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Currently 28/30 DD Cup, Which Style of Breast Lift Would Be Most Appropriate for Me? (Photos)

I'm 28 years old and wear a 28/30 DD size bra. All the women in my family have large breasts lacking in perkiness. Which style of lift would bring about the best, long-lasting results? I love the idea of minimal scarring but that is not so much my concern as is the end shape and fulness factor. If I were to add a submuscular saline implant, in addition to a lift, would something small such as 200-250cc help me maintain similar cupsize?

Additional Photo Added 10/5/11


Doctor Answers 14

What type of breast lift?

You look like a great candidate for a vertical breast lift which should leave you with a nice shape and some upper pole fullness.  NO breast tissue is removed so you size will be the same as it is now.  If you have the diameter of your areolas reduced a little, it will give the illusion slightly larger breasts. 

If you were my patient, I would not recommend an implant.  You are already busty and don't "need" implants.  Just a little improvement in the upper pole, in my opinion, is not worth the risk and long term upkeep of an implant.  Implants are for flat patients, not for well-endowed ladies like you.

A few words of caution:  don't sacrifice shape in order to avoid scars.  It is almost always a mistake.  If you are advised to have an implant and a periareolar lift (Benelli), I would be very, very cautious.  Doing this procedure to avoid a scar (which is rarely a big issue long term) is not wise.  Believe me, I have learned the hard way!

As far as longevity, most breast lifts last a good 10 - 15 years unless you have a baby or a big change in your weight or you burn your bra (not advised!).    The breast lift will turn the clock back, but won't stop it from ticking.  An implant may "stay put" over the long run, but your breast tissue will still go south over time resulting in a "double bubble".   Yet another reason to shy away from an implant. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Vertical breast lift for long term fullness

You are lucky in that you appear to have excellent skin quality and need about a lift of only a few centimeters.  In my opinion there are two options for you depending on whether you want to maintain the same breast volume size or not.  If you wish to remain the same size, the best procedure for you is a vertical lift with a unique modification called the 'pectoralis sling.'  It is a technique developed by the internationally reknowned plastic surgeon Dr. Ruth Graf.  Using this technique I am able to create true superior pole fullness beyond what can be achieved with an implant and there are no late implant complications to worry about since there is no implant.  An important key to this type of vertical lift is that instead of throwing away the tissue of the inferior pole of the breast (as is necessary with a conventional vertical lift) this tissue is preserved and mobilized to the superior portion of the breast where it is held securely by a sling designed from the superficial part of the pectoralis muscle.  In this manner a beautiful natural appearing breast with superior fullness is created.  As far as scars, the procedure would leave you with a lollipop scar around the areola and straight down.

Your second option would be to add a 270-330 cc implant which would add volume and reduce your need for a lift, allowing the scar to be placed around the areolar or even completely hidden with a unique technique that I perform called circum-nipple lifting.  I would not recommend a submuscalar placement as this will cause distortion of the breast with arm movements which can be embarrassing and causes muscular forces to stretch and age the lift quickly.  Subfascial placement preferably with a technique called 'cold-subfascial augmentation' produces a much more natural appearing breast, enhances the fullness and slope of the superior pole and protects the implant from accelerated aging due to its 'bra inside the breast' effect.

I hope this helps!

All the best,

Rian A. Maercks M.D.

Breast Augmentation and lifting?

Thank you for the question and pictures.

You should be commended on your way of thinking: you will be happier  with your breasts if you achieve the “end shape and fullness factor"  with the scarring an important ( but secondary) concern. I also think that you would benefit from the use of breast implants; otherwise you will likely be disappointed from the “fullness factor” standpoint.

I think the type of mastopexy you would benefit from is a vertical mastopexy with an incision around the areola and vertically.    Exactly the procedure that is performed depends on your goals in regards to size, shape, superior pole volume etc.   There is no good way to do this with “little or no scarring”. Based on experience, I would suggest that your 1st concern should be obtaining the best results possible (scarring concerns should be secondary).  Most patients undergoing this procedure will accept scarring as long as their overall goals in regards to size, shape, contour and symmetry are met. 

It will be very important to communicate your overall goals with your surgeon.  In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “C cup” or "fake looking" or "top heavy" means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful. 
Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate.

