How high can mine go? (photos)

I understand that with a breast lift the degree to which the breasts can lift depend on where the center of the breast's "base" is located. Knowing this, how can I best estimate my results? If I lay on my back will my breasts settle in the center? If I float in water will they rise to that level? Is there some other clever way to get a sense of what my results might be? Thanks!!

Doctor Answers 13

How Much Change With a Lift?

Yes, the location of your breast on your chest wall is largely determined by what is called the "footprint" of your breast and the lower border of the footprint is your inframammary fold. For most women an aesthetic breast shape typically means that the nipple position is several centimeters above the fold which will vary according to the amount of breast tissue present. Unfortunately, no there is no clever maneuver which can accurately model what your breast shape would look like following a lift. 

You don't appear to have much breast tissue and it is important to remember that a breast lift requires that at least some amount of skin and possibly breast tissue is removed during the surgery. For this reason most women feel and tend to look smaller following a breast lift. While your breast may look "perkier" immediately after the surgery, there is always some settling in that takes place resulting in a loss of fullness in the upper breast. For this reason many women will also choose to add in an implant to replace the lost volume and provide sustained fullness in the upper pole of the breast. Placement of the implant may be done at the same time as the lift or in some situations may be better performed at a second stage depending on the degree of lift that is needed and/or size of implant being used. 

Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews


I appreciate your question.

I perform a liposuction breast lift that removes tissue from the areas you don't want such as near the armpit and the lower portion hanging near your stomach. Once I use this to shape the breast I then remove the skin to tighten the breast and create a better shape with nice cleavage. Since I perform this less invasively the recovery time is faster. The size would depend on the proportion with your body versus going for a cup size. It works very well if there are asymmetries. I can also use the removed fat as a natural breast augmentation by grafting the fat back into the breast to create more projection or into the top to create more cleavage. This procedure can also be combined with an implant if needed or wanted.  It should not affect nipple sensation, mammograms, cancer risk or breast-feeding. If you gain or lose weight, the transferred fat can do the same.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.  Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic plastic surgery.  

Best of luck!    

Dr. Schwartz 

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Breast lift. How high can mine go?

I think a great way to simulate a breast lift is do a tape breast lift in the exam room.  It shows the patient where the nipple will be and how the skin will be tightened.  Also, a lift often simulates how the breast looks in a supportive but not padded bra.  Check out my blog below for the "non-surgical breast lift".

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

How high can mine go? (photos)

First off, from the photo you have submitted it seems you do not have enough breast tissue to get a satisfactory result from a lift alone, and you will probably be happier with a lift along with implants.  Secondly, there are certain measurements that we use in order to determine the final location of the nipple/areola complex and the shape of the breasts.  However, despite all accurate measurements, the final outcome is not totally predictable and a lot of it has to do with how your body responds and how much recurrent sagging you will have after the surgery.  So, your trying to envision the outcome of your surgery and "how high you can go" is somewhat imaginary and unrealistic.  You have to rely on before and after photos of similar cases which your experienced plastic surgeon will show you, and decide whether you are comfortable with having the surgery or not.  Hope that helps.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast lift options - you decide

Breast lifts are very effective at what they do and I think you are right to attempt to understand what exactly they do so you can make good decisions.  Both Wise pattern skin lifts and the vertical lift decrease or eliminate the amount of breast tissue hanging below the fold.  The vertical lift does it more effectively with less total length of scar.  Both types of lifts have a scar around the areola and a vertical scar.  The older version Wise pattern skin lift has a long scar inside the fold.  Understand that these lifts will decrease the amount of breast tissue hanging below the fold, such as what is evaluated with the pencil test, but neither can push breast tissue up into the hallow above.  So keep in mind that the hallow above will remain the same unless an implant or fat injections are done. Implants are more effective, but fat injections help as well and that's how you add volume above at the same time as your life.  A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is the best way to know what the optimal procedure is for you.  Breast implants give volume / fullness above but they also enlarge.  They don't have to enlarge buy much though, I commonly use 190-200 cc's implant for women that can tolerate being just a little bit larger.  I use larger implants on patients who have an interest in being significantly larger. I hope you find this information helpful.

Thomas Hubbard, MD, FACS
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Modelling what is possible with breast lift surgery

Raising your arms above your head and observing the translation of your nipple position relative to your sternum will give you some idea what is possible with a breast lift. The breast foot print itself cannot be moved unless a breast implant is placed.

Scott C. Sattler, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Breast lift

Your nipple position can be raised on your breast, but your breast can not be raised on your chest wall. Based on these photos you may consider a breast implant combined with a breast lift to give the best outcome with regard to upper pole fullness. Consult with a few experienced plastic surgeons for an exam in person.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 382 reviews

Breast LIft


Please visit a few ABPS certified/ASAPS member surgeons that specialize in cosmetic breast surgery. Look at their photos for people that looked like you. You should be able to get a great result, with or without implants as well.

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

How high can mine go?

Obviously the result we want to give you is one where the nipples are at just the right point, but without an actual exam it's pretty difficult to tell you where that would be. A "very rough" estimate would be measuring down from the top of our breastbone towards your nipple a distance of 20 cm. that could be about the top of the new areola location if you are about 5'3".  But of course that does not take into account your height, the length of your torso, and where your fold is located as all of these features play a role in nipple position. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

How high can mine go?

Thank you for your question. You are correct that the foundation of your breast is used as a reference regarding how high to lift the nipple. Typically the center of the nipple is moved 2-3 cm above the crease that is below your breast. In the office, this can be demonstrated by physically lifting the nipple into the position where it will move to. By looking in a mirror you'll get a sense of the effect of the lift. The most effective way to get a sense of what your results might be is to go online and look at before-and-after photos of breast lift procedures. It is essential that you find women with your similar anatomy. Similar breast size, shape and degree of sagging. Look at their postoperative photos to see how the nipple position changes and how the overall shape changes. You'll notice that a breast list gives a very "natural" look, without a lot of fullness at the top of the breast.  For women who desire fullness at the top and an increase in the overall breast size, then a breast implant is placed at the same time as the lift surgery. 

Austin Hayes, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 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.