Breast Lift After Breast Augmentation?

I was advised to have a Breast Lift with my augmentation. I am not sure I want to have it done due to scarring, recovery, and increased cost. If I just do the augmentation and don't like the results, can I have a lift at a later point?

Doctor Answers 16

Breast augmentation, then lift

If the patient has significant drooping, the patient will not achieve a good and natural shape with an implant alone, just a large saggy breast with south pointing nipples.

That being said, it is the safest route to have an augmentation and later a breast lift. Then, circulation issues are minimized. It is dangerous to perform a tight breast lift with a large breast augmentation, especially a Benelli-type lift (aggressive around the nipple lift), even more so in patients who smoke or have recently smoked.

The cost and inconvenience of needing 2 surgeries rather than one should be calculated in, especially if a number of doctors are noticing droopiness and recommending lifts.

There are many hybrid type breast lifts now available that give minimal scarring and a modest lift; these are frequently performed simultaneously with a breast augmentation.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

The lift can be done later

Just realize that if the nipple and areola are low or are pointing down, the implant WON"T improve this. If anything, it will look worse. You are certainly entitled to stage this but you will surely want the lift to get the best shape possible. The scars improve with time but the shape doesn't if you don't get the lift.

I have a photo of a patient who went to a doctor who told her all she needed was an implant. She needed a lift but didn't get one. I have shown this photo for years and have NEVER yet met a patient who said that they would be happy with that look in order to avoid a lift.

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

Breast lift after breast augmentation?

Hello! Thank you for your question! These two procedures can safely and effectively be performed in one setting, given you are healthy and without medical comorbidities to prevent such. Staging the procedures to have them done at various times will likely not have any cost benefit for you. When you combine procedures, there is often a discount that is provided by the surgeon for multiple procedures. Also, when having multiple procedures performed at the same time, you save on anesthesia and facility fees, which otherwise are paid for with each individual procedure. In addition, you may benefit by the single recovery time. Cost of these procedures will vary amongst plastic surgeons in addition to geographic location.

However, more important than the financial aspect, your plastic surgeon will have to determine for you if the viability of the breast as well as nipple-areolar complex may be placed at jeopardy if done at the same time. If for this reason, it would be wise to stage these procedures. Without an examination, it is difficult to tell you what to recommend.

Certainly it is you decision as to whether you have your procedures performed in one or multiple stages, but your surgeon will give his/her recommendations. You definitely can have a lift done afterwards, if you are unhappy with the results.  Consult with a plastic surgeon well-versed in breast surgery who will discuss and examine you, while assisting you to decide which procedure will be the best option for you. I would discuss your concerns with your surgeon and see what your options are - sometimes multiple consultations with board-certified plastic surgeons is helpful for you to decide. Hope that this helps! Best wishes for a wonderful result!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast Lift with Implants

Having already had one anesthesia you might as well go ahead and have the breast lift at the same time saving yourself a second anesthia. If your doctor is recomending a lift it probably because you have excess skin , you do not want to end up with what is known as "snoopy boobs". If scarring is your fear there are many medical grade scarring creams that can used such as BioCorneum

Thomas Trevisani, Sr., MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Breast lift with implants?

If you are seen by a few  well experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons  who recommend breast lifting along with the augmentation, then it would behoove you to do the procedures together. Otherwise, you are bound to be dissatisfied with the results and require further surgery to reach your goals. Further searching will obviously lead to further costs etc.

As in any other area of medicine is important to make the correct diagnosis and tailor  a treatment plan (surgical procedure)  to treat the diagnosis. It would be better NOT to do  and surgery  then to be disappointed with the results.

Again, make sure you consult with well experienced board certified plastic surgeons.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

Staging Your Breast Lift After Augmentation

It is quite reasonable to first have a breast augmentation and evaluate your satisfaction with the results, before proceeding with breast lift.

Of course, this is less efficient and more costly with more recovery time, but may be worth it to you since you have concerns about the scars.  You need to be convinced the lift will be worth it to you.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

If you need a lift, you need a lift

Just placing an implant will not eliminate the fact that you need a breast lift. If you need a lift, and you just have an implant placed, you will end up unhappy with your shape.  Yes, this is true even if you have the implant placed above the muscle. 

Doing a lift with implants has about the same recovery as having just implants.  A long weekend should suffice as recovery before return to a desk job, for instance.  There will be some additional cost for doing an augmentation at the same time as mastopexy, but your total cost will be lower than doing them separately (having the augmentation, then doing the lift later).  It is possible to do the lift later, as you asked, but I'd rather get the right result from the start.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

When to have a breast lift with implants


Some patients who are interested in having a breast augmentation may receive the suggestion of pairing the surgery with a breast lift. This is because you may have access to issue or sagging breast in that will not be completely filled by the implant. Rather than just having implant in this case the skin can be retraced around the new implant and create a much more attractive rest mound with a small breast lift. However, if you have reservations it is not necessary to perform the surgeries at the same time. You may choose to go ahead with the breast augmentation and see how you heal. If you decide to have breast lift at a later date as possible.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Lift and augmentation

Yes, you can have a lift after breast implants. While I try to do them in a single session it certainly is easier to stage them.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Simple answer - yes. Better answer - other approaches may be better.


It is certainly reasonable to have a breast augmentation without a lift for some patients, but most who need a lift at the same time as their augmentation are better off doing them together. (Sometimes the lift is best done before the augmentation.) The augmentation operation your surgeon does may be done differently depending on whether you have lift or not. These decisions are best made in conjunction with your surgeon. He or she has the advantage of examining you and knowing more about you than we do on the internet.

Sutton Graham II, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 5 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.