Is a Full Anchor Lift the Only/ Best Option for Me? (photo)

Hi I'm 26 years old 5'3 and have one child who I breast fed for 1yr. I'm biracial black/ Caucasian and wear a 30 F uk size bra. I weigh on average 112lbs. My breasts pre pregnancy have pretty much always looked like this since developing. Although they ballooned to a 32 H during pregnancy then lost volume. I'm not sure if my sore back is connected to the proportions of my breast to my frame. With my family complete I am researching an uplift. Will scars heal better/ worse than my c section?

Doctor Answers 21

Vertical Breast Lift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

For several years I have been using a 'vertical scar' technique for most breast reductions, which eliminates the long, horizontal incision in the inframammary fold below the breasts. I have also adapted this technique for breast lift surgery, and have been extremely pleased with the results. As with breast reduction patients, this new technique not only eliminates the horizontal incision, but also creates more impressive breast projection and maintains it better over time. The breast lift procedure I perform not only removes breast skin but also moves some lower pole breast tissue to a higher position, increasing the projection of the nipple/areola area.

Breast lift surgery works well for patients with enough existing breast tissue to build a projecting 'breast mound'. However, in most breast lift Raleigh / Durham patients it is difficult to create sustainable fullness in the upper poles of the breasts by means of a mastopexy alone. This is particularly true in patients who have experienced significant deflation following pregnancy and lactation. For patients who indicate that they wish to achieve a fair amount of fullness in the cleavage area as a result of their breast lift surgery, I recommend that they undergo augmentation mastopexy. This surgery combines a breast lift with the placement of a breast implant usually of modest size, which produces the most youthful breast profile possible.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Which mastopexy incision?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If you are willing to accept the HIGH risks of needing a revision of your inframammary area, you can have a vertical lift/lollipop scar.  If you want to minimize the need for a revision, an anchor technique will likely produce a smoother result but at the expense of significantly more scarring.  Its a tough choice but one you will have to make.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Good Candidate for a Breast Lift, Key Hole Type

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

From your description and photographs it appears that you have significant breast sagging or ptosis.  I would estimate that you have greater than 6 cm of breast tissue below your inframammary crease.  It is likely that some of your somatic complaints such as upper back pain may be associated with your breast sagging.  The best surgical procedure for you would be a key hole type mastopexy.  It is also difficult to predict your degree of scarring as compared to your C section scar other than to say that you are not a keloid former.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Is a Full Anchor Lift the Only Option?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Based on your photos and the imformation provided, I would most likely recommend a traditional anchor type breast lift. You appear to have a significant amount of extra skin and a good deal of ptosis (sagging), so I feel achieving a good correction would require the so-called anchor lift. There are likely some surgeons who feel the could achieve a good result for you with a verticle mastopexy (lollipop lift). The techniques not only differ in the amount and location of the scars but also the final shape or configuration of the breast. The lollipop lift tends to look very full underneath, and in some cases bottomed out. Because you do require a lot of skin removal, I think that in your case the vertical scar would be excessively long and you breast would look overly full beneath the areola.

The appearance of scars on one part of the body is not necessarily a good predictor of what a scar would look like elsewhere on the body. There are many varialbles that determine the appearance of scars including which part of the body, tension on the wound, type of suture used, specific closure technique, surgeon doing closure, and your own genetic healing characteristics. In general, people of color tend to make darker scars but this is not always the case. Skin bleaching creams can help reduce hyperpigmentation of scars if that occurs. 


Full anchor lift no longer the only option

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi Dolores,

Thank you for your question and photos.

The Ultimate Breast Lift does not require the visible vertical scar. A vertical scar inherently weakens the lift by weakening the skin envelope at the point of maximum tension. This is why all vertical lifts eventually bottom out. Another architectural advantage of the UBL technique is that the weight of the breast is permanently anchored to the chest muscles to relieve the skin envelope from the breast load. The incisions are hidden around the areola and the inframammary fold. Upper pole fullness is achieved without breast implants. Results are natural  and long lasting. Do your research.

This is a great start.

Kind regards,

Dr. H 


Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Is a Full Anchor Lift the Only/ Best Option for Me?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I think it is the best, though perhaps not the only option.

It is unwise to give definitive advice from a photo when an actual in person exam is so much more useful, but this advice is not definitive!

It may be that a vertical lift, with an incision around the areolas and then down to the breast fold will be enough. But if the nipples and areolas need enough lift, there can be too much breast skin in the lower part of the breast, and an incision in the fold may be needed to trim the excess.

When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.

Thank you for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

30 F lift or reduction?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thanks for your question. You would be a great candidate for a reduction. If you like your general size then a lift would be the procedure of choice and you would loose very little volume. The best way to evaluate ptosis (sag) is by physical exam but a picture can give a preliminary idea. The best picture is a side profile. In general breast lifts are done to not only raise the nipple but also to make the areolar/nipple complex smaller and raise the breast tissue to a more natural youthful position. Of course, the key to a great breast lift is patient selection and technique selection. Areolar lifts are generally good for women with good skin quality, breast tissue reasonably placed and a nipple/areola that are sagging no more than 2 cm. Once the breasts sag past that point, it is necessary to perform a lollipop lift which not only repositions the sagging breast tissues but also the nipple and areola. The final and most aggressive lift is an anchor lift which places both a vertical and horizontal incision. Again the determinant is the degree of sagging, skin quality and amount of breast tissue. Last, if there is a deficiency in breast tissue, an augmentation can be done either together with the lift or as separate procedures. Make sure you visit with a board certified plastic surgeon get get specifics on your situation.


Anchor Lift vs Vertical Lift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

   Most plastic surgeons have a preference one way or the other, but both may be appropriate.  Make sure you look at before and afters and the shape of the breasts after.

Anchor vs Lollipop type of Breast lift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Although you may be a reasonable candidate for either a lollipop or anchor type of breast lift, given your photos, you may require some vertical skin reduction/resection and therefore the anchor type of breast lift may give you a better final  shape.  A good compromise may be a short scar anchor lift which limits the lenght of the scar in the inframammary fold.  One could also consider the use of Acellular Dermal Matrix graft, which may help give the breast better support and may prevent the breast from further sagging or bottoming out.  Best wishes.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Breast lift options

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I think either anchor or lollipop lift can give you a more lifted result. In the hands of capable and experienced surgeons you will get a significant result with either of the techniques.  The differences is personal experiences of the surgeon with a particular technique. With regard to scar healing, there is no guarantee that it will heal better or worse than your C-section scar. Hopefully the benefit of a breast lift will be enough to go through with your surgery. With good surgical execution, and proper healing, it's fair to be optimistic that you will end up with an nicely healed scar and better shaped breasts.

Best Wishes,

Stewart Wang, MD FACS, Wang Plastic Surgery

Stewart Wang, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 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.