Do I Need a Lift, Doctor?

A common question from patients who are considering a breast augmentation is whether they would need a breast lift or not.

There are several methods that plastic surgeons use to decide whether or not there is significant droop of the breast, known as “breast ptosis”. Essentially, it all has to do with the position of the nipple, compared to the position of the crease underneath the breast, known as the “infra-mammary fold”.

If the nipple is positioned above the horizontal level of the infra-mammary fold when you are standing up – then any ptosis you may have is considered “mild”. If the nipple has descended below the level of the crease, then the breast droop is more significant, and you may indeed benefit from a breast lift, in addition to any augmentation you might be considering.

Another easy method to check for breast ptosis involves clasping your hands on top of your head, and looking at what happens to the nipple position in the mirror. If the nipple position is still too low for your liking, then a lift operation might be beneficial.

When the amount of droop is mild, often we can use a short-scar technique for the lift, avoiding the long anchor-shaped incisions used in the classic breast lift. The benelli or “donut” lift, for example, allows us to can use one circular incision around the nipple – and get three benefits with it: use it to place the implants, make the areola smaller in size, and get a little bit of a breast lift all at the same time.

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