Breast augmentation is a procedure to increase cup size or restore breast size by utilizing breast implants or fat transfer. Breast lift is a procedure that lifts the breast tissue and areola to improve contour and correct sagging breasts and nipples, reduced volume of breasts, or widened areolas. This article compares the benefits of breast augmentation vs. a breast lift.
At Gabbay Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, we understand that a woman can have a variety of personal reasons to undergo breast surgery. In every case, we are committed to helping you attain your individual goals.
Why Have Breast Surgery?
There are many reasons to choose breast surgery, and all of them are valid. Let’s take a look at a few:
- Correct the sagging of your breasts
- Have your clothes fit better
- Increase the projection and fullness of your breasts
- Restore the breast volume you have lost after pregnancy or weight loss
- Refine your contour and silhouette
- Rectify the balance and proportion of your figure
- Improve the symmetry between your breasts
- Enhance your self-esteem and confidence
We understand that the barrage of information regarding breast surgery can be confusing. It can make choosing the right procedure feel overwhelming. We offer one-on-one consultations to answer all your questions. During your meeting, we can determine your candidacy and help you make an informed choice about your body and health.
Many prospective patients are often confused about what the best procedure is for them. Should they get a breast augmentation? Or maybe a breast lift would provide the best results? Or a combination of the two?
Breast Augmentation vs. Breast Lift: What’s Best For Me?
According to The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, more than 285,000 women had augmentation mammaplasty performed in 2014. This includes procedures such as breast augmentation, breast implants, or breast enlargement. Breast augmentation maintains its #2 rank in the top 5 cosmetic surgical procedures in the US. However, breast lift procedures have grown rapidly at a rate of 70% since 2000.
Advantages of breast augmentation:
- Proven track record with high satisfaction rates.
- A long-term solution to improve your figure.
- Scarring is inconspicuous.
- Disadvantages of breast augmentation:
- Implants require regular monitoring and may eventually need replacing.
- There are minor surgical risks associated with the procedure.
Advantages of breast lifts:
- Improved shape, projection, and symmetry of your breasts
- A perkier contour with a better fit of clothes and improved confidence.
- Scars are hidden beneath the breasts, with only light scarring visible on top of the breasts.
- Results can last for decades if weight remains stable.
- Disadvantages of breast lifts:
- The effects of the procedure may gradually diminish over time.
- The procedure leaves scars that may be hidden in a bra or swimsuit, but may be visible without clothes.
- Subsequent pregnancies may stretch your breasts or reduce their volume, changing the results.
- Large and heavy breasts can be lifted, but may also need a small breast reduction.
WHICH IS THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR ME?
The technique you choose will depend on two factors. First, the specific features of your breasts. Second, the outcome you hope to achieve.
Breast Augmentation Criteria
- You feel your breasts are too small for your body.
- You feel self-conscious wearing swimsuits or low-cut tops.
- Clothes fit well at your hips but hang loosely at the bust line.
- You’ve lost breast volume after childbirth or weight loss.
- One of your breasts is significantly smaller than the other.
If you match these, then breast augmentation may be the right choice for you.
Breast Lift Criteria
- Your breasts have sagged and drooped for various reasons.
- The area surrounding the nipple and areola has become stretched.
- Your breasts are pendulous and lacking in firmness.
- Your breasts appear different from one another.
- The nipples and areola point downward and are positioned below the breast crease.
If these match your concerns, then a breast lift procedure may be the right choice for you.
Breast augmentation alone is