One of the most common questions I get during a breast augmentation consultation is whether a patient can avoid doing a lift if they just get a larger implant. This is a difficult question as it depends on the specific situation, however there are several guidelines.
First of all, if you need a breast lift then you need a breast lift. Often patients will use a much larger breast implant for their breast augmentation then they wanted to avoid doing a lift and the result is a large saggy breast.
The size of the implant can be taken into consideration when determining the type of lift that is being performed. The breast implant can be combined with a peri-areolar lift, vertical or full (anchor) lift. In certain situations you may be able to decrease the scaring needed from the lift when adding an implant. A good discussion for another time!
The biggest determination if an implant can be used instead of a breast lift is the amount of ptosis and asymmetry the breasts have on the specific patient. A breast implant at most can lift the breast about an inch.
I truly believe wish pictures are priceless when discussing your aesthetic goals with your plastic surgeon. For patients that are on the fence if they need a lift, it can be helpful to your plastic surgeon to know your goals so that they can help guide you to a result you are going to love for years to come. Often when I see a patients wish pictures it is obvious which procedure is going to help them achieve the result they desire.
If patients are truly anxious about doing a breast lift, they can do the breast augmentation, let the breast settle for three months and then decide if they want to perform the breast lift. Plastic surgeons try to guide patients to avoid patients having to come back several months later because they are unhappy with the results of their breast surgery.
Please discuss your breast augmentation options with your Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon.