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Breast Lift Options? Don't Want an Anchor Scar or Implants. (photo)

I'd like a breast lift. A recent convo with a plastic surgeon greatly discouraged me; he said an anchor scar was my only option. I've seen women with greater degrees of ptosis with lollipop lifts. I was also interested in the internal sling lift. My biggest concern is feeling like "myself but better," w/ minimal scars; I want natural looking results individual to my case. I don't want implants or tiny nipples. Sagging is mostly on the top of the breast down, not under by the fold. Please advise.

Doctor Answers 22

Breast lift without an anchor scar

Most often in our practice for both lift and reduction we like to avoid the anchor scar, and find that the vertical lift will give satisfactory lift and stability. You will not need an implant unless you want the extra volume. Best of luck 

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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Breast Lift Options


Even the guy who 'wrote the book' on vertical type mastopexy, Dennis Hammond, MD and his famous SPAIR technique, would end up giving you a J or L shaped vertical scar, essentially half an anchor.  The problem is the degree of vertical excess of skin that you have requires an excision that either forms an inframammary scar in the case of an anchor incision, or is taken up in a giant circle of skin around the areola in the case of a vertical incision.  I have seen too many people walk into my office with devastating deformaties from surgeons who've tried to do a vertical mastopexy on the wrong candidate.

I agree with Dr. Rand.  99.9% of my patients find the appearance of their breasts much more pleasing with the incisions after surgery, compared to how their breasts looked before surgery. If you cannot come to terms with scaring, you are much better off doing nothing at all. You should be skeptical of the 'internal sling' lift.  If it sounds too good to be true....

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Breast Lift Options

Thanks for your question -

A lollipop lift - or a vertical mastopexy - can be very powerful in terms of correcting breast ptosis.  A Wise pattern lift (anchor scar) has the ability to typically provide better correction but you may be able to get the look your seeking with a vertical alone.

What can be a valuable step is to bring photos of what you'd like your post-op results to look like.  Review them with your surgeon to best determine the appropriate surgery.

Also keep in mind that the transverse part of the scar is usually well hidden within the breast fold.


I hope this helps!

Breast lift without anchor scar

Thank you for the photos. You have somewhat constricted breasts with a wide cleavage and very large areolae. You would get an excellent result from a short scar, vertical breast lift. This will give you a rounder, more projecting breast with an improved cleavage and reduced areolar size. The vertical scar fades very nicely, especially in light skinned individuals. With this lift, no breast tissue needs to be removed, you will be the same cup size with younger and better looking breasts. Get another opinion with a surgeon who is well versed in breast surgery and knows how to individualize the treatment and not just offer one operation for all comers. Good luck.

Breast lift

From the photos, it looks like you  may be a good candidate for a vertical lift. An in office exam would be necessary to suggest it for sure. This can limit the incisions to look like a lollipop.  The nipple would not be made smaller, but the areolas would a little.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Breast lift without anchor scar

From your photo, it  appears that you would be a candidate for a vertical mastopexy which would provide a lift, more upper pole fullness, and a final "lollipop" scar.  Ask your surgeon if he is comfortable with this procedure and ask to see examples of his work.

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

You can't cheat mother nature

Unfortunately there is no way to give you a proper breast lift without the full scar pattern, just your anatomy doesn't allow for that.  If this would make you unhappy, then the best thing to do is to do nothing.  What I can tell you is that if you get a great shape (central pedicle free hand shaped is best IMO) you will eventually not mind the scars.  It is a trade off of shape for scar.  Check the photos on my web site and ask if you would be happy looking like these folks.  If not, please do nothing.

Options to improve the shape of the breast

You would be a good candidate for a vertical mastopexy with a breast implant for volume.  There are several different types of breast lifts including a peri-areolar crescent lift, a doughnut or Benelli lift, a Vertical Mastopexy and a Key hole or anchor type mastopexy.  All have specific parameters.  Based on your appearance and the degree of breast tissue below the inframammary crease you would get the best result with a vertical mastopexy with a breast augmentation.  If you were only interested in a breast lift then a vertical mastopexy with a dermal pedicle autoaugmentation may be a reasonable alternative.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

There's a couple ways you could approach your breast lift

As noted, we all have our biases for incisions for these types of surgery. We uses multiple types (t-scar, true vertical, J-shaped vertical, periareolar only,  and horizontal only) of incision based on your breast shape, volume, and skin quality

I think the best answer for your cases is that you "might" be able to shorten on minimize a horizontal component, but it could be hard. You have a very dilated areola diameter that is going to produce a lot of vertical tension with a straight up-down closure (ie. a lollipop incision). That may be manageable, but you may have to do some kind of  extended "J" shape horizontally to deal with the skin pucker and you're going to have to be very careful with the nipple inset as it would be easy to place it too high with a vertical reduction/mastopexy pattern.

While you can be done with an extended vertical pattern (j-shape), I think your areolar size might make it a little less predictable then a T-scar. While I don't do many of them anymore, you're actually also a real good candidate for a horizontal (no vertical scar) mastopexy if you want the shape to look most like an implant kind of result.

Robert Oliver Jr., MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

Breast Lift (Mastopexy) without Anchor Scars - Less Scarring

Mastopexy (breast lift) procedures can be performed with a number of different  techniques that have reduced scarring.  During your consultation with your surgeon, examination that includes breast measurements and evaluation of your tissues will determine which techniques you are a candidate for.  Ask your surgeon if he or she employs shorter scar techniques.  

Craig Mezrow, MS, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.