When it comes to breast surgery, many people want the best of both worlds: a natural-looking result and good volume. Breast lift surgery is often used in combination with breast implants or fat grafting for this reason. However, not all patients are candidates for implants due to factors such as medical history, age, or body type. 

In these cases, can a patient still achieve an improved bust line without the use of breast implants? This blog post will explore whether or not there are options other than implants that may be suitable for some women who cannot have them.

What is a breast lift without implants?

A breast lift without implants is a surgical procedure that tightens sagging skin and tissue on the chest in order to create an uplifted, more youthful appearance. The most common options for lifting are periareolar or anchor shaped incisions around the edge of each nipple. This results in scars that can be covered by nipples when they are raised. 

Incisions are also made along the breast crease in addition to one or two small cuts at the bottom of each scar, which extend outward. The excess tissue and skin are cut away resulting in a tighter look with lifted nipples. To know more about breast lift vs implants check this article.

Benefits of Breast Lift Without Implants

Breast lifts without implants can be an excellent choice for women who want to tighten their breasts and raise them, but don’t want or cannot have breast implants. Not only do these patients benefit from a faster recovery time than if they had implant surgery in addition to the procedure they need, but it also means fewer risks are involved.

The main risk of implants is capsular contracture, which can be hard to treat. Capsular contracture occurs when scar tissue builds up around the implant and squeezes it tightly, giving off an unnatural feel and look.

Breast lift without implants comes with its own set of risks – namely bleeding and infection – but these are much lower than those associated with implant surgeries.

Risks and Side Effects of Breast Lift Without Implants

There are several possible risks and side effects associated with breast lift surgery, which is why it’s important to consult a board-certified plastic surgeon prior to scheduling your procedure. These include:

  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs
  • Infection at the incision sites
  • Scarring that can be treated through laser treatments months after surgery
  • Numbness of the nipples and breasts that may persist for several months or longer after surgery

What About Recovery?

The recovery time before you can return to normal physical activity varies depending on what type of procedure your surgeon performs, but in general, it takes about six weeks. You will be able to immediately resume light activities such as walking and driving, but strenuous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for several weeks.

You may also need to wear a surgical bra for six weeks or more following your surgery in order to support the healing process as it continues. Your doctor will provide specific instructions regarding how long you’ll need to use this garment after surgery, along with what types of activities you can do while wearing it.


The main goal of a breast lift without implants is to raise the nipple-areola complex, giving it a more youthful appearance. Most surgeons will recommend waiting at least three months before considering other procedures so that your breasts have ample time to heal and settle into their new shape.

If you’ve considered getting an implant in addition to your surgery but were hesitant because of concerns about safety and recovery, you may find that a lift without implants is an excellent option.

Dr. Jim Brantner M.D. offers advanced plastic surgery procedures at his clinic state of the art facility. Contact us for a consultation today.