Am I a Candidate For Implants Without a Lift? Photos Attached.

I want to know whether or not I can get bigger breasts without a lift. I dont like the scarring from a full mastopexy because I am african american and my skin would keloid from the scar. If I need a lift to achieve the look I would want , is there a type of lift that can minimize the scarring????

Doctor Answers 30

Implants alone will not work. You need a full lift (with or without implants).

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Scarring is always an issue, more so with some dark-skin races, but not necessarily so with every patient of color. For an example of a full lift in one of my African-American patients click on the link below.

Implants (even large ones) do not "lift" breasts; they CAN fill the skin brassiere out, but will not decrease the clavicle-nipple distance! Only skin removal (tailoring the breast skin in the appropriate pattern), called mastopexy, will give you the improved symmetry in size, shape, and position of the nipple/areola complex with relation to the breast. Scars will result, and you can develop hypertrophic scars or keloids if you have that genetic tendency. But, unless you have already developed such scarring with other operations, you need not automatically assume you will develop those on your breasts. (See example!)

IMHO there is no modified lift (donut, vertical, or lollipop) that will tailor breasts such as yours and yield a satisfactory result. You need a full, Wise pattern (anchor pattern) mastopexy with slightly more tissue removal on your larger breast, or asymmetric-volume implants if you really want to go larger. For an example of a patient (and her two previous surgeons) who "tried" to make a donut lift on one side and a vertical lift on the other "work out," BUT FAILED go to

You have beautiful skin and I absolutely understand your concern about scarring, but if you want to get a proper result, you need to decide if you are willing to accept scars and the potential for less-than-ideal scarring. Best wishes!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Am I a Candidate For Implants Without a Lift?

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Unfortunately, from your pictures, you are not a candidate for an augmentation alone.  I would recommend a two stage procedure with a Anchor Mastopexy followed a few months later by an implant placement.  Now, I know this is exactly what you did not want to hear, but it is what is needed to give you the best result. In my practice I have had very few hypertrophic scars to the breasts in my AA patients.  Good luck!

Breast Lift or Implant Alone

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Looking at your pictures, I think you will probably need a lift as well as an implant. It appears your breasts have a fair amount of droop and are a little asymmetric. By doing a lift and implant, you have the best chance of making things even and getting the uplifted result you are looking for. Though scarring is always and issue, that can sometimes be controlled or possibly improved upon if it occurs, but remember a larger droopy breast doesn't necessarily look better than a perky breast with some scars on it.

Breast augmentation

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You would need a lift.

In breast augmentation I have chosen to spend time reviewing photographs with patients to fully understand their expectation of size and shape. Many times this simply raises more questions. I will make measurements and use the implant guides to allow the patient to understand exactly the sizes that are reasonable for their body type and measurements.
Please find an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and member of the Aesthetic Society using the Smart Beauty Guide. These Plastic Surgeons can guide you on all aspects of facial surgery, breast augmentation and body procedures including tummy tucks or mommy makeovers!

Breast Augmentation with Lift

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Thank you for sharing your photos.  You will need a lollipop or circumvertical breast lift with your augmentation to provide a look close to your photos.  Here is my criteria:

Candidates for a Breast Lift (Primary Breast Shape Concern):
1.  Patient is happy with breast size in a bra, but desires improvement in shape.
2.  Nipple position sits at or below the level of the breast crease (inframammary fold)
3.  Significant amount of loose skin and breast tissue, which hangs over the crease leading to a hollow appearance in the upper pole of the breast.

Candidates for Breast Augmentation (Primary Breast Size Concern):
1.  Patient is happy with nipple position and amount of skin in relation to crease.
2.  Desires increase in volume of breast to increase bra cup size and provide more cleavage and fullness to upper and lower pole of breast.

In many cases, patients have concerns of both size and shape, therefore requiring a breast augmentation with a breast lift to achieve desired results.  I hope this helps.
Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Lift + Implants, Implants alone or lift alone? Dont throw away beautiful breast tissue for a foriegn body!

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You certainly cannot have implants without a lift, but you can have a hidden scar lift without implants and attain the look you are going for.  In your pictures it appears that you would qualify for a procedure that I call the FEMMA-S in which I create an augmented look using your own breast tissue without using an implant.  this creates the lift, minimizes the scar and saves you from potential implant complications.   If later down the road you want to you can certainly add an implant, but the initial result has the appearance of an augmented breast without implants!  I would recomend a FEMMA-S or similar hidden scar, breast conserving lift because you have plenty of breast tissue that will appear very large when lifted to the right place.  It doesnt make sense to me to remove breast tissue and put in an artificial implant.  I hope this helps!

All the best,

Rian A. Maercks M.D.


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Looking at your photos it's hard to imagine that you'd be happy with your shape without a breast lift.  I have performed surgery on many African American patients- all of whom are concerned about scarring.  For this surgery, the scarring is rarely an issue- although there are cases where it has been.  In your case I would think the dramatic improvement in your shape would be worth the outside risk that your scars will heal poorly.  Just my opinion.

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

You might sample implant surgery alone and later commit to a lift if the desired result is not achieved.

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Generally, with the amount of droop your breasts demonstrate a lollipop lift with or without an implant would be advisable. But your concern about the scarring is well founded particularly for your skin type. The patient is always rolling the dice when it comes to scarring. The photo of your desired result makes me think that you can possibly achieve your goals with an implant alone because her implanted breasts do have an element of droop. However, your breasts do droop more then hers and therefore your implanted breasts will droop more then hers as well. A possible alternative for you would be to implant your breasts alone with the thought of returning for a second operation to lift your breast should you be unhappy with the results.  Even though this route could require two surgeries it would allow you to evaluate the effect of an implant alone without committing to permanent scarring.


David A. Ross, MD (retired)
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

No, to breast lift!

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Your breasts are large and you appear to have a small torso.  Because of the amount of sagging you currently have, a breast lift would entail the placement of a vertical scar from the areola to the crease under your breast. Although you could end up with a favorable scar, no one could guarantee the outcome.  Placement of an implant would lead to even more sagging in a short period of time.  I vote to leave well enough alone.

Joseph N. Togba, MD
Oakland Plastic Surgeon

Beautiful breasts without implants

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Judging from your pictures you would need a full lift. You also have enough breast tissue that you really wouldn't need an implant. There is a new technique that takes your existing breast tissue, reshapes it and is permanently attached to your chest muscles to lift and give you upper pole fullness, much like that of a breast implant. Women that have had this procedure are very pleased.  Most of my breast lift and breast reduction patients are African American; I can honestly tell you that maybe one out of 100 has developed a hypertrophic scar or keloid. But, if you have a history of developing either one, there are measures that can be taken to minimize this potential complication. Another benefit of the 'Ultimate Lift' is that the vertical scar is completely eliminated.This would mean less scarring for you. I hope this information helps you. Best wishes, Dr. H

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