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Breast Lift Techniques

breast-lift-techniquesAt the Arizona Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, I offer several different approaches to breast lift surgery depending on a variety of factors, most importantly of which is the extent of drooping.

The first technique is referred to as a mini lift, and it involves repositioning the nipple-areolar complexes higher on the breast by excising a crescent of skin from just above them. This approach can only be used effectively when the skin laxity is quite minimal and the degree of drooping is only of the most minor degree.

The second technique is called a peri-areolar lift (or periareolar mastopexy). With this approach, an incision is made around the entire areola, and a variable ring of skin is then removed from around it, more from above than below, in order to provide a lift. While the incision length is only a fraction of the one employed for a full lift, thereby minimizing the overall scar length. I seldom use this technique for more than a relatively minor lift. The reason for this is because it causes an abnormal and unacceptable flattening of the nipple-areola complex area, and with it, a broadly flat, anatomically incorrectly shaped breast. Normally, this should be the most projecting part of the breast and have a conical shape.

The third technique is known as a “lollipop” mastopexy. This involves an incision that encircles the nipple and then extends vertically down to the lower breast crease, creating a shape resembling that of a lollipop. In my practice, I find that this approach virtually never provides an aesthetically-pleasing, shapely breast because it doesn’t address the usually present vertical skin excess.

Lastly, the fourth and by far the most common technique that I utilize in women with more than a minimum amount of breast sagging is the inverted-T or anchor-shaped mastopexy. The incision for this approach encircles the areola, then extends down to the crease of the lower breast. However, unlike the “lollipop” technique, an additional incision is made along the crease of the breast, effectively creating a shape similar to an anchor or an inverted letter “T.” This approach allows for complete three dimensional re-shaping and rejuvenation of the breast, leading to more natural looking results. The far superior outcomes obtained with this technique far outweigh the more extensive incision length required.

In the end, the breast lift technique that I use will be determined largely by the extent of drooping present. It is also important to know that the incisions are often shorter on one side versus the other due to the breast asymmetry that most women have as well as differentials of skin laxity.

I find that it is crucial to be extremely thorough and meticulous in assessing each woman’s individual situation, in determining what would provide her with the outcome that she is seeking and then in the performance of the surgery. Anything less than that to me is unacceptable.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, MD, PC

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