Breast Augmentation with or without Breast Lifting

Q: I am interested in getting breast implants. I am 34 years old, have had three children and my breasts are just not what they used to be. They are smaller and now droop. They are disgusting to look at and are nothing like they used to be when they were nice C cups and round. I want to get implants so my breasts can look like they did before. Is this possible?

A: The concept of looking like you did before is an understandable one but may not always be possible. The reason is that the breast skin and breast tissue you now have is different than what it used to be.

Women considering breast augmentation almost always fall into two main types; those who have always had little breast tissue whether they have ever been pregnant or not (type 1)…and those  women who have lost their natural breasts and have developed droopy smaller breasts due to childbearing and nursing. (type 2) The results of placing a breast implant will be different for each type of patient. Type 1 patients will do fine with a breast implant alone and will often get the more ideal breast shape result. Type 2 patients may need a breast lift in addition to an implant to get a better shape with a good nipple position. It is this consideration of a lift and breast mound scarring that will often catch the Type 2 patient by surprise.

It is important to appreciate what a breast implant can and can not do. Implants do a superb job of making the breast mound bigger. But they have very little ‘lifting’ ability. The only lift effect that can occur is from inflation of the breast mound and this will move the nipple up a little. The operative word here is…a little. Significant movement upward of the nipple for most breast ptosis patients is a matter of at least several centimeters, not millimiters.

Dr. Barry Eppley