The most common type of breast lift performed by plastic surgeons is the anchor lift, also referred to as the Wise pattern lift. This technique is the most popular because it is the most effective type of lift, serving as the mainstay and true workhorse of the breast lift options. Unfortunately, while the most effective lift technique, the anchor lift is also the one that leaves behind the most scarring.
What is an Anchor (Wise Pattern) Breast Lift?
The word “anchor” in an anchor lift refers to the shape of the scar. An anchor lift begins with an incision around the areola. Next, the doctor makes a second incision vertically from the bottom of the areola down to the mammary crease where the breast meets the chest. Finally, a third incision runs horizontally along the mammary crease. When viewed together, these three incisions create an anchor shape.
The Anchor Breast Lift: Step by Step
General anesthesia is the first step in an anchor breast lift as it is in all the breast lifts we perform at Mia Aesthetics. You will be asleep throughout the procedure so you don’t experience any pain or discomfort at all. Once you’re asleep, your doctor will make three incisions in each breast using the technique described above.
Through these incisions your surgeon will access your breast tissue, maneuvering it, reshaping it, and removing any excess as necessary to reverse the sagging in your breasts. When he is happy with the results, he will close his incisions and wake you up. He will then move you to a recovery area where staff will monitor you for a brief time as you come out of the anesthesia. When you have, you will be given any post-operative instructions and sent home.
Who is the Best Candidate for an Anchor Breast Lift?
You’re generally a good candidate for an anchor breast lift if you wish to correct severe breast sagging and are willing to live with some scarring to get the results you want. Aesthetic surgeons always do their best to hide scars as much as possible, but you must be willing to accept that an anchor lift will leave you with some scars that will be visible when you’re topless. Your doctor may also opt for an anchor breast lift if you’re combining your lift with a breast augmentation or breast reduction procedure.
Pros of the Anchor Breast Lift
The advantage of an anchor breast lift is that it can help even if you have very large breasts that sag quite far. Doctors refer to breast sagging as ptosis, and they rate it on a scale of 1 to 3. Three is the worst, and it’s a level of sagging that neither a donut breast lift nor a lollipop breast lift can adequately fix. An anchor lift, however, can do the job admirably even at level 3 ptosis. An anchor lift provides superior access to breast tissue, as well, making it an excellent choice when a woman opts to combine a breast lift with another breast procedure.
Cons of the Anchor Breast Lift
Unfortunately, the superior results of an anchor lift come with the most scarring of any breast lift technique. Three incisions means three scars. The scar around your areola will be hidden in an area where the skin tends to change color and texture naturally, so it may not be all that noticeable. The same is true for the horizontal scar across the bottom of your breast. This scar will be visible but hidden in the crease beneath your breast where it isn’t likely to be seen often. The most noticeable scar will be the vertical one running from the bottom of your areola to the mammary crease.
Although it’s true that an anchor lift leaves the most scarring of any breast lift surgery, don’t let a fear of scars scare you into subpar surgery results. Surgeons perform anchor lifts despite the scars because they produce great results for a wide variety of patients. Even with an anchor lift, you will be able to easily cover all of your scars with a bra or bikini top, showing them only when you’re completely topless. You can also begin to utilize massage techniques and silicone scar treatments to minimize the appearance of your scars as soon as the incisions are fully healed.
How Long Do Results Last?
The results of anchor lifts and other breast lifts may be altered if you become pregnant or gain a significant amount of weight after surgery. Both of these life events can cause the breasts to sag, and a previous breast lift surgery won’t prevent them from changing your breast tissue in a way that causes drooping. Barring these two events, however, most women report remaining satisfied with the results of their breast lift for 10 to 15 years. Some even longer.
Is an Anchor Breast Lift Better Than a Lollipop Breast Lift?
This is a difficult question to answer. At Mia Aesthetics, we treat every patient as the unique individual they are. If you have only moderate breast sagging and prefer to keep your scars to an absolute minimum, a lollipop lift may be better for you. If your ptosis is more severe, however, an anchor lift may be better. Our doctors and surgical consultants are here to help you make the best choices for you and your individual needs.