Is There a Surgical Technique That Can Help Me Avoid a Breast Lift? (photo)

One surgeon has recommended TUBA and another said completely submuscular w/a transaxillary approach and lift. I know I have some degree of ptosis, but I'm happy w/the position of my breasts and want to avoid a lift. My torso is long, and though the distance from collarbone to nipple is outside nml range (24"), I feel it's proportionate to my shape. What technique offers the best chance of avoiding a lift? If physiologically possible, I'd like them at least partially under the muscle.

Doctor Answers 11

Is There a Surgical Technique That Can Help Me Avoid a Breast Lift?

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I can't see why you would need any kind of breast lift. A modest breast augmentation will give you outstanding results. Just make sure you have the implants under the pectoralis muscle to camoflage the upper edges of the implant. I get the best results in patients with your anatomy using the dual plane technique.

Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

When to lift?

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Your photos suggest a lift is not needed.  If you were in my office, I would be suggesting an augmentation first, allow your breasts to heal, then come back and decide if a lift is needed to produce the look you want.

As for the augment, my personal preference is submuscular, dual plane technique as it seems to give consistently good outcomes.  You can choose your incision and technique and should also understand the doctor's revision policy just in case things don't turn out exactly as you desired.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

If you are happy with your breast position, you don't need a lift.

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If you are happy with your breast position, you don't need a lift. Because of the lack of tissue in the upper pole, I would recommend a silicone implant so that it is not visible and less palpable. Dual plane placement will also help with this. This eliminates TUBA as a good choice. The remaining incision sites are all good. The trans-axillary incision will give a little less control with implant placement. 

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To lift or not to lift with breast augmentation surgery

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Thank you for your photos.

Women like yourself no longer have to fear the unsightly scars of a breast lift. In your case, if you wish to increase cup size considerably, then a large implant would probably do the trick. But, I must be frank and advise you against it. Here is why: Implants are heavy. They will stretch tissue regardless of where they are placed. So the larger they are, the sooner you will need another lift. Tissue damaged by heavy implants is much harder to correct/lift. This is what I would recommend: I would place a small submuscular silicone implant with a Mini Ultimate Breast Lift. A Mini UBL will rearrange your existing breast tissue directly over the implant to give you a rounder more natural appearance. This technique will successfully avoid the 'double-bubble' effect. No vertical scar needed.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,


Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Details of technique are only valid when performed by the surgeon recommending them

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Hi there-

I do think that you would be able to achieve a very nice outcome without a lift as long as having breasts that were a bit more full would make you happy.

As far as the technique, it is very important for you (and all patients) to understand that I could only tell you what works when I do it, and similarly, just because another surgeon believes that the path to your goal is different than what I might recommend to you doesn't mean they can't gat you to the same place... Just that there are many ways to do things in plastic surgery and that it is a mistake to believe that we (surgeons) are all created equal or that as long as the surgeon you choose goes through the same steps another surgeon would that your outcome would be the same. 

Because of all of this, I think it would be unfair to you to confuse the issue with my own technical preferences which might then compromise your confidence in the surgeon you choose. That wouldn't be fair to them either...

I always advise patients against finding the procedure they want and then looking for a surgeon willing to do it... I think that is a large part of the reason there are unhappy plastic surgery patients in the world. You are much better off finding the best breast surgeon you can, based on education, talent, training, and experience (look at lots and lots of photos) and then talking with them about your goals and your options. Choose the right surgeon and all of the other details will fall into place. Shop for a procedure and your chances of ending up less pleased go up.

The upshot of all of this is that I do think you can have a great outcome without a breast lift- but as far as the technique, I would prefer to leave that to the excellent surgeon you choose to explain to you.

Here's an example of droopy breasts corrected without a lift- 

Is a breast lift needed

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If you are happy with the position of your nipple areola, then there is no need for a breast lift.  In addition, based on your photo alone, it does not appear you need a lift either.  I would however need a physical exam to evaluate the quality of your skin.  If your goal is to have fuller breasts, you would likely be a great candidate for a breast augmetation.  I generally recommend a dual plane technique.   Please visit with a board certified plastic surgeon to learn more about your options.  Best of luck!

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Is There a Surgical Technique That Can Help Me Avoid a Breast Lift?

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Thanks for the excellent posted photos. In the TUBA technique you can only use saline implant and "blind" positioning is the major issue. Very few boarded PSs use or recommend the TUBA. If transaxillary is the only other option for you than do it. This option allows guided placement in the submusclar plane or dual plane locations and a silicone could be used with a Keller funnel. Otherwise I might recommend inframammay fold option for a possible choice. 

Breast augmentation without a lift

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Thank you for posting informative pictures.  Based on your description and the pictures, you're very good candidate for breast augmentation in the submuscular position.  If you choose to use saline implants, the TUBA procedure is excellent.  However, you have little upper pole fullness.  This will make your implant very palpable and possibly rippling noted with a saline implant.  A silicone implant will be a better option for you placed partially under the muscle through your inframammary fold.  Best of luck.

Kevin Tehrani, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

You CAN avoid a breast lift and be very happy

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Thank you for asking this question since it will give other women who read this page a better understanding of when a lift is needed.  Your breasts actually have a good relationship to your body but they lack one thing that most women want.  PROJECTION!  They have a pleasing shape and are postioned high enough that you do not need the scars associated with a lift.  All you need is an implant that is the size of your choice placed strategically to give the shape of your breast more oompf away from the chest.  They will be less flat, more curvey and a lot more shapely.  What they won't be is bullet shaped missle heads sitting high up on your rib cage. I don't personally like that look although some women aspire to it.  If you are seeking that then you do need some lifting to acheive it...

You have a lot going for you here so all I would recommend is more fullness that only an implant can give.

Breast Lift vs. Implants

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By my criteria, you are not a good candidate for a breast lift. 1) Your nipple is positioned on or above the spot where your breast fold meets your chest wall. 2) You do not have an excessively long breast fold and 3) you do not have a severe loss in upper pole fullness.

An implant alone, using dual-plane technique and placement, will give you a fuller, more rounded version of your current breast.

Be sure you and  your surgeon work to develop a crystal clear understanding of the size and profile of the implant to be used.  A large implant that exceeds your skin's ability to stretch around it can cause problems later.

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 276 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.