During a breast lift (mastopexy), the breast tissue beneath the skin is rearranged in a three-dimensional fashion, to reshape the breast itself. This is actually the most important part of the operation.
In addition to this, excess skin must be removed, and the skin surrounding the breast tissue must be re-draped. In a very droopy breast, this is referred as "re draping the crepe".
Since most breast lifts involve both a reduction of the "skin envelope" both vertically and horizontally (i.e. a 3-D reduction of skin to mirror the 3-D reshaping of the breasts), both a vertical and horizontal scar must be created. This is in addition to a circular scar around the nipple and areolar complex.
The vertical scar ends downward from the bottom of the areola to the breast fold. The horizontal incision lies just within the breast fold, also known as the "inframammary fold" (IMF).
The length of the horizontal scar depends on the width of your breast, the amount of redundant skin you have to be reduced, and how much additional tissue or fat you have on the sides - known as the "lateral breast" or "axillary roll" area.
Very often, if you have additional fat here, liposuction may be done at the same time to help shape this area, and to enable the IMF scars to be as short as possible.
Either way, all scars from a breast lift are usually hidden in a triangle-top string bikini, and certainly in all your undergarments! Remember that it takes at least a full year until your scars are completely "mature" (soft, flat, faded).
Karen M. Horton, M.D., M.Sc., F.R.C.S.C.