Does a Lift Without Implants Also Reshape the Tissue,or Just Alter Skin and the Nipple?

I am a C cup, and plan to get a lift with no implant. I have significant sagging, and will surely be having a vertical or anchor procedure (consultations are in September). With either of those incisions, is it typical for a p.s. to also internally provide more support for the breast tissue, itself, or is the lift simply a skin and nipple relocation? Is there some procedure I should be asking about besides the type of incision which will make my breasts "sturdier" beyond the skin tightening?

Doctor Answers 19

Beautiful breasts without implants

You absolutely have an alternative to the 'anchor' or 'lollipop' procedures to lift saggy breasts. There's a revolutionary technique that creates an 'inner cone' from your own tissue and uses your excess skin to create permanent 'bra straps' that are attached to your pectoral muscles which allow for a long lasting lift. The inner cone allows upper pole fullness that no one else can achieve with conventional methods.  An added benefit is the elimination  of  the unsightly vertical scar. Best wishes, Dr H.

Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 222 reviews

Breast lift for reshaping breasts

When I do a vertical breast lift, I reshape the breast by releasing the lower part of the breast tissue and pushing it up into the upper part of the breast.  The breast looks a little weird for a few weeks with too much upper pole fullness and some flattening of the lower pole.  After a few weeks the lower pole has rounded out.  Longevity of the result depends a lot on the size of the breasts (big sags more than small), the quality of the patient's breast skin and the nature of the breast tissue (fibrous holds up better than fatty).  All in all, breast lift is a great procedure for ladies who have enough up top.  The recovery is usually pretty rapid and there is no implant to maintain.  Breast lift is my favorite procedure!

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Lift without implants

A breast lift (mastopexy) involves accomplishing a number of goals. The nipple will be lifted to a new location, the skin will be tightened, and the underlying breast tissue will be rearranged to create more superior fullness of the breast. There are a number of different types of breast lifts and you should familiarize yourself with them; which technique would be ideal for you depends on what the breasts look like currently. I would recommend you consult a few plastic surgeons as it is likely that you may get a variety of opinions as to which procedure suits your situation the best. make your decision based on the quality of the results they show you from patients they have performed surgery upon that were similar to you.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Breast Lifting ONLY to get your results

A mastopexy (breast lift) without implants can improve the shape of the breasts. This procedure involves reshaping, lifting and repositioning the nipple-areola complex, and increasing the firmness of the breasts by tightening the skin. To improve ptosis (sagging), a vertical incision is used to remove the loose, excess tissue depending on the severity and complexity of your case. Usually, performing a breast lift alone does not give patients the "fullness on top" that most patients are looking for.  Depending on the patients current amount of breast tissue and what their goals are, small implants can be placed with the breast lift to get the results.

Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your best option. 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Reshaping the breast with an internal breast lift

There are many techniques available to correct breast sagging.   If you have sufficient breast tissue then all you need is a reshaping of your natural breast tissue.   There are many methods described for breast lift surgery and it is only through an evaluation by a plastic surgeon that you will know which method is correct for you.   It is common for a plastic surgeon to reshape your breast tissue and then allow the skin to conform to this altered and new contour.   Most of the time, depending upon your degree of sagging is can be done with a lollipop type incision, around the areola and down to the crease.  You could have a breast lift without an implant. This depends upon your desire for upper pole fullness and the amount of loose skin.   

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast implants will give fullness to the upper breast when used with a lift

In general, if you have significant skin excess, an upside-down-T/inverted-T mastopexy (breast lift) is required. If you have enough breast tissue, you will often have good breast fullness in the mid and lower portions of the breast, although the breast size and bra size will decrease just from the lift. A breast implant is useful (1) to maintain or increase size, (2) to increase the "upper pole" fullness (fullness in the upper aspect of the breast); (3) to improve the roundness and projection of the breast. In general, if the upper breast is flat before a lift, it will be flat after the lift settles.

I personally do use internal sutures to improve the roundness and overall shape of the breast, as do most of the other surgeons who have answered your question. However this is dependent on having enough breast tissue to create a nice shape. Your surgeon should be able to explain differences between the using or not using an implant.

I hope this helps. Feel free to email any other questions.

Steven Goldman, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

Breast lift

We have learned over time that skin is simply a covering and not a supportive structure. This is true anywhere in the body. Techniques which rely solely on skin will look god intially but the skin will gradually stretch and succumb to the weight of the underlying structure. In many cases also demonstrating worsening of scars.

Breast contouring and support need to be done internally. This being said lifting techniques predominantly improve nipple position and remove the excess skin which comes in contact with the abdominal wall. Upper pole breast fullness is not reliably achieved with lifting alone.

A breast implant is generally needed if fullness of the upper breast out of clothing is important to you.

I hope this was helpful. Good luck.

Robert W. Kessler, MD, FACS
Corona Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Internal support during a breast lift

All patient's tissues are different and the more tone they have the better the result will be from a lift especially if the skin is not too badly stretched out.  No lift technique, whether with or without internal suturing will withstand poor tissue over time.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Shaping of the breast with mastopexy

Depending on the technique; a lift can help cone the breast tissue.  A "skin lift" only technique will not last as long as doing some work with the underlying breast tissue.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews


A modern mastopexy(breast lift) requires that the plastic surgeon alter and or reposition the breast tissue plus tighten the skin so that it acts like a bra for the breast tissue.

E. Anthony Musarra II, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 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.