Plastic Surgery Madison

What is the Difference Between a Breast Lift and Breast Augmentation

August 9th, 2016

If you desire a change or enhancement in your breasts, you have a couple of options that might suit you. The overall outcome you are looking to achieve and your specific issues with your breasts determines which option is best for you. Two common and popular breast  procedures available to you are the breast lift and breast augmentation. Below are explanations of both so you can decide which one (or both) is better suited for you.

The Difference Between a Breast Lift and Breast Augmentation

Although there are some similarities between the two, a breast lift and breast augmentation are two separate procedures.

Breast Lift

The breast lift, which is also referred to as mastopexy, lifts your breasts up by tightening your surrounding tissue and removing excess skin to support and reshape your new breast contour. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows us that there has been a 70 percent increase in breast lift procedures since 2000 and outpaces breast implants 2 to 1.

Over time, a woman’s areola can become enlarged and it can be reduced with a breast lift. You can have your figure rejuvenated and look more uplifted and youthful with this procedure.

If you are looking to change your breast size significantly or have the upper part of your breasts rounded out, breast lift surgery is probably not the right choice.  The breast lift surgery, regardless if you get breast implants or not, is more ideal when:

  • Your breasts are drooping moderately or severely.
  • Your nipple points downward or is at the bottom of your breast.
  • You have no skin visible under your nipple or areola when looking directly at your breasts.
  • You already have a C or D cup and don’t want your breasts any larger.
  • You want to reduce your areola.

There are a few incision patterns your surgeon may use. These are around your areola, around your areola and down vertically from your areola to your breast crease, or down vertically from your breast crease along your breast crease horizontally. After the incisions have been made, the surgeon lifts and reshapes your underlying breast tissue to improve the firmness and contour of your breasts. Your areola and nipples are repositioned to give you more youthful, natural height, and any extra breast skin will be removed to make up for elasticity loss.

Although a breast lift procedure can help you if your breasts are sagging, there are some things you want to consider with the procedure such as scarring. Also, your results might not be as dramatic as you hoped for.

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation surgery, also referred to as augmentation mammoplasty,  uses fat or breast implants to increase your breast size or restore the volume in your breasts that you may have lost after pregnancy or weight reduction.

Your breast augmentation surgeon places implants under your chest muscle or behind your breast tissue. These implants are filled with either silicone or sterile saline water. Breast augmentation can be done in a hospital or in an outpatient surgery clinic. You can choose between general anesthesia during your surgery which puts you asleep or you can get a local anesthesia where your breast area is numbed to block pain while you are awake.

If you are looking to increase your cup size, breast augmentation might be ideal for you. If you have severely drooping breasts, you might want to reconsider this procedure since it doesn’t correct that issue. Some benefits of this procedure include:

  • Any scarring from the procedure is typically in a hidden area
  • You can choose from a variety of implants to get your desired look
  • After the procedure, your breasts measure larger

If you have drooping breasts, having this procedure done alone will not help to reposition your nipples to give you a more natural look. In this case, you might need both augmentation and a lift.

Which Procedure is Suited for You?

Whether you choose to have a breast lift or breast augmentation is up to you, and having a consultation with Board Certified Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon in Madison Wisconsin, Clifford King, M.D.  will help you to decide.

If your breasts sag, you might wish to go with a breast lift. Keep in mind however, that you are exchanging the sagging appearance for a some scarring. If your problem is not sagging and you are only looking to increase your breast size, you might opt for a breast augmentation procedure. The implants in this procedure will give you more cleavage and increase your breast size.  Overall, you will need to work closely with your breast reconstruction surgeon to make your decision based on your personal preferences and body shape.

Reasons Your Breasts Might Change

Your breasts can change over time and lose their firmness and youthful shape. The loss of skin elasticity and other breast changes can result from things like:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Pregnancy
  • Gravity
  • Aging
  • Weight Fluctuations
  • Heredity

Why You Might Consider Breast Enhancement Surgery

When you are thinking about getting breast enhancement surgery,   you’ll want to let the surgeon know how ‘perky’ you wish to be following your surgery and if your breasts currently have any droop. Women consider breast enhancement surgery for various reasons including:

  • Smaller breast genetic disposition
  • Asymmetrical breast genetic disposition
  • Drooping or sagging breasts following breast feeding and pregnancy
  • Loss of firmness due to aging

Both breast lift and breast augmentation enhances the shape and size, corrects imbalances, improves firmness, and restores the youthful look of your breasts. The preparation and recovery times are similar for both procedures, but your results can be different.

Your choice to go with either a breast lift or breast augmentation is a personal one. You might even consider having them both done for more lift and fuller volume. You should sit down with Dr. King if you are considering both procedures to see if you should have them done together or separate. He might recommend doing the breast augmentation first and then see if you still want to do a breast lift. Either way, he will let you know if you should or should not combine the procedures as well as go over other pertinent details of each procedure to help you with your decision. This is a big decision and you will want to have all the information ahead of time.

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