What Degree of Ptosis Am I? Minor, Moderate or Severe? What Technique Is Best For Me? (photo)

I decided to get a breast lift. Although, I have not been seen by a plastic surgeon as of yet. I will be making an appointment as soon as possible. However, I have a few questions. Will a lift help with stretch marks? Which technique will serve me best, Perareolar, Circumareolar, Vertical or Anchor? What's the average cost? Will I go down in bra size? I am 38 years of age with no children. 135 pounds at 5'1 and my bra size is 38D. All opinion will be appreciated. Thanks

Doctor Answers 12

Short scar breast lift (vertical incision) should give best result

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Based on your photos, a vertical incision (lollipop incision) should give a very nice breast lift.  Your nipple position will be improved as well as the overall contour of your breast. This type of breast lift gives very nice projection to the breast and can remove some of the heavier, lower portion of the breast. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon for a complete review of your options. Best wishes, Dr.Bruno


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 412 reviews

Full breast lift required

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Your photos are quite helpful but they won't replace the need for a consultation to obtain the most accurate recommendations. Given the extent of your drooping, anything short of an anchor shaped scar will not truly provide you with the most desirable shape.

The lift will not improve the decreased elasticity of your skin though some of the stretch marks will be removed with the skin contouring and excision.

Costs would depend on multiple factors including specific doctor, area and facility.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

What atype of Breast Lift

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From the photos (thanks for enclosing them) it is obvious you need a full lift and would probably benefit from a bit of a reduction as well. When plastic surgeons are polled at large meetings as to whether they prefer the anchor scar or the lollipop scar they majority always come down on the side of the anchor scar. But quite a few surgeons get great results with the lollipop. I think you should interview a few good surgeons and see pictures of their results and then go with the person you feel best about. If you have a history of thick heavy scars you may want to rethink the surgery all together. The scar doesn't know if  it's an anchor or a lollipop and if you always get bad scars, that's not going to change with this surgery. I have performed my favorite, the anchor, on lots of women of color who do not have a history of bad scars and the results have been very good.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

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Breast Lift and Reduction

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Hello Jojoenglish,

You have significant (grade III, for what it's worth) ptosis.  Your breasts are also large and heavy.  You want a result that is not only pretty, but durable, that is to say, lasts as long as possible.  As you have already read from the other doctor's posts, small lifts are out and most agree on a reduction with either an anchor or vertical scar. 

I concour that you would benefit most from a reduction and lift.  Given the amount of skin to be removed, it would be difficult to do a true vertical-only scar without some of that scar running along the bottom of the breast towards the side.  That is why I always recommend and perform a short anchor scar for someone like you, seeing that it will be inevitable to have some scaring along the bottom.

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Breast Lift options

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A breast lift procedure is performed to elevate the nipple/areola to a normal level, remove excess skin below the breast and create more symmetry.  A breast reduction procedure accomplishes the same goals, but removes excess breast tissue to decrease the size of the breasts. 

In your case, you will need a small breast reduction.  You can maintain your "D" cup size, but your breasts will be much perkier.  A lollipop incision or balloon incision will easily accomplish that goal.  Because of the pigment in your skin, you are at a higher risk of developing unsightly scars (keloids and hypertrophic scars).  So, the smaller the scar, the better for you.  Stay away from the anchor scar.

If your stretch marks are in the skin that is removed, they will be gone.  If your stretch marks are in the remaining skin, they will still be present, but less noticiable because the tension pulling the stretch marks from the hanging breast tissue will be relieved.

This type of procedure will maintain the blood supply, milk ducts and nerves to the nipple/areola.  Therefore, you should maintain feeling, sensitivity and the ability to breast feed, if you should so desire in the future.  There is very little blood loss and the procedure can be performed as an outpatient.  The recovery is fast, 3-5 days with dissolvable sutures and very minimal post operative pain.  The entire procedure should take around 2 hours, 1 hour per side.

Good Luck!




David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

How much ptosis

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Your pictures represent severe or Grade 3 ptosis.  Most surgeons would recommend an anchor type lift, though some may recommend a vertical lift, but these sometimes are prone to recurrent sagging over time.

Breast lift

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With your nipples pointing downward, you would benefit from a full lift with either an anchor incision or a vertical Lollipop lift scar.  Good luck.

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

You would benefit from full lift

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I would agree with other surgeons and would suggest multiple consultation and full lift.You would benefit from reduction at the same time.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

What Degree of Breast Sagging (Ptosis) do I have? Minor, Moderate or Severe?

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You obviously have done your homework.

You appear to have Regnault Class 3 ptosis (sagging) and as such you would NOT benefit from any of the minor lift procedures. You should get longer lasting perky breasts with a Short-Scar Technique (such as the Hall-Findlay) which leaves a lollipop scar. (This does NOT mean than the reverse is true that a lollipop-type lift is the equivalent of a Hall-Findlay Mastopexy).

The cost will vary from area to area. Chicago is more expensive than Memphis but cheaper than LA or New York.

At this point you need to see one or more Plastic surgeons to learn which technique is applicable to you. Why not start by seeing Dr. Placik, a RealSelf leader? You can view his answers on this forum and his website.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Type of Breast Lift?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

I would classify your breast ptosis as severe;  in my hands,  you would do best within “anchor” breast lift. You will not necessarily go down in bra size although your ultimate cup  size is unpredictable. 

Cost of the surgery will vary from region to region and from surgeon to surgeon.

I would suggest in person consultation with well experienced board certified plastic surgeons;  ask to see lots of examples of their “work” and speak to other patients who have had similar procedures.

Best wishes. 


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.