What Exactly is a Lift?

I have had saline implants for 11 years (under the muscle). I went from nothing to a C cup. What is involved in going down to a B cup? Would that be a reduction and a lift? I'm also a huge tennis player - playing 4-6 times per week. How long would I need to stay off the court?

Doctor Answers 8

After 11 years breast implants may be replaced smaller or a breast lift may be done if sagging has occurred

Thank you for sending your question. If the problem is that you feel your breast implants are too large you certainly can have them removed and replaced with a smaller breast implant. If however your breasts have sagged and the sagging position of the breasts are bothering you then a lift can be done. A breast lift involves surgically moving the nipple and breasts to a higher position on your chest to eliminate sagging.the link below discusses breast lift in detail.

Breast Re-Augmentation

Breast implants are not permanent implants. Implant rupture, rippling (visibility), capsular contracture (scarring around the implant), and displacement are the most common complications requiring breast re-augmentation. Increased implant size, conversely, is the most common request for re-augmentation in the absence of true complications.

The most common type of displacement is related to the relationship between the implant and the breast itself. In cases of breast drooping (ptosis) over the implant, a so-called "Snoopy Nose" deformity may be observed from a profile view. Conversely, if the inframammary fold is violated during placement of the breast implants, "bottoming out" can occur: the implant drops down below the position of the native breast tissue resulting in a "double bubble" deformity.

In certain cases, both the implant and breast gland are pulled downward together by the forces of gravity over time. A mastopexy & re-augmentation is required to lift the breast and simultaneously correct implant location. The mastopexy requires scars to be placed on the breast skin (generally around the nipple and downward to the breast fold). The re-augmentation requires correction of the shape and location of the breast capsule (capsulorrhaphy) with an implant exchange for the desired size and shape. In general, vigorous exercise should be avoided for 6 weeks following this procedure.

The decision to proceed with breast re-augmentation should not be taken lightly. Close consideration of your goals--in conjunction with a board certified plastic surgeon--are paramount to obtaining a successful treatment outcome.

Adam J. Oppenheimer, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

What exactly is a lift?

Mastopexy or breast lift surgery refers to a group of elective surgical operations designed to lift or change the shape of a person's breasts. Mastopexy may involve repositioning the areola and nipple, as well as lifting the breast tissue and removing skin.

Please make an appointment with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for a consultation to have all of your questions answered and your options made available.

Christine Rodgers, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Decreasing size of breast implants and need for a lift

The desire to decrease breast implant size after augmentation is unusual but not rare. Only after a complete consultation and explanation of alternatives resulting in the patient committing to decreasing her him plant size will the following plan be carried out

the complexity to achieve your final results is compounded by several factors. Lets break them down to the compotent parts:

1) the final volume- with saline implants will first deflate the implants by inserting a needle under local to with draw all the saline. Patient will then resize( using sizers in the office or rice in a nylon).

2)skin laxity- is evaluated and standard measurements taken

3)patients desired breast shape/ look is determined by choosing photographs of desired final look

4)skin to volume ratio based patients desired shape(see 3above) will determine the specific technique of lifting if needed

5)internal sutures may be need to reduce the size of the previous implant pocket as well as resection of loose skin all of which is based on 1-3 above.

I have found that most patients are satisfied with both breast size and shape using this plan



Robert A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Riverside Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Downsizing implants

It is very possible to downsize implants. Depending upon your skin envelope characteristics, you may or may not need a breast lift if you replace your implants with smaller ones. If you started out with a very tight skin envelope and your implants are soft and symmetric without any evidence of capsular contracture,  you very likely will be able to simply exchange the implants with a very quick and simple surgery that will require very little downtime. You might be able to back on the tennis court in as little as 2 weeks. But things might be entirely different if you would require a breast lift. There would be no way to know for sure without a physical exam. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

What is a breast lift

A breast lift is a procedure used to tighen and raise a sagging breast. The sagging can occur after pregnancy or just simply from the way the breast developed on its own. There are several different types of lift procedures. The looser the skin, and tighter the goal, the more involved the procedure and more scars which result. Sometimes, but not always, down sizing implants requires a lift in order to get the best result. Only a good exam can help to answer that question. Good luck.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

A breast lift involves repositioning and resizing the areola as well as reshaping the breast.

Mastopexy or breast lift resizes the areola and repositions it on the chest wall. The breast is thin reshaped by management of the skin envelope. In my practice vigorous athletic activity would be permitted it six weeks with extremely good breast support.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

May need a breast lift?

Really need photographs and measurements to understand your anatomy and determine if you just need to reduce  your breast volume or if you could just have an implant volume reduction.  If it is just an implant exchange then you may be able to get back to tennis sooner than if you need a lift. 

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