Can my Breasts Be Lifted Without Implants? (photo)

I've nursed three children and had a 70 lb. weight loss that have left me with lots of excess skin & sagging. Once I reach my goal weight, I'm interested in a mommy makeover that includes a tummy tuck and breast lift, but not augmenting my breasts. Do you think that's possible with how my breasts look? I'm happy with the size of my breasts when I wear a good bra (currently 38DD) but unhappy with how deflated & saggy they are without a bra.

Doctor Answers 28

Breast implants not necessary, but you may decrease breast size

A traditional breast lift may leave your breasts smaller, therefore you may want to consider augmentation to maintain your size. Implants are not necessary, however. Some patients find that a breast lift with auto augmentation is suitable.


Pricing in Toronto, Ontario, generally ranges from $9000-$11000.

Depends on your aesthetic goals...

When patients undergo breast lift surgery, the decision to use a breast implant is entirely dependent upon the patient’s aesthetic goals.If they’re happy with their breast size, but concerned about breast sag, there’s no reason to perform a breast augmentation.Under these circumstances, isolated breast lift surgery is associated with excellent clinical results and high levels of patient satisfaction.
It’s not unusual for women with breast sag to also be concerned about breast size and upper breast fullness following pregnancy.These patients feel that they have not only developed breast sag but loss of breast volume as well.Under these circumstances, a breast augmentation can be performed at the time of breast lift surgery.This will not only lift the breast into normal position, but also increase breast size and upper breast fullness.
It’s important to realize that no two patients are ever exactly alike.For this reason, procedures are tailored to meet the individual patient’s needs.Although you’re apparently happy with your breast size, an implant might make your breasts look more shapely.
It’s important to discuss these issues with a board certified plastic surgeon who has experience in this area.This surgeon can discuss your situation and formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals.

Breasts can be lifted without implants

Many people think that breast lift surgery can't be done without implants and its simply not the case.  Many patients simply wish to lift  and reshape their breasts without additional volume so a breast lift is ideal.  In your case it appear as though you would be an ideal candidate for a breast lift to help lift your breasts back up the chest wall and reposition your nipples back to the middle of your chest.  Its possible your breasts can be reshaped into a lovely natural shape using your existing tissue.  Implants are only used when patients desire additional volume or fullness to the upper chest.  A consultation with a fully qualified plastic surgeon is your next best step.

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Breast lifts without implants

It is a common misconception among some plastic surgeons that all breast lifts need implants. That is not the case and if you have enough volume to sculpt with, there is no need for an implant.  It is also nice to see if the lift alone will work for you because if it does, you can avoid all the potential nagging problems that you carry for life with implants.

Can my Breasts Be Lifted Without Implants?

I have a couple of points need to clarify before giving my last reply for your question.

If you like your breast size and the way your breasts look in a bra, but wish that your nipples were higher and you had some more fullness in the upper part of the breasts, then a breast lift without implants may be the right surgery for you. It is important to understand, however, that the result of a breast lift depends a lot on the degree of breast sagging and on the amount of excess skin.

A breast lift will not increase the cup size of the breasts. Instead, a lift will tighten the skin envelope in order to distribute the overall volume of the breast in an upward direction. Thus we reach a fullness in the upper part of the breast in combination with more pleasing rounded shape to the lower breast.

In other words breast lift, or mastopexy, restores a more youthful appearance to a woman’s breasts by elevating the nipple and breast as well as tightening loose breast skin, but this surgery will not increase the size of your breast.

However the majority of women considering breast lift are interested also in enlarging their breast. Throughout my years in practice, I have found that those women who have enlarged their breasts in addition to a lift are usually more happy with the results of surgery. Thus, mastopexy with implants is a usual two-in-one operation, which can not only reduce drooping and excess skin present in the breasts, it can also produce a fuller shape, better firmness, and often improve overall results.

In your case you should be aware that lifting without implant could not be enough to generate a DD result.

I hope this helps.

Ercan Karacaoglu, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Breast Lift Without Implants

Yes, it is possible to have a breast lift surgery without getting implants. Implants provided the newly lifted breasts with added volume, making the breasts look full and plump. It is ultimately your choice if you want to have the implants placed or not, though you should understand that your breasts might look relatively flattened without them. You may also decide that you want the implants placed at a later time somewhere down the line, which would require an additional surgery.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Lifting breasts without an implant

Yes. Your breasts can be lifted without an implant
There are a variety of techniques for these operations. Lollipop lift (vertical lift), donut (periareola) lift, Benelli lift, crescent lift, anchor lift (inverted T ). Most commonly, we prefer the lollipop or donut lift because of the shape, small scars and easier healing. Although the “anchor-shape” or inverted “T” incision is still more popular in the United States, it represents an older technique with extensive scarring and a less optimal result in many cases. These newer techniques are utilized in the vast majority of cases, the rare exception being extremely large breasts. The nipple-areola complex is repositioned higher, the excess skin is removed, and the breast is reshaped in a pleasing contour and in a more normal position.
The crescent lift removes a small amount of skin at the top of the areola. We find that there is very little lift and the areola becomes oval in shape and distorted with this method.
The Benelli lift as performed by most surgeons is just the donut lift, removing a donut shaped piece of areola and skin then using a #Pursestring or double purse-string suture to tighten the skin. A true Benelli actually will expose much of the breast through this incision and then the breast itself is shaped and lifted with sutures. This is a more complex procedure and is often not done as describe by Dr. Benellil.
The insertion of an implant as well, may be advisable to restore superior fullness, which is lost with aging and after pregnancy despite the rest of the breast being overly large. Fat grafting can be used instead of implants to improve the contours of the breast.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Breast Lift Without Implant Options

Breast lift without implants - consider the "California Breast Lift"
You may be a good candidate for a minimal "short" scar technique breast lift without an implant. An exam would be required but your photos suggest that this is a great option for you. 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.

Mommy Makeover with tummy tuck and breast lift

To directly answer your question, no, you do not need to have implants with your breast lift.

You said that you are happy with your breast size.  Getting implants will make your breasts bigger. 

Keep in mind, however, a breast lift will lift the breasts up and make them perkier. If you desire fullness in the upper portions of your breast, then this is what an implant accomplishes.

I hope this helps. Good Luck.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

Breast lift without implants is possible in some cases

Based on your photographs, you probably do have enough breast tissue to have a mastopexy (breast lift) alone without implants. This would, in my opinion, require an inverted-T incision pattern. Without implants, your breast size will decrease even if no breast tissue is removed. There will also be little change in the upper pole fullness of the breast (roundness on the top) without implants. You should nonetheless be able to get a nice result, based on the photos. Of course, a thorough exam and consultation is needed to clarify your goals and the best options for you. Thanks for your question.

Steven Goldman, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 118 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.