Breast Augmentation vs Breast Lift – Patient Consultation


Breast Augmentation vs Breast Lift – A Consultation for deflated breast

Breast Ptosis (Sagging, Drooping Breasts) & Deflation in the upper pole

Are your breasts a bit on the underwhelming side after having children?  Is most of your breast tissue sitting towards the bottom of your breasts? Do your nipples point a bit south – or fully towards the floor?  If you are curious as to whether you will benefit most from a Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation – or combination (the ‘Mastopexy-Augmentation Procedure using Implants‘), this blog may be helpful to know what to expect during your Breast Augmentation vs Breast Lift Consultation.

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First, a bit about the Breast Condition known as Ptosis

  • A sagging breast is technically called a “ptotic breast.”
  • The condition of drooping breasts is also known as “breast ptosis.”

Pronounced toe-sis, ptosis is usually spoken with the emphasis on the first syllable.

  • Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon may use that term when discussing a breast augmentation or breast lift surgery – or even a breast reduction procedure.  But you can call it “breast sag” or “breast droop” rather than the medical term.
  • Ptosis can typically be addressed via different surgical means.
  • One method to resolve ptotic breast conditions involves a lift of the breast tissues and nipples; the other method uses just an implant.
  • A third option is a combined breast lift/nipple lift with additional volume achieved through the insertion of a breast prosthesis after or during a breast lift surgery (e.g., filling the upper pole and breast tissues with a breast implant as well as lifting the nipples).

Are you looking into Breast Augmentation Vs a Breast Lift with Implants or Fat Transfer options? Will fat transfer methods using liposuction help re-inflate a sagging breast area?

Sadly, no.  If you have a noticeable degree of breast sagging, fat transfer breast augmentation methods are unlikely to help (those are mostly good for minor augmentations where the skin is firm).

But if you have a bit of natural volume left, and a bit of droop, called the empty breast syndrome – then you are usually going to toy between two key surgical correction options:

  • Mastopexy Surgery (A Breast Lift on its own), where breast tissues are rearranged and the nipple is repositioned so your breasts sit higher and more firmly on your chest wall once again; OR
  • A Breast Augmentation (using Breast Implants) to fill out the empty-looking breast tissues left after weight loss or post-pregnancy.

But there’s a third surgical option to remedy a sagging breast.

That’s a Breast Lift combined with a Breast Augmentation in one procedure.

Some surgeons prefer to do these in separate procedures, as the results of one can further inform the surgical planning of the second surgery. But each Surgeon has a unique approach and patients may have their own preferences for combined or separate.  Combined Mummy Makeover procedures are not uncommon, at all, but may be best done sequentially as well as in one session, depending on the patient’s needs and Surgeon’s preferences.

How do you know which breast surgery – a Breast Augmentation Vs Breast Lift with implants – is best for your physique?


Many women hope to sort out the problem of empty-looking breasts with an implant and not a breast lift (there are smaller incision lines and they are under the breast in the breast crease for most breast augmentation procedures.) Whereas a Breast Lift has visible incision lines; although they do fade nicely for most patients who heal well.

Ways to tell if a Breast Implant alone will reduce the sagging and restore a higher nipple location.

There are a few ways to tell if nipple elevation can be achieved through an augmentation alone. These include the pencil test and ‘arms overhead’ test.

Pencil test for Breast Augmentation Vs Breast Lift assessment (not a guaranteed measure, yet can give you an idea):

  • You can do the simple ‘Pencil Test’ at home by carefully placing a pencil longways in the breast crease area, then taking your hand away.
  • If the pencil falls out, you likely don’t need a Breast Lift.
  • If the pencil stays in place, it’s an indication you MAY benefit more from – or even need – a Breast Lift.

Of course, you will need to confirm this with a visit to your Surgeon for a detailed assessment and proper measurements. The Surgeon will also discuss your personal IDEALS for breast volume, cleavage and other proportions that you desire to attain through breast surgery.

Arms overhead: you can also take a look at where your breasts naturally end up when you raise your arms above your head. This essentially elevates the nipples for women who may be able to attain the results they want with a breast augmentation procedure alone, rather than a lift or a combined Masto-Augmentation procedure).

Find out what’s best for you in terms of Breast Lift vs Breast Augmentation or Both

We suggest having your breast ptosis assessed during a consultation with a FRACS qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon.

These Surgeons have decades of expertise in corrective breast surgery and cosmetic surgery and can help provide the answers that you are searching for.

Sometimes, however, breast sagging and skin laxity is considered borderline. The nipples and breast could be elevated and volume restored with either of those surgery options.

This actually happens for a lot of women considering breast augmentation using breast implants.

They are unsure if they should go with getting breast implants, or just a breast lift (keeping about the same volume), or both.

At the end of the day, your Breast Lift/Breast Augmentation Specialist Surgeon will have a good idea as to what can help you get the results you’re wanting. But it is also an individual decision you’ll need to make.

You’ll be the one deciding between Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation or Masto-Augmentation Surgery options when it’s a borderline call as to which surgical approach will get you the best result – and for how long.

what to expect during a breast lift vs breast augmentation consultation with a plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon
  • For many women with a sagging breast scenario, the decision often rests on breast volume satisfaction
  • Accounting for skin laxity vs firmness, are you happy how your breast cleavage looks in a push-up bra?

There’s also a question of whether you are willing to undergo a later replacement (or removal and replacement of your implants) at a later stage. That’s because breast implants CAN be long-lasting, but they aren’t intended to last forever.  Most manufacturers claim the life expectancy of a breast implant is roughly 10 years (sometimes less, sometimes more for some patients, but there are never any guarantees). Some suppliers guarantee help with replacement implants if you have a problem with them before their intended life span; others’ don’t – but Surgeon Fees and surgery costs usually apply to each individual operation.

