Breast Lift (Mastopexy) with or without implants

Breast lift can be achieved by 3 different methods:

  1. Breast implants only
  2. Breast skin and gland repositioning only
  3. Combined implant and lift


Breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, restores a more youthful appearance to a woman’s breasts by elevating the nipple and breast as well as tightening loose breast skin. However a breast lift will not increase the size of your breast. Although the external scars may be in a similar position to breast reduction, the procedure is simpler because breast tissue is not removed. The excess skin is removed and the breast and the nipple are then repositioned higher on the chest. The breast will remain about the same size, but may seem smaller because it is more elevated, compact and firmer. The major disadvantage of mastopexy is the more extensive scars.

Methods of Mastopexy

  • Areola-nipple lift only
    • This is done with a simple crescent shape excision above the top half of the areola. This surgery is for women with breast asymmetry where one nipple is slightly lower than the other. This can also be done for women with very slightly low nipples
  • Benelli (donut) mastopexy
    • This surgery is for women with mild drooping that cannot be corrected by breast implant alone. This requires a circular scar around the entire areola
  • Vertical scar mastopexy
    • This surgery is for women with moderately severe drooping where the nipple is lower than the breast crease. An implant alone could cause the nipple to droop even more and
  • Anchor scar (Wise pattern) mastopexy.
    • This surgery is for women with severe drooping and considerable skin excess in the lower part of the breast.


An implant will raise the nipple and lift the breast in most women if the nipple is higher than the breast crease. If the nipple is quite low below the level of the breast crease, an implant alone may actually make the nipple drop lower and appear more droopy. You can check this yourself by placing a pencil across the breast crease and noting if the pencil is higher or lower than the crease. If the nipple is higher than the breast crease, you may be a candidate for implant lift.

Review the section on augmentation mammoplasty.


Lifting of the breast by skin excision mastopexy and an implant may be needed for women who have small and very droopy breasts. Breast lift and breast enlargement with implants can be done as either one single stage or as two staged procedures.