Breast Lift vs. Lift w/ Implants for Upper Pole Fullness

I am torn between having a lift only OR a lift with an implant to get the upper pole fullness. To add the implant I would require a reduction as I do not want larger breasts as am I a D cup now. Can I get a small implant (250cc) and accomplish what I desire? After 5 consults I have 2 doctors that recommend w/ implant and 3 without.

Doctor Answers 9

Upper Pole Fullness and Breast Lifting?

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Thank you for the question.

This is an area where you  can expect to get different advice from different surgeons.

In my opinion, the best way to achieve longer  term upper pole fullness  this with sub muscular breast implants. Breast lifting/reduction may be necessary to manage the lower poles  of the breasts  so as to not significantly increase breast size. Some of my happiest patients who have undergone “breast lifting” surgery have in reality had breast augmentation of the superior poles of the breast and breast reduction of the lower poles of the breast.

I hope this helps.

Upper Breast Fullness

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It's not unusual for women who undergo breast lift surgery to be concerned about upper breast fullness. When this issue arises, a multitude of treatment options are available. Unfortunately, a consensus doesn't exist amongst plastic surgeons as to which option is best.

In many ways the procedure chosen depends upon the patient's anatomic findings and aesthetic goals. When patients who undergo breast lift surgery want upper breast fullness, it's not unreasonable to place a small sub-muscular implant. This combination lifts the breast into normal position and increases upper breast fullness. Under these circumstances, it's unusual for patients to require removal of breast tissue. Unfortunately, when breast lift is performed without implants, upper breast fullness is often only temporary. Although the breasts are initially nicely shaped, the effect of gravity causes the tissue to settle which results in loss of upper breast fullness.

If you're considering breast lift surgery and want upper breast fullness, it's important to discuss these issues with you plastic surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals.

Breast Lift vs. Lift w/ Implants for Upper Pole Fullness

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Hello! Thank you for your question! The mastopexy procedure raises the breast, which ultimately provides a more youthful and perky breasts. This is done by removing the extra loose skin and rearranging the surrounding breast tissue in order to reshape and support the newly formed breast. At the same time, the nipple-areolar complex (NAC) is raised to the ideal position above the fold beneath your breast (the inframammary fold) as well as being placed at the most projecting portion. Oftentimes with age or following pregnancy, the NAC becomes widened and enlarged. This may be reduced in size during the breast lift procedure.

It is common for the breast to lose its firmness and uplifted appearance over time, which is also accentuated with age, pregnancy/breast feeding, weight gain/loss, and gravity. This results in breast ptosis, or sagging of the breast, with a “deflated” appearance. Women seek the mastopexy procedure to regain the previous youthful appearance of her breasts and women report increased confidence, self-esteem, and femininity once achieving this desired shape and fullness. Breast lifts may or may not be performed with implants – the implant would add increased size but also greater fullness in the upper pole of the breasts which creates more cleavage. Hope that this helps!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Lift with implants or lift only?

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If you are a D cup and have a lift, the weight of the breasts will eventually cause it to settle as nobody beats gravity and no ones tissues get better with time.  A lift may initially give you some upper pole fullness but it will not last due to the breasts settling.  Adding a breast implant to a breast reduction at the same time does not make sense to me as they are each trying to accomplish opposing goals.  To minimize your possibility of problems you may consider having a reduction/lift done 1st.  This allows the breast to be reduced and lifted and shaped better and saves you the cost of  implants and possible future costs of dealing with those implants.  If you like the appearance of your breasts after the 1st operation ( as about 80% of my patients do ), then you have come out ahead.  If you wish more upper pole fullness, you can consider an augmentation at a later date, when the tissue have all settled and relaxed to their final position and positioning of the implant is likely to be more precise.

Lift vs Lift with implants

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In my opinion, breast implants should be used if you want larger breasts. The idea of an implant combined with a breast reduction does not make much sense. Also, the size of implant should be determined by your measurements and soft tissue characteristics. Often and implant that is too small can look just as bad as an implant that is too big. 

Jeremy Waldman, MD
Manchester Plastic Surgeon

Breast lift with breast implants

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Usually, to get significant upper pole fullness of the breasts it is necessary to get combine breast lift with augmentation with breast implants. In few cases, when there is signifcant excess breast tissue, it can be used to augment the upper pole. these would cases such as breast reduction.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Breast Augmentation, Breast Enlargement, Breast Implants

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Keep in mind a breast lift and an augmentation are working in opposite directions.  The implant is heavy and will tend to fall.  The breast lift is an operation to pull the breast up.  You see --tow different directions.  If you can have an operation without the implant and achieve the same results then you should consider it.

Jay H. Ross, MD, FACS
Palm Harbor Plastic Surgeon

Lift or implants

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If you have a "D" cup and you are sagging, then I would probably suggest a lift only .  If you want more volume then you are atlaking about an implant.

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

Breast lift and reduction

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If you are happy with the current size of your breast and only want your breasts lifted, then you would be a candidate for a breast lift.  It does not make sense, in my opinion, to do a breast reduction and add an implant.  Make sure your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery


Samer W. Cabbabe, M.D.

Board - certified plastic surgeon

St Louis Plastic Surgery Consutants

Samer W. Cabbabe, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon

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.