If you decide to use implants ( for example to achieve more superior breast pole volume) 
I use  intraoperative sizers and place the patient in the upright position to evaluate breast size. Use of these sizers also allow me to select the breast implant profile (low, moderate, moderate plus, high-profile) that would most likely achieve the patient's goals. The patient's goal pictures are hanging on the wall, and allow for direct comparison.
I have found that this system is very helpful in improving the chances of achieving the patient's goals as consistently as possible .
By the way, the most common regret after this operation, is “I wish I was bigger”.

I hope this  helps.

Breast Lift and Augmentation

Your question was well-presented and your goals are very clear.  Based on your photographs I believe that you are an excellent candidate for the Vertical Lift (Lollipop Lift) that appears to be represented in the pre and post-op picture that you have included.  A breast implant would definitely enhance your result by providing you with fullness in the upper aspect of your breast.  The implant size is easily determined based on your breast measurements, skin quality, initial breast volume and desired look (how full you want to be).  If you think that you may be happy with your breasts more 'perky' but not necessarily fuller, a lift alone is also a good option as the implants can add weight to your breasts and lead to sagging more quickly than a lift alone.  Best Wishes!!!!

Louis DeLuca, MD
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Do not need implants with Ultimate Breast Lift technique

Hi Marzi,

The Ultimate Breast Lift technique gives patients of all skin types and breast types the upper pole fullness, lift and firmness they desire. The newly shaped mound is permanently attached to your chest with permanent sutures to minimize downward descent. An added benefit to this procedure is that there is NO VERTICAL SCAR. The results are natural and longer lasting than conventional methods. It's worth looking into. Best wishes, Dr. H 


Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

Breast lift technique

If you like the way you look in a bra, you probably only need a lift. The degree of sagging you have suggests that a vertical scar technique would be appropriate. I doubt if you would need an anchor or inverted T type lift.  I often use tape to mimic the effects of a lift to see if a patient accepts the proposed end result. It seems as if you have adequate breast tissue to forego an implant. While an implant can add fullness and longevity to shape, there is a whole host of side effects and risks factors that you will need to accept.  A careful consultation with a plastic surgeon might give you an indication whether that added risk would be worth the benefit.

Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Breast lift techniques

Breast lifting is a very artistic sculpting of the breast and some surgeons are better at it than others.  It isn't so much the scar length or the name of the technique but the quality of the shape and the lasting nature of the result than counts.  So, I'd recommend checking many surgeons photos and deciding whose results look best to you.  The implant can add some upper pole fullness but doesn't make the result last longer.  If anything it might hurt the longevity of the result especially if the implant is too large.  About 20% of my lift patients go without implants.

You added photos of a patient before and after surgery.  It is my impression that she does NOT have implants.

Which Style of Breast Lift Would Be Most Appropriate for Me?

In my opinion you should do extremely well with a short Scar breast Lift (Hall-Findlay Technique). The technique uses a lollipop scar though which the sagging lower portion of the breast is lifted and placed under the breast as an auto-implant. This results in long lasting perky breast lifts. In my opinion a breast implant would not help in the long run and would add more weight and sagging to already large breasts.

Good Luck.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Options for improving breast shape and volume

You would be a good candidate for a vertical mastopexy with a breast implant for volume.  There are several different types of breast lifts including a peri-areolar crescent lift, a doughnut or Benelli lift, a Vertical Mastopexy and a Key hole or anchor type mastopexy.  All have specific parameters.  Based on your appearance and the degree of breast tissue below the inframammary crease you would get the best result with a vertical mastopexy with a breast augmentation.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Breast lift "styles" and perkiness

It does appear from your pictures that a lift (mastopexy) is your best option. It is important to understand what a lift doesn and doesn't do and what an implant does and doesn't do. Lifting the breast to a higher position on the chest is not a style and the type of external incisions has to do with moving the nipple-areola and rearranging the skin to accommodate the repositioned breast. There are plenty of lift "styles" that don't actually lift the breast or depend on the skin to lift the breast which doesn't last long. In general, a properly done lift requires a lollipop incision but not permanent sutures or horizontal incisions. 

A lift repositions the breast. It does not give it forward projection and does not specifically fill in deficiencies in the upper pole although they may be improved. Thus a lift does not give "perkiness" in the usual sense of the term. An implant is a pillow behind the breast and can give it forward projection and fill in the upper pole. The minimal increase in size is usually a cup size for a properly fitted low profile implant. I would recommend a true lift with a lollipop incision and avoid the implant. If you need more volume and fill or forward projection, an implant can be added later or perhaps fat grafting will have reached a point where it is routine and carries no risk of altering breast cancer risk. 

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

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.