Do I Need a Breast Lift, or Can I Lift my Breast with Implants Alone? Afraid of the Breast Lift Scar. (photo)

Scheduled for a breast lift soon. Getting cold feet. Was told I needed a breast lift, but am now hearing that my breasts can be lifted with implants alone without the need of all the scarrring that comes with a breast lift.

Doctor Answers 16

Lift without implants

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If you are satisfied with your cup size then you do not need implants.  However, you do need a lift.  There is a new technique that uses only a circumareola incision to avoid ugly vertical scars.  With this technique it is possible to lift your breasts higher on the chest wall, reshape your breasts to increase upper pole fullness and move them more medial to increase your cleavage.  You are an excellent candidate for this new technique called The Mini Ultimate Breast Lift, which can be combined with implants if desired.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Augmentation vs augmentation mastopexy

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Hi Glori,

     I sympathize with your dilemma because I am sure you have been told of both options and you want to make the right decision.  I see many patients such as yourself that are, in fact, borderline.  Meaning that good results can be achieved with either augmentation alone or augmentation mastopexy.  I think the best way for you to evaluate your options is to realize that both options are viable.  The question of whether you need a lift is deceptive.  You do not "need" a lift, however, it is an option. Keep in mind that there are some women whose breast are so low that implants alone are not an option. In those patients a lift "is" necessary.  You are not in that category.  You are in the category where you should achieve acceptable results with either procedure.   What is true is that with a lift your breast will be higher than with implants alone.  Therefore, the question you should ask yourself is whether you are willing to have breasts that are a little bit higher, with a higher nipple position along with extra incisions on the breast or are you willing to to accept breast that are a little bit lower but have one tiny inconspicuous incision.

     One caution about a dual plane dissection if that is recommended.  Although it does help the implant fall into the breast pocket better, it tends to stretch the breast over time so that any advantage seen early is lost over time. There are ways to help the implant fall into the breast pocket other that the dual plane dissection that does not have this long term problem.

Ary Krau, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 357 reviews

Breat Lift vs. Implants

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Based on your photos a lift would be necessary to raise the nipple position and implants to fill out the skin, especially in the upper part of the breast. You may be a candidate for a Bennelli style of Breast Lift. This lift confines the scars to around the areola and can also reduce the size of the areola. It does require the use of an implant as well. Not all plastic surgeons perform the Bennelli lift so check with a number of offices and see pictures of their patients before you decide. Best Wishes

James A. Hoffman, MD
Saint Paul Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

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Breast lift or implants?

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A breast implant will give your breast more volume but there is nothing in an implant that lifts the breast.  When everything settles, you would look exactly the same, only bigger.  With that in mind, I would suggest that you might need some kind of breast lift procedure if you want a perkier shape to your breasts.  Of course, the trade-off is the scarring.  The choice you have to make is whether you would prefer your breasts the way they look now or perkier but with some scars.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


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You have ptosis and need a lift with implants.Trying to remedy this with only ever increasing size and profile of implant will not lead to an aesthetic result

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon

Yes. Lift Needed

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Based on your pictures I would recommend a lift.  You might want to consider an implant and lift.  This would improve your shape and volume.

Dr. ES

Breast augmentation vs. breast lift

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In some patients with very mild drooping of the skin, an implant can make breasts appear more perky. Most women would prefer to have an augmentation only if possible, and as plastic surgeons we keep that in mind.  What you don't want is to go through a surgery that will not correct your primary concern.

Most experienced plastic surgeons will hve many, many before and after photos on  their websites of both breast surgery they have performed. Look to see if your starting point seems to be more representative of a "before" of a breast lift, or a breast augmentation. But, really an in-person examination is the best way to get the very best advice for what is best for you.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Breast Lift or Just Breast implants

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     Breast implants can help lift breasts with Grade I or early Grade II ptosis with pocket manipulation.  In patients with more significant droop, breast lift will be needed to correct the ptosis.  Implants and breast lift can be combined if the patient wants to increase volume and superior pole fullness as well.

Do I need a breast lift?

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Breast augmentation alone will most likely result in a less than ideal result for you. If the implants are placed where they should be, partially under the pectoralis muscle, then your native breast tissue will appear to be hanging off the front of them in an unnatural way. The effect will be worsened when you lean forward. If the implants are centered behind your nipple, they will be outside of the muscle pocket and will appear rather low on your chest wall. This will possibly appear natural, but not what most people would consider youthful or attractive. I would suggest having the implants placed in the correct position. Allow the implants to heal and settle into the pocket for 3 months. And then decide if you need the mastopexy, which you probably will. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Breast Lift Schedule but Concerned About Scars?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.  I think that you will do much better with a breast lift as well as breast augmentation surgery;  in my practice, I would not offer you breast augmentation surgery alone.

 Although your concerns about scarring are understandable ( and very common), many patients (If properly selected and who are doing the operations at the right time of their lives  psychosocially) accept the scars associated with breast augmentation/breast lifting surgery as long as they are happy with the improvement in contour, size, and symmetry. This acceptance of the scars is the essential “trade-off” associated with many of the procedures we do in the field of plastic surgery.

It may be helpful to you to meet with your plastic surgeon again; ask to see lots of examples of his/her work.  Hopefully, additional “homework” will help you make a decision that you feel comfortable with.  You may find the attached link helpful to you in this regard.

 Best wishes.

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.