Ask a doctor

Do You Have to Have Breast Tissue Removed when Getting a Breast Lift?

i went to a consultation in Austin Texas for a breast lift only and wanted an idea of how small my breast would be after. i have a small c right now and am comfortable with the amount of tissue i already have. the doctor i saw told me i would probably have an A because he has to remove a small amount of tissue to do a lift.

Doctor Answers 17

Do You Have to Have Breast Tissue Removed when Getting a Breast Lift

The amount of tissue removed for a standard breast lift is trivial--about a tablespoon in volume from each side. 

But, the breast may look smaller anyway. Stand if front of a mirror and raise one arm overhead, then switch arms. Most women will notice that the lifted breast looks up to a cup size smaller. In a bra there would be no change, but often the sagging breast looks bigger than it really is. 

By the way, the amount of tissue removal to go down one and one-half cup sizes is about 300 cc. If you look at a  300 cc implant with your surgeon, I don't think he/she would say that is the amount coming out with a lift. It is never a bad idea to seek another in person consultation for another opinion. 

Thanks for your question. Best wishes.

Have a question? Ask a doctor

Breast Lift does not necessarily remove tissue

Hi there-

A well-done breast lift does not remove breast tissue, but only skin. 

It is true that removal of this excess and sagging skin does in some cases cause the perception of the breast size to decrease, but not usually in a significant manner.  

Breast lift

Very little to no breast tissue is removed during a traditional breast lift.  Excess skin is removed and the breast is reshaped.  Some women perceive that their breasts are smaller simply because the breast looks more compact since the excess skin is removed.  The amount of breast tissue stays essentially the same.

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Breast lifts do not really diminish breast size

unless you specifically want tissue removed.  A traditional breast lift removes paper thin skin and that is all so you should be using the same bra.  There are different techniques to achieve a lift and I am a proponent of the autoaugmentation technique as risks for bottoming out are diminished and you do get more fullness on top.  Inferior pedicle techniques have a much higher risk for bottoming out. 

If you really want a lot of fullness on top and don't want to be larger, you may consider a reduction with implant augmentation but realize your native breast volume will be diminished and if you need your implants removed, you will be smaller. 

You should discuss all of your alternatives with your chosen surgeon and make an informed choice as what would work best for you.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Removing breast tissue during a breast lift

I would agree with the responses here that a breast lift can be done without removing any breast tissue but in my experience using an inferior glandular pedicle for the lift (and removing usually only a bit of skin and some fat along the inframammary crease), the breast looks larger when it's lifted, not smaller. It doesn't actually change volume and the skin/tissues are not tightened. The effect is similar to taking a saggy breast and getting it all up into a bra at a higher level. It looks larger. It's similar to the illusion that a breast gets lifted when an implant is placed behind it. If the lower pole is filled out by the implant, the nipple-areola looks higher even though it's not in relation to the chest wall. If the entire volume of the breast is moved up on the chest wall (and the skin adjusted to accommodate it like a dart in clothing), then it will look bigger even though the volume didn't change. The idea is to get a bra effect without the bra.

Certainly there is no reason to need to reduce the size of a breast for a lift procedure.

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Breast lift

A breast lift can be done without removing any breast tissue and without adding an implant.  It all depends on the technique used and the amount of breast tissue you have to begin with.  However, whena breast is,lifted it seems smaller even if no tissue is removed because the breast has been made more compact by the lift.  Ask your surgeon to see  photos of patients similar to you to get an idea of how large you would be.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Breast lift and final volume

Depending upon the technique used and depending on how the breasts look before surgery will determine what the possible size will be after srugery. In most cases, just skin is removed and a small amount of tissue to properly shape the breast.  An exam would be helpful to determine what you would need.  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Breast Lift and Tissue Removal?

Thank you for the question.

Yes, it is possible to do a breast lift  and remove skin only. Of course, much will depend on each patient's individual anatomy and goals. I would suggest that you communicate your goals clearly with a carefully selected plastic surgeon.   The use of cup size during this  communication process can be confusing/misleading.  However, communicating your goals (I  prefer the use of goal pictures) will be very important in allowing your plastic surgeon to guide you  in determining whether breast lifting alone will be sufficient to meet your goals.

 Best wishes.

Breast tissue removal with lift

A breast lift can be done with skin removal only and rearrangement of the breast tissue itself.  The breast may appear smaller with a lift though since the same volume of breast is confined in a smaller skin envelope.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Does breast tissue need to be removed with a breast lift?

If you are happy with the current cup size, a lift can be done by removing skin only. I prefer a vertical breast lift with a medial-superior pedicle, but the inferior pole breast tissue I use for autoaugmentation to increase projection further. If you surgeon does an anchor type skin incision, he/she needs to remove some breast tissue from the lateral and medial inferior aspect of the breast for shaping and allowing to close the skin incision. This is not necessary with a vertical lift. Good luck.

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.