To counteract a sagging bust, many women will choose to receive a mastopexy or breast lift. This cosmetic procedure elevates the breasts’ positioning along the chest wall, removes excess skin, and rearranges the underlying tissue for greater symmetry and shapeliness. It is an excellent way to restore tautness and perkiness to the bust, contributing to a more flattering, feminine silhouette.
However, as with any elective procedure, the “after” transformation isn’t the only cosmetic consideration that patients may have. Many women will understandably express caution over postoperative scarring, but so long as they work closely with their board-certified plastic surgeon at every stage of the process, there is very little cause for concern.
This post will cover what a breast lift can do for your cosmetic goals, the incisions used, whether “no scar breast lifts” are possible, and how other breast procedures may be helpful. I’ll also discuss how to set yourself up for success post-surgery so that you can enjoy your new figure with minimal scarring and maximum confidence. Ultimately, I hope to empower you to make an informed decision regarding breast lift surgery and to reaffirm that you needn’t put off attaining your ideal body due to scarring concerns.
The reality is this: Scars after plastic surgery are inevitable, but they don’t need to be unsightly.
What Breast Lifts Can (and Can’t) Do
For women dissatisfied with their breasts’ shape, symmetry, and positioning, a breast lift can be an ideal solution. Conical, wide-set breasts with downturned nipples can be uplifted with a rounder and more compact profile, while saggy, loose skin can be excised for a smoother appearance.
Breast lifts, however, cannot restore lost volume or increase your bust size. They may even reduce it once redundant fat and skin have been removed. The outcome, of course, depends on the extent of the surgery.
Understanding Incision Types
Breast lift incisions build on each other as the procedure scales in complexity.
The first ‘building block’ is called a crescent incision. This short, discreet cut along the top of each areola is typically employed when combining a breast lift with augmentation. A crescent incision, along with its evolution, the doughnut (which encircles the areola), is often the closest that patients can get to a breast lift without scars, as the incisions normally disappear amid the areola’s natural coloration.
Women desiring greater lifting and reshaping may receive a lollipop incision which adds a vertical line to the doughnut incision, extending from the bottom of the areola to the base of the breast. Add horizontal extensions along this crease line, and you’ll get the anchor, the final, most extensive type of incision. ‘
Your plastic surgeon will go over your options during your consultation and make recommendations based on your unique anatomy and desired outcomes. I take as much time as needed to fully discuss and understand your goals for breast lift surgery and will work with you to customize a treatment plan that is best for your body—which may include additional surgical interventions.
Are No Scar Breast Lifts Effective?
While ultrasound treatments may promise a “no scar breast lift” due to the lack of an incision, these only temporarily tighten the skin and are intended to treat minimal sagging. A more permanent, comprehensive solution requires surgical intervention.
Some surgeons may also call a breast lift using a doughnut incision a “scarless breast lift” or “no scar breast lift.” They assert that the scar is concealed within the areola, so it is not very visible. These breast lifts are effective for mild to moderate breast sagging but aren’t entirely scarless.
How Recovery Affects Scarring
While your plastic surgeon will carefully suture your incisions and strive to be as unobtrusive as possible, the postoperative stage will greatly affect your rate and quality of healing. I personally check in on my patients and advise them on ways to minimize scarring, such as:
- Using topical ointments
- Wearing their surgical support bra
- Sleeping on their backs to avoid putting pressure on their breasts
- Avoiding running, jumping, or other repetitive activities that could aggravate the surgical site
- Massaging the scars (once incisions are healed) to decrease inflammation and prevent the buildup of collagen fibers and adhesions
The scars will generally be at their most pronounced and pigmented in the days following surgery, but as the months pass, the raised lines will flatten, and the color should fade significantly. Of course, there are some exceptions, but for most patients, breast lift scarring will become largely unnoticeable within a year and be far outweighed by the beauty of their results.
Combining Breast Procedures
Women who want to enhance their breasts’ size and positioning may wish to add implants to their lifts. Just as augmentation alone will not create perkier breasts (in fact, the added weight may exacerbate sagging), a breast lift cannot restore fullness. Together, these procedures can yield the most comprehensive results while requiring only a single surgery. I discuss combining a breast lift with augmentation further in this related blog post.
Similarly, women may opt for a combined breast lift and reduction to alleviate back pain and create a lighter, more proportionate bust. I recommend studying the before and after photos of different breast procedures to see what results can be achieved and whether a combination approach best suits your needs.
To discuss how our office can best help you achieve your cosmetic goals, please use our online form to request a consultation or call us at (916) 929-1833.