Is the anchor cut my only option for a breast lift? (Photo)

Doctor Answers 22

Breast lift options: Is the anchor the only choice?

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Some doctors recommend the lollipop and some the anchor. The purpose of the bottom incision of the anchor (toward the crease of the breast) is to shorten the distance from the nipple/areola to the crease under the breast. The droopier the breast the longer this distance is and the more this distance needs to be shortened. The anchor is better suited for the longer distance situation. An in-person evaluation with a plastic surgeon will help you determine which procedure would benefit you the most. If your surgeon recommends the anchor procedure, inquire if he or she uses the I.D.E.A.L. breast lift approach for the anchor. Hope this helps and good luck. For more information on this and similar topics, I recommend a plastic surgery Q&A book like "The Scoop On Breasts: A Plastic Surgeon Busts the Myths."

Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Many different lift options available

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Restoring shape and volume is what breast enhancement procedures are all about.  When there is loose skin, this must be addressed.  There are many options available with different lift procedures and a multitude of breast implant options.  Here is a basic list of the four options available:

  1. Breast lift alone (mastopexy)
  2. Breast lift combined with a small breast implant (below the muscle)
  3. Breast lift followed by a large breast implant (2 separate procedures)
  4. Breast implant alone (on top of the muscle, silicone)

Every woman is built differently and every breast is different, even on the same person.  So, each procedure is customized for every individual.  The final decision on how to proceed can be made after a history and physical examination, detailed measurements, photographs, computer simulation, trying on sizers, reviewing before and after photographs of other women similar in shape and size and talking with your surgeon.  A surgical plan will be developed that depends on:

  • Patient desires
  • The breast "footprint"
  • The expertise of the surgeon
  • Cost
  • Down time
  • Scars
  • Risks and potential complications

Please consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who performs breast enhancement procedures frequently.  This is an outpatient procedure with a quick recovery and a very high patient satisfaction rating.

Good Luck!

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Types of lifts

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The type of mastopexy(breast lift) needed or required depends on the amount of breast ptosis(sagging/droopiness) present. Just as there are different stages of ptosis, there are different types of lifts. A face to face consult with a Board Certified Plastic surgeon is always recommended in order to have a thorough exam and personalized recommendations which may include the addition of implants or even fat transfer at the time of your lift. In addition, the look you desire may play a role in the type of lift as well.

Clayton L. Moliver, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Breast Lift

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Thank you for your question and sharing your photo. 

Anchor is not the only option for you, There is also the lollipop and "J" that is performed for making a lift. 

The technique used will depend on the surgeon you chose. 

I recommend you going for a certified plastic surgeon, thats your only guarantee. 

Good Luck!

Rafael Lluberes Freites, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews


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I appreciate your question.

I perform a liposuction breast lift that removes tissue from the areas you don't want such as near the armpit and the lower portion hanging near your stomach. Once I use this to shape the breast I then remove the skin to tighten the breast and create a better shape with nice cleavage. Since I perform this less invasively the recovery time is faster. The size would depend on the proportion with your body versus going for a cup size.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.  Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic plastic surgery.


Best of luck!


Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Breast lift option

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Based on your photo, it appears that the anchor type breast lift would give you the best chance to have an optimal lift and reshaping of your breasts.  Be sure to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck! 

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Anchor scar vs Lollipop scar vs scar around the areola

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We have come a long way with breast enhancements over the years. The procedures available to patients today are very powerful in improving the shape of the breast. Procedures to lift the breast with scars around the areolas alone are not in favor as the scar spreads and the results aren't great. The anchor scar vs the vertical scar very much depends on your surgeons experience/training. It's always a good idea to limit the length of the scar but only if your getting good results with that scar technique.

As I look at your photos you have relatively narrow breasts that are good for the vertical scar technique. You are also a good candidate for a breast augmentation and reduction alternative if you desire a breast that is higher, tighter and with superior breast fullness that only comes with a breast implant. The reduction is the removal of some of the sagging breast tissue. The combination is very powerful--but not necessarily for everybody. 

The important issue for you to understand is that best alternative for you very much depends on your surgeon. I would visit with 3 and decide which approach is best for you. Experience truly matters with more complicated breast enhancements alternatives. Always tell your doctor what your goals are--what result you would like and then he/she can determine the best way to achieve your goals. A good doctor is like UBER--tell me where you want to go and I'll help you get there, but you need to know where you want to go or you can end up somewhere you don't want to be.

Some Basic Incisions for the Breast Lift

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A mastopexy or breast lift operation is designed to improve the shape and position of the breast without reducing their size. It is used for breasts which sag or droop (ptosis). Sagging of the breasts may occur with normal development for some women, or as part of the aging process. Pregnancy, breast-feeding and weight loss are other conditions which increase breast ptosis. Some patients will have a better shape to their breast such as increased superior fullness if an implant is used at the time of mastopexy. The procedure can also be combined with a minor breast reduction to reduce the breast width if desired. The surgery will create an elevated, more youthful breast contour. Also, the procedure will create nipple and areolae of the desired size and at the correct height.

I prefer to use a #shortscar technique, #LollipopScar or #DonutLift” rather than the majority of surgeons in the United States that use an anchor pattern lift which involve more significant scarring.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Breast lifts

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There are pros and cons of the various methods of breast lift / incisions and there are a number of options. You do not necessarily need an anchor incision and you may be best to obtain a second opinion if your PS can not explain the pros and cons adequately to you. 

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Is the anchor lift my only option?

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The best breast lift (mastopexy) is the one that your surgeon does the best.  In other words, you need to understand that some surgeons are more comfortable with one particular technique and you will therefore get different answers from different surgeons. You have good upper pole fullness and you do not need implants unless you want to increase that fullness some more.  I believe that you can achieve a good result with a mastopexy alone with lollipop scars - but only if your surgeon is comfortable with that technique.  Make sure that you stay close to home for your surgery because follow-up care is just as important as the procedure itself. 

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.