Will a Lift Without Implants Solve my Droopiness and Stretch Marks? (photo)

After 3 kids and losing 60 lbs, I am very unhappy with how loose and droopy my breasts are. I am happy with the size, so would like to avoid implants. I'm also worried about the stretch marks on my breasts. Can you tell me if a breast lift without implants will be enough to remedy those issues? Also, after research I'm expecting to need an anchor lift, is that would you would recommend?

Doctor Answers 17

Breast lift without implants for breast sagging

Thank you for your question and for providing photographs. You do not need implants unless you want to be larger which you have already stated that you are happy with your size.  I feel that you would do best with a standard (anchor) lift to correct your sagging. Some of your stretch marks would be removed and some will look better with the repositioning of the skin. I feel that the improved shape that you get with a lift far out-weighs the scars.

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Breast Lift Without Implants

A breast lift without implants will give you a fine result.  Here are the pros and cons.  If you are happy with your size a lift utilizing a periareolar or around the areola incision, vertical and maybe a short horizontal incision will be necessary.  It will elevate the nipple areolar complex and remove some of the stretch marks.  Because the stretch marks are up into the superior part of the breast not all of them can be removed.  As I stated the result will be very nice.

The advantages to adding implants are multiple.  First, implants will help fill the flatness of the superior pole or upper area of the breasts.  I use low profile implants for this.  These implants have a larger base diameter and less projection for the given volume.  They don't need to be big to get the added help.  Second, I can and almost always use just a periareolar incision when adding implants.  This avoids the vertical and horizontal scars.  But, on the flip side the stretch marks could be more noticeable.

I think you really need to think about what is most important to you and have serious conversations with the surgeon you choose.

Christopher L. Hess, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Will a lift without implants solve my droopiness and stretch marks?

A breast lift will be needed whether you choose to have implants or not. A breast implant fills out the breast, but does not lift it. A breast lift lifts the breast (higher nipple position, less overhang), and although it pushes your tissue that is too low up into a higher position, behind the elevated nipple area for eaxample, it does not fill out your breast volume and does not give you any reliable fullness of the upper pole of the breast. There is a difference of opinion among surgeons as to this last point. Some believe that certain techniques of breast lift will in fact give you SOME upper pole fullness without an implant, and many of us are unimpressed with what those techniques can accomplish in terms of long term results. If you are unsure about implants, get a breast lift and see if you are happy with your results.  If you desire more fullness, you can always have implants placed at a later time. There is no disadvantage to a two stage procedure in terms of result, only a certain amount of greater cost...there are some advantages in terms of predictability of result by performing the surgeries separately, depending on the type of lift you need, the thinness of your tissue, the degree of needed nipple elevation, etc.  Ultimately, if you are unsure about implants, I would just do the lift.  If you KNOW that you want more upper pole fullness or a larger size, then you should have implants in addition to the lift, either in a single stage or separate stages depending on what your surgeon recommends.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

You look like an ideal candidate for a lollipop internal breast lift without implants.


1)  You do not need implants to get perky breasts.  It all depends on HOW the lift is done.  The internal (Lejour technique) lift reshapes the breast from the inside and does not rely on pulling or tightening the skin.  So you get very good long term shape, and just lollipop scars.    (Most lifts are done by tightening the skin, but skin stretches and so the lift does not hold up).

2)  You neither need nor want the anchor scars.  They are obsolete for 95% of lifts.  The skin tightening lifts use the anchor scars.

3)  Unfortunately, the stretch marks only look better after a lift.  Most of them cannot be removed.  But implants do not make this problem any better.  But I think that in spite of the residual stretch marks, you should have a big improvement without change in size.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast lifts without implants

You should be examined in person by real Board Certified plastic surgeons but it does appear that you could lift and tighten your breasts without implants as long as you were not trying to be bigger or fuller in the upper pole.  Some stretch marks will be removed and others will be left behind but tightened.  An implant can always be done later if needed.

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

Breast Lift Alone

Thank you for the question and pictures.  Congratulations on having 3 kids and losing a significant amount of weight!

There is nothing wrong with avoiding implants. However, you should be aware that a breast lift alone will not remove the majority of stretch marks that are present. Also you may find that even with a breast lift there will be some loose skin present.

In regards to the type of breast lifting, either a vertical  (most likely) says or  a full (anchor lift)  will be necessary.

It will behoove you to be seen in person by a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to  discuss your goals and options in detail.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,485 reviews

Need both a lift and implant

There is no question that you need a breast lift and a breast augmentation.  Your breasts appear to be empty sacks of skin.  A lift is needed to reposition the nipple to the proper height and an augmentation is needed to restore your breast volume.  As far as size this is a conversation that you will need to have with your plastic surgeon.  

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

breast lift without implant

No: lifting alone may be what you think you want, but it'll leave you breast profile ski sloped. Consult a board certified plastic surgeon and understand the pros and cons before deciding. I personally would rather fill you than lift you, even though I've lifted hundreds before. Today, I would use your own fat vs. an implant though I've performed over a thousand implant augmentations (YouTube MTV true life; I want Breast Implants) Good judgment comes from experience unfortunately experience comes from bad judgment. Be safe and consider this; you don’t want to be bigger (I believe that) but if fat is transferred to you breasts upper pole you may remain the same cup size and not even need a lift and the scars involved.

Ayman Hakki, MD
Waldorf Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

A simple lift will give you an excellant result.

Thank you for your photos, they are very helpful.  As you mentioned you are happy with your present size and therefore this eliminates the need for implants as even a small implant would increase your size some.  It appears you have an excess amount of skin for the volume of breast tissue inside it, and the breast and the nipple/areolar are positioned too low on the chest.  A simple lift, I prefer a small anchor incision to give me the best control over shaping the breast, will remove some of the skin and leave behind all of the breast tissue, so when the skin is closed you are getting the same volume of breast tissue in a smaller envelope of skin and the skin gets plumped out and appears fuller.  The nipple and areolar are elevated to the proper position, giving the breast a youthful appearance.  If the stretch marks are within the skin that is removed, they will be gone, otherwise they will remain.  For the amount of tissue it appears you have, you should have a excellent shape and more youthful appearance.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Breast lift, stretch marks, and correction of sag

Thank you for your question.  From the pictures you provided, yes, an "anchor" patterned lift would likely be required to remove the excess skin. You would have a scar around the nipple, a vertical scar, and a scar along the lower fold of the breast.

Scars fade over time. It is a good shape that is the ultimate goal.

Some of the stretch marks will be removed. Some may look better, and others will remain.  You will have partial but not complete improvement of the stretch marks.

Good luck.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 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.