Alternative to Anchor Incision for Breast Lift?

I got Silicone breast implants two years ago, going from a B cup to a full D. Since then, I've had Torsoplasty, Liposuction and gotten smaller.

Now, I'm a size 4 with a tiny waist (gastric bypass five years ago) but have enormous boobs. If I got smaller implants would I need to have a Breast Lift too? If so, is there an alternative to the "anchor" incision that would be less visible?

Doctor Answers 10

Alternative to Anchor Incision Breast Lift

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Hello Sleepy,

The vertical breast lift (think lollipop scar) is an excellent procedure that can be used to remove much of the excess skin and provide a very nice breast lift. Of course the decision to use this approach depends on your particular situation. The amount and quality of the excess skin plasy a major role in determining if you are a good candidate for the vertical breast lift.

Another alternative to the anchor scar is what is known as the vertical lift with a short-T (or horizontal) scar. This is essentially the 'lollipop' scars with a smaller horizontal scar in your breast crease that does not extend the full length of the breast and thus is barely visible. Minimizing scars has come a long ways in the plastic surgery realm so remember to ask your plastic surgeon if you are a good candidate for a breast lift without the full anchor scar.

Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Alternatives to anchor Breast Lift scar

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Yes, Sleepy, there are alternatives -- that's the good news. The bad news is it depends on the patient. Without seeing you I can't tell you if you are a good candidate or not. A lot depends on your skin quality and how much extra skin you have. It is easy to say I never use an anchor scar, but as soon as I say that a patient walks in with too much skin or too poor quality skin to achieve this goal.

Meet with several plastic surgeons. Some will use one technique that fits all, others like myself, will adjust the procedure to fit that particular patient. Some patients will end up with a peri-areolar lift just around the areolar while many have a lollipop type incision around the areolar and straight down.

If I am unsure on a patient I will frequently do the lollipop and if after 3 months there is still some skin excess I can excise it with a shorter horizontal scar than I would with an anchor lift

Good luck in your hunt.

Breast lift scars

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1) You probably will need a breast lift.

2) In Manhattan, we never use the "anchor" scar for a breast lift. In my opinion, it is not necessary, and you get long lasting results with a "vertical" lift.

3) You should end up either with circular scars around your nipples only, or else with "lollipop" scars.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Large Implants May Have Stretched Your Skin

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Also, because you are a weight loss patient you may have poor elasticity of the skin. One alternative I ahve pursued is to remove the implants and let the skin settle for 6 weeks or so. Sometimes it's not necessary to do a lift after that when we go back to insert the smaller implants..

I have used a version of the LeJour technique (a lollipop shaped scar) for all my breast lifts, including WLS patients, and have not found the anchor scar necessary even in very large reductions or lifts.

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 276 reviews

Alternative for breast lift

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The ultimate decision is dependent on what you have to start with, what you want to end up with, and what risks you are willing to undergo. If scars are such a negative for you, an approach might require a different solution that if scars with of minimal concern. The more you fill up the loose skin, the less you have to tighten it by removing skin and the less scars you will have. There are alternatives to the anchor incisions and I have not have to use this anchor incision except of a very rare patient for many years (though often with extreme weight loss patients). Planning and discussing advantages and disadvantages is key. Be sure you spend lots of time with your surgeon and that alternatives are discussed fully.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Down-sizing breast implants

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Once your tissues have been stretched by larger implants and having been heavier in the past, the skin does not typically recoil as much as we would like.

It is impossible to give you the best advice without seeing you in consultation but it would be unusual to get very much lift or tightening of the skin without the vertical scar that you seem to be concerned about.

Less agressive techniques such as the peri-areolar or around the areola technique are just that, less aggressive. I would discuss with your plastic surgeon what your concerns are and see what they have to offer you. I wish you well.

Dr Edwards

Do I need breast lift if I switch implants to smaller size?

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Hi Sleep36. Without seeing pictures I cannot tell 100%. However, in general, yes. The smaller implants will take up less of the "skin envelope" and usually the excess skin will not shrink enough, so you will need a lift to get rid of this excess skin and, usually, you need the lift to reposition the nipple higher as well.

The design of the scar depends on the distance the nipple needs to be elevated. An anchor pattern is necessary if the distance is very long. Shorter distances can be treated with a lollipop scar (peri-areolar and vertical) or with a lollipop plus a SHORT

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast Lifting after Downsizing of Breast Implants?

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Thank you for the question.

Unfortunately,  it is not possible to give you accurate advice without direct examination or viewing pictures. Whether you will benefit from breast lifting (and what technique necessary) after downsizing of breast implants will depend on several factors including the quality of skin elasticity ( often poor after significant weight loss),  the amount of “loose” skin present, and your goals.

In person examination by well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons will be helpful to you.

Best wishes.

Alternative to anchor incision

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WIthout an exam I couldn;t tell you what might work for you, but in general there are other options of lifts including a lollipop type of incision closure.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

It is possible not to have an anchor scar with a breast lift

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It is difficult to give an exact answer without seeing any photos of you. It is possible that you would do well and be in better proportion by just removing your implants and doing a short scar or lollipop scar lift. You can see examples of this on my web site.

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.