Is There a Limit to the Volume if Doing a Lift and Augmentation?

I am 5'6, 170lbs and 35yo. I'm about to have a lift and augmentation done and was told 300cc's was the largest I could go, is this accurate or was the surgeon I chose not giving me an option? I am normally a DD and through childbirth and gravity have fallen to a small C. I would like my DD's back, is 300 cc large enough to give me what I want?

Doctor Answers 18

Implant Volume Limit with Lift

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The size limitation for breast implants at the time of lift is mainly to prevent undue pressure on the closure incisions. Regarding the size you need to restore your pre pregnancy breast size: It is very difficult to determine the exact size and shape implant you will require to best match your ideal breast image without an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon. Not just any board certified plastic surgeon, but one with many years of frequently performing breast augmentation surgery including different approaches, techniques and implant choices. This is because several measurements not to mention your breast characteristics are needed to determine the optimal implant size to obtain your goals. Without knowing these dimensions it would be difficult to make this determination. For example, the existing base width of your breast will determine, in many cases, the maximal volume per implant profile that you can accommodate. To illustrate; a 100 cc difference may make a significant difference with a narrow base width breast, but much less of a difference if you have a wide chest wall and wide breast “foot print”. Therefore, just because your friend may have a great result with let’s say a 300 cc implant to make her go from a “C” cup to a "DD” cup size does not mean that you will have the same result with the same size implant. . Further simply placing implants in a bra to determine the size best for you is not always accurate as the bra often distorts the size, is dependent on the pressure the bra places plus the implant is outside your breast and not under it among other variables. Computer software morphing programs that automatically determine the best implant size can be helpful in some but not all cases (e.g. doesn’t work well in my experience with existing implants, sagging or asymmetric breasts). Using “want to be” photos however are useful if simply provided to the surgeon as I will further explain in the below link 

Is there a limit to the Volume if doing a lift and augmentation?

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Obviously without examing you its somewhat difficult to answer this question. In my opinion the fact that the surgeon is limiting your size with a single stage operation is a very good thing. The key to a breast lift and augmentation is the lift! Sacrificing the lift for bigger implants simply leads to larger sagging breasts. If you have any question think about a two stage procedure. After the lift you have more freedom to decide which implant size your prefer. Hope this helps.

You can go larger

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Based on your height and weight, there's no reason why you couldn't have a larger implant. I would ask the surgeon why he does not feel comfortable putting a larger than the 300 mL implant. To go from a small C to a double D, I would think you're going to need more than 300 mL.

Joseph M. Perlman, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Breast Implant Volume and Breast Lift: More volume equals more stretch on the breast

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A mastopexy augmentation, or breast lift combined with a breast implant is a complicated procedure but when applied to the right patient it is actually more staraightforward than a simple breast lift. When considering breast implant volume consider the stress and stretch that weight puts on your breast which by definition has already failed because it sounds like you need a lift. If you have lost volume and sagged after having children then this is likey right operation for you, and when you think about maybe a 200cc volume equals a cup size you will be great with about a 300cc implant. There is really no volume limit though when I look at my volumes for this operation, it ranges from 300 to 400 cc. The best breast implant size is the breast implant that fits on your chest.

I hope this helps.

Dr. Trussler

Andrew P. Trussler, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Breast implant size for breast lift surgery in los angeles

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It seems that a 300 cc implant might be a bit small for you if you want to get closure to DD bra size. I have to also advise you that the larger the implant, and the heavier the implant, there is higher chance of early breast sagging after breast lift surgery. therefore, your plastic surgeon might have a good point. I suggest that you first try on different size breast implants in a bra in order to see if a 400 cc implant might look good on you.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Is There a Limit to the Volume if Doing a Lift and Aug?Answer:

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When you go much larger than about 350cc with a lift, you usually have to release the muscle to accommodate a larger implant and when you do that, the muscle can no longer support the implant, and it falls. And then you are back in the office complaining that your breasts are not full enough up top. So when using an implant larger than 350cc I place Strattice to help hold the bigger implant up. So for 350cc or less, complete sub-muscular. Bigger,  and I use the Strattice.

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Combining a breast lift with an augmentation is an extremely difficult operation,

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because each procedure puts pressure on the skin envelope, and trying to do too much in one procedure can have serious negative consequences.  In the augment, the implant is placed above or below the muscle, and the more volume in the implant the more pressure there is on the overlying skin.  In a breast lift, extra skin is removed and the remaining skin molded to lift the breast and improve the shape.  This also puts pressure on the skin, and in particular, the blood supply to the nipple area which has been moved up.  If there is too much pressure, the blood supply can be compromised with loss of skin or a portion of the nipple and areolar area.  So you can see why your surgeon wants to be cautious about limiting the size of the implant if you are having a breast lift done at the same time.  It sounds like you should take his or her advice...

Michael H. Rosenberg, MD
Mount Kisco Plastic Surgeon

Concerns on appropriate implant size for mastopexy augmentation

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Without any photos and in particular, a comprehensive examination, your question can't be accurately answered. However, the limit for implant size would be based on mulitple factors including your skin envelope and chest wal parameters. It may be that your body could accomodate more than a 300cc implant.

I would leave the final decision on the appropriate implant size up to your plastic surgeon. This would be based on your goal and the intraoperative findings.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast implant limits

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In most cases during a breast augmentation combined with a lift, the surgeon is trying to place the implant behind the muscle in order to provide as much support for it long term. In most cases, an implant larger than 300cc will not stay under the muscle long term due to the pressure of the muscle pushing on the implant and potentially forcing it down and out. Besides it being extremely difficult to predict the eventual size of your cup after this combined procedure, one also needs to understand that that there are many times when wishes cannot be met unless the surgeon disregards the limitations of the patient's body. When one disregards those limitations, then long term issues and problems can arise.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Implant size limitation in combination Breast Augmentation AND Breast Lift

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A Lot of women simplistically view a Breast Augmentation the same way as the filling of a party balloon with helium; You can put in as much you want and it will float. Well - that is patently false. The VAST majority of breast sag NOT because they have an implant in them but because gravity pulls EVERYTHING down including breasts. As the size of the breast goes up, gravitational pull increases as well and gravity always wins that contest.

When a Breast Lift is done, we remove excess skin, reducing the envelope of the breast to reposition its contents higher on the chest wall. But - how long does the youthful perky position last depends on the skin quality, the patients health, sun tanning, smoking, nutrition, wearing bra support AND the size and weight of the breast. Adding MORE weight (such an an implant) to a sagging breast will NOT float the breast. Since breast implants are heavier than air and are NOT filled with Helium but with either Saline or Silicone, they cause GREATER sagging and challenge rather than help the breast Lift when it is done at the same time.

No one can tell you if 300cc implants (? gel or saline? MP or HP ? Natrelle or Mentor) PLUS your breast volume = DD cup size. Anyone who professes to having such prescient abilities is not being truthful. Discuss it with your surgeon. If you need a second opinion go ahead and get one. But remember gravity always wins so - help it as little as possible by choosing smaller rather than bigger.

Good Luck.

Peter A Aldea, MD

WHICH implant should you have when performing a combined lift and augmentation?  Simply put, if you want to prolong the temporary period of perkiness, I would pick the smallest implant you are willing to consider instead of the largest implant that could be shoved into that sagging breast.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.