Q: Dr. Eppley, I am going to have a breast augmentation done next month. I also wanted my right nipple to be lifted and brought up to the level of my left side. My doctor said that I didn’t need to have it done and that it would put a scar around my nipple and down the breast if I did it. In my reading of nipple lifts this doesn’t make sense to me. Why does my doctor say it can’t be done without a lot of scar and I have read that it can. Can you explain this to me?
A: In solving this discrepancy for you, there are numerous types of breast lift techniques. Which one is best for any particular patient depends on numerous factors including how much sagging the breast has (how low does the nipple hang) and how much scar can the patient tolerate. The most limited scar technique is that of a nipple lift, also known as a superior crescent mastopexy. By removing a small crescent of skin from the top of the nipple, the nipple position can be elevated about 1 cm. For very minor breast lifts with small amounts of sagging this may be all that is needed. I suspect this is what you have been reading about or are referring to. The next type of breast lifts are the circumareolar or donut lift (scar around the whole nipple) and the vertical breast lift. (scar around the nipple and down to the fold, the one to which your doctor is referring) Both of these will move the nipple up higher but with more scar.
Which type of breast lift you may need depends on the difference in the horizontal levels of your two breast nipples. Without knowing that information, I can not recommend what lifting method may be needed in your case.
Dr. Barry Eppley