I am having a breast lift in February. I am a 36 D, and don't need larger breasts. But I don't want smaller breasts either.

Will my breasts be smaller without implants? They are full at the bottom.

Doctor Answers 14

A breast lift should not affect your breast size in any significant way.

A breast lift should not dramatically affect the volume of your breasts. The purpose of the procedure is to take the breast tissue you already have and simply relocate it to a more desirable location. With that said, some amount of breast skin is removed in order to provide tighter and firmer contours. Many breast lift candidates opt to include implants as a part of the procedure to restore fullness and improve breast shape. If you’re not looking for a change in breast size, you can have a breast lift on its own. However, be aware that, while your breasts shouldn’t change in size, the tightening of breast skin can make the breasts appear slightly smaller.

Folsom Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Breast Lift Questions

Congratulations to you! While the breast lift (depending on the technique) doesn't significantly change the size or volume of the breast, some tissue does need to be removed in order to lift the breast. For some women having a breast lift, there is significant flattening of the upper chest, which is difficult to restore with a lift alone. Since we are always fighting gravity, some women choose to add a modest sized implant in order to restore fullness in the right area. In this situation, the implant is not necessarily used to enlarge the breast, but rather to help restore fullness in the right area (the upper middle cleavage portion of the breast). If you are not sure if you want an implant or not, you can proceed with the lift first, then decide if you want to add an implant later. If you decide prior to surgery that you do want an implant, it can be done at the same time. Your board certified plastic surgeon will be able to guide you with these choices.  Best of luck to you!

Emily J. Kirby, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

I am having a breast lift in February. I am a 36 D, and don't need larger breasts. But I don't want smaller breasts either.

A breast lift will reduce volume of the breasts, because the skin is wrapped more tightly.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Beverly Hills, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Breast lift and size change

A breast lift generally will not change the size of the breast unless you want it to.

there are a variety of techniques for these operations. Lollipop lift (vertical lift), donut (periareola) lift, Benelli lift, crescent lift, anchor lift (inverted T ). Most commonly, we prefer the lollipop or donut lift because of the shape, small scars and easier healing. Although the “anchor-shape” or inverted “T” incision is still more popular in the United States, it represents an older technique with extensive scarring and a less optimal result in many cases. These newer techniques are utilized in the vast majority of cases, the rare exception being extremely large breasts. The nipple-areola complex is repositioned higher, the excess skin is removed, and the breast is reshaped in a pleasing contour and in a more normal position.
The crescent lift removes a small amount of skin at the top of the areola. We find that there is very little lift and the areola becomes oval in shape and distorted with this method.
The Benelli lift as performed by most surgeons is just the donut lift, removing a donut shaped piece of areola and skin then using a #Pursestring or double purse-string suture to tighten the skin. A true Benelli actually will expose much of the breast through this incision and then the breast itself is shaped and lifted with sutures. This is a more complex procedure and is often not done as describe by Dr. Benellil.
The insertion of an implant as well, may be advisable to restore superior fullness, which is lost with aging and after pregnancy despite the rest of the breast being overly large. Fat grafting can be used instead of implants to improve the contours of the breast.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 107 reviews


I encourage you to talk to your surgeon these are questions that
need to be addressed prior to your surgery,  it is important for you
to feel that all of your questions have been answered so that
your expectations of the procedure are realistic.   A small implant
can certainly be place at the time of surgery to maintain your size
but may not be necessary.    Good luck

Richard Rosenblum, MD
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Breast Lift size change

Congratulations on your upcoming procedure!
In regards to your question, the size of your breasts does not usually change much with a lift alone. Your own volume is repositioned, and depending on your surgeons' technique, perhaps only skin will be removed, but ocassionally a small amount of volume is resected to obtain a better breast contour.
Sometimes a breast implant is used along with the lift to help restore volume loss on the superior aspect of the breast. In this situation the implant is usually not large since the goal is breast contour improvement, not size increase. The best way to know what will achieve the result you're looking for in your particular situation is to speak with your board certified plastic surgeon so he or she can aid you in making your decision. Best of luck!

R. Emerick Salas, M.D.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Miami, FL

Rafael Emerick Salas, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Breast lift

Thank you for your question.  The full breast lift procedure without implants will not reduce your breasts' volume but rather reposition them on your chest.

All the best,

Dr. Results
Miami, FL

Jose M. Soler-Baillo, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 92 reviews


You need to discuss with your surgeon the technique he or she plans to use.  Sometimes a small portion of breast tissue may need to be removed to lift and shape the breasts.  For the most part your breast will not significantly reduce in size with a lift procedure.  The upper pole fullness will only be improved long term with an implant.  Good luck.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

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

Breast lift

The volume of tissue that is removed by most techniques during a lift is about a tablespoon per side, a trivial amount for a women with D-cup size breasts. Size in a bra should not change. However, the appearance may appear smaller unclothed, since the breast volume will no longer be concentrated in the lower pole. Sometimes (and without photos I cannot predict) raise the arms overhead will simulate a lift. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

No significant volume change with a breast lift

You should not expect a noticeable volume change in your breasts.  It is only really skin surgery, with reposition of the areolar complex and removing the excess skin to reshape your breasts.  They may visually appear to be smaller, but it is an illusion in that the breast shape is now just centralized over your chest where it should be. 

Definitely make an in-person consultation with a ABPS board certified PS to evaluate you and discuss your options.
Hope that helps and best wishes!
Dr. Morales
ABPS Board Certified
Houston, Tx

Rolando Morales Jr, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 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.