A Mastopexy or Breast Lift involves reshaping the breast to give a more elevated and youthful shape to the breast. This can be combined either with a simultaneous reduction or augmentation of the breast volume. A mastopexy primarily involves removing and tightening  the excess skin and  correcting  the nipple and areola position to a higher and more centralized position on the breast.  There  are many variations of the mastopexy procedure that may be recommended for you depending on your goals and preferences.

Breast Reduction/Mastopexy

In a breast reduction, we decrease the weight and volume of the breast to improve the proportion of  the breast size with  respect to the  rest  of your  body. A mastopexy is similar but the weight of tissue removed is much less than a standard  breast reduction.  The goal with a mastopexy is typically  more about  an improved and lifted shape with a minor reduction in the volume and weight of the breast. [See Breast Reduction for  more details.]

Implant Augmentation Mastopexy

An implant is the most reliable and powerful  way to increase the overall  breast volume, especially the upper breast fullness  and cleavage area.  The  implant position will settle in  the  early period after surgery  but should then remain  in  a stable position  long term.  The size of implant used depends very much on a patient’s preferences and  the look she desires. When combined  with a mastopexy, the breast shape can change dramatically, from a deflated and droopy breast to a full, rounder, and lifted appearance.  A  temporary implant  (implant  sizer)  is  used first and then  the overlying skin and breast tissue is tailored to fit  the shape  and give  the  best combination  of skin tightening  and lifting. The nipple and areola are then repositioned to the appropriate  location. 


Any of the incision patterns can be combined with the Implant Augmentation Mastopexy. However, for certain patients, breast augmentation with the appropriate size and positioning of the implants can provide enough of a lift by itself to avoid the need for a Mastopexy.

Auto-augmentation Mastopexy

For women that want to maintain the size of their breasts but improve  the position and upper pole fullness  (think perky, youthful shape), Dr. Davison uses a technique which repositions the descended lower breast tissue to the upper chest and secures  this  behind the NAC, which can give a more full and rounded look similar  in some ways  to an implant, but using  only  your natural  tissue. 


There are essentially 3  different  patterns  of incisions used for a Mastopexy. All  patterns require an incision around the areola, where the final scar will be at the junction of the pigmented areola skin and the lighter breast skin. This incision is needed to reposition and elevate the nipple & areola. The vertical and horizontal breast fold incisions are needed depending on the patient and the required skin tightening. 

For larger breasts with a starting nipple position that is well-below the breast fold  (IMF), this  is typically  best with the full anchor  or inverted T-shape. This is the classic incision and provides the ability to dramatically reshape the breast. The excess skin and tissue can be removed as needed  and the horizontal scar is kept hidden in the breast fold. Dr. Davison avoids placing the  scar in the visible midline area of the breast and would only extend it laterally  to the side of the chest for patients with extensive skin excess, such as post-bariatric surgery or massive weight loss.

For smaller breasts, a circumareolar (donut-style incision), or vertical only (lollipop-style) may be sufficient for tightening and lifting the breast.

Fat-grafting with Mastopexy

Fat grafting involves removing unwanted fat from another location in your body,  typically the abdomen, flanks (love-handle area), or  inner thighs and transferring it to the breasts.. This is  done by  tiny 3-4 mm  incisions using a liposuction  cannula.  The fat is kept sterile and processed to isolate only  the high quality young fat cells and associated stem cells. This processed fat graft can then be distributed as needed  to augment and shape  the breast. This is a good natural alternative to implants for those interested in a small augmentation at  the same time as  the Mastopexy (breast  lift).  The  limitation of fat grafting is that the maximum amount  that can be reliably augmented at one time is between  100-300 mL per session (but this can vary widely by patient, depending  on their original breast size and shape).  Also, only  60-70% of the fat survives long-term (beyond 3 months), regardless of  technique used. This is therefore adjusted for  during the surgical planning. However the fat that  survives will  then  last a  lifetime and change with  you (gaining  or  losing  weight).