Did you know that breast lifts have increased in popularity more than any other cosmetic breast surgery? The number of breast lift procedures performed in the U.S. has increased by a striking 70% since 2000, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This is double the rate of increase for breast augmentations over the same period.

These rising numbers mirror the enthusiasm my own patients have had for the procedure. Restoring a firm, youthful shape to sagging breasts can help women feel beautiful and feminine once again.

There are a variety of different techniques that can be used in breast lift surgery including donut, lollipop and anchor lift techniques. I perform each of them in different subsets of patients. While minimizing scarring is an important decision in deciding which breast lift is best for any given patient, a variety of other factors need to be considered, such as quality of the skin, the degree of lift needed, and the weight and quantity of existing breast tissue.

Donut Lift: Minimal Scarring for Breasts Requiring a More Modest Lift

When a small amount of lift is needed and the skin quality is good in a medium to small breast, a donut lift can work very well. I currently use this technique for about 5 to 10% of my breast lift patients. This lift involves a circular incision that leaves a thin scar along the edge of the areola. In skin with stretch marks, or in a heavy breast that needs to be lifted a fair distance, I do not feel this lift is a good choice. Problems with significant enlargement of the areola can occur, and the excessive tension that is used in this scenario can result in a higher incidence of thicker scars.

Lollipop Lift: Enhanced Reshaping for Mild to Moderately Sagging Breasts

For breasts that are primarily too wide before surgery but show minimal to medium droop, a lollipop lift can work beautifully. Surgery involves one incision around the edge of the areola and one running vertically down to the breast crease. Lollipop lifts account for about 30 to 40% of the breast lifts I perform. However, this technique is not ideal for large, heavy breasts that need significant lifting. In this situation, the breast tissue could “drop out” or descend over time, leading to a bottom-heavy appearing breast with the nipple looking too high on the breast mound.

Anchor Lift: Superior Reshaping to Correct Significant Sagging or Asymmetry

In large heavy breasts, or breasts with significant droop and poor skin quality, an anchor lift remains the best option in my opinion, as it allows me to improve breast shape, firmness, and symmetry with immense precision and consistent results. The anchor lift involves three incisions: one tracing the edge of the areola, one vertically from the bottom of the areola to the infra-mammary fold (the crease underneath the breast), and one following the infra-mammary fold. This creates a pattern similar to an anchor, as the name implies, and proves the best option for about half of my breast lift patients.

There are a number of reasons why having an anchor breast lift often achieves better results for certain patients:

  • A better breast shape. For the typical breast lift patient with more extensive sagging, the anchor lift achieves the most aesthetically pleasing result. For example, a “donut” technique used to correct moderate to severe sagging can result in a flat shape to the front surface of the breasts, while an anchor lift helps to ensure a more conically shaped breast.
  • Longer-lasting results. The anchor lift allows me to reshape the internal structures of the breast more successfully. This avoids placing too much tension on any one area of the breast, helping to prevent unsightly issues such as a stretching areola or bottoming out of breast tissue.
  • Improved results with combined procedures. Increasingly, patients requesting a breast lift also desire a different breast size. The anchor lift allows me the greatest flexibility when combining a breast lift with breast augmentation to reshape the natural breast tissue and place implants optimally for superb results. For breast reduction patients, the anchor lift allows me to remove excess fat and glandular tissue with excellent precision to achieve smaller, lighter breasts with improved symmetry.
  • Additional scarring is well concealed in the breast crease. For many of my patients, this additional discrete scarring is well worth the benefits of a lasting, improved breast shape.

If you are dissatisfied with the shape or appearance of your sagging breasts, I invite you to contact my office to schedule a personal consultation. I will be glad to discuss your options to achieve the most beautiful breast lift for your unique needs.

Patti Flint, M.D., P.C. is a board certified plastic surgeon that strives to ensure that all of her patients are thoroughly educated about the plastic surgery procedures they desire so that the can make a confident, well-informed decision. She is a devoted and experienced professional whose focus is to help her clients feel more beautiful and confident by delivering natural results. Learn more about Dr. Flint and read Dr. Flint’s reviews.

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