Will I need a Breast Lift?

Have you thought about improving the appearance of your breasts? Most people would prefer to have a Breast Augmentation as it’s a less complicated procedure with less scarring… but do you ever wonder if you may need a breast lift with your augmentation?

A common misconception out there is that breast implants will “lift” your breasts. Sometimes if one chooses an implant that has a bit more boost in it we can elevate the nipple to a high position just with the implant alone and therefore avoid having the lift. However if your nipple is sitting too low, using an implant without a lift will not always work and can sometime make the droopiness even worse.

Unfortunately the decision to do a breast augmentation by itself versus a breast augmentation with a breast lift is less based on patient preference and more dictated by the sagginess, the nipple position, and the ratio between the breast volume and the amount of excess skin that is present.

There are a few simple measurements you can do at home to give you some clarity as to which procedure you may need. All you need is a tape measure.

Measurement Instructions

* to be used as a guide only


First, you will need to locate your sternal notch. The sternal notch is a groove at the base of your neck. It lies in the middle between your two collar bones (see illustration).Place the “0” of the tape measure at the sternal notch, and then angle the tape at a diagonal in the direction of your nipple. Make note of that number. Repeat the measurement for the other breast.

Do not be alarmed if the measurements are not exactly the same. Some asymmetry of the breasts is quite normal.


How to Interpret Your Measurements

You’ve done the measurements, now what do they mean? What type of surgery may you need will depend on two factors:

– The distance between your nipples and your sternal notch.

– The location of the majority of your breast tissue in your breast – top versus bottom.

The measurements you take are not absolutes, but are to be used as a general guideline to help you assess your breasts and the amount of sagging or droopiness you may have. A consult with a plastic surgeon will determine what will be best for you.

If your sternal notch-to-nipple distances are 21 centimetres or less:
AND your breasts are not bottom heavy, you may not need a breast lift. However, if you want your breasts to be larger in size you can augment them with breast implants.

If your sternal notch to nipple distances are 21 centimetres or less:
AND you have breast ptosis/sag (meaning the majority of your breast tissue is at the bottom part of the breast), you may need a breast lift.

If your sternal notch-to-nipple distances are around 22 or 23 centimetres:
AND your nipple and areola are in the middle of your breasts (not on the bottom portion), and your breasts are not bottom-heavy, you may not need a breast lift.

If your sternal notch-to-nipple distances are around 22 or 23 centimetres:
AND your nipple points toward the floor or is centered at the bottom part of your breast, you may need a breast lift. If you desire larger breasts you can have augmentation with implants at the same time as the breast lift.

If your sternal notch-to-nipple distances are 24 centimetres or more:
You will most likely need a breast lift to achieve the look of perky breasts.

For an increase in breast size, implants can be used to augment the breasts


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