Will Breasts Appear Smaller After Lift without Implants or Look Bigger because They'll Look Perkier?

I'm a big C cup and I'm happy with my cup size, I don't want implants but I don't want them to change size. Is it true that they look smaller after a lift? Or they appear bigger and "full" from being perkier, without actually increasing cup size?

Doctor Answers 15

Breasts can appear larger with lift

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The breast can appear larger after a breast lift, as the shape is improved the breast projection will increase. The reduction in the skin envelope will tend to recruit the flattened and spread breast tissue into the center and core of the breast. Many do feel fuller and larger with a lift without breast implants.

Best of luck,


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Breast size appearance after a lift

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After surgery, your bare breasts might appear to be smaller than they used to be because the surgery shortened and tightened them, but the change in size is just an illusion. Your breasts will be the same size they were before surgery because only excess, stretched skin is removed during a breast lift; no breast tissue is taken away. 

In a bra, you're breasts might look fuller. To get a preview of how you'll look after your lift, put on a good bra and look in the mirror. A lift is essentially like wearing the right bra - the remaining skin is sutured together to create a sling - essentially a natural support bra - that raises the breast. 

Ted Eisenberg, DO, FACOS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Breasts will appear larger with Ultimate Breast Lift

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Hi Kathz,

Great question! So glad you asked. There's a new technique called the Ultimate Breast Lift which actually reshapes your existing breast tissue and permanently suspends it to make it look like implants. Breasts are firm and perky giving the appearance of larger breasts because they project more. An added benefit to this procedure is NO VERTICAL SCAR. This technique works for all breast types. Look into it. Best wishes, Dr. H

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews


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When you have a breastlift you retain all your breast volume.  It is simply lifted and shaped to provide a fuller more projected breast instead of a more flat and spread out breast.  The breast overall shape may look smaller but the better projection enhances the fullness.  The effect on your bra or cup size may be variable and sometimes less predictable.  Instead of a flatter big C cup you may find yourself in a perkier small c cup.  I hope this information helps.

Ronald H. Stefani Jr, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Will Breasts Look Smaller After a Lift Without Implants?

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This is an excellent question.  What you have to understand is that a person who needs a lift generally does because most, if not all, of the breast volume has dropped below the horizontal midpoint (or the "equater") of the breast.  A lift will redistribute this breast tissue back to 50% above and 50% below.  This may give the effective appearance of a smaller size, even though no breast tissue has been removed.  So if you take your hands and move your breast tissue back up to being evenly distributed from top to bottom, and you want to be larger than that, then you probably need an implant.  If you are not sure, you could always go with the lift first and add an implant at a second stage.

Gary D. Breslow, MD, FACS
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Do breasts look the same after dropping?

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Two things happen and seem paradoxical. As as the swelling goes down there will be some shrinkage but at the same time as the muscle relaxes your breast projection grows. In general the breast shape and size proportionality improves..

Breast implants initially after surgery when placed in a submuscular position often give superior fullness that corrects itself with time, the "fluff and drop" phenomena. In reality the pectoralis major muscle takes a while to adjust its size to accommodate the implant as well as occasional muscle spasm which keeps the implant projection higher than its final resting shape. Additional variables include:laxity of skin, size difference during prior pregnancies, position of implant,size of muscle, and size of implant.
As the muscle relaxes the projection of the implant often increases and the breast shape improves. Massage and use of a superior placed elastic strap can often make this process go faster.

Breast lift

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A breast lift will definitely provide perkier looking breasts.  In lifting the breasts, some skin and a small amount of tissue are removed to create the desired look, so they may be slightly smaller than before surgery.

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

Well-done Breast Lift gives breasts better shape AND fulness

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Hi there-

It is important to understand that not all breast lifts are created equal...

Assuming your breast lift is performed by an experienced and talented breast surgeon, it is possible to achieve both an improvement in shape and the appearance of fulness as the breast tissue is redistributed over the anatomically correct (smaller) footprint of the breasts.


Will Breasts Appear Smaller After Lift without Implants or Look Bigger because They'll Look Perkier?

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If ONLY skin is removed than the true volume does not change. But in appearance it is a personal view, some look smaller other appear larger. Best to see many photos to determine. 

Breast Lifts Usually Do Not Change Breast Size

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The perception of breast size after a lift without an implant can vary in appearance. Since no breast tissue is being removed, the actual cup size should not change. But since the breast skin is being tightened and lifted, there may be the illusion that they are slightly bigger in some patients and slightly smaller in other patients. As a general rule, it is best to perceive that a breast lift reshapes and lifts the breast but does not really change its cup size.

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.