Do I Need a Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation, or Both?

Can I achieve a good result from a breast augmentation alone or do I need a breast lift? I have had 3 consults so far. 1st surgeon told me I have to have a lift before I can have the Breast Augmentation, he suggested I do this in 2 stages. The other surgeon suggested I go with the implant first and if I need a lift that could be done later. I am 5'2, and currently a small C. I would like to end up with a D cup.

Doctor Answers 5

Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation or both.

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An examination in the office would be very useful in answering this question.  Results can readily be obtained  with a one-time surgical procedure, which would be a combination lift (mastopexy) and breast augmentation.  Often, I leave the option open for the performance of a lift after implant placement;  I would then sit you up on the operating table and then  make the judgment at that time on whether or not to proceed with the breast lift.  This has served me and my patients well over the years, as generally the patient does not need another trip to the operating room.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast augmentation with or without mastopexy

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In order to determine the best option for you, it is in your best interest to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Providing photos of what look you would like to achieve will help the surgeon determine whether you are a good candidate for a breast lift and augmentation or an augmentation alone. Implants provide a fuller look and more volume on top. A breast lift improves “sagging” of the breasts and provides a tighter, longer lasting result. There are different types of incisions used to provide a lift, based on the placement of your nipple-areola complex. Based on the photos you provided, you look like a good candidate for breast augmentation plus or minus limited mastopexy. Unfortunately, only direct examination and evaluation of your goals can help us make a final decision.

Implants without lift

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I would have to see you in person to say for sure, but based on your photo, I can't say you absolutely need a lift.

This is what I do to maximize lift with a breast implant alone:

- use silicone cohesive gel implants. The more cohesive the better. I am not sure if these are available yet in the US, but the Allergan Inspira Truform 2 implants are ideal

- use high profile implants. The more projection you have, the more lift you will get

- have the implants placed in the submammary pocket (under the breast itself). You should have a pinch thickness at the top of your breast of at least 2 cm

Breast Lift vs. Augmentation

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This is a frequently asked question from my patients seeking an Augmentation. The true determination would be by a board certified plastic surgeon who evaluates your breasts during a consultation. As stated above if your nipple is below the crease of your breast you must have a lift, if you were a lift candidate and had breast implants inserted without doing the lift, the implant would merely go to the breast crease and stop leaving any skin below the crease as is. In other words you would have a "double bubble" appearance, which we have seen in some cases. However, you can have a lift with an augmentation performed at the same time, you are just restricted to the size of implant that can be placed at that time in order for all the incisions to heal properly. If you try to shove a large implant in too soon the incisions will not heal properly leaving poorly looking scars. Once a lift is completed and if you chose to have a smaller implant put in at that time, you can always have an Implant Exchange further down the road to achieve the size you desire. Best of Luck!

John Ward, MD (retired)
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon

Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift, or Both, Are Indicated by Breast Measurements

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Thanks for the great question!  This is one of the most common questions I get from my patients. 

In general, your plastic surgeon will examine you and figure out where your nipple is in relation to your breast fold and the rest of your breast.  If your nipple is at or below your breast fold, you will probably need a breast lift.  Ir your nipple is at or above your breast fold, you will probably be a good candidate for a breast augmentation.


If you want more volume, whether your need a breast lift or not, then of course, you should consider a breast augmentation.  However, many plastic surgeons do both breast augmentation and breast lift during the same operation.  Please consider consulting with different local plastic surgeons, but it should be possible to get both procedures done simultaneously.


Best Wishes!



Roy Kim, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

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.