A breast lift surgery tightens the tissue and its overlying skin to correct the drooping appearance. But to achieve a more rejuvenated contour and profile the nipple-areolar complex is repositioned higher or to an area where the breast projects the most.
The shape of breast lift scars primarily depends on four variables: 1.) amount of droop 2.) size of the breast 3.) patient’s goals and expectations 4.) and use of implants at the time of surgery.
Some type of breast lift will be needed if the nipple area hangs more than an inch below the inframammary fold or breast crease, says renowned Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili.
Aside from measuring the distance between the nipple and the inframammary fold, Dr. Smaili says it might also be helpful to conduct a pencil test in which a pencil is placed in the inframammary fold. If it remains in place most likely the patient will need a breast lift, or at least a good-fitting supportive bra.
Nevertheless, Dr. Smaili says only a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who performs breast lift on a regular basis can actually determine if breast lift is warranted or other options might help.
During a physical exam, surgeons will measure the distance between nipple area and the inframammary crease, examine the skin elasticity along the power poles, and assess the most ideal scar pattern that will allow them to contour the breasts, explains Dr. Smaili.
If the droop is only minimal—i.e., the nipple is within or less than 1 inch below the inframammary fold—, Dr. Smaili says he typically recommends donut lift or Benelli mastopexy in which the scars are just around the edge of the areola, or the pigmented part of skin.
But instead of actually lifting or tightening the breast tissue, a donut lift just repositions the nipple area higher above the inframammary fold, ideally creating 4.5-5 cm distance between these two “points,” explains Dr. Smaili.
Sometimes, donut lifts are performed simultaneously with breast implants which could deliver some lifting effect, or at least an illusion of it. But this combo procedure, he says, is only reserved for women who want to increase their cup size as well.
But for a moderate amount of droop, Dr. Smaili recommends lollipop lift in which there is an additional vertical scar between the areola and the inframammary crease. For the right candidates, the technique also has a narrowing effect, he adds.
However, women who require the most correction due to the significant droop and their large cup size, Dr. Smaili recommends the standard technique, which is also referred to as anchor lift because of the additional incision “inside” the inframammary fold.