How do the different techniques of the anchor procedure and the lollipop procedure affect the final appearance of the breast?

Other than the obvious difference is scar pattern, what physical characteristics can be achieved or not achieved with the two different techniques. Is one better at centering the nipple or narrowing the width of the breast, making the breast project more or not, etc?

Doctor Answers 5

Anchor vs. lollipop breast reduction technique

It is a common misunderstanding that the anchor scar or lollipop scar technique produces specific results. They do not. They merely refer to the scar pattern. However, there are indicationS for each and there are pros and cons for each. There are also more specific techniques that are associated with each scar pattern. Other factors that categorize techniques are the pedicles that carry the nipple areola complex (eg., vertical bipedicle, superior pedicle, central or inferior pedicle, etc.), the use of liposuction, and the use of internal stitches or scaffolding of dermis or synthetic mesh. One concept with the anchor is to match up the skin incision lengths so the end result is idealized as to shape and size. However, changes in shape such as bottoming out may occur over time. With the lollipop or vertical scar technique, some cheating on the incision lengths leads to pleating or puckering and often the post-op stretching is used to advantage in an immediate upside-down appearance with more fullness on top and flatness on the bottom of the breast. This upside-down configuration is generally predicted to reverse itself as the soft tissue loosens. Also, because the lollipop scar technique avoids skin resection in the anterior-posterior direction (except around the areola), there is a tendency for the breast shape to be more pointed or projecting than the anchor scar. But this is also dependent on how the underlying breast gland is treated. The main point is to customize the techniques or maneuvers to fit the patient's anatomy and goals

Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Avoid obsolete vertical scar technique

The anchor procedure was developed by Wise in 1956, results in a vertical scar, frequent nipple numbness and the inability to breast feed. The lollipop procedure was developed later but has the disadvantage of the vertical scar and inadequate lift. In both techniques, the vertical scar is often prominent, can widen and can break down, particularly at the T-shaped intersections. For this reason, a new technique was developed called The Ultimate Breast LiftTM. This technique avoids the ugly vertical scars, maintains nipple sensation and the ability to breast feed. The breasts are reshaped creating upper pole fullness, elevated higher on the chest wall and more medial to increase your cleavage. The weight of the breast is transferred to the underlying muscle resulting immediate pain relief. This allows the patient to choose the size proportionate to their body without excessive reduction. I personally do not use the lollipop or anchor incisions because in my opinion they are obsolete.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 223 reviews

Different breast lift technique different outcome

Hello and thank you for your question.
Theoretically, most surgeons will tell you that more projection, coning of the breast is or can be achieved with the vertical (lollipop) lift. However, over time, I'm not so sure this holds true, as the breasts settle. In order to determine which procedure is best suited for you, because not everyone is a candidate for a lollipop lift, I recommend that you see a board certified plastic surgeon in consultation to get more specific answers to your questions which can best be addressed after a thorough history and examination is performed.

Best of luck to you!

David L. Cangello, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Lollipop Versus Anchor Lift/Reduction

Both procedures are safe and effective for lifting or reducing the breasts.  Most Plastic Surgeons are very experienced with the anchor technique as it is the one most commonly used and taught in training.  The Lollipop technique was initially not generally accepted, but modifications of the procedure has led to increasing popularity over the last decade. Aside from the obvious reduction in scars, the lollipop technique tends to result in less bottoming out, and more projection of the breast.  In the right patient, it can give a very youthful result.  As in any case, proper patient selection is paramount. Discuss these matters further with a board certified plastic surgeon skilled at both procedures.  Best wishes.

Robert F. Centeno, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Anchor or lollipop

Dear Mandolynn,

Both techniques can center the nipple, narrow the breast and improve projection.  I find that the lollipop technique is more suitable for smaller breasts and younger patients.  

Richard A. Bartlett, MD
Brookline Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 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.