Surgery Plastic Surgery Breast Surgery Print The Most Commonly Used Breast Lift Techniques Exploring Your Options By Natalie Kita Updated June 18, 2019 More in Plastic Surgery Breast Surgery Planning Your Surgery Reconstructive Surgery Facial Procedures Liposuction Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) More Body Procedures There are several different incision patterns and techniques used in breast lift surgery, each of which is suited to different types of patients and desired results. Some of these techniques have been in use for a long time, while others are fairly new, and some (such as the procedures hyped as “scarless” lifts) are as of now still considered relatively unproven. If you are considering having surgery to lift your breasts, educate yourself well on the options available to you, and consult with several surgeons about which technique they might recommend for you before making up your mind. The Anchor Incision Illustration © Natalie Kita The incision is made around the perimeter of the areola, vertically down from the areola to the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease, known as an “anchor” incision. This technique produces the most scarring, and it is suitable for women with a severe degree of sagging who will not be helped sufficiently by other less invasive techniques. This incision is the oldest technique and is often used for a breast lift in conjunction with a breast reduction. The Lollipop Lift Illustration © Natalie Kita The incision is made around the perimeter of the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease. It is also known as a “keyhole” incision. This technique is suitable for women with a moderate degree of sagging who will not be helped sufficiently by the peri-areolar technique (below) and who do not wish to have breast implants inserted. The Donut Lift Illustration © Natalie Kita The incision is made around the perimeter of the areola only, which is why this technique is technically referred to as the "peri-areolar" incision; it's also called a “Benelli” lift (so named for the surgeon who pioneered the technique). This technique is suitable for women with a mild to moderate degree of sagging, although when used by a skilled surgeon in conjunction with the placement of implants, it can produce a satisfactory result for patients with more pronounced sagging. The Crescent Lift Illustration © Natalie Kita Although not as commonly used as the aforementioned techniques, there is a fourth incision type wherein the incision line lies just along the upper half of the areola. A crescent-shaped piece of skin is removed above that line, and the surrounding skin is reattached to the areola. This type of lift is usually done in conjunction with breast augmentation and is suitable only for women with a very small degree of sagging. It cannot accomplish the same amount of lifting as the previously mentioned incision techniques. The Scarless Lift For a select few women whose cosmetic concern has more to do with the loss of volume than with actual sagging, there are procedures available to lift the appearance of the breast that is touted as “scarless." These procedures can utilize (or even combine) breast implants, thermage, smart lipo, and/or “quill threads” to lift the breasts with minimal scarring. However, they all require incisions of some sort, no matter how small or well-hidden. Therefore, they cannot truthfully be called “scarless.” These procedures are also only suitable for those patients with very little sagging of the breast. Like the crescent technique, they will not accomplish the same amount of lifting as the techniques that employ larger incisions. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign up for our Health Tip of the Day newsletter, and receive daily tips that will help you live your healthiest life. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources What is breast lift surgery? American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Wong C, Vucovich M, Rohrich R. Mastopexy and Reduction Mammoplasty Pedicles and Skin Resection Patterns. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open. 2014;2(8). doi:10.1097/gox.0000000000000125.