Q&A: Years ago I had a breast reduction. Now my breasts are very small-but droopy. What is a breast lift?
posted on 8/27/2013
Ask A Doctor Question:
Years ago I had a breast reduction. Since then I have lost a lot of weight. Now my breasts are very small-YEAH!! but droopy. What is a breast lift, how is it done, and does is look natural? - Bonnie
Congrats on the weight loss!
Even with losing weight, larger breast will tend to sag over time. There are 2 general forms of breast lift and both can have a saline or silicone gel implant placed through the incisions.
The traditional breast reduction surgery creates a “anchor” appearing scar around the areola, down the center of the lower breast and along the breast fold. These scars would be removed with additional skin removal either around the areola only or along the scar lines to re-configure the breast mound into a perky, rounder more lifted form and re-drape and trim the skin excess creating a natural, more youthful appearance.
The “donut” mastopexy, removes an excess of skin around the areola (ie, looks like a donut) and gathers the skin to the areola.
Both have their limitations. A consultation with a well versed, experienced board certified plastic surgeon is your best bet for a diagnosis and management plan.
I wish you the best!
--Dean Kane, MD
You mentioned a previous breast reduction. The most common type of breast reduction produces scars that are described as looking like an "anchor"... A circular scar around the nipple/areola, a vertical scar below that, and a scar in the crease underneath the breast. It's likely that this is how your reduction was done and the breast lift would look similar, in terms of scar placement. So a breast reduction removes skin and breast tissue, while the breast lift essentially removes just skin. Does it "look natural"? Yes, but many women seeking a lift often want more fullness or a small increase in size, if their breasts look deflated, and will often want to add breast implants to achieve the look they desire. Implants can be added at the time of the breast lift.
--Brian Strand, MD
Thanks for your question and congrats on your weight loss. The amount and location of the skin laxity determined the type of lift necessary. This is a skin excision procedure that creates a natural skin bra with higher nipple location and tighter skin. There are basically 3 techniques :1. Mini lift or purse string lift or Bennelli with incision around the areola only. 2. Lollipop with incision around the areola and extending vertically at the lower pole of the breast. 3. Key hole with incision around the areola and extending vertically at the lower pole of the breast and horizontally at the sub mammary crease. In the right hands, the breasts look natural and attractive. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who has lots of experience with that surgery. Check his before and after to make sure that you like the results.
Best of luck,
--SHLOMO WIDDER, MD
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