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In a perfect world, all aesthetic surgeries would be performed without scarring. Unfortunately, this is not a reality for surgical procedures that require incisions to be made on the surface of the skin. Breast lift surgery—also known as mastopexy—is one such procedure, as incisions are necessary to remove excess skin and correct breast drooping (ptosis). That said, board-certified plastic surgeons are trained in achieving the least visible degree of scarring possible through meticulous technique and expert positioning of incisions.

There are three different scars typically associated with mastopexy. These scars may or may not be present, depending on the type of breast lift. These include:

Periareolar Scar – The periareolar scar occurs from an incision made around the outer perimeter of the nipple-areolar complex, where the darker pigment of the areola meets the lighter-coloured breast skin. This scar tends to be fairly inconspicuous when nude because of the colour difference.

Breast Fold Scar – The breast fold scar is produced by an incision running horizontally along the natural crease below the breast (inframammary fold). The breasts themselves generally keep this scar well concealed.

Vertical Scar – The vertical scar is created by an incision that extends from the bottom of the nipple-areolar complex to the inframammary fold. In the nude, this tends to be the most visible scar of the three.

Some individuals who have minimal breast ptosis may only require a periareolar incision to effectively lift their breasts to an ideal position, though this is rare. A combination of the periareolar and vertical incisions is far more common, as is a combination of all three scar techniques. The exact method utilized will be determined by the extent of breast drooping present and the discretion of the plastic surgeon.

Ultimately, regardless of the breast lift incisions employed, all resulting scars can be hidden by virtually any blouse, swimsuit, and/or bra varieties. Additionally, scar tissue tends to fade over time with proper care, and the vast majority of patients express that the results achieved with mastopexy far outweigh any negative feelings they have toward the presence of scarring.

– Lawrence Tong, MD