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Breast Lift or Implants?

As breast surgery specialists, our plastic surgeons see many women who want to enhance the appearance of their breasts, but aren’t sure what procedure they need. How can you determine at home if you need a breast lift, implants, or both? Here are some pointers from our Denver practice.

A Starting Point

If you’re considering breast enhancement, your answers to the following questions can give you an idea of which procedure you need:

  • Have you had children and/or lost a lot of weight?
  • What cup size are you now?

If the first answer is “yes” and the second is “larger than a small B cup”, usually a breast lift is necessary; but, this is not a reliable way to know for sure. This blog post provides more information about combining the breast lift procedure with implants.

Do Your Breasts Hang Below the Crease?

If your breasts hang below the breast crease (inframammary fold), you need a lift. But often women aren’t sure. Deflated breasts that have collapsed or empty upper poles do not require a lift; they can be filled out with implant placement alone. The most reliable means to determine if you need a breast lift is to look at your breasts in the mirror with your body angled at 45 degrees so you get an oblique view. Then look at the breast that is farther away and see if it hangs over the crease. Alternatively, you can take a picture of your breasts on an oblique view and evaluate the picture for the same overhang. You can also take this picture, sit in front of the computer and peruse the web to identify the procedure of choice for women with a similar breast position. Looking through our online photo gallery of breast lift patients can be helpful.

Is the Lower Portion of Your Breasts Rounded?

If the lower poles of your breasts are no longer round, but rather oval, pointy, or boxy shaped, a lift is essential. A lift serves the purpose of improving lower pole contour – the hallmark of attractive, youthful breasts. A breast implant does not improve shape, but serves 2 other purposes:

  • Filling out the upper breasts
  • Increasing overall size

Which Is Right for You?

If your breasts sag, the lift is critical while the implant is optional depending upon your goals. If there is no sagging, but merely deflation, an implant alone will do the trick. If you’re still not sure, contact our experienced plastic surgeons using our online form or by calling (303) 278-2600. They’d be happy to talk through your options with you.

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