Why does one procedure have better results for large hanging breasts and getting a fuller and more natural look? (implant or lift)
Which is More Suitable for Large Sagging Breasts, a Breast Implant or Breast Lift?
Doctor Answers (12)
Sagging Breasts Require a Breast Lift not Implants Alone
Thank you for your question.
When Breast Implants are placed into a sagging breast the Implants often rest higher than the breast and nipple and the breast appears to "hang off" the implant. This creates an abnormal look called the "Snoopy Deformity" because from the side the breast looks like a profile view of the head of the cartoon character Snoopy.
The proper procedure for a sagging breast is the breast lift-either alone or in combination with Breast Implants.
Minor degrees of sag can often be improved by an implant alone however you need the advice of an experienced board certified Plastic Surgeon to advise you.
Large Sagging Breasts
The two key words in your description are "large" so there may not be a desire for additional volume, and "hanging" so you may benefit from a breast lift to correct sagging breasts.
Treatment of large, saggy breasts
I always recommend a breast lift for large, saggy breasts. Breast lift is a procedure that has a relatively easy recovery, is long lasting, and does not require any maintenance. Breast implants are great for flat chested women but it doesn't sound like you are in need of volume.
A surgeon who tries to correct sagging with breast implants probably isn't well versed in breast lift.
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Breast lift vs implants for droopy breasts
If you have sagging breasts, a breast lift procedure is what you want to tighten, lift and reconfigure your breasts. If you want to also be larger or fuller, a breast augmentation can be done at the same time. Conversely, if you also want to be smaller, then a breast reduction is the procedure that you want - it not only lifts but also reduces the size of the breasts.
Breast implants by themselves only increase volume - they don't lift the tissues.
What to do with Large Sagging Breasts?
Based on what you describe, I would consider a breast reduction which gives a lift also. Adding implants in this situation will likely give you larger and saggier breasts.
Correction of sagging breasts
Breast Lift For Large, Sagging Breasts
The answer depends:
If you have large, droopy breasts and do not wish to have larger breasts, then a breast lift without implants (if you like the current size of your breasts) or a breast reduction (if you would like your breasts to be smaller) may be appropriate.
If you have large, droopy breasts and would like to have larger, fuller breasts as well as more perky breasts, then a breast lift with implants may be appropriate.
Breast implants along are not likely to a good option.
Larry Fan, MD
Large Sagging Breasts Not Improved With Implants
The treatment for your large sagging breasts would be either a breast lift or a breast reduction depending upon the size you wish to be in the end. Implants will not improve your situation and would most likely add to the "largeness" and also create significant distortion of your breast shape.
Large Sagging Breasts
A very good question. In general, if you truly have "large sagging breasts, " a breast lift (mastopexy) can help restore the shape. It is a very subjective subject and would be easier answered with photos. With minimal sagging (also called "ptosis"), implants can be used but often a combination of a lift and implants are necessary.
Breast Lifting for “Sagging” Breasts
Thank you for the question.
Based on your description of “large sagging breasts" and a desire to have a “fuller” look, you may benefit from both breasts lifting and breast implants.
Direct examination obviously and discussion of your goals will be necessary to determine exactly what procedure would help meet your goals.
If you are considering these operations you should be aware that it may be done in a single or a two staged fashion.This is not a question agreed-upon by all plastic surgeons. There are good plastic surgeons who will insist on doing the procedures separately and there are good plastic surgeons who can produce excellent outcomes in a single stage.
The combination breast augmentation / mastopexy surgery differs from breast augmentation surgery alone in that it carries increased risk compared to either breast augmentation or mastopexy surgery performed separately. Furthermore, the potential need for revisionary surgery is increase with breast augmentation / mastopexy surgery done at the same time.
In my opinion, the decision to do the operation in a single or two staged fashion becomes a judgment call made by a surgeon after direct examination of the patient. For me, if I see a patient who needs a great degree of lifting, who has lost a lot of skin elasticity, or whose goal is a very large augmentation then I think it is best to do the procedures in 2 stages (in order to avoid serious complications). However, doing the procedure one stage does increase the risks of complications in general and the potential need for further surgery. This increased risk must be weighed against the practical benefits of a single stage procedure (which most patients would prefer).
Conversely, if I see a patient who requires minimal to moderate lifting along with a small to moderate size augmentation (and has good skin quality), then doing the procedure one stage is much safer. Nevertheless, the potential risks are greater with a 1 stage procedure and the patient does have a higher likelihood of needing revisionary surgery.
I hope this helps.