What type of breast lift incisions are there?
Breast lift incisions vary according to the type of incision your aesthetic surgeon suggests for you.
There are three common types of incisions:
- Around the areolas
- Extending downward from the areolas to the breast creases
- Horizontally along the breast creases
There are several different incision patterns and techniques that leverage these types of incisions. Your aesthetic plastic surgeon will select a technique based on your breast size and shape, areola size and position, degree of breast sagging, skin quality, skin elasticity and how much extra skin you have.
The "Anchor" Incision
Your surgeon makes an incision around the perimeter of the areola, vertically down from the areola to the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease. If you have a severe degree of sagging or are getting a breast reduction with your breast lift, your surgeon will likely recommend this approach. This technique results in the greatest lift, but also the most scarring.
The "Keyhole" Incision (also known as a "lollipop" lift)
Your surgeon makes an incision around the perimeter of the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease. If you have a moderate degree of sagging and do not want breast implants, your surgeon will likely recommend this approach. This technique produces moderate scarring.
The "Donut" Incision (also known as the "periareolar” incision)
Your surgeon makes an incision around the perimeter of your areola only. If you have a mild-to-moderate degree of sagging, your surgeon may recommend this approach. Very skilled, board-certified aesthetic plastic surgeons may be able to successfully perform this technique on patients with more pronounced sagging in conjunction with breast implants. This technique produces the least amount of scarring.
The "Crescent" Incision
This technique is less common. Your surgeon makes an incision along the upper half of the areola, removes a crescent-shaped piece of skin above that line, and reattaches the areola to the surrounding skin. If you have minor sagging or are getting a breast lift in conjunction with breast augmentation, your surgeon may recommend this approach. You will not get the same degree of lifting with this approach as you would with other incision techniques.
The "Scarless" Lift
If you are concerned more about your breasts’ volume than sagging, your surgeon may recommend a “scarless” procedure. This option is the least common, as it’s very difficult to achieve a scarless result. You also have the option to combine your mastopexy procedure with breast implants. Your surgeon may recommend Thermage, Smart Lipo, or Quill Threads to lift the breasts with minimal scarring. However, these options all require incisions of some sort, no matter how small or well-hidden. If you have very little sagging, this may be a good option for you, however, you will not have the same amount of lift as the other techniques.
Will I have any scars after my breast lift?
Breast lift scars vary according to the type of incision your aesthetic surgeon makes (as outlined above). Your surgeon can conceal some scars in natural breast contours, but others will be visible on the breast surface.
Although incision lines are permanent, in most cases they will fade and significantly improve over time. Aesthetic plastic surgeons make every effort to place incisions in hidden areas and minimize them, with the goal of achieving the desired results with the shortest possible scar. Special tissue handling and suture techniques further minimize scars.
Your incision healing will depend on the surgical technique, the steps you take to prevent infection (nutrition, not smoking, hydrating), and any underlying medical conditions or genetic tendencies.