A surgical breast lift, or mastopexy, is performed to visibly “lift” the breast into a higher position and sometimes firmer shape and is used to combat breast drooping and sagging that can occur with age or skin stretching. Some women are simply unhappy with the shape or firmness of their breasts but don’t want to undergo augmentation or implant surgery, or don’t require the dramatic results. A lift procedure can be an effective route to take in these situations.
Mastopexy can also help women with slightly asymmetrical breasts, who are unhappy with the general placement of their nipples, or don’t like the height or appearance of the breasts. Some women also choose to have implants inserted in conjunction with the mastopexy.
Incision Types: Benelli vs. Crescent
There are a few different types of incisions that surgeons can make when performing breast lift surgery. Which type you opt for depends on the result you are expecting, the location and amount of scarring you are comfortable with, and what you and your doctor agree to be the best solution following a careful consultation.
The Benelli method is also referred to as the doughnut, peri-areolar, or concentric method. Your surgeon will make an incision around the outer edge of the area surrounding the nipple (the areola). The skin is then tightened and stitched to the incision area, which results in masked scarring that mostly disappears over time. This type of surgery is sometimes combined with the crescent lift, which is also explained in this article.
This incision is made at the top of the areola. A crescent-shaped area of skin is removed, and the remaining skin is then sutured to the areola. This raises the nipple’s position on the breast.
In addition to lifting, mastopexy can give the appearance of rounder and sometimes fuller breasts, which is a plus for women with smaller breasts who aren’t interested in implants.
Mastopexy should always be completed by a certified and experienced cosmetic surgeon in hygienic conditions. There is always a risk of infection associated with any surgery that involves incisions and stitches, so ensure that you carefully follow any aftercare and recovery instructions that your surgeon provides.
It is advisable that you wear a supportive and well-fitted bra or support garment following the procedure to help the healing process. The recovery period is generally mild; you should be able to return to work after a week providing you don’t have a very physical occupation.