Three questions frequently asked about breast lifts

  1. I am interested in a breast implant, now that I’ve had my children.  Do I need a lift also?

The rule of thumb is that if the nipple is below the breast fold, a lift is suggested.  If the nipple is above the fold, then an implant alone works.

If the nipple is lower than the fold, and the implant is placed alone, then the breast will simply “hang” off the implant, and still be ptotic, with the nipple pointing down, producing a “snoopy” profile with the implant above the breast.

If the nipple is at the fold, i.e., in between, then an implant alone would be ok, but the breast will be loose on the implant, and the nipple may not be centered on the breast apex, but point somewhat down.

  1. There seems to be different scars involved with lifts. What is that about?

So, the length of the scars and type of lift is determined by how much skin removal and tightening is required.  A “circumareolar”, or a circular scar around the nipple, can be used if not much tightening is needed, and if the nipple doesn’t need to be moved up.  It does tend to enlarge the areolar diameter.

The “lollipop” incision is used when there is not much skin to be removed, but the nipple needs to be moved up.

The “anchor” scar technique, or the “inverted T” incision is used when there is more skin resected.  This technique almost is always needed with weight loss patients and with many post-pregnancy patients.

  1. Is breast feeding or nipple sensation affected?

The nipple-areola stays attached to the breast, and no ducts are involved with a lift.  Therefore, breast feeding afterwards is always possible. The nipple sensation, likewise, should not be affected by a lift alone, although there are some patients who have a temporary sensation loss.  Placing a breast implant, however, especially larger ones do stretch the nipple going to the nipple, and can affect sensation in a small number of patients.