Can I get away with implants without a breast lift?

I lost a lot of the upper fullness in my breasts after pregnancy, I would like to get implants without a lift to gain some roundness and firmness. Wondering if this is possible to do.

Doctor Answers 9

Breast implants

If you undesrstand that you will end with a natural lookin breast with nice slope, then I would recommend you to first try only with implants. That way if after a year you think you need the lift do it that time, but if you dont needed then you will have avoiided that scars. 

Best of luck, 


Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Implants only in borderline droopy breasts

Your breasts look "borderline" droopy(nipples still above your inframammary folds) in these photos,and usually in that situation implants alone can often work very nicely. In years past we would have put the implants on top of the muscle to get them as low as possible, and centered behind the nipples. Now that can be done with a dual-plane, or biplanar, technique which gives a nice appearance but allows the under-the-muscle benefits of lower encapsulation risk, better mammograms, and more soft tissue coverage of the implants. You would have to be careful not to go too large if you want a natural look. Trying to solve your situation with implants only avoids the scars associated with a lift. It burns no bridges because you can always come back and do a lift later. That way you will know for certain whether a lift is needed, whereas if you start with a lift and implants you will never know if you would have been happy with implants alone. Ask your surgeon to show you photos of results in women who look like you.

Fred Wilder, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Breast implants

From the photos you posted, it looks like you might possibly be able to get implants without a lift. Although implants do no lifting themselves, they often can give the illusion of a lift. After a minimum of 9 months, when the implants have settled, you'll have a better idea whether or not you think your breasts are perky enough. You can always get a lift later if needed. Also, you should wait at least 6 months after breast feeding or after childbirth with no breastfeeding to allow the breasts to return to their final shape before you have breast augmentation surgery. For more information on this and similar topics, I recommend a plastic surgery Q&A book like "The Scoop On Breasts: A Plastic Surgeon Busts the Myths."

Ted Eisenberg, DO, FACOS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

When to add a breast lift to a breast augmentation?

Thank you for your question!

First, I would like to let you know that if you are planning to have children soon, then a breast lift or breast augmentation may not be recommended and I tell my patients to wait until after they finished breastfeeding. You might want to wait until after pregnancy until you decide what you want to do with your breasts.

If you are not planning on having children, then I would definitely recommend a breast lift (mastopexy). Based on your photo, you may have grade 1 ptosis (sagging) and this means that your nipple is near the fold under your breasts (inframammary fold), and your breast tissue is hanging mildly below the breast fold.

It is a common misconception that large implants can provide a breast “lift”, but it is not true.  They may 'fake' a lift by creating an illusion of it, but adding a weight to your breasts does not lift them.

An implant-based breast augmentation alone will not be effective. In fact, you will not only have to go with a larger than usual implant, but it will also appear too low on your chest (bottoming out). The weight of the implant will worsen the amount of sagging. You may also have a double bubble deformity where the breast tissue overlying the implant droops below in front of the implant. It may also cause a snoopy deformity (named after the cartoon character snoopy) that happens when the implant is held sitting in a high position by tight pectoral muscles, while the natural breast tissue falls off the implant and hangs below at the bottom curvature of your breast.

You might think that a smaller implant will fix the problem, but it will rather give a “Rock in a sock” appearance due to a near empty upper pole of the breast. This is because of the great amount of skin stretching, excess skin, and breast wasting that exists in sagging breasts.

Although looking at photos alone does not replace an in-person assessment, it seems to me that you may need a breast lift along with augmentation for best aesthetic results. If you are okay with the augmented breasts sitting low on the chest, then you can certainly go ahead with breast augmentation only.

However, as I am basing my decisions based on your photo, I urge you to have an in-person consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to assess your options and risks to make an informed choice.

Hope this helps!

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 427 reviews

Can I get away with implants without a breast lift

I think implants alone are certainly possible. You just need to be content that the breast mound will stay where it is a preset and will not be any higher on your rib cage

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast Augmentation - to lift or not to lift

Hi Shannon,

Thanks for the question.

That is a very important and common concern. I will echo the responses elsewhere that an in person evaluation is the only way to answer your question properly.

However, there certainly is a chance that augmentation alone may be able to get you the result you are looking for.

Contact a board certified Plastic Surgeon with experience in this area, bring some questions and some before and after photos that you like (and don't like!)... That will be a great place to start.

All the best and good luck on your journey.

Dr Nodwell

Trefor Nodwell, MD
Ottawa Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Do you need a lift?

Hard to tell by the photos you posted so best to see a board certified plastic surgeon in your area who takes the time to properly measure and evaluate you and recommend the best procedures for you! Good luck!!

Implants without lift

It is difficult to determine from the photos, as it appears that your arms are held up in one of them to hold the camera.  I think you should be prepared for the potential need for a lift and the associated scars.

David A. Lickstein, MD
Palm Beach Gardens Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Can I get away with implants without a breast lift?

You will need in person examination to properly and see her question.  That said, based on your photographs her nipple appears at the inframammary crease level which indicates you are most likely borderline needing a breast lift in addition to breast implants. A dual plane breast augmentation may be possible without a left but she really needed in exam to be certain.  For more information please repeat below:

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.