Line art: Illustration of a female chest on purple background

How do I know if I need a Breast Lift?

If you are considering cosmetic surgery because your breasts have sagged either from pregnancy, weight loss or just age, you may wonder if you require a Breast Lift (Mastopexy), Breast Augmentation or a combination of the two.

Although large, heavy breasts are more likely to sag, women with smaller breasts can also experience deflated breasts or a downward droop. No woman wants to have a Breast Lift if they don’t really need one because, compared to implants alone, there is more scarring involved and the procedure itself is more expensive due to its complexity and the time it takes to perform.

Helpful guides to determine whether or not you need a Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift or both.

Illustration showing the degree of breast sagging.

Side on test

If you look at yourself sideways in the mirror and notice that your nipples sit on or above your breast crease (the fold underneath the breast), you will probably be a good candidate for a Breast Augmentation alone. If your nipples sit below your breast crease then most likely you will need a Breast Lift with or without implants.

Hands above head test

Try lifting your hands above your head and watch where your nipples sit – this is a good indication of the amount of lifting you can achieve with implants alone. If they are above the crease and you are happy with the height of the nipples then you probably will only need a breast augmentation with implants! If you do not think this is high enough you will most likely need a breast lift.

There are some exceptions to this, so an in person or skype consultation with a MINKST surgeon is necessary to be sure.

Compare before and after photos

Be realistic – make sure you compare yourself to patients that have similar before breasts to you. If you are someone who may need a breast lift, it would be a mistake to look at before and after photos of patients who were completely flat chested before surgery and expect to get the same kind of result. For example if you are someone who may need a breast lift we don’t recommend comparing yourself to a patient who started out with an A cup size chest, because the end result would look entirely different. The likely result of cosmetic breast surgery is an enhanced version of your own breasts which is why it is best to compare yourself to other women similar to you. Here is a link to our website to review some before and after photos.

People with heavier sagging breasts and implants will still need to wear a bra most of the time, just as they did before surgery. Surgery does not change your personal skin elasticity, so if your breasts were prone to sagging previously, the bra will help to prolong your result by counteracting the effects of gravity.

A Breast Lift procedure will raise the breast tissue while also repositioning the nipple/areola to a higher position. Your surgeon also has the opportunity to resize your areola if desired. However, a breast lift alone will not provide any long term fullness in the upper part of the breast nor will it make your breasts bigger or firmer. This is why a breast augmentation is often combined with a breast lift as implants do provide these benefits.

What happens if I choose implants alone when I really need a lift?

Your breast will be larger, fuller and firmer but only lifted to the extent shown by the hands on head test. If you are borderline for the need for lifting you may be satisfied with this result and be able to avoid a lift. You always have the option of having a lift as a subsequent procedure.

If however you try to avoid a lift when you do need one the results are unlikely to please you. There are two outcomes that commonly occur. Your breast may appear like a ‘ball in a sock’ or you may develop a ‘Snoopy’ or ‘Waterfall’ deformity. If there is too much sagging breast tissue, it descends away from the implant resulting in a downward pointing nipple and an unnatural shape. It is called the Snoopy deformity because the shape resembles the profile of the cartoon character of the same name.

Illustration of a breast including breast implant.

Waterfall or snoopy deformity

This will need a breast lift and sometimes an implant replacement as well in order to correct it. Remember – any form of revision surgery is more complex and costly so if you are advised you need a breast lift and do not want one, it is better to have no surgery at all rather than the wrong surgery.

MINKST 3D simulation and pre surgery consultation with your surgeon

Start your journey with a chat to our friendly team who will walk you through our 3D imagery simulation to determine whether or not you may require a Breast Lift (all FREE).

Once we have a better understanding of what you want to achieve, we will arrange a consultation with one of our fully qualified Surgeons. Your MINKST surgeon will listen to what you want to achieve and develop with you a personalised operation plan best suited to your breasts and your expectations.