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Medically Reviewed by:

Robert Applebaum M.D.

Breast Lift Types: Finding the Right Lift

You’ve likely heard of a breast augmentation before, but have you ever heard of a breast lift? This increasingly popular procedure is often performed alongside a breast augmentation but can also be performed on its own to improve the shape and feel of your breasts. 

What Is a Breast Lift?

A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, is a cosmetic procedure designed to lift and tighten the breasts by removing excess skin using various surgical techniques—the procedure results in a firmer, perkier, and more aesthetically pleasing breast shape. 

When Might You Need a Breast Lift?

If you are unhappy with your breasts, you may want to consider undergoing a breast lift procedure. Specifically, breast lift procedures are ideal for those looking to achieve better breast shape and contour after pregnancy, breastfeeding, or significant weight loss. 

A breast lift might be right for you if you experience any of the following: 

  • Nipples that point downward rather than forward
  • Nipples/areolas that sit below the crease underneath the breast
  • Breasts that are noticeably asymmetrical or unusually shaped

What Are the 4 Different Types of Breast Lifts?

There are four different breast lift techniques to consider, including the crescent lift, donut lift, lollipop lift, and anchor lift. Here’s what you need to know about each type: 

1. Crescent Lift

A “crescent” breast lift is ideal for those with minimal sagging or asymmetry to correct in the breasts. A crescent breast lift involves making a small incision that runs around the top half of the edge of the areola. However, keep in mind that this type of breast lift is usually only used with breast augmentation. 

2. Donut Lift

A “donut” breast lift is ideal for those with mild sagging or asymmetry to correct in the breasts. 

Also known as a peri-areolar lift, this technique involves making a circular incision around the entire edge of the areola so that the resulting scar can effectively blend in with the areola. Since the incision goes around the entire edge of the areola, this technique is ideal for those looking to reduce areola size as well. 

3. Lollipop Lift

A “lollipop” breast lift is ideal for those with moderate sagging or asymmetry to correct in the breasts. 

Also known as a vertical lift, this technique involves making two incisions, with one around the entire edge of the areola (similar to a donut lift) and one that goes from the bottom of the areola down to the inframammary fold. This is one of the most common types of breast lifts as it provides plastic surgeons with the ability to reshape the entire breast with minimal scarring that’s easily hidden by the areola. 

4. Anchor Lift

An “anchor” breast lift is ideal for those with considerable sagging or asymmetry to correct in the breasts. Also known as an inverted T lift, this technique involves making three incisions: one around the entire edge of the areola (similar to a donut lift), one vertically from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease, and one along the length of the inframmatory hold. Since this technique is the most invasive, it can also be the most effective. At the same time, many of these scars can be easily hidden and will likely fade over time. 

Can a Breast Lift Be Combined With a Breast Augmentation?

As you now know, a breast lift is designed to lift sagging breasts or correct asymmetry in the breasts. And while this procedure may result in slightly larger and fuller breasts, it’s not designed to significantly increase the size of the breasts. 

So if your goal is to have larger, fuller, and more lifted breasts, then you may want to consider getting a breast lift in combination with a breast augmentation

Breast augmentation is designed to add fullness and volume to the breasts using implants. These implants are either filled with silicone gel or saline. Both types of implants are safe and can last for many years before being replaced. 

What Is Breast Lift Recovery Like?

Many patients are understandably concerned about the recovery process after a breast lift. The good news is that breast lifts are usually performed as outpatient procedures — meaning that you get to go home shortly after the procedure to recover. 

At home, you should definitely take it easy for a few days. You will be prescribed pain medication to manage pain and soreness from the procedure, but most patients will be able to switch to over-the-counter pain medications after a few days. 

You should wear your surgical bra, avoid sleeping on your stomach and avoid intense physical activity during this time. You should be able to return to work and resume most of your daily activities (except exercise) after about a week to ten days 

How To Find a Surgeon for a Breast Lift?

If you’ve decided that a breast lift is the right procedure for you, then you need to meet with a plastic surgeon to move forward with the process. On the other hand, if you’re unsure whether or not this is the right procedure for you, you should still meet with a plastic surgeon to discuss your concerns and goals. 

Dr. Applebaum is a board-certified plastic surgeon with decades of experience. He was nominated in 2016 as one of the Best Breast Surgeons in America as he focuses on creating beautiful and natural results with as few incisions and visible scarring as possible. 

Wrap Up on Breast Lift Types

To find the right type of breast lift for you and finally achieve the look you want, schedule a consultation with Dr. Applebaum today! You can either schedule an in-person appointment at his Beverly Hills office or schedule a virtual appointment online. 

Medically reviewed by Dr. Robert Applebaum
Dr. Robert Applebaum is a world renowned and highly respected Plastic Surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In his nearly 30 years as a practicing physician, Dr. Applebaum has become known as an innovator in the field of laser technology techniques for plastic surgery procedures. He has published numerous articles and scientific papers about the use of laser technology and educates physicians worldwide on the applications of laser technology for plastic surgery. Dr. Applebaum primarily practices out of his private outpatient surgery center, Four Thirty Six Aesthetic Surgery Center, which is located in Beverly Hills.


Breast Lift Surgery Guide | American Board of Cosmetic Surgery

Breast Lift | Mayo Clinic

Breast Lift Recovery | American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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