The decision to do a breast augmentation without lift versus a breast augmentation with a breast lift, however, is less based on patient preference and more dictated the saginess, the nipple position, and the ratio between the breast volume and the amount of excess skin that is present.
How ptotic are my breasts?
The gold-standard method of assessing the need for a breast lift is the “pencil test.” Standing in front of a mirror, lift the breast and lay a pencil in the fold under the breast and allow the breast to settle over the pencil. Look at the position of the nipple in relation to the pencil.
The lower the nipples and breast are below the pencil and the more excess skin you have, the greater the chance you will need a breast lift and the more of a breast lift you will need. If your nipple and a majority of your breast are at or above the pencil (Normal), you will likely get a great result from a breast augmentation alone. Larger implants can shift this equation slightly for patients that have borderline ptosis (Grade 1).
What is a breast augmentation?
Perhaps the two most frequently asked questions I receive from women interested in breast enhancement surgery are:
- “Do I need a breast lift with or without implants?”
- “Can I get an ideal result with just breast implants?”
As with most operations, it’s always best to get things right the first time around. And when it comes to breasts, getting it right doesn’t typically mean looking great for only a few short years before the effects of gravity and time undue all the good work that was done.
So when I advise my mastopexy (breast lift) patients on what their options are for achieving the best and most youthful looking breast possible, I always make sure that they have a crystal clear understanding of what their surgery options are and how each option will look and feel over time (re: 1 year, 5 years, 10 years etc.) rather than just what they can expect to look like during the immediate post-operative period.
9 times out of 10, the best path forward is clear and the patient is in full agreement that the procedure’s pros outweigh any cons that may inherently be involved (e.g. a slightly longer incision in return for a stronger, more longer lasting lift).
Of course, not every breast fits perfectly into one of the the breast types described below, but most do, so hopefully readers will find the following example photos and procedure recommendations helpful and/or informative , especially if they are considering their options for a breast lift with or without implants/augmentation.