Could I Avoid a Lift with a Larger Implant? (photo)

I hoping to be getting my MM this year. I have seen 2 Dr.'s who's said I would need a lift and one who said I could avoid it with a larger implant. Just looking for some more opinions. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 25

Sorry, you need a lift

Having been in practice for 18 years and a practice with a concentration an revisionary breast surgery, I have a unique prospective on breast surgery. Over the years, I have seen too many women in an effort to avoid a mastopexy scar go to a "less than" surgeon who is willing to put in larger implants rather than perform a mastopexy. The result is always the same, "my breasts are much larger than I wanted and now they are drooping much lower than before." It just doesn't make sense that if you are drooping without any implant that when you fill up the space with a larger, heavy implant that your breast won't droop to a greater degree. If you need a lift, pick your surgeon carefully because a mastopexy (lift) , especially with augmentation, can be performed very nicely with minimal scarring in the right hands.

Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Avoiding lift with larger implant

Thanks for the photos. You are a great candidate for mommy makeover procedure. With regard to your breasts, do you have an idea how much fuller or larger you want your breasts to be? If you are seeking a significant enhancement, ie larger implants then you may not need a breast lift. You have to accept with larger, heavier implants that you wouldn't achieve a more lifted look. If your goal is have have breasts that are much more lifted than now then you need breast lift and smaller implant. This is why your communication with your plastic surgeon is so critical. You need to express your goals and desires and allow your surgeon to plan what's best suited for you.

Best Wishes,


Stewart Wang, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Cosmetic Surgery is an art and a science

Thank you for the question. The implant insertion and a lift are two different procedures performed for a different reason. The lift elevates the breast where it should, and the implants enlarge the breast. Any patient with a ptosis should do both so the breast and the implants are on the same page. Discuss this with your surgeon Dr Thomas Narsete Austin, Tx

Thomas A. Narsete, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Larger implants vs the lift you need

When you need a lift, you need a lift.  That is because the nipples are too low.  An implant of any size will NOT lift the nipples so don't try that misguided maneuver.  You aren't too terribly droopy though, so you could always try an appropriate sized implant and see if you are happy without the lift.  It can always be done later if you then believe you need it.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Breast Lift or Just Larger Breast Implants?

Thank you for the question and pictures.

 Difficult to give  precise advice based on the information/photos provided. Even with your arms raised, your frontal view photograph demonstrates significant breast ptosis. Therefore, I think that you will be better off undergoing the breast augmentation/lifting surgery as opposed to breast augmentation surgery with “larger” breast implants.  Otherwise, I think that the potential for dissatisfaction and the need for additional surgery will be significant.

 Ultimately, I think your best bet is to choose the plastic surgeon who you feel demonstrates good judgment and consistently good quality outcomes;  then, after careful in-person examination and a full communication  of your goals (for example in front of a full-length mirror) you will be provided with the precise advice/recommendations you are looking for.

 Best wishes with your up coming procedures.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Breast Lift or Implants with Mommy Makeover

The intentional result of a Breast Lift (#Mastopexy) is to improve the shape and position of the breast without reducing their size. It is used especially for breasts which sag or droop (#ptosis). However, many women report more satisfaction if an implant is used at the time of #mastopexy. The implants further shape their breasts, restoring superior fullness or volume which may be decreased over time.
In regards to implants alone, this is usually said to be mistake by patients reflecting back at the decision. Most breasts will look larger and more droopy with solely implants. They will sag more and sooner, due to the sudden and excess weight. At times it's possible for a “Snoopy” breast or double bubble to develop as a result.
Additionally, an implant with lift may be useful to re-position the nipples which may have been affected by ptosis or drooping.
Your Plastic Surgeon will measure you to determine the best shape and size of the implants to be used. Shaped implants are all textured and should not rotate when used properly. In my practice, about 20% of the patients benefit from shaped implants.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Breast Lift or Just a Larger Implant

    A properly placed implant with creative pocket dissection can sometimes help you avoid a lift.  A larger implant in a deflated breast can produce some additional lift.  An inperson exam can help determine this in a more precise fashion.  Find the plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of mommy makeovers each year.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Avoid a lift with a large breast implant?

A 'mommy makeover' can transform a woman's appearance and confidence.  To do it, though, you end up taking time off work and time away from the family.  You pay a significant amount of money.  There's some pain and discomfort involved.  So, my philosophy is, why undergo all of that just to end up with something you're going to be unhappy with?  One of my goals with this type of surgery is to have a woman love the way she looks in a mirror after having taken a shower; she can look at her new shape and be proud and happy.  No one really wants to have scars on her breasts, either from breast lifts or even breast biopsies.  However, in my 18 years of experience doing cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery, I have found that women who are the happiest have breasts that are shapely and proportional.  It's pretty common that a woman will come into the office who had an augmentation years before, by a different surgeon, where she was told that she didn't need a breast lift, that a large implant would give a lifted look.  Invariably she's now unhappy, her breasts are too large, her breasts are too low, and her back hurts.  So, yes, you could just go with large breast implants and no lift.  However, I'm pretty certain that within a few months you'll be unhappy with your look, and you're likely to either undergo more surgery or just live with the look that you have.  If instead you use a smaller implant and undergo a breast lift, certainly you'll have scars that are very pink for 5-10 months.  As those scars fade, however, you're likely to find that you love your look.  Look at yourself in the mirror now, then try to imagine what you really want to see 1 year after your surgery.  Do you really want large, low breasts, or do you want breasts that are proportional and shapely (albeit with some faded scars)?  What you choose to do during your mommy makeover really depends on how you answer that question. 

Kelly R. Kunkel, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Larger Implants Do Not Replace a Breast Lift

No, a larger implant will not replace a needed breast lift.  Breast lifting removes the stretched skin excess and allows the breast and nipples to move up from their stretched position.  Implants make you larger.  A properly placed implant under muscle alone will just give you upper fullness and size, but leave your breast droopy.  An implant placed over muscle and under the breast will give you a larger droopy breast.  The confusion occurs when we see a patient with a "deflated", but not droopy breast who is treated with only an implant.  On initial appearance, many of her friends thinks she was droopy and had successful treatment with the implant alone.  Unfortunately, that is not correct.  Your surgeon can discuss your options with you and show you the difference.

Randy J. Buckspan, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Could I Avoid a Lift with a Larger Implant?

I am not sure, based upon these photos, that you "need" a lift at all. FIndings on an actual examination would guide a more useful recommendation. 

It appears that you can expect a nice improvement with TT and breast augmentation. Choose an implant size based on your size goals, not on whether a larger implant will not require a lift. 

Lifts are done for two reasons, sometimes both are present.

  • to elevate the nipple
  • to remove excess skin

A larger implant may make a lift unnecessary for a patient with excess skin that may be filled out with the implant. But neither a large or small implant will elevate the nipple and areola, and that would be the issue here. 

My inclination would be to  not do the lift at the time of the TT and BA, and only do the lift if in 3-6 months you feel it is warranted. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.