Breast Augmentation

You May Regret Not Adding that Lift to Your Breast Augmentation

Woman standing in a pink bikini against a white wall backdrop.

Breast augmentation can do a lot for your figure. The added volume and projection can help you fill out clothing better, balance your hips and offer cleavage you’ve been dreaming about since puberty. But implants alone cannot always do it all.

Many women head into their breast augmentation consults anticipating that adding volume to their breasts will also fill out loose, sagging skin, in effect lifting the breasts. However, this isn’t a likely result.

Understanding Breast Augmentation

Adding volume doesn’t address breast sagging. In fact, it can cause the opposite—more pronounced drooping.

The primary goal of breast augmentation is to enlarge the breasts. There can also be secondary goals, such as changing the shape of the breasts or making them more even in size. When planning your procedure, you and your plastic surgeon will need to decide on a type of incision, implant placement and implant size, shape and type.

Because breast augmentation adds volume to the breast, it can seem logical that it might also address sagging skin at the same time. However, adding volume tends to exacerbate sagging rather than correct it but adding more weight for gravity to pull.

Understanding Breast Lifts

A breast lift is a surgery specifically for sagging breasts. The primary goal is to lift the breasts so they sit higher on the chest, giving them a more youthful appearance. Secondary goals include reshaping the breasts and altering nipple placement.

Breast drooping, medically known as breast ptosis, is extremely common, with most women experiencing it to some degree as they age, gain or lose weight or even from the onset of puberty. This condition can be problematic for some, as it makes buying bras more difficult and can make you feel as though you look older than you are.

There are three primary approaches to breast lifts, named after their incisions: periareolar, vertical and inverted-T. You and your plastic surgeon will need to consider the pros and cons as they relate to your body to determine which option could be right for you.

Which Breast Enhancement Option Is Right for You?

Do you need breast augmentation or a breast lift? In many cases, women end up wanting both. One of the most common reasons why some women regret not adding a lift to their augmentation is that what they mistake as simply a lack of volume is actually the onset of sagging.

If you are wondering if you could benefit from a breast lift, you can try a simple experiment commonly called the pencil test. To do this, take a pencil and place it in the breast fold. If the pencil stays in place, you likely have some degree of breast drooping. If your nipple sits below the line of the pencil, then you have moderate to severe ptosis.

Understand that there is no universal answer as to what is the right choice: augmentation, lift or both. Each comes with its own benefits, and if you end up wanting to enjoy them all, you may decide that it is easier to get both a breast lift and implants at the same time. Consult with an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to ensure that you get the guidance you need to make the right decision.

You May Regret Not Adding that Lift to Your Breast Augmentation
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You May Regret Not Adding that Lift to Your Breast Augmentation
Is there a surgery for sagging breasts? Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Chang of Columbia, MD explains the benefits of adding a lift to your implants.
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December 2, 2020
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