Breast implants vs. breast uplift

Written by: Mr Navid Jallali
Published: | Updated: 07/02/2019
Edited by: Cal Murphy

Breast enhancement surgery is the UK’s most popular aesthetic surgical procedure with over 13,000 operations carried out per year. Breast enhancement surgery can come in the form of implants, breast uplift (mastopexy) or a combination of both (augmentation mastopexy), but which of these is best for you? Expert consultant plastic surgeon Mr Navid Jallali MD FRCS (Plast) is here with some information and advice about these procedures.

People opt for breast surgery for a number of reasons, such as being unhappy with the size or shape of their breasts, asymmetry, drooping (ptosis), or downward-pointing nipples. If you are one of the growing number of women thinking about breast surgery, you may have heard of or even be considering one of two procedures: breast implants or a breast uplift. Which of these is the best option? The answer depends on each individual patient, their unique body shape, and what the results they want to achieve.

Here are some of the key differences between the procedures and the results they can create:


Breast implants

The main purpose of breast implants is to increase (augment) the volume of the breast. Silicone or saline (rare in the UK) breast implants are inserted into the breast via a small incision to create fuller-looking breasts and increase the cup size. They may be implanted beneath (dual plane augmentation) or over the chest muscle (subglandular augmentation).

Your surgeon will discuss options with you to decide on the best size and shape of the implant and also where to make the incision i.e. under the fold of the breast, in the armpit or around the nipple.

Implants might be the best option if:

  • You feel your breasts are too small
  • Your breasts are different sizes
  • Your breasts are starting to sag a little

The advantage of implants is that the surgeon is able to customise the appearance of your breasts according to your requirements due to the various types and sizes available. Also there is minimal scarring associated with implants.


Breast uplift

Breast uplift aims to lift sagging or drooping (ptotic) breasts, restoring a more youthful appearance. The two main reasons for ptotic breasts are weight loss and post pregnancy changes. Some young patients will also experience ptosis as their skin quality is not sufficient to deal with the weight of the breasts. In all cases ptotic breasts are distressful as they cause aesthetic and functional (difficulty with bra) problems.

Breast uplift surgery could be the solution for:

  • Sagging/drooping breasts
  • Nipples pointing downwards
  • Breast asymmetry
  • Signs of ageing and wanting to return to a more youthful profile
  • Wanting to reduce the overall size of the breast or to reduce the size of the areola


Which should I choose?

As a rough guide, breast implants are likely to be the best way to enhance the volume of your breasts, while a breast uplift procedure may be the better option for undesirable sagging or shape. Sometimes a combination of the two may be the best way to achieve the desired result.

Of course, every person is different and needs a treatment tailored to them. It is imperative to consider all the options carefully, making sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages and exactly what the procedure entails.


Mr Jallali, MD FRCS (Plast) offers friendly, no-obligation consultations to guide you through your journey and to ensure that you achieve the best possible result.

By Mr Navid Jallali
Plastic surgery

Mr Navid Jallali is a highly respected plastic surgeon who has been practising for over 20 years, specialising in breast augmentation and reduction, facelifts, rhinoplasty and tummy tucks. He is based in London, attending to patients at The London Welbeck Hospital. He is a consultant cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon and former head of plastic surgery for Imperial College London NHS trust.

He graduated, with honors, from the University of Bristol and was awarded an MD for his groundbreaking research on tissue engineering. He has received Imperial College London's prestigious Suple prize for both Surgery and medicine.  

Mr Javali is one ok the UK's most experienced microsurgery specialists, favouring this method for the reconstruction of the head, neck and breasts. He is also a reputable surgical tutor and has trained numerous surgeons who have gone on to become consultants in the UK, Sweden, Greece and Holland.

Dedicated to his profession, he and his team have served hundreds of patients with the utmost of care. He is also a well-published research author, a member of the Royal Society of Medicine, has won numerous awards, and has even appeared on and advised for television productions. He can be found in both his private clinic and NHS practice.

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