Contrary to the popular opinion, a breast lift vs breast augmentation dilemma holds some real weight. Many women try to determine what course of action to take in order to regain a youthful-looking chest – through a breast lift or breast augmentation?

In this matter, various factors come into play, including your nipple position, the breast volume and the overall breast size you would like to achieve. These specific goals that can differ from patient to patient should act as a pointer that will steer you in the right direction when trying to make this decision. 

Having in mind that a woman’s body goes through multiple changes during lifetime, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding, a question “do I need a breast lift with my implants” is perfectly on point – and in this blog post we will try and answer it for you.

Breast lift vs breast implants procedures difference and basics 

First let’s do some groundwork – when it comes to breast lift versus implants we are talking about two very different procedures, that do very different things. 

Breast sagging, for instance, is very common in women who have breast fed and due to it, lost volume. Women who have a grade II or III breast sagging benefit the most from having mastopexy, or a breast lift, since putting implants alone in such breasts doesn’t end up with a satisfying aesthetic result. 

When does lift vs implants battle goes in favor of breast lift?

Women with sagging breasts can opt for breast implants instead of a lift, in order to cut costs and avoid scars, but you must know that this is not an ideal solution. 

A mastopexy, or a breast lift is ideal because it results with perky, non-saggy breasts, but it has its’ downsides. This procedure is more extensive, meaning it takes longer to perform and leaves additional scars, such as the margin of the areola, and that is at a minimum. 

Additional incisions may leave a vertical scar from the areola to the crease under the breast, and the scar along the crease itself – but, note that the result itself is often worth the scarring, being that lifted breast are more compact and youthful. 

When does implants vs lift battle goes in favor of breast augmentation?

In case you determine that your breasts just need volume, then breast implants will do just beautifully. Breast augmentation is done in cases you want to compensate volume, which is when you need to take various factors in consideration. 


  • Implant placement and incisions – there are three most common incision types: inframammary (under the fold), trans-axillary (in the armpit) and periareolar (around the nipple), each coming with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages.
  • Implants shape and size – when determining your implant shape and size, you have multiple options, but you still need to take factors such as your chest wall shape, body form and your lifestyle into consideration, because you don’t want to end up with a look overwhelmed with your breasts.
  • Types of implants – fairly common silicone vs saline types of implants depend on your preference, desired results and your body type. Silicone implants tend to be more expensive, and require a more extensive surgical procedure, while saline have a more realistic feel, and are a great choice for patients with a very small amount of natural breast tissue. 


In which cases breast lift versus breast implants goes in favor of both?

In some cases, patients require both procedures done, both because of sagging and volume loss. In these cases, it is often recommended to do a lift first, followed by breast augmentation 3 or more months later. 

Most surgeon believe it’s much safer to do a lift first, since these procedures work counter to each other. 


Well, the mastopexy or a breast lift is tightening the breasts and making them more compact, while the augmentation expands the breasts and make them bigger. Having in mind that each of these procedures raises the risk of complications from the other, some compromise is inevitable. 

This compromise usually means that one of these procedures will have to be underdone in order to avoid any postoperative complications, not to mention that the costs and the recovery time are not worth the risk of doing them at the same time, which is why it is much safer and better to do them in separate stages. 

Breast lift vs augmentation – which is better? 

Each of these procedures comes with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Breast augmentation focuses more on the size and shape, and it will not correct sagging, while a breast lift focuses on the breast position and will not affect size.

Often these procedures are done in a conjunction – breast lift with an augmentation results in breasts restored to a more youthful position, with a volume increase, while breast augmentation done in conjunction with a lift results in an upper breast fullness with repositioning sagging breasts and nipple areas. 

Breast lift vs implants – decision making process

As with any decision making process, you mustn’t rush this one either. It goes without saying that everything begins with a consultation with your board-certified surgeon. 

Why is this mandatory?

Most patients aren’t that well informed about the factors that determine should they proceed with breast lift or breast augmentation, which is they need an experienced surgeon on their team to walk them through the pros and cons, and help them decide what it is they want to achieve. 

Your consultation should be extensive, patient-centered evaluation, where your surgeon will answer all your questions regarding both procedures, learn all about your medical history and find out what your desired results will be. After the verbal evaluation, your surgeon will estimate the “physical” factors such as breast shape, size and nipple position and together with you, determine what is the right procedure. 

Breast lift vs breast augmentation – the bottom line

When it comes to concluding the breast lift vs breast augmentation dilemma – as you have seen, you have multiple possibilities. 

The patients who would want to combine these procedures are usually those who need just a little lift and/or a small implant. This is why it is very important to understand your desires in the first place and manage your expectations, so you can accomplish your goals. 

When it comes to risks and complications, they are as seen in most surgeries – infection, scars, healing issues, anesthesia related problems and unintended injury. 

As you are probably very well aware, making the decision to alter your breasts in any way, shape or form is extremely personal, consulting with our Dr. Ress at liv Plastic is the first step towards fulfilment of your goals. Contact us and rest assured you will end up with the best possible outcome.

Dr. Andrew Ress, M.D.

Dr. Andrew M. Ress, a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 25 years of experience, practices in Boca Raton, Florida. As the founder of [liv]® Plastic Surgery, he specializes in facial plastic surgery and body contouring. Dr. Ress is also a pioneer in skin health, introducing the [liv]® AI SkinScreen, an advanced AI-powered tool for proactive skin cancer screening. Educated at Cornell University and the University of Miami, with residencies at the Mayo Clinic and Indiana University, Dr. Ress is committed to excellence and innovation. Recognized as one of Boca Raton’s Best Cosmetic Surgeons, he is dedicated to patient-centric care and cutting-edge technology.