Will Breast Implants Lift Up My Saggy Breasts and Nipples?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I want to get implants for my saggy breasts. I want them to be at least a full C, maybe a D cup. My breasts also sag but I think implants will take care of the problem. What do you think? I have attached some photos for you to see what they look like.

A: Thank you for sending your photos for review. While it is clear that you have had near complete breast involution (breast tissue shrinking) and would benefit by the substantial addition of volume (implants), you also have a significant breast sagging issue. You can not achieve your desired results unless a vertical breast lift is done at the same time as implant placement. Contrary to the perception of many patients, breast implants will not cause any significant lifting effect. Rather they will take the breast tissue the way it lies and make the breast much bigger but have the nipple and the existing breast tissue hanging off of the bottom of the implant. This is not likely the look you are after.

The key to knowing whether a breast lift is needed at the time of augmentation is the determination of where the nipple and any breast tissue hang relative to the level of the lower breast crease. (inframammary fold) If the nipple and any breast tissue is at or below the lower breast crease, some type of breast lift will be needed. Your photos show that, not only the nipple, but at least half of your breast tissue and skin is at or below the breast crease.

There are different types of breast lifts but I think you would do well with one in which the scar goes around the nipple and down to the lower breast crease. (hence the name, vertical breast lift) Your nipple needs to move up several inches so that it can be centered around a substantially enlarged breast mound.

Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana