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Vertical Breast Lift

A breast lift, also called mastopexy, comes in a variety of techniques and can be completed alone, or in conjunction with either a breast reduction or augmentation. While the specific technique used for your particular breast lift will depend on your needs, the vertical, or a "lollipop" lift, is the most commonly used for women with mild to severe breast sagging.

A breast lift can restore stretched and sagging breasts to a more aesthetically pleasing, youthful look, shape, and feel. This doesn't only improve your appearance and confidence, it can also help bras and swimsuits fit more naturally and comfortably. These results are created by removing excess skin, reshaping internal breast tissue, and raising the areola and nipple to a higher, more forward location.

Breast Ptosis

Breast ptosis refers to the normal drooping of breast tissue as a natural result of aging. The degree and rate at which breast tissue sags through a lifetime depends on a number of factors, including cigarette smoking, number of pregnancies, bra cup size, body mass index, and significant weight gain and loss. In young breasts, the nipple, as well as the glandular and fatty tissues, sit above the crease on the underside of the breast, called the inframammary fold.

Vertical Breast Lift Technique

The vertical, or "lollipop" breast lift is suitable for women with mild to severe ptosis. This technique removes unwanted excess skin and reshapes the entire breast, leaving easily hidden scars. To begin, a somewhat key hole shaped incision is made above and around the areola. The extra skin is removed, and often the deeper layers of the breast tissue are sutured together to reshape the breast. Lastly, the areola is raised to a higher position, and the skin is closed around it and down the centre of the breast to the inframamary fold. The scar that remains after recovery is a line coming up from beneath the breast, and around the areola. The scar looks vaguely like a lollipop, hence the nickname for the procedure. Following the surgery your breasts will be left high and perky. It may take a few weeks, but once your body has recovered and the swelling has decreased, your breasts will begin to soften and assume a natural and more youthful look.

While this breast lift technique is appropriate for women with varying degrees of breast ptosis, it may not be the best option for women who only have mild sagging. The scar may be too large a trade off with extremely mild cases. Rather, you may only need an appropriately sized breast implant to get the perkier contour you want.

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Advantages over other techniques

There are three other mainstream breast lift techniques in addition to the vertical lift. Each style has its own advantages, but none have the versatility or results associated with the vertical lift.

Crescent Lift

The least invasive and least frequently used technique, the crescent lift involves a small crescent shaped incision being made around the top half of the areola's edge to improve the nipple's location. This method can result in very little lift and a distorted shape to the nipple if it isn't performed in conjunction with breast augmentation.

Benelli Lift

This method, sometimes called a circumareolar lift or "donut" lift, is most often used for women with mild ptosis or to correct a slight nipple asymmetry. This technique can result in the skin puckering around the areola. Additionally, as with the crescent lift, if a Benelli lift is performed without an augmentation the result may be distorted, with a characteristic flattening of the top of the breast. This is because this technique does not reshape the interior breast tissue at all.

Anchor Lift

Sometimes called an "inverted-T" lift, this final technique is the most invasive, and is usually reserved for women with severe breast ptosis, or in combination with breast reduction. While this style was once the preferred method for many cosmetic surgeons, new research has suggested it does not perform as well as the vertical lift in several areas. Specifically, the anchor lift can often result in a flatter than expected upper breast, while the vertical lift also maintains the outward shape of the breast much more efficiently.