Breast Lift FAQs

Does Breast-feeding cause saggy breasts?

False. This is a widely held notion of women all over the world. Studies though show that there may not be considerable differences I terms of sagginess between women who breast-fed and those who do not seeking breast lift and augmentation procedures. This is something that I also have observed in my practice.

What are the reasons breasts sag?

Nobody truly knows. Age, weight loss, stretched out breast skin, are known causes. But even young thin women can have saggy breasts with good breast skin tone. Another cause is milk duct involution and shrinking may contribute to breast sagginess. Frankly I believe that although these factors play a significant role different genetics and anatomy are also critical to ptosis.

Is a breast lift permanent?

False. Nothing lasts forever but it lasts for a very long time if done right. The breast lift operation does not change the biology of our bodies. No operation does that. It changes the anatomy. That change can last anywhere from 5 to 30 years. Off course the breasts can sag again. However if done after pregnancy I believe they can last for many years.

Can a breast lift can be done with breast implants alone?

False. A real breast lift or mastopexy requires re-arranging of the existing breast tissue in order to create young or youthful looking breasts that are perky.

A breast implant operation does not change the anatomy of the breasts. It simply makes what exists there larger. Minor anatomical adjustments can be done.

Can I lift my breasts by getting botox?

False. Although the use of butilinum toxin has many applications in cosmetic medicine breast augmentation and breast lifting is not one of them. You cannot get a breast lift like that! The theory is that the botulinum toxin type A (botox) is injected not into the breast tissue but into the pectoralis muscles underneath. The injection into these muscles causes them to relax. Relaxation of these muscles in turn causes the shoulders to relax so that they do not slouch as much. This is because the pectoral major muscles originate from the sternum and ribcage and insert on the shoulder (humerus). This relaxation of the shoulders gives the illusion or appearance of a lift of the breasts.  Truth is that when the pectoralis muscle relaxes this also may cause the breasts to go south. I do not agree with this method at all.

Is a Breast lift surgery painful?

False. It is not. The chest just feels sore for a few days following the surgery. Although it is an operation that is more technically demanding, and lengthier   than a breast augmentation surgery the discomfort is mild.

When can I work after breast lift surgery?

Depends on the kind of work. Attention may be paid to not putting pressure on the wounds and/or stretching them.

Will blood transfusions may be needed during breast lift surgery?

False. With careful surgical technique blood loss is kept to a minimum.

Can I get a breast lift and or breast reduction and avoid breast scars with the placement of an internal bra device.

False. A medical device that acts as an internal bra is in use in Europe called breform device. This device is made by a French company called Aspide Medical. It is a thin cup-like device that is placed under the breast skin and offers the breast tissue a perky shape. The device is characterized by the manufacturing company as “biocompatible and non-absorbable”. Non-absorbable means that it stays there forever.

This device is not in use in the US and is not approved by the FDA. We do not know yet the long-term efficacy of the device although it may represent a novel idea.

Scars around the areola and vertical scars under the areola are still required to place this device successfully so the patients do not avoid the presence of scars.

Insurance pays for breast lift surgery.

False. It is unlikely that insurance will pay for such a surgery because it is considered cosmetic.

Can liposuction of the breasts lift them too? Can I get a breast lift with liposuction?

True. In some cases that may happen to a small degree. These cases are women who have very good skin elasticity of their breasts and not very large, saggy and pendulous breasts. Liposuction of the breasts causes scar tissue and this scar tissue can cause breast parenchyma contraction and skin contraction and therefore provide a minor to moderate lift.

Can I get a breast lift without scars?

False. If the breast need a lift then that comes with scars. The traditional scars are three: a peri-aroelar one, a vertical one from the areola to the inframammary fold and a scar in the inframammary fold itself. The degree of lift and reduction dictates the degree and extent of these scars. For example very large and pendulous breasts will require the presence of these scars. Smaller breasts that require mild degree of lifting may only utilize the peri-areolar scar and the vertical one and avoid the IMF scar. This is significant because out of the breast scars that I mentioned it is only the IMF scar that tends to heal more prominently. The other scars heal very well to the point that in some people they may not be visible after some years.

Can I get a breast  lift with implants alone and avoid the  breast scars?

Very minor degree of sagginess can be corrected with a breast augmentation-provided the women want to have larger breasts too. However a breast augmentation procedure is not a procedure to lift the breasts. It is a procedure to make them larger.

I want to get a breast lift but I don’t want them to be too large after the surgery.

False. Once again it is important to clarify an important misconception: breast lifts do not enlarge the breasts. Breast lifts lift the breasts and give them a youthful perky shape. In doing so a breast lift reduces the volume of the breast. The reduction is modest.

If I get very large implants I can avoid the need for a breast lift.

False. Even very large breast implants do alleviate the requirement for a formal breast lift in those who require it. They just delay and postpone he solution and treatment of that problem. Many women do chose to g that route because they do not wish to have scars on their breasts. This is understandable. Very large breast implants in these cases serve to “fill- in” the volume in saggy breasts. They provide a mild lift. Instead they give the impression/illusion of a lift because the breasts look bigger, fuller and rounder.

Will breast implants make my breasts sag?

If the breast implants are too big their stretching of the breast tissue and the breast skin can cause breast sagginess over time. This is another reason to be conservative with breast implant size.

 Will Breast augmentation make my breasts get stretch marks?

Possible. Typically a breast augmentation does not cause stretch marks. However there have been rare reports of women getting stretch marks following a breast augmentation.

If I get breast implants I will have to change my normal lifestyle.

False. A properly performed breast augmentation does not interfere with the normal activities of daily living. Women can do everything they did prior to surgery. Work out activities are not affected even if the implants are placed under the pectoral muscles Although the muscles are weakened by the operation they are still capable of performing their roles. If the implants are placed over the muscles there is obviously no such issue.

Often women are afraid that the implants will slide toward the armpit and hinder them from using their arms in certain ways.  That can happen only if the implants are placed the wrong way or in a pathologic state such as capsular contracture. Capsular contracture can cause malposition of the implants in different directions. In these situations the breasts typically require revision surgery to correct their placement.

Getting a breast infection will ruin my chances to have another breast augmentation or will ruin the breast shape forever.

False. The risk of an infection in a patient who is healthy and has had a breast augmentation is in the order of 1-2%. Y healthy patient I mean someone who has no medical conditions. Certain medical conditions can increase the risk of an infection. For example I tell patients who have diabetes that they can be at an increased risk of infection, which may be 4%. I also tell the same to my patients who are smokers.

It is an awesome thought for a woman to think that she could get an infection after breast augmentation surgery and have her implants removed because of that.  In such an event most conservative doctors will remove the implants and leave the breast wounds open so that they can heal by themselves over time with dressings changes.

The breasts will eventually heal and typically the resultant scar after the healing may look good.

After they have healed the patient can have another breast augmentation surgery successfully with great results. Interestingly enough the results may be better than the first time. The reason for this is when breast wounds are left open to heal by themselves, they heal by contraction. Contraction makes the breasts contract and therefore get a natural lift. That natural lift due to the healing by contraction makes me perkier and may mildly improve prior sagginess.