Breast ptosis, or the stretching and drooping of breast tissue, is a concern faced by most women as they grow older and begin to lose the youthful, shapely contours of their breasts. This can be exacerbated by factors that range from genetics, weight fluctuation, and breastfeeding to unprotected sun exposure and smoking. While the development of breast sag is completely natural, many women seek out ways to reverse the aging process and restore a firmer, “perkier” appearance to their breasts. Exercise and other non-surgical techniques, unfortunately, cannot correct the stretched skin and breast tissue that often cause the breasts to droop, but breast lift surgery can be a highly effective treatment to rejuvenate aging breasts.
A breast lift is customized to your goals, concerns, and the severity of ptosis experienced. In general, the procedure involves removing redundant skin to reshape the breasts and lift their position on the chest wall, resulting in elevation of the nipple-areolar complex to a more optimal position. Breast lift surgery can not only improve the firmness of the breasts, but it also has the ability to enhance projection. There are two types of breast lift procedures: the circumareolar mastopexy and the vertical mastopexy.
The circumareolar lift, also known as the “donut” or “Benelli” mastopexy, involves removing skin in a circular pattern around the areola. This results in a scar that is restricted to the areolar border and is an advantage of the circumareolar technique. Disadvantages include the lack of a significant nipple/areolar elevation, a flattening effect on breast shape, potentially wider areolar diameters, and more irregular, wider scars. For these reasons, Dr. David Bottger prefers to utilize this procedure only when a limited amount of lift is required.
The other procedure is called vertical mastopexy. Skin is removed from around the areola to the inframammary fold in a teardrop shape, resulting in a lollipop-shaped scar. This is the most commonly performed procedure, as the technique is applicable to all levels of breast ptosis. It produces excellent shaping and nipple elevation, generally resulting in finer, more predictable scars than the circumareolar approach.
Depending on whether or not you would also like to restore lost breast volume, incorporating the addition of implants for a joint breast augmentation and breast lift procedure can provide an increased size as well as more upper fullness to the breasts, achieving more comprehensive results. Dr. Bottger, our Philadelphia-based breast surgeon, can speak with you about your concerns and develop a treatment plan to attain your desired look.