Are Breast Implants the Only Way to Lift Breasts?

Doctor Answers 18

Are breast implants the only way to lift breasts?

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Well, this is a question that comes up once in a while.

Usually the woman in question will come in, and when I ask her what she would like her breasts to look like, she will cup her breasts and lift them up on the chest wall. This will cause a lot of fullness on the upper pole of the breast.

If this is what you mean, yes, an implant is the only way to do this.

What we refer to as a lift is lifting the position of the nipple on the chest wall, and tightening the skin envelope so the breast looks more youthful. It will not give that fullness in the upper pole that some patients want. It is for THAT fullness or "lift" that people recommend an implant.

Check the link below for some info of lift vs implant

Breast implants DO NOT LIFT the breasts

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Breast implants add volume and size. The breast lifts elevate the nipple areola and reshape and tighten the breast. Do not confuse one with the other, they are not the same. If you try to lift a breast where the nipples are lower than ideal by using just an implant you will look matronly and won't like the result.

Breast Implants and “Lifting” Breasts?

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Thank you for the question.

Breast implants do not necessarily “lift” breasts.  At best, they do feel the breast skin envelope and may create and “illusion” of slight breast lifting;  again, true breast lifting is not accomplished with breast implants.

Breast lifting surgery involves removal of skin to tighten up the  breast skin  “envelope”. This skin excision serves to the decrease the breast  skin surface area and elevate the breasts on the chest wall.  The nipple/areola complexes are moved superiorly as well.

Which breast lifting  technique  that will be helpful to  a patient  (if any) will depend on several factors including the quality of skin elasticity ( often poor after significant weight loss),  the amount of “loose” skin present,  the position of the nipple/areola complexes in relation to the inframammary fold and the patient's goals.

I hope this helps.

Many different ways to lift breasts

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There are many options that patients have to lift breasts. There are a variety of breast with surgeries and I can help change the shape contour and size of the breast and then redirect the skin over these new breast mounds. A breast augmentation does not lift the breasts but only stretches out the overlying skin and tissue. In fact, an overly large implant may accelerate the process of sagging and you may require an additional breast lift at a later date.

Breast lift does not need breast implants.

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A well done vertical breast lift moves the breast tissue up without losing any breast volume, and leaves a lollipop scar which fades.  You don't need breast implants. 

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon


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Thank you for your question.

No. Breast implants are used to add volume and size, not necessarily lift the breast. A breast lift is the best way to lift the breast especially if you have a significant amount of sagging. There are several different types of lifts that can be performed depending on what exactly you need. If you do not have enough breast tissue, breast implants combined with implants usually produce a very nice result, especially in adding upper pole fullness (which is the biggest limitation of lifts alone).

Schedule a consultation with your plastic surgeon and he/she can advise you on what is best for you.

Best regards,

Dr. Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Implants are not the only way to lift breasts

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There are numerous ways to lift breasts. The choice of method or technique depends on what it is you need and desire.

If you have small breasts and very little sagging, an implant might be enough.

If you are happy with the size of your breasts, then you don't need an implant. The amount of sagginess will determine which technique you need.

In general, the more saggy the breasts are, the more that skin has to be removed. If more skin has to be removed, then more scars have to be created.

This is a very detailed and complex discussion that is best done with your surgeon. There is not enough space here to talk about all of the issues involved.

John Diaz, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Implants Will Not Raise the Nipple or Shorten the Fold Under Your Breast

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In fact, they may make your breast heavier and produce more sagging and a "bottom heavy" look. If you just need some fullness up top and desire a larger cup size, though, implants are a good choice.

Your board-certified plastic surgeon will be the most qualified to determine this when you are examined.

Breast lifts

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Breast implants can lift the breast slightly for women with very little ptosis ( droop). Other procedures like a circumareolar lift can be performed  as can a verttical mastopexy( Lejour) type procedure or for more involved lifts a "T" or anchor type incision.

Implants will only help with a mild degree of sagging

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Implants will only help with a small amount of breast sagging. In general, look at yourself in the mirror. If you can see all of your nipple and areola as well as some of the non-pigmented skin below the areola then most likely an implant will correct the problem. If your nipples are pointed downward and you can not see the bottom edge of the areola then you will need a breast lift.

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.