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A patient recently sought my expertise regarding the poor results that she obtained from a mastopexy with implants that was performed elsewhere (by a surgeon who was not board certified). She was very unhappy with the outcome for many reasons but the abnormal shape including the flatness and lack of appropriate projection and the low position of her breast on the chest were the most important issues. To her, the breasts looked bizarre making her feel very self-conscious and frustrated.

She originally presented to the surgeon with drooping (ptosis) and wanting to be larger. The physician recommended a lollipop mastopexy to her without enumerating its pros and cons and did not discuss the much more commonly used inverted-T incision. (A lollipop mastopexy is a breast lift that involves an incision around the nipple-areola complex that then extends down to the breast fold but does not extend along this fold which is employed in the inverted-T technique.)

Her photos can be seen below on the left:

LP L

The patient's "lollipop" mastopexy performed by another surgeon. Note the flatness of the breast and droopy appearance with it hanging down well below the breast crease.

T shaped mastopexy RL post

This is a mastopexy using a T-shaped (anchor) incision. Note the more pleasing and natural conical shape with greater projection and fullness.

Ignoring factors specifically related to the surgeon, her results also reflect the inherent deficiencies with a lollipop mastopexy. As I noted elsewhere (Periareolar Mastopexy: Sacrificing Shape for Less Incisions), the goal of a breast lift is to recreate a more conically shaped breast with the nipple-areola positioned at the most projecting part. The “standard” inverted-T or anchor shaped approach allows for the precise recontouring of the skin envelope in addition to the underlying breast tissue by utilizing a three dimensional approach. This also facilitates greater accuracy in the placement and size of the nipple-areola so as to create a well shaped aesthetically pleasing breast.

Though the lollipop mastopexy can provide a better shape than what can be obtained with the even more restrictive periareolar mastopexy, its shortcomings are obvious as you can see in these photos. Without being able to adequately remove most of the vertical skin excess that occurs with droopy breasts, the breast remains droopy and abnormally flat including at the nipple-areola complex. Volume that could be used to increase forward projection and yield a more conical shape is instead hanging down, well below the breast crease that is should remain largely above.

Similar to my sentiments regarding a periareolar mastopexy, it is my opinion that a lollipop mastopexy is rarely indicated except for limited situations involving very minor drooping. The tradeoffs in shape and position are too high a price to pay for most women versus the vastly superior results that can be obtained with an additional incision along the breast crease.

If you would like additional information on breast lifts, breast augmentation or any other cosmetic surgery procedure that I perform or you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation, you can contact my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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