place. A skin-only lift, meanwhile, must be avoided because of its short-lived results, poor healing, and wide scars.
By tightening the deeper structures of the breast mound, a surgeon is also able to restore projection. According to a 2014 study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery medical journal, the upper pole to lower pole ratio of 45:55 is the ideal breast shape.
Dr. Tarick Smaili, a leading breast lift Los Angeles expert, says the 45:55 ratio has always been his basis for design in any type of breast enhancement surgery.
While the standard breast lift today uses an anchor-shaped incision pattern, modified techniques have been introduced that suits women who require less “correction” and/or with smaller breasts, explains Dr. Smaili.
One example is the vertical lift, also referred to as lollipop lift due to the shape of the resulting scars (it eliminates the horizontal incision within the inframammary fold). This technique favors women with moderately sized breasts that require lifting and narrowing at the same time, says Dr. Smaili.