Breast Lift surgery along with breast augmentation and breast reduction procedures are among the most common cosmetic plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States. The natural changes with age and gravity cause ligaments and skin of the breast to become loose over time. These changes are aggravated by pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The Lollipop Technique
The lollipop technique of breast reduction is a technique which removes breast tissue from an incision around the areola complex but then extends downward to appear like a lollipop. This technique is most appropriate for middle to large breast lifts. Because there is less tension around the areola complex, the scars are less visible even though they might be longer. This technique also offers the most breast projection and cleavage.
When you come to the office, we will discuss with you, your options to determine the right option for you.
In some women, the droop occurs along with an increase in the size of the breast; in which case, the woman will benefit from a breast reduction. In other women, the droop occurs along with a decrease in the size of the breast; in which case the woman will benefit from a breast lift with or without an implant. And some women, with just a little bit of droop with just a little bit of volume loss will benefit from just an implant without a surgical lift.
Breast Lift Details
Like Breast Reduction Surgery, there are basically three methods of performing a breast lift procedures. The choice of procedure largely depends of the amount of skin that is in excess.
Small lifts require a Donut ( circumareolar ) technique. Middle to large lifts require a Lollipop ( circumvertical ) technique, and large lifts require an anchor technique. The difference between the three is the degree of skin removed and the length of the scar; the concept is that as the breast skin excess increases, more skin needs to be gathered requiring longer incisions. Note that if there is a lot of breast volume loss in addition to breast droop, the patient might benefit from an implant in addition to the lift. If this the case, then the implant takes out the slack and might require less incisions in addition to providing more breast cleavage.
The Donut Technique of breast lift is a technique which removes breast tissue from an incision around the areola complex. Only a limited amount of skin and breast tissue can be removed through this technique; it is only appropriate for only small lifts. If too much skin is removed, the tension around the scar around the areola complex often widens and actually looks less appealing than techniques performed with longer scars
The Lollipop Technique of breast reduction is a technique which removes breast tissue from an incision around the areola complex but then extends downward to appear like a lollipop. This technique is most appropriate for middle to large breast lifts. Because there is less tension around the areola complex, the scars are less visible even though they might be longer. This technique also offers the most breast projection and cleavage.
Anchor Technique of breast reduction is usually reserved for much larger breasts. It is the technique most often when insurance is covering the procedure. It is an extension of the Lollipop technique described above. When the breasts are brought in from the sides, there is often a fullness at the bottom of the breast that needs to be removed with a horizontal scar.
Breast Lift with Implants Techniques
In addition to the three incision styles previously described, many patients would benefit from having breast implants placed at the same time. This is because many patients in addition to developing ptosis, or breast droop, will lose volume in their breasts particularly in the upper pole cleavage area. If this is the case, the style of incision and the strategy around the cosmetics of your surgery can change dramatically. This is because the breast implant will eliminate some or all of the skin excess. So for some women who have small degrees of breast droop, a larger implant will take out the skin excess and reduce the need for longer incisions; they might not even need an incisional breast lift. This strategy also allows more variability and creativity on the part of the plastic surgeon. For example, because the implant has a set volume, the surgeon can remove variable amounts of breast tissue until the breast looks right. This technique is particularly important when there is a lot of asymetry to the breast. Bottom line is that the larger the implant, potentially the shorter the incisions.
The surgery will take about 2 to 3 hours. This is an outpatient procedure. Most patients will return to work in a week. Breasts will often take up to 6 months to a year to settle on its final size and shape. This is particularly true of procedures performed with the Lollipop incision. Scars will take up to a year and a half to settle to its final appearance. Implants are often placed at the same time as the breast lift. Alternatively, many surgeons will require you to have the lift performed first, followed by placement of the breast implant several months later. **If you choose to have the implant at the same time as the breast lift, you need to understand that the revision rate is as high as 20%. If you have the lift and augmentation at different times, you are obviously having 2 surgical procedures. If a revision is required, you are responsible for any hospital fees.