  • So ask yourself: do you use CUP FILLERS as well as wearing a push-up bra?
  • Have you always longed for more breast volume and curvier cleavage than you ever had naturally?
  • Do you recognise that breast surgery that involves implants, now, might mean your breasts may sag more again over time and repeat surgery will be required at some later stage?

Or do you want both – restored, higher nipples and bigger breasts for more noticeable cleavage and upper body curves?

Many breast surgery patients are told and fully understand that future surgery may be required; even though some patients forget this is in their consent forms.  Read them all thoroughly to remind yourself what to expect over the longer term, as you enjoy your newly found cleavage and breast volume after augmentation!

So you want to go ahead with finding out what will restore your breasts to a fuller, curvier cleavage look.

What happens during a Breast Surgery Consultation for a Breast Augmentation and/or a Breast Lift Surgery?

So you’ve completed your family and your breasts are a little – well – seemingly deflated looking.  Your nipples may even point more southwards than towards the front.  It’s not uncommon for post-pregnancy breasts to sag or droop and look a bit like empty socks, as some women have described them. Even if you didn’t have children and never breastfed, your breasts will eventually droop and sag.  If the volume of your breasts is heavy and large, you might even experience back pain, neck pain or shoulder pain. If this is you, read about Breast Reduction surgery. But if you’re simply finding your breasts and nipples – well – aren’t quite where they used to be (or where you’d LIKE them to be), then you might have two alternative solutions to fill them out again.

The Deflated Breast Consultation Process

  • Speak with a Patient Liaison, Practice Nurse or Patient Coordinator for the Specialist Plastic Surgeon of your choice (or ask us who can help).
  • Book a consultation appointment by choosing a practice location, available date and paying the $200-300 deposit/fee to hold that consultation time.
  • Fill in your reservation paperwork online and submit (or print it out, fill it in ahead of time and bring it with you)
  • Read the preliminary information provided by the booking team or your Surgeon’s nurse.
  • Ask any questions you have before your appointment during your pre-consultation call.
  • Attend the Clinic on your appointment day.
  • Enjoy a coffee and chocolate hearts as you wait in the friendly, boutique-style waiting area.
  • Meet the Surgery Nurse and/or the Plastic Surgeon (usually both).
  • Discuss your concerns.
  • Get your BEFORE photos taken (wear something that is easy to change into and out of for your photographs).
  • You will likely also be measured, as the width of the rib cage and height and width of the chest area has an impact on what your surgery results will be.
  • Hear your Surgeon’s recommendations for what might be best for what you’re wanting to achieve.
  • Your Surgeon may do some advanced measurements and calculations to plan surgery options on paper and/or on the computer screen.



Here’s where it gets tricky for some women with upper pole emptiness (sagging breast skin), but adequate breast volume that would lead to a good Breast Lift Surgery result even without an Augmentation using a Breast Implant.

The sometimes difficult question to answer is usually this: Get a breast lift and stay the same size, roughly speaking – but far perkier? OR get a Breast Augmentation using implants, to increase the size and reduce incision line visibility, and hope the insertion of the implant lifts the nipples enough and fills out the breast skin (breast envelope) to your liking, without sagging prematurely?  Or is it best to do both (the Mastopexy Augmentation or “Masto Aug”)?

There are pros and cons to each procedure pathway. Sometimes it’s not an easy decision to make.

In this case, ask the Surgeon, have a heart to heart with yourself, and trust your gut (but DO read all the relevant materials and free guides before you decide).

And know that there are usually trade-offs for women with empty upper poles or sagging breasts.  They are typically:

  1. The right size of breast implant can help.
  2. The wrong breast implant size (too large) – or an implant on its own without a lift – may NOT be the best solution if your skin it too lax (the implant may add to further sagging if the skin is ageing rapidly).
  3. The breast lift can restore the nipples and tissue to a firmer, more uplifted position but you may prefer more volume or curves than that provides.
  4. The Breast Lift Augmentation is a complex procedure but it may be the best one you can choose.
  5. If you’re not sure, our Surgery team can help you understand the pros and cons to each decision but it’ll still be up to you.

In the case above, the patient was marginal.

She would prefer an Augmentation as well as a lift.  So she went about trying on sizers (we also use the Vectra 3D machine when appropriate to help with sizing visualisation).

She will look great and balanced with either solution. So it’s up to her entirely!

Further Reading about Breast Lift or Mastopexy

Last updated: 05/05/2022
Author profile image
Dr Craig Rubinstein - MBBS, FRACS (Plast)
Dr Craig Rubinstein MBBS, FRACS (Plast), a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, is one of Australia's most respected Melbourne Surgeons for Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift (Mastopexy), Breast Reduction surgery and Abdominoplasty procedures. Using advanced surgical techniques to gain better body contouring and natural-looking surgical results, Dr Rubinstein is highly regarded by peers and patients for best-practice Clinic Patient-care and patient education strategies. He published a chapter on corrective surgery for Breast Asymmetry. Qualifications/Training Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) The Australian Medical Association (AMA) American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) Founder: Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery previously Cosmetic Surgery for Women and Men Bio Page:

Coco Ruby’s Specialist Plastic and ENT Surgeons

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic Surgeons are dedicated to best practice patient care and education, customising Breast Enlargement Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

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What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Phone 1300 264 811, Email us: or Book a FREE 15-minute Phone Chat with our Patient Liaison Manager or a Virtual Consultation with a Surgeon.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.