Should I Have Gotten a Breast Lift with Implant Exchange? (photo)

I recently had to have an implant exchange due to deflation. I went from saline to silicone (mod plus). Of the 4 consults I went to, only 1 doctor recommended a lift with the implants (not the Dr. I chose to do my surgery). Now after the swelling has gone down, I am seeing the need for the lift and feeling quite disappointed. How long do I have to wait before getting the lift and which type would be recommended for me?

Doctor Answers 12

Should I Have Gotten a Breast Lift with Implant Exchange?

          You could do the breast lift soon if you would like. With an implant exchange, the period to drop is short.  A vertical lift would allow for a smaller scar and the ability to reduce areolar size.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of breast augmentations, breast lifts, and breast augmentation revisions each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Should I Have Gotten A Breast Lift?

Thank you for the question and pictures. Given that you have had your operation “recently”, I would suggest continued patience for now. Give yourself 6 months before you determine whether you are pleased (enough)with the outcome of the procedure;  at that point you'll be able to determine whether breast lifting will be beneficial or not.

Be careful about your decision-making; although the breasts may not be “perfect”, you may be dissatisfied when it comes to the scars associated with breast lifting surgery.  It would be a shame to trade one “problem” for another. As you know, these scars are a trade-off associated with breast lifting surgery that should be fully considered prior to proceeding.

 I hope this, and attached link, helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

You should have had a breast lift

Dear Butterfly34,

I am afraid I have a very different outlook on your case than the other consultants. First, I think there is no doubt you should have had a breast lift. The reason why you don’t like the look of your breasts is because the proper position for implants should allow the nipple to be precisely positioned over the middle of the implant. That is to say if the breasts were a globe the nipple should be on the equator. The reason why you nipples look like they are pointing down at the ground is because the implants are too large and too high. That is to say the nipples are too low, and that would have been addressed by a breast lift.

I am afraid there is going to be an issue also no matter how long you wait to do a breast lift. Because of the large size of your areolae as well as the large size of your implants it is going to be difficult if not impossible to do a full mastopexy (breast lift) with those large implants in.

My advice is that in order to have the ideal result with the nipples perky and pointed forward, you are going to need to go into a much smaller size implant in order to allow the tissues to close around it in a successful mastopexy.

I am sorry this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but I have found patients are certainly more grateful for straightforward, honest opinions.

Best of luck to you,
Robert D. Wilcox, MD

Robert D. Wilcox, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Proceed with mastopexy after augmentation when acute swelling has subsided.

Many patients would be pleased with the result and would avoid mastopexy. In your particular circumstance I agree that a breast augmentation should have been tried first without mastopexy. You can now proceed only inconvenienced by a two-stage solution rather than one.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Waiting time for Breast Lift following Breast Aumentation/Implant Exchange

I think it wise to wait approximately 6 months until your breasts have settled, the soft tissues have recovered from surgery before having a lift. Your plastic surgeon will discuss the various options of breast lifts to match your desired outcome.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Should I Have Gotten a Breast Lift with Implant Exchange?

Allow 3 months of healing before considering a lifting operation. Best to seek additional in person consults. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Breast Lift After Augmentation, How Long Do I Have To Wait?

I would wait 6-8 months to allow for swelling to completely reside and the tissues to soften.  I would do a vertical limited incision breast lift leaving the implants in their current position. You should have an excellent result if you contact a plastic surgeon who is very experienced with the vertical breast lift technique. 

Robert Applebaum, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Breast lift timing after implants

I would suggest waiting at least 4-6 months after your augmentation to allow things to settle a bit. Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Breast lift on a delayed basis is a possiblilty

You are still early in the your post operative course.  There would have been now way to know in advance absolutely which procedure would have been best.  Give this 6 to 9 months.  If you do not get the shape you desire then a breast lift can always be done on a delayed basis. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Lift after augmentation

Thank you for your question and posting some photos.  It looks like you have a good result from your implant exchange.  You do have some mild sagging that could be improved with a lift procedure.  However, I would wait at least 3 months before considering a lift.  You need to give time for swelling to resolve and your breasts to settle.   Exactly, which breast lift technique you would need will require a physicial exam.   A periareolar lift will help reduce your areolas a bit.  However, keep in mind you have larger implants in place.   These larger implants can "weigh" down any lift attempts over time.   So there may be a limitation of how much lifting that really can be achieved.  Please visit with a board certified PS to learn more about your options and weigh the pro's and con's of the lift carefully. 

Best wishes.

Dr. Basu

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 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.