A Breast Lift with Implants?
The solution for sagging breasts is usually a procedure called a breast lift. But a breast lift does not look the same for everyone. Some patients may require a breast lift implant combination (that is, a breast lift and augmentation). Other patients will require no implant with their breast lift.
Determining whether your need an implant or not will depend on largely on your physiology, your desired results, and the space between the two. If you’re interested in a breast lift, your surgeon will often bring up the possibility of a breast lift with an implant, especially if your breast tissue has become particularly saggy or if you want an increase in size.
Your surgeon is, really, going to be the only one that will be able to determine whether or not you need a breast lift with an implant. But there are some ways to take a guess or two yourself as a kind of preparation for your breast lift procedure.
How Do You Know if You Need an Implant with Your Breast Lift?
A breast implant seems like a simple thing, but it’s actually a relatively sophisticated medical device. After all, think about everything a breast implant has to accomplish:
- A breast implant must look, feel, and behave at least somewhat like natural breast tissue
- An implant has to be able to rest inside the body, without adverse health impacts, for decades
- A breast implant must be easy to transport and insert
- An breast implant must be manufactured in many shapes and sizes in order to suit the needs of a variety of patients
- Implants must also be manufactured with different materials in mind (from saline to silicone)
- Implants must increase breast size without interfering with basic breast functioning (such as the sensitivity of the nipple or the expression of milk)
In other words, breast implants have a fairly significant, sophisticated job to do, even though they might seem like a pretty inert piece of technology. But implants are actually quite complex and technologically advanced. That’s why it’s definitely worth taking some time to think about whether you really need one or not.
When it comes to your breast lift procedure, there’s really only one question that you need to answer: Do you want larger breasts? If so, then you’ll want to get an implant with your breast lift.
But if you’re happy with the size of your breasts, then implants might not be in your best interests.
Can I Still Get Perky Breasts Without an Implant?
The point of any breast lift procedure is to restore a youthful profile to the bust line. As women age, gravity tends to create a downward force on the tissues of the breasts. (Some research also suggests that underwire bras can weaken ligaments over time, compounding the issue of sagging.)
A breast lift is usually accomplished, in part, by eliminating excess tissue (that’s why breast lift procedures are often paired with a breast reduction). However, that’s not always the case. A breast lift is primarily concerned with the orientation of the breasts, not necessarily their size.
That means if you want your breasts to remain the same size that they currently are, breast implants will not be necessary. That’s true even if you want to achieve the kind of orientation you enjoyed in your youth. In other words, the size of the breasts have absolutely no bearing on the orientation of the breasts. A breast lift can change the orientation without necessarily having to change the size.
Going Larger and Smaller
While they are often performed on their own, breast lift procedures are often paired with other breast enhancements. There are, in fact, two primary ways that a breast lift is woven into other procedures:
- Breast Augmentation: Pairing a breast augmentation with a breast lift can happen for one of two reasons. In the first scenario, the patient wants an augmentation, but in order to achieve desired results, the patient will need to also incorporate a breast lift. In the second scenario, the patient wants a breast lift, but in order to achieve a larger bust, implants will be needed to go along with the breast lift. There is, practically, very little difference between the two scenarios, but the contrast in the motivation can lead to varying approaches. In the end, the breasts will be larger and will have a more youthful looking orientation.
- Breast Reduction: On the other end of the spectrum, a breast lift is often paired with a breast reduction procedure (in fact, it’s rare that a breast reduction is performed without an accompanying breast lift). A breast reduction is designed to remove large amounts of excess tissue from the breast. This excess tissue can often compound the “sag” that breast lifts are perfect at addressing. However, simply removing the excess tissue without also addressing the “lift” of the breast will fail to change the orientation. Patients that combine their breast reduction with a breast lift will notice that they look and feel much more youthful. That’s in addition to the kind of chronic pain relief that breast reduction procedures are famously able to deliver.
Whether the patient wants to go larger or smaller (or neither) will depend largely on their personal preference. Patients will need to consider the aesthetics of their decision as well as the physical realities. That is, larger breasts do tend to be heavier, causing strain and pain in the neck and back (and that’s true whether the larger breasts are natural or not).
Benefits and Drawbacks of Adding an Implant
As with any plastic surgery procedure, there are definite benefits and drawbacks to adding breast implants to your lift procedure. Some of the benefits may include:
- Larger breasts that are more in line with how you envision your body proportions
- Getting two procedures at the same time can help make your recovery more efficient
- Most importantly, you get the body you want at the time that you want it; this benefit really cannot be overstated
- Many women experience a significant increase in confidence and self-esteem
- Clothes that had previously been difficult to fill out now fit better
- Finding a bra that fits also becomes a little bit easier!
The drawbacks of getting implants along with your breast lift include:
- You may experience a longer recovery period
- The expense of the procedure may increase, due to the addition of breast implants
- Implants will likely have to be removed or replaced sometime down the road
- You will need to monitor implants regularly to ensure there are no ruptures
- Implants may make mammograms a little bit more challenging down the road
It’s really up to you, as the patient, to determine whether the benefits outweigh the downsides.
A Personal Decision
That’s why, generally speaking, the decision to get a breast lift with or without an implant is a pretty personal decision. Surgeons spend a lot of time talking with patients in order to ensure they have a clear vision of what their end results might be. That vision might mean larger breasts, smaller breasts, or simply a change in orientation.
Each patient will need to determine what will look best on her frame and whether the end result is worth the amount of work it takes to reach. It’s worth noting that women who pursue a breast lift are often counseled to do so for their own reasons—not in order to please a loved one or a spouse.
And women who do want a breast lift that end up getting a breast lift often comment on how the procedure is totally worth it. Once you’ve gotten a breast lift, you’ll notice that you look and feel much younger. Your profile—specifically your bust—will appear much more youthful and buoyant. You’ll even be able to walk around without a bra for support (though, most surgeons recommend wearing a bra as often as possible in order to maintain your results).
The point is this: there are many benefits to a breast lift. But the decision to get one is yours. And there are many benefits to adding a set of breast implants to that lift (in other words, to adding an augmentation to your lift). But that’s a personal decision and one that no one can or should make for you.
I know, that’s a really long way of saying basically this: whether you get a breast lift with an implant or without one is completely up to you. It all depends on what you want and how you want to look. So if you have questions about what’s possible and what’s not—or what’s advisable and what’s not—talk to your surgeon to get a sense of the medical side of things.
And then take care to make your own decision. In the end, it’s all up to you!