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Do I Need a Lift with My Breast Reduction?


This is a popular question among many prospective breast reduction patients. To cut to the chase, every breast reduction includes a breast lift! The mechanics of a breast reduction procedure involve developing a “pedicle” of tissue designed to support the nipple-areolar complex and elevating that pedicle, which essentially elevates the nipple complex on this “pillar” of tissue. This is how the lift is achieved. In addition, selected areas of breast tissue are thinned to the appropriate thickness, ultimately producing a beautiful, natural appearance.

A common question from patients is: “Do the nipples actually get taken off during the procedure?” For the technique that I do, the answer is “NO.”  The nipple is still “connected” to the pedicle. This is like a vascular “extension cord” that still allows the nerves and blood vessels to remain connected to the nipple. Older techniques would sometimes involve free nipple grafting (which is the actual removal of the nipple), but this results in a far inferior aesthetic outcome and is never employed at my practice.

At Boynton Plastic Surgery, I typically utilize a medial pedicle technique (like with lifts) for breast reduction surgery. This involves taking more tissue off the bottom of the breasts and preserving the inside and upper tissue. The breasts are also lifted on the chest wall (which gives a projection similar to that of a small implant), and I spend a lot of time carefully attaining symmetry. In most cases, the breasts are shaped and/or sized differently, so I remove varying amounts of tissue to achieve uplift, smaller volume, and optimal proportions. For the majority of women, the medial pedicle approach tends to yield a better breast shape, and there is also less of a chance for “bottoming out” in comparison to the traditional inferior pedicle method that is commonly performed by other surgeons.

So, as I previously mentioned, a lift is incorporated into every breast reduction in order to produce an ideal outcome. If you are interested in this popular procedure, I encourage you to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who has considerable experience and proven results with the medial pedicle technique.

Dr. James F. Boynton