Enhancement Specialist

Breast Lift - New Bern

Also known as mastopexy and breast lift surgery

Sagging breasts are a normal result of gravity and aging. Your body type and lifestyle can also contribute to breast sagging. Pregnancies and breast-feeding history can also play a big role. Weight loss can be great for a person’s figure, but it almost always results in saggy breasts.

There is something you can do about it. You can choose to have a mastopexy, or breast lift, in the Eastern North Carolina area with Dr. Zannis. Dr. Zannis is board-certified plastic surgeon and breast enhancement expert whose breast lift procedures give patients natural, effective, long-lasting results with minimal complications and risks.

The Procedure

A breast lift at the Zannis Center for Plastic Surgery in New Bern, NC is performed under intravenous anesthesia in our accredited surgical suite. Different techniques for removing breast skin and reshaping the breast determine the location of the incisions and resulting scars. Dr. Zannis will select a technique based on your breast size and shape, areola size and position, degree of breast sagging, skin quality and elasticity and how much extra skin you have.

  • Dr. Zannis will remove excess breast skin and shift the nipple and areola to a higher position.
  • If your areola has become stretched, it can now be reduced in size.
  • Skin that was formerly located above the areola is brought down and together, beneath the breast, to reshape the breast.
  • Your surgeon will remove excess skin and close your incisions, tightening the skin, sewing the breast back together and placing sutures deep in the breast tissue to support the new breast position for a longer period of time.
  • Scars are mostly hidden under the breasts.
  • The nipples and areolas remain attached to underlying mounds of tissue, and this usually allows for the preservation of sensation and the ability to breast-feed.
  • In some patients, it may be possible to avoid the horizontal incision beneath the breast as well as the vertical incision that runs from the bottom edge of the areola to the breast crease. If you are a good candidate for a modified technique, Dr. Zannis will discuss this with you.

What are my options?
Here is a description of the different incision patterns and techniques that your plastic surgeon will choose from:

  • The “lollipop” lift, also known as a “keyhole” incision, made around the perimeter of the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease, is suitable for women with a moderate degree of sagging who will not be helped sufficiently by the periareolar technique and who do not want breast implants. This is the most commonly-used incision.
  • The “donut” lift, also known as the “periareolar incision,” made around the perimeter of the areola only, is suitable for women with a mild-to-moderate degree of sagging. When used by a skilled surgeon in conjunction with the placement of implants, it can produce a satisfactory result for patients with moderate sagging, although this incision alone tends to leave a scar that widens over time.
  • The “crescent” lift, which is less commonly used, is an incision that 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 in women with minor sagging. It cannot accomplish the same degree of lifting as the other incision techniques, but can help to adjust minimally asymmetric nipple heights.
  • The “anchor” incision, made around the perimeter of the areola, vertically down from the areola to the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease, produces the most scarring. It is for women with a severe degree of sagging who will not be helped sufficiently by less invasive techniques. This incision, which is the oldest technique, is often used for a breast lift in conjunction with a breast reduction.

Incisions follow your breasts’ natural contour defining the area of excision and the new location for the nipple. The scars typically heal very well and are barely noticeable by one year.

Simultaneous Lift with Implants (augmentation-mastopexy)

Known as an augmentation-mastopexy, this is a good option for women who desire more fullness of their breasts but also require a lift to correct droopy breasts. Dr. Zannis typically recommends the combination implant-lift surgery over performing it in stages. Usually, only a small-medium sized implant is needed when performed with a lift.

Potential Risks

Fortunately, significant complications from breast lift are infrequent. Your specific risks for breast lift will be discussed during your consultation.
All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries, including breast lift, are:

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
  • Infection and bleeding
  • Changes in sensation
  • Scarring
  • Allergic reactions
  • Damage to underlying structures
  • Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures
  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs

You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of Dr. Zannis and his team, both before and after your breast lift. As with a breast reduction, it is imperative not to smoke when undergoing a lifting procedure.


During your breast lift recovery, surgical tapes will be applied to the incisions after the procedure is completed.
You’ll need to wear a comfortable support bra that we provide to minimize swelling and support your breasts as they heal.
You will be given specific instructions that may include:

  • How to care for your breasts following surgery
  • Medications to take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
  • When to follow up with your plastic surgeon.

You can expect to return to work approximately one week after surgery, and resume vigorous exercise around one month.
Be sure to ask Dr. Zannis specific questions about what you can expect during your individual breast lift recovery period.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a non-surgical option for breast lifting?
Unfortunately, there is not a quick and easy way to lift the breasts. All effective techniques require a surgical procedure to reshape and remove excess skin.

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