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Can my Breasts Be Lifted Without Implants? (photo)

I've nursed three children and had a 70 lb. weight loss that have left me with lots of excess skin & sagging. Once I reach my goal weight, I'm interested in a mommy makeover that includes a tummy tuck and breast lift, but not augmenting my breasts. Do you think that's possible with how my breasts look? I'm happy with the size of my breasts when I wear a good bra (currently 38DD) but unhappy with how deflated & saggy they are without a bra.

Doctor Answers 25

Breasts can be lifted without implants

Many people think that breast lift surgery can't be done without implants and its simply not the case.  Many patients simply wish to lift  and reshape their breasts without additional volume so a breast lift is ideal.  In your case it appear as though you would be an ideal candidate for a breast lift to help lift your breasts back up the chest wall and reposition your nipples back to the middle of your chest.  Its possible your breasts can be reshaped into a lovely natural shape using your existing tissue.  Implants are only used when patients desire additional volume or fullness to the upper chest.  A consultation with a fully qualified plastic surgeon is your next best step.

Breast implants not necessary, but you may decrease breast size

A traditional breast lift may leave your breasts smaller, therefore you may want to consider augmentation to maintain your size. Implants are not necessary, however. Some patients find that a breast lift with auto augmentation is suitable.

Pricing in Toronto, Ontario, generally ranges from $9000-$11000.

Breast Lift without Implants

You can absolutely have a breast lift without using implants. You will have to be ok with scars on your breasts but they usually heal very well over time.  A breast lift will move your nipple back up to the middle of your breast and give you a great breast shape.  Good luck!

Breast lifts without implants

It is a common misconception among some plastic surgeons that all breast lifts need implants. That is not the case and if you have enough volume to sculpt with, there is no need for an implant.  It is also nice to see if the lift alone will work for you because if it does, you can avoid all the potential nagging problems that you carry for life with implants.

Depends on your aesthetic goals...

When patients undergo breast lift surgery, the decision to use a breast implant is entirely dependent upon the patient’s aesthetic goals.If they’re happy with their breast size, but concerned about breast sag, there’s no reason to perform a breast augmentation.Under these circumstances, isolated breast lift surgery is associated with excellent clinical results and high levels of patient satisfaction.
It’s not unusual for women with breast sag to also be concerned about breast size and upper breast fullness following pregnancy.These patients feel that they have not only developed breast sag but loss of breast volume as well.Under these circumstances, a breast augmentation can be performed at the time of breast lift surgery.This will not only lift the breast into normal position, but also increase breast size and upper breast fullness.
It’s important to realize that no two patients are ever exactly alike.For this reason, procedures are tailored to meet the individual patient’s needs.Although you’re apparently happy with your breast size, an implant might make your breasts look more shapely.
It’s important to discuss these issues with a board certified plastic surgeon who has experience in this area.This surgeon can discuss your situation and formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals.

Breast Lift Without Implant Options

Breast lift without implants - consider the "California Breast Lift"
You may be a good candidate for a minimal "short" scar technique breast lift without an implant. An exam would be required but your photos suggest that this is a great option for you. If more superior breast fullness is desired then consider a fat transfer procedure at the time of the lift - The "California Breast Lift" is a procedure which transfers unwanted fat from the abdomen or thighs to the breasts. See the below links for additional details.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Breast Lifts Can Be Done Without Implants

Adding breast implants to a breastlift will help the appearance of the cleaveage area.  However, implants to fill out and a lift to tighten the breast tissue means both are doing the opposite thing.  So there is a higher complication rate with implants and a breastlift at the same time.

There are techniques to add lower breast tissue up higher into the breasts for a nicer look.  I usually use the Graff/Biggs technique.  This procedure entails rolling up, and tunneling your natural breast tissue upwards, and secured by a flap of muscle.  The skin is then tightened to make the best appearance.

Not all plastic surgeons are familiar with these technqiues, so seek out multiple opinions. 

Good luck.

Keith Denkler, MD
Marin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Mommy Makeover with tummy tuck and breast lift

To directly answer your question, no, you do not need to have implants with your breast lift.

You said that you are happy with your breast size.  Getting implants will make your breasts bigger. 

Keep in mind, however, a breast lift will lift the breasts up and make them perkier. If you desire fullness in the upper portions of your breast, then this is what an implant accomplishes.

I hope this helps. Good Luck.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Mommy Makeover with Mastopexy is a great operation

You are a perfect candidate for a Mommy Makeover with a breast lift (mastopexy). As a general rule, if you are happy with your breast size when your breasts are in a bra, yet they sag too low when you take off your bra, then you an excellent mastopexy candidate. Breast implants are great, but are not for everyone.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast lift without implants is possible in some cases

Based on your photographs, you probably do have enough breast tissue to have a mastopexy (breast lift) alone without implants. This would, in my opinion, require an inverted-T incision pattern. Without implants, your breast size will decrease even if no breast tissue is removed. There will also be little change in the upper pole fullness of the breast (roundness on the top) without implants. You should nonetheless be able to get a nice result, based on the photos. Of course, a thorough exam and consultation is needed to clarify your goals and the best options for you. Thanks for your question.

Steven Goldman, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 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.