Can I do an implant, or do I need a lift + implant? (Photo)

The surgeon I saw says I have grade-1 ptosis. He says it's "borderline," though -- that I could still get "satisfactory" results with an implant alone. I would like to avoid the lift because of the scars. But would an implant alone just result in extra-droopy boobs? Or would the added volume improve the nipple placement (raise it slightly)? He's thinking 300 - 350 cc. He says my elasticity is very good (I am 52, 5'6", 125 lbs). Thank you so much for your input.

Doctor Answers 11

Modest ptosis can be camouflaged with breast augmentation alone.

With only the benefited the photograph I think you'd get a satisfactory result with breast augmentation alone. For patients with ptosis the implants should be placed in a sub glandular position.


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Can I do an implant, or do I need a lift + implant?

Thank you for your question and photo!  For best results I would suggest a lift with an implant, that will give you a beautiful result to enjoy for years to come.  Find a board certified plastic surgeon who preforms these regularly.  Best of luck!Dr Dhaval PatelDouble Board Certified Plastic SurgeonChicago Hoffman Estates Oak Brook

Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Can I do an implant, or do I need a lift + implant? (Photo)

Because you are borderline, the answer to this question is really up to you.  You will most likely have a nice result with an augmentation alone but may need a lift later.  If you want to avoid the scars of a lift, there is nothing wrong with doing the augmentation first and if you are unhappy with your results, do the lift at a later time.  If you are wanting perky high breasts with no possibility of any droopy tissue hanging off of your implant, then you would need a lift as well.  So, your expectations are very important in this decision and really yours to make.  Do some research and look at photos of women who look similar to you and just did an augmentation and give it some thought before making your decision.  Best of luck! ac

Angela Champion, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Breast augmentation

If you like the shape of your breast you should be able to get away with just an implant but evetually may need to go back for a lift. A breast lift would give you a more youthful shape to the breast and address the excess skin you have. A breast augmentation alone would only address the volume loss. Please seek an in person consultation with a board certified in your area to come up wtih the best treatment plan. Good luck, Dean Vistnes.

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Mastopexy needed?

I agree with your surgeon in his/her assessment in that you are borderline. I think you would have a good result with implants alone. You can always stage a mastopexy at a later date if need be. The recovery from a staged mastopexy is not much compared to the augmentation and of course, you would have to allow up to a year for the scars to mature and become pale and flat.

Joel Patrick Maier, MD
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast lift with implants

You will likely need a lift with the implants. Implants alone do not usually raise the breast stop any significant degree.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast lift or not with implants

Thank you for your question about your breast implants.

  • An examination and measurements are needed to answer your question reliably.
  • An implant can give you a bit of lift if breasts are deflated.
  • There is nothing wrong with having implants now - and a lift later if you decide you want one.
  • The scars can be troubling - no reason to have them if you aren't sure.
  • So I am inclined to to think your surgeon is giving you sound advice.

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

It depends

There is no harm in trying implants alone if your primary objective is to have firmer enhanced breasts.  You will still have some laxity and descent but I find for many women that they are accepting of this.  That being said you likely will need a breast lift at some juncture - the weight of the implants will accelerate how quickly your breasts descend.  For many of my patients if they are in the gray zone or "borderline" phase I will let them decide letting them know that they will likely need a breast lift at some future time.  Doing it as a two stage process allows you to feel good about the decision making. 
FYI: breast lift scars tend to heal very well!

BA alone vs BA and Lift

Thank you for the pictures and your very articulate question.

Definitive answers regarding your inquiry can only come about after a face to face consultation.

In general, Grade 1 ptosis can get good to excellent results with implant alone, depending on pt goals  and breast characteristics.

Implants by themselves tend mostly to give the illusion of lift by filling up the envelope and directing the nipple outwards. Some anatomical implants might raise the nipple position under a centimetre.

Often even to get minimal illusion of lift, a relatively large implant is required and that can have other undesirable consequences down the road.

Perhaps if you focus more on shape and size goals (with in office sizing and example photos of your goals) you can better understand the range of implant you are looking for and then determine if a lift is required or not.

As a practice philosophy note -  I believe that excellent shape with high quality scars is oftern preferable to sub optimal shape and no visible scars.

I hope this was helpful. Best of luck!

Trefor Nodwell, MD
Ottawa Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

What will be best - implants or implants plus up-lift?

Dear Tokyo Rose

Many thanks for posting your question.

From what I can see in the photographs, an implant alone doesn't look like it will be sufficient. You are slim, and the implant is likely to need to go partly under the chest muscle (dual plane).

Whilst a shaped (teardrop) implant will help effect a mild lift, I would think that either a repositioning of the nipple using a circumareolar mastopexy (with a scar around the areola alone) or a lollipop type scar from an augmentation mastopexy will be needed.

I hope this helps, and good luck with your decision making!

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.