A breast lift is a procedure that can bring increased confidence, pride in your body shape, or a return to a more youthful silhouette. Because of the nature of a breast lift operation, there are always breast lift incisions. While these incisions are not visible with most clothing on, you may be wondering what the best type of breast lift incision is. Whether you are looking for a breast lift incision that is the least visible, or an incision that allows us to correct the highest level of sagging, we will cover the details of how we decide what the best type of breast lift incision is for each patient.
Why a breast lift is performed
Before discussing the best breast lift incision types, let’s review why a breast lift is performed. A breast lift addresses sagging or drooping in the breasts. It does not increase the size of the breasts (although it may be combined with a breast augmentation), and it does not reduce the size of the breasts (although it may be combined with a breast reduction). The lift itself is intended to combat factors like age, weight loss, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or genetics, all of which can contribute to the breasts sagging over time.
How a breast lift is performed
A breast lift - or mastopexy - is performed by making an incision and removing some excess skin from the breast. This allows the surgeon to lift up the tissue of the breast and create a more firm, lifted shape. The incision is stitched and heals over time. Although there is always an incision when a breast lift is done, there are ways to make the breast lift incision so that it is minimally visible and can be covered by a bra or bathing suit in many cases.
Breast lift incision types
TThere are four primary types of breast lift incisions. When you come in for a breast lift consultation, we will educate you about the different incision types, and help you understand which one we recommend for you. The primary breast lift incision types are:
- Crescent incision: this breast lift incision is made only around the top portion of the areola. It is an incision that is most commonly used on breasts that have lesser amounts of sagging, and can be used when breast implants are being combined with a breast lift procedure. This is the least common of the 4 types of breast lift incisions.
- Donut incision: this type of breast lift incision is used for patients who have chosen to have breast implants placed at the same time as their breast lift. The donut incision is more common than the crescent incision. This breast lift incision is made around the entire areola, and can also be used when an areola reduction is desired.
- Lollipop incision: a lollipop incision is made around the areola as well as vertically from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease. This breast lift incision allows us to correct a higher degree of sagging than a donut or crescent incision. The lollipop incision is generally not used when someone asks for breast implants with their breast lift.
- Anchor incision: the anchor incision is the type of breast lift incision that allows us to correct the highest level of sagging. Often this is the incision chosen when we are performing a breast reduction at the same time as a breast lift. The anchor incision is made around the areola and down in a vertical line towards the breast crease. In this way it is the same as the lollipop incision. However, the anchor incision also includes a part of the incision that runs horizontally along the breast crease.
FAQs about best breast lift incision types
When is the anchor incision the best breast lift incision?
The anchor may be the best breast lift incision if you have significant amount of sagging you would like to correct. It can also be the best choice in the case of a breast reduction paired with a breast lift.
When is the lollipop incision the best breast lift incision?
The lollipop incision is often a good option for women with a medium amount of sagging, who are not looking for an increase in breast volume. The lollipop incision is generally best for a change is shape, but not a change in breast size.
When is the donut incision the best breast lift incision?
If you have a small amount of sagging and also want to have a breast augmentation at the same time as their breast lift, the donut incision may be the best choice for you. Although the donut incision is more common, in these cases a crescent incision may also be considered.
What breast lift incision type is best for a breast lift with implants?
It is fairly common for women to request a breast augmentation at the same time as they have a breast lift. We see this often with women who have lost volume in their breasts from pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss. We also perform this combination procedure on women who are looking to increase their natural breast size, and want a more lifted silhouette at the same time. For this combined operation, we often choose a donut incision which gives us the access we need to perform both the augmentation and the lift, and also allows for a relatively hidden scar.
What incision type is best for a breast lift for someone with minimum to moderate sagging?
When a woman has minimum to moderate sagging, we are able to choose an incision that results in a less visible scar. Often for these women the best breast lift incision is the donut incision (minimal sagging) or lollipop incision (moderate sagging).
What breast lift incision type is best for significant sagging?
In the case of a woman who wants a significant improvement in sagging breasts, we often recommend the anchor incision. Although this incision results in the most noticeable scar, it also allows us to achieve the most dramatic improvements in breast shape.
How long does a breast lift incision take to heal?
How long does a breast lift incision take to heal? Each operation is different, but in general you will want to give yourself at least 2 weeks of resting after your breast lift. It is important for the incisions to heal well, which also results in the least visible scarring. After 2 weeks most patients can begin to resume their normal activities, but you’ll want to be very careful about strenuous activities like running or lifting a toddler. In most cases, you’ll be able to return to all activities after about 6 weeks, knowing that the breast lift incisions have healed.
If you are interested in a breast lift and are wondering what the incision will look like, what kind of scar you can expect, and how visible the breast lift incision will be with a bathing suit or bra on, we are happy to schedule a consultation with you. The expert surgeons at Athenix can educate you on the results you can expect from a breast lift, and what type of breast lift incision is best for your individual case.