Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Basics

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What is a breast lift?

A breast lift (mastopexy) is powerful procedure that can lift the nipple, reduce excess skin, and reshape the breasts to sit higher on the chest in a more youthful position. A breast lift is appropriate for patients with breasts that are adequately sized but saggy; but can also be done in combination with an implant to add volume (breast lift – augmentation), to adjust for asymmetry, or to improve unusually shaped breasts (tuberous breasts).

The gold-standard method of assessing the need for a breast lift is the “pencil test.” Standing in front of a mirror, lift the breast and lay a pencil in the fold under the breast and allow the breast to settle over the pencil. Look at the position of the nipple in relation to the pencil.

Pencil Test For Determining Degree of Breast Ptosis

Pencil Test For Breast Ptosis

The lower the nipples and breast are below the pencil and the more excess skin you have, the greater the chance you will need a breast lift and the more of a breast lift you will need. If your nipple and a majority of your breast are at or above the pencil (Normal), you will likely get a great result from a breast augmentation alone. Larger implants can shift this equation slightly for patients that have borderline ptosis (Grade 1).

The trade off with a breast lift, is a scar on the breast around the nipple with a possible extension down towards the breast crease creating a lollipop or possibly an inverted “T” pattern. The choice of incision is based on multiple factors including patient anatomy, surgeon preference, and patient preference.

Breast Lift Incisions: Peri-Areolar, Lollipop, and Inverted "T"

Breast Lift Incisions: Peri-Areolar, Lollipop, and Inverted “T”

What surgery is right for me?

A detailed examination will help delineate the best surgical treatment. The goal of a breast breast lift is to create an aesthetic breast with the size, shape, and projection that is desired by the patient. The decision about the type of surgery and, if needed, the size, shape, and position of the implants is based on the patient’s anatomy, the type and size of the implant, and patient’s preferences.

During your consultation, measurements of the breasts are used as a starting point to recommend a surgery and in-office sizing and digital three-dimensional computer simulations are used to help guide your implant choices.

Dr. David Tauber at DeLuca Plastic Surgery tailors the operation to each individual patient.

Dr. Tauber’s post-operative recommendations.

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