Which Breast Lift Option Is Right For You?

Pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss and the natural aging process can have a profound impact on the appearance of the breasts, often causing sagging, drooping and overall volume loss. According to Dr. S. Alexander Earle of Miami’s Pure Plastic Surgery, “Many women choose to get implants at the time of a breast lift, although this isn’t mandatory. Depending on a patient’s desired results, a lift alone may be able to provide the level of improvement they are looking for.” A breast lift can also be performed if implants are being removed—and not replaced—as well.

“Breast lift surgery involves reshaping and elevating the breasts by tightening underlying supportive tissue and removing excess skin. The nipples are usually raised and the areola may be reduced as well to create a more aesthetically pleasing breast appearance,” says Dr. Earle. All breast lift surgery requires several incisions, although they can be hidden by a bra or bathing suit top. The extent of correction necessary to achieve a patient’s desired results is the main factor that dictates the incisions used. He explains, “Depending on the degree of sagging and excess skin, incision options include beneath the crease of the breast, vertically from the crease up to the areola, and around the areola if it’s necessary to reposition the nipple.” If breast implants are inserted, the same incisions are used.


The insertion of implants during a breast lift is optional yet very common. “Women tend to see deflation in the upper part of the breasts after having children and with the passing of time. Implants restore youthful fullness while allowing patients to decide exactly what size they’d like to be after surgery,” Dr. Earle says.

Women may opt for breast lift surgery without implants for a variety of reasons, and this approach means patients don’t have to think about routine implant check-ups or additional surgery if it’s necessary to replace them in the future. Dr. Earle emphasizes, “The main downside of breast lift surgery without implants is a lack of enhanced upper breast fullness and cleavage, so it’s important that the patient has significant breast volume before surgery and realistic expectations about the breast lift results that can be achieved without the use of implants.”

All breast lift patients need to know that it is normal to experience some degree of numbness or loss of sensation in the nipples and areola after surgery, however this side effect usually improves as the body heals. The appearance of the incisions will continue to improve over the first few months after surgery, and it can take several months for the breasts to settle into their final shape. Yet once healing is complete, patients can expect breast lift results with or without implants to last for several years as long as a stable weight is maintained. Dr. Earle says, “Breast lifts have an extremely high patient satisfaction rate and this procedure dramatically improves the appearance of the breasts, as well as a woman’s self-confidence.”