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Will implants alone lift the breasts or will I also need a breast lift?

Q:

Due to weight loss my breasts are slightly saggy.  I am only a B cup size.  I want to have the breasts enlarged but I also want them lifted.  Due to their small size, will getting implants also lift them?  If not, and if I also need to have a breast lift, can both procedures be done at the same time?

A:

In my experience the vast majority of weight loss patients who develop saggy breasts require a breast lift.  If you are just slightly saggy, then a breast implant might work temporarily, but a breast lift may be needed later.  In some cases, a deflated breast without true sagginess might do very well with breast implants alone.  Have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who can diagnose and treat your breast condition.

Aldo Guerra, M.D.
Scottsdale, AZ

A:

While it may seem reasonable to refill the breasts with an implant to regain the normal "perkiness" they had before weight loss, it is almost never possible.  Almost everyone needs both an implant and breast lift.

A:

If you have mild breast sagging or drooping, this can be corrected with implants to "re-plump" up the area that has sagged from deflation of the breasts with age, child-bearing, and breast-feeding.  If there is a significant amount of sagginess (ptosis, in the medical jargon), you will likely need a breast lift because you would have to have a ridiculously large implant to fill out the significant sagginess of the breast.

So, for mild sagginess, an implant under the muscle or sometimes on top the muscle will suffice.  For serious sagginess, you will likely need a lift (with or without implants).  If you do need a lift, they can be done simultaneously - a procedure called augmentation-mastopexy.

A:

A common misconception is out there, that breast implants will "lift" your breasts.  This is really an optical illusion because filling your breasts with additional volume pushes the nipple forward and away from the chest and it appears as though your breasts have become higher on the chest.  However, adding volume (implant) doesn't shorten the distance between your collarbone and the nipple.  Only a re-shaping operation like a breast lift can do that.

I advise patients to determine if they want better shape of the breast or increased volume of the breast, or both.  Once they understand the concept that volume and shape are two different matters, it is much easier to determine which procedure is best for your individual set of circumstances.  After all, it's your body and you should ultimately be the one to decide what you want to change, and we as plastic surgeons can best advise you on the best way to get there.  In any event, any board certified plastic surgeon is more than qualified to make your dreams come true.

A:

Those are great questions, but a final answer will be based on your in-person exam by a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Yes, implants can "lift" small breasts.  Implant placement improves size, shape, and projection of your breast.

Yes both procedures can probably be done at the same time (although women with advanced sagging may need two-stage lift then augmentation).

Implant placement alone often does provide some lift when there is only mild sagging.  This means a less involved procedure.  One important factor that varies greatly among women is the degree of down-turn of the nipple in a breast with sagging.  It is better if you have less, because otherwise a lift is necessary.  Another important factor is how much skin folds down onto the ribcage below the breast.  Again less is better because then shorter incisions are needed. 

Finally, based on your age (<25) I would suggest discussing whether you are finished having children, and how that would effect your results.  Best wishes.

A:

If the breast is sagging enough, then you need a lift. Implants are NOT a replacement for a lift. The amount of lift that implants do is minimal. You need a full exam by  A BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON (AMERICAN BOARD OF PLASTIC SURGERY)  to decide if you need a lift and what type of lift

1: periareolar

2: lollipo type of incision

 

3; full lift with an inverted T type of incision

Both procedures can be done at the same time though there is minimal risk of jeopardizing the vasularity of the nipple areola.

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