Breast Lift Without Implants Makes Breasts Less Full?

I am happy with the size of my breasts, but not the droopiness. I feel like I would benefit from a Breast lift. It seems that from the before and after pictures of Breast lifts without Breast implants, the breasts almost look indented and not full. Would you agree? What would you suggest?

Doctor Answers 8

Breast Lift Without Implants using Fat Transfer

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The points you made are often valid. There are other options however. For example, you may be a good candidate for a minimal "short" scar technique breast lift without an implant. If more superior breast fullness is desired then consider a fat transfer procedure at the time of the lift - The "California Breast Lift" is a procedure which transfers unwanted fat from the abdomen or thighs to the breasts. See the below links for additional details.

Breast lift with or without breast implants

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Hi Kris,

You've made an excellent observation. In most patients, the major limitation of breast lift (mastopexy) without the use of breast implants is the inability to maintain long term upper pole fullness of the breasts. Although mastopexy doesn't usually cause more flattening of the upper breast than was present preoperatively, it usually fails to improve a flat upper breast without using an implant.

Mastopexy without an implant can still provide excellent results. It can lead to a better-shaped breast mound and can raise a sagging nipple & areola. But if it's really important for you to have fullness of the upper breast, you may wish to consider also having an implant placed.

Best of luck. Hope this helps.

Breast lift with fat transfer

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Fullness can be achieved with a breast lift alone, but it all depends on where you want the fullness to be. If you want more of a rounded look with a lot of upper pole fullness, then implants are probably needed. If you want a a more skislope shape then you may not need implants. It all depends on your breast shape. You can also consider fat transfer to add the fullness you want after your lift.

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Breast Lift and Fullness?

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Thank you for the question.

Whether you will be pleased with the results of breast lifting surgery done alone will depend on what your physical examination demonstrates and what your final goals are. This will best be determined after  consultation with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon and a full discussion of your goals. I think the best way to communicate your goals would be with the use of “goal pictures”. This will avoid miscommunication that may occur when words such as “indented” or “fullness” are used.

Generally speaking, patients who are seeking to maintain longer-term fullness/volume in the area of the upper breasts,   benefit from the use of breast implants as well.

Best wishes.


Breast lift

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If you are happy with your volume, a breast lift alone may be all that you need. If you want more volume than an implant can be added.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast lift is a complex procedure

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Breast lifts really depend on your anatomy, breast sagging, skin tone and size to determine whether or not to combine with an implant. Sometimes this may mean having a breast lift first and then coming back to add an implant for size and fullness. Combining a breast lift with an implant becomes very complex. Therefore, I would recommend having a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine first what type of lift you need. The less of a breast lift you need the safter it is to combine with an implant and get the result you desire. The more complex of a lift you need, then it may be prudent to do the surgeries in two steps to achieve the desired outcome.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Breast lift without implants.

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It all depends on HOW the breast lift is done. Many surgeons tighten the skin envelope to create a lift. But skin stretches, and the long term result is poor.

The key is to do the breast lift internally, by actually repositioning the breast upward. This is harder, but it will give you good fullness.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan 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.