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Am I a Good Candidate for a Vertical Breast Lift?

i am considering getting a vertical lift. but dont know if i am a candidate for it. i have large pendulous breasts that when i wear a bra look good. which means i have a fair amount of breast tissue. am i a good candidate for the vertical lift (lollipop)?

Doctor Answers (10)

Am I a good candidate for a vertical breast lift?

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Thank you for your question! It is normal for the breast to lose its firmness and perkiness over time, which is accentuated with age, pregnancy/breast feeding, weight gain/loss, and gravity. This ultimately results in ptosis, or sagging, of the breast with a “deflated” appearance. Women often seek the mastopexy, or breast lift, procedure to regain the previous youthful appearance of her breasts and desire that uplifted and perky appearance of her breasts. Women report increased confidence, self-esteem, and femininity once she achieves this desired shape and fullness. Breast lifts may or may not be performed with implants – the implant would add increased size but also greater fullness in the upper pole of the breasts which creates more cleavage. The implant itself will add these things - given your photos, a breast lift alone is a reasonable decision. It us also common for the areola to enlarge and stretch during these changes. The lift will also serve to raise the nipple areolar complex to its appropriate position above the breast crease and at the most projecting portion. In addition the areola size will be decreased, which is often desired by the woman.  Given your description it sounds as if a lollipop incision, if not even a full inverted 'T'/anchor incision, will likely be needed to give optimal shape. 

The decision for a breast lift will be up to you...depending on how much you are bothered about the shape as well as your concerns. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon well-versed in breast surgery and s/he will assist you in deciding if a mastopexy will be the right decision for you. Breast procedures to simply improve shape or appearance typically are considered aesthetic procedures and do not qualify for insurance coverage. Thank you for your question! Hope that this helps. Best wishes for a wonderful result!


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Lollipop or Vertical Breast Lift

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The lollipop or vertical mastopexy is best for patients with moderate ptosis who require several centimeters of nipple repositioning as well as narrowing and “coning” to reshape the breast tissue. This technique uses an incision around the nipple-areolar complex (similar to the periareolar incision, see above) as well as an incision extending from the bottom of the nipple to inframammary fold. This large incision allows more access to the breast tissue itself, a greater amount of reshape, and removal of a greater amount of skin to produce a high, firm, sexy breast. The advantages of this technique are the limited amount of scarring and possibly limited recurrent breast sagging. The main disadvantage to this operation is that immediately postoperatively patients may notice a “bulging” or “dog-ear” at the junction of the vertical scar and the inframammary fold. This usually resolves within six months but occasionally must be revised under local anesthesia in an office setting.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast Lifting Technique?

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Unfortunately, without examination or viewing photos,  treatment recommendations are not precise/useful. In person consultation with well experienced or certified classic surgeons will be helpful to you.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 681 reviews

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Drooping Breast sag correction with a lollipop, vertical or circumvertical lift

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From your description, this sounds like a reasonable option. A vertical lift is a great option when there is not alot of skin redundancy. IF your bra cup is not overflowing with skin, the lollipop may be a good procedure for you.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
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Vertical lift

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You may very well be a good candidate for a vertical lift, but without photos or an exam it is diffiuclt to say.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
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The "Good" Candidate

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It is very difficult to tell you if you are "good" candidate or not without pictures.  The best thing for you to do would be to schedule a consult with several board certified plastic surgeons.   The surgeons can go over the pros and cons of different types of lifts and examine you to determine if a lift is the appropriate procedure for you.

Dr. ES

Earl Stephenson, Jr., MD, DDS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
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Breasts for vertical type lift (mastopexy)

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I agree with the first two answers that an exam or at least photo is necessary to address this question but the other issue is the experience of the surgeon with vertical lifts. I strongly disagree with the answer that bases this on the distance from the sternal notch to the nipple. This is similar to referring to cup sizes without reference to the chest circumference. 

In my opinion and experience, the proper way to judge the degree of droop (ptosis) and suitability for a lift is how far the nipple is below the forward projection of the inframammary crease line regardless of where the sternal notch or clavicle falls. If this measurement is two cm or less than a lift procedure is minimally warranted and can even be compensated for using an implant (although implants don't lift breasts). Any kind of mastopexy can look good if the degree of droop is less than 2 cm but the scars may not be acceptable. 

Vertical lifts at the skin level that avoid a horizontal scar are counting on the areolar closure and vertical contraction of scars to take up the excess that is not removed by the horizontal skin excision/scar. The longer the degree of descent of the nipple/areola, the harder it is to take up this excess without a horizontal scar and there is no unanimity of opinion on this among plastic surgeons. It depends on the experience of the operating surgeon. One option is to do a vertical lift with a lollipop incisional scar and if it doesn't settle adequately a small scar adjustment can be done. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Vertical Short-Scar Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

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Without an examination, much less a photograph, it is impossible to begin to advise you on your being or not being a candidate for a Vertical Mastopexy. In general, the amount of sag, the extent of breast tissue fill/volume and the amount of excess breast skin would suggest one breast lifting technique over another.

The current family of breast lifting techniques is divided into two large classes; those which affect breast shape by only shaping the breast skin (this includes the classic Anchor / inverted T / Wise pattern ,as well as the periareolar / Benelli types of breast lift  procedures. The other class are the procedures which change and sculpt breast shape primarily and remove a minimal amount of skin secondarily (the Lassus-LeJour, Hall-Findlay Short Scar techniques).

With the exception of extremely sagging and extremely large breast, the vast majority of women CAN and DO EXTREMELY WELL with the SHORT SCAR VERTICAL BREAST LIFT Technique. Odds are can to.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Vertical Mastopexy Candidate

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Unfortunately, without seeing you, it is impossible to know what type of mastopexy is most appropriate.  The only thing i can tell you is that the more agressive you are with the incisions, the better lift you can achieve.  If this means adding a horizontal scar to get a better result, I would not hesitate.  The vertical lift has limits, and this cna really only be discerned on direct physical examination.

Christopher V. Pelletiere, MD
Barrington Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Lejour is great for 0-35cm

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Take a measuring tape and measure from your sternal nothc to your nipple. If the distance is less than 25cm you can have a circumareolar lift or vertical scar lift.

From 25 to 35 cm, you are a candidate for the vertical lift.

Longer than 35 cm, consider an anchor scar technique with possible free nipple grafts.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 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.