Can I Get Breast Augmentation Without a Breast Lift? How Big Do the Implants Have to Be for a 38D?

I am a 5'3" 183 lbs, mother of 6, that is undergoing a tummy tuck procedure. I was also interested in getting my breast done as well. I breastfed all 6 of my children and my bra size has taken some dramatic changes through out all 6 of my pregnancies. I began a 32C and I am now a 38-40D. There were times that my breast were as big as 40-42 DD. I am wondering if it is really required to get a breast life in order to have natural and full looking breast with implants. My goal is not to surpass a 38-40DD.

Doctor Answers 4


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In our practice we tell our patients that 200-225cc equal to about one cup size. If you are a C cup and you’re looking to go up to a Double D you should look in the 400 range. Make sure you size with your shirts to get more of a realistic look. You might require a lift to give you the results you are looking for.


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Can I Get Breast Augmentation Without a Breast Lift?

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Without a photo or some measurements, I cannot give a meaningful answer to your question. 

A breast lift is usually done for one of these reasons:
•elevate the nipple and areola
•remove excess skin from the breast (after weight loss, pregnancy, aging)
•create or restore symmetry

Nipple position is judged usually by measuring the distance from the top of the breastbone (20-22 cm, or 8-9 inches), and by comparing the position of the bottom of the areola to the breast fold--it should be even with or higher. 

As far as implant size, we usually consider 200 cc or so to be enough for a one cup size increase. But there is no uniform definition of cup size, and the cups are larger for a 38 inch band than for a 36 inch band, so 200 cc may not give a full cup size increase. Also, on larger patients sometimes the size increment is not as noticeable. Trying on implants in the surgeons office might be the most helpful technique to pick the right size for you.


Thank you for the question,and best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Breast Augmentation and Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Procedures

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Breast augmentation and breast lift (mastopexy) are procedures performed to accomplish different goals.  Breast augmentation is performed to increase the size of the breast whereas, breast lift (mastopexy) is performed to raise - the nipple-areola and breast tissue.  The aforementioned procedures can be performed together or separately.

Craig Mezrow, MS, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implants with Uplift

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It concerns me that you have gone form a 32 to a 38-40 chest size.  This implies that you have put on a lot of weight with your 6 pregnancies.  Your first priority should be to get down to a good weight with healthy eating and exercise.  It is very reasonable to have breast surgery at time of tummy tuck.  To achieve your goals of a fuller and natural breast you may need an uplift, and if you have good breast volume you may be able to avoid an implant.  If you got your weight down so that you are say a 34 -36 - then an implant of 150cc approximately, will give you 1 cup size increase. 

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.