Breast Lift (Periareolar Method)

A breast lift is called a mastopexy (masto- for breast, -pexy for lift.) It is usually done for women who have had breast enlargement with pregnancy and then lose breast volume afterward, or as a result of weight loss or age. The surgery is designed to correct sagging and restore a more natural, youthful shape.

The most common method of mastopexy involves a design where wedges of skin from the bottom of the breast are removed and the nipple-areolar area is elevated. The resultant scars after the healing process is complete form a line around the edge of the areola (the dark skin around the nipple), a vertical line from the bottom of the areola to the fold at the bottom of the breast, and a hrozontal line in this fold. The pattern is somewhat "anchor" shaped. Although the scars fade nicely in most cases, they remain visible and can at times be obvious. The periareolar method is designed to place the scar only around the edge of the areola, where it is diguised between the transition from darker to lighter skin. It involves the use of a "pursestring" type suture, in addition to some reshaping of the breast tissue. This method eliminates most of the visible scars.

Breast enlargement can be easily combined with this type of mastopexy by placing a saline implant (this implant has an excellent safety record.) Breast reduction surgery can be done with this method if the amount of tissue to be removed is minimal to moderate.

As with any type of plastic surgery, this operation has limitations and is not ideal for every case. Since many plastic surgeons in this country are not experienced with this method, is important for the patient to ask about all options.

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