Am I Eligible for a Short Scar or Scarless Breast Reduction?

I am currently a 36G, 5 feet 6 inches and 130 pounds and 36 years old. My breasts have always been a tremendous weight that causes back pain, headaches and overall posture problems. I have breastfed three children and I'm left with heavy tissue and sagging breasts. I am wondering if you think I would be eligible for a short scar or scarless breast reduction and not in need of the full anchor scar? I've attached my photo for your review. Thank you so much in advance.

Doctor Answers 23

Am I Eligible for a Short Scar or Scarless Breast Reduction?

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I will echo the opinions expressed by my colleagues, Based on your photos, I do not believe that you are good candidate for a short scar breast reduction. Because of the ptosis exhibited in your photos, a significant reduction will require the use of an "anchor" type scar.

Columbus Plastic Surgeon

Vertical Breast Reduction vs Anchor Incision and Scars

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All surgery prodeces scars.  Plastic surgery is designed to have the scars defy detection as much as possible.  We can get nice incioions and resultant scars which usually heal fine.  In some patients thick scars can orrur.  I do not know who told you there is a scarless breast reduction; there is no such thing.   You may be able to have a vertical breats reduction?  Then again you will also be told you may be best served with the anchos-Wise pattern.  I think either may work.  Elizabeth Hall-Findlay in British Columbia has done 10,000 or more of this and she is the inventor-founder of the vertical reduction with the medial procedure.  I believe she may suggest a vertical reduction with medial pedicle for you.   Look her up on the internet...Google her...ansd send her your pictures and ask her opinion.   I am betting she suggests the vertical with medial pedicle which is a super  operation that I find really pleasing.   If she says anchor its anchor.  She is the number one authority in the world bar NONE.   Elizabeth Hall Findlay.  Contact her.   If its possible to avoid the anchor it is nice.   My Best,   Dr Commons

Breast lift

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I give courses at national meetings on performing Vertical reductions.  I like doing them on the right candidate. You may not be a good candidate because of the severe laxity of the tissues, but a full exam would be critical.

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

Am I eligible for a short scar or "scarless" breast reduction?

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Overall I am a great fan of vertical reductions and mastopexys in the lejuer fashion. You are unfortunately the very case where you require a traditional inverted T reduction. In order to place the nipple areola in the proper position, it will need to be raised 4.0cm – 5.0cm at the very least to get some where near the mid humeral line. That would leave too much skin to be excised centrally and would require an inframammary extension. You would get a better overall shape going into the procedure, designing it with an inverted T.

Also surprisingly, you will probably not need a great deal of breast tissue removed since when you diminish the skin envelope the remaining breast tissue takes on a significantly smaller volume.

Finally, liposuction to your breasts (aka "scarless breast reduction") would only make them more deflated and really has very limited use. 

Here's a link to a case that's similar to your own so that you can get a better sense of what an inverted T reduction would look like. 

Scars after breast reduction

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Any type of surgery on the breasts will produce scars. Liposuction will result in the shortest scars but is not "scarless". Although it may be an option in some patients the amount of droopiness (ptosis) of your breasts does not make you a good candidate for this procedure. Short scar breast reduction surgery may be performed by a number of different techniques, usually involves only periareolar and vertical scars, and allows for repositioning the nipple superiorly, removing excess breast tissue and eliminating excess skin. It does not require the full anchor scar and you are a candidate for this surgery.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Breast Reduction Scars

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With the size of your breasts, you are not a candidate for any sort of short scar or scarless breast reduction.  Your nipples need to be moved several centimeters superiorly and you also have a lot of excess skin and breast tissue.  For these reasons I do not feel that you will be happy with anything other than an anchor-type scar.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

How scarless of a breast reduction

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Breast reduction has two components, the reduction of volume, and the lift. To reduce volume modestly without a lift of the nipple scarless breast reduction is in essence liposuction which alone can reduce a fatty breast. In order to correct your loose skin and breast sag, at least a vertical or 'lollipop' reduction is needed to get the nipple up and onto the front of the breast. It is possible depending on the amount of skin laxity that the 'T' pattern will give you the best lift and shape and you could go either way depending on your goals, but our vote is for the full 'T' reduction. You will not be disappointed with the result.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Type of Breast Reduction

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Although we would all lilke to eliminate scars, when there is just too much skin that will not shrink, there is no way to do so. Your problem is that you, in spite of having large breasts, have enen more excess skin. When you reduce the breast tissue further, this difference becomes even more marked. As much as I haave tried to reduce the scar in ladies like you, I still get the best results with a standard “anchor incision.” Every one of my patients, despite the longer scar, think the trade off is well worth it.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Breast reduction

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There are a variety of techniques available for breast reduction surgery.  It is important for a surgeon to be comfortable performing all of the techniques to be able to select the technique that best fits a patient.  That being said, the difference between a short scar and an anchor scar is the incision that is placed beneath the breast.  This incision is rarely visible and permits enhanced shaping and lift at the time of the surgery, and is particularly useful in someone who demonsrates the sagging that you have.  A scarless breast reduction procedure removes the heaviness but leaves significant droop.  Younger patients like yourself are looking for an improved shape and appearance as well as an improvement in symptoms.  A scarless procedure rarely provides the aesthic results  women want.

Beverly Friedlander, MD
Short Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Scarless Breast Reduction

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A scarless breast reduction is liposuction. If you imaging removing a small percentage (usually less than half) of the breast's filler, but not directly tightening the skin that covers the breast, that is normally the result. In your case there is too much skin to ignore.

If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right. For a woman such as yourself, with G-cups, I would vote for a full mastopexy  or no surgery. The full mastopexy will provide the most predictable results with the shortest recovery.

The good news: The extremely low placement of your nipples is an advantage. It may be possible to eliminate the vertical scar completely, and of the two, the vertical scar bothers patients more than the horizontal one that is hidden in the inframammary fold. See the link below for the Horizontal Lift (Horizontal Mastopexy).

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 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.