Will I Need a Breast Lift? (photo)

I am planning to have breast augmentation in the next month or so and I would like to know if I will need a breast lift. I'm 28 years old with 2 children whom I both breast fed. I had my first child at the age of 16 so I've never had pretty breasts. Do my breast look like they will require a lift in order for the surgery to be successful?

Doctor Answers 19

Mini Ultimate Breast Lift maximizes lift and projection

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The goal of breast surgery is to achieve beautiful breasts that will be long lasting.  You are only 28 years old and your breasts are already drooping.  If you augment your breasts, the additional mechanical load will accelerate the drooping.  In order to avoid future surgery it is best for you to undergo a lift now.  Breast implants do not lift the breast tissue, they only augment the volume.  I recommend you undergo a breast lift that transposes your breast tissue higher on the chest wall and elevated the areolas on your breast.  Aligning the implant, breas tissue and areola higher on the chest wall maximizes anterior projection.  This technique transfers the weight of the breast tissue to the underlying muscle providing long term stability.  You are a candidate for a new technique called Breast Augmentation with Mini Ultimate Breast Lift resulting in only an incision around the areola.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Breast lift

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I definitely feel you need to have a lift at the same time as implants. I would recommend a vertical lift with a lollipop scar.  The lift would also be able to deal with your assymetry.  Impants alone will leave your  breasts too saggy. I don't even think it is a close call.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Will I Need a Breast Lift?

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You may need some type of modified lift, but it is dependent upon the size of the implant you choose. If the implant is large enough, you may be able to fill the skin envelope enough so that you would be pleased with the result of the augmentation alone...if not you may need a procedure to reposition your nipples....these are great questions that should be discussed in consult with your BCPS.

Kenneth A. Marshall, MD, FACS
Wellesley Plastic Surgeon

Breast lift needed?

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Hello.  Based on your photos alone, it seems that you have postpartum breast volume loss and deflation.  You also have mild grade 2 ptosis (sagging) which appears to be worst on your left, although this may be photo artifact.  Regardless, depending on how large you are planning to augment your breasts, there will be a degree of auto-lift associated with the size of your implants.  There is a good chance you may not need a lift at all if you use a larger implant.  Without doing a full physical exam and assessing factors such as height,weight, and tissue elasticity, it will be difficult to ascertain your need for a lift.  I think it would be safe to proceed with your augmentation with understanding the possibility of needing a lift in the future. It is best to do a lift at a second stage anyway for risk of wound healing, nipple devascularization, etc. if done together.  Be sure to go to a fully-trained plastic surgeon and it never hurts to get a few different opinions since cosmetic consultations are usually free.  Good luck! -Dr.Go

Parviz Goshtasby, MD, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon

Breast Augmentation / Mastopexy

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Although for some women it is obvious whether they need a lift with augmentation or they can have augmentation alone, for many patients this may be somewhat difficult to determine prior to surgery.  In those situations I prepare for the possibility of a breast lift but perform the augmentation first and then evaluate the patient to determine if a lift will be beneficial.  If so, we go ahead and perform the mastopexy and, if not, then we conclude the procedure.  This approach gives us some flexibility and allows me to assess the effect of the implant on the overlying breast tissue.  A separate issue may be the observation that the left nipple appears noticeably lower than the right nipple.  This will not be corrected without performing a lift, at least on the left side.  As always, you should discuss your concerns with your surgeon before proceeding with surgery to be certain you are comfortable and your questions have been answered.

Richard Kofkoff, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Breast Augmentation with possible Lift

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Based on your pictures,  it appears that you have lost some fullness in the upper part of your breasts and your nipples are slightly low.  A easy way to determined if you need a breast lift is by doing a "pencil test".  You can do this test at home by placing a pen/pencil underneath your breast fold.  If the pencil stays in place easily, you are likely a candidate for a lift.  You may be able to get away with just the augmentation alone but your nipples will sit low.  You also have the option of having a periareolar lift (nipple lift), which has a smaller incision that will go around the areolar versus the lollipop incision (for the standard lift).  I would recommend meeting with a experienced plastic surgeon to discuss all your options.

Usha Rajagopal, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Will I Need a Breast Lift?

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Please reconsider doing ONLY an augmentation without a lifting. Seek additional IN PERSON evaluation from boarded PSs in your area. 

Breast Lift “Needed”?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

Although I cannot give you precise advice without direct examination and a full communication of your goals, I think you will do well with breast augmentation as well as breast lifting. Your pictures demonstrate some degree of breast asymmetry, relatively low sitting breasts on your chest wall, and some “loose” skin of the breasts  sitting on the skin of the upper abdomen.

As you know, breast lifting involves some degree of tightening and lifting of the breast skin envelope and tissue.  In order to tighten the skin envelope, skin excision is necessary;  this results in the presence of scars. 
Sometimes, the presence of scars is a “dealbreaker”;  patients would prefer to leave their breasts unchanged than to have scars. At other times, patients  prefer to have the improvement in breast position, shape, and (possibly) size  and are willing to accept the trade-off of scars.

 I would suggest that you meet with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons for more precise advice. Ask to see lots of examples of their work and communicate your goals clearly.

Best wishes.


Will I Need a Breast Lift?

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Nothing beats an in person examination to determine whether a woman seeking breast enlargement might also need a breast lift. 

A breast lift is usually done for one of these reasons:
•elevate the nipple and areola
•remove excess skin from the breast (after weight loss, pregnancy, aging)
•create or restore symmetry

From looking at the pictures, I think that an implant will fill out the excess skin, but that the nipples and areolae are too low and would probably have an unacceptable appearance without a lift--the breast would seem to hang off the implant. 

A couple of guidelines for nipple position:

  • As measured from the top of the breast bone, the nipple should be 20 to 22 cm away.
  • The bottom of the areola should be even with or above the breast fold. 

You seem ready for an in person consultation. RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.
Thank your for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Breast Lift or Just Implants ?

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If you only seek fullness, then breast implants alone could be an option.  They will add weight to your breasts, and your breasts will be slightly lower after implants.

From your photos, I see that you have a medium amount of breast fold, which is the skin under the breast. Also you have a slight size and shape difference in your breasts. 

If those issues bother you, then a breast lift will be the best option for you.

Your photos remind me of case #4 on my breast lift page.


John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 276 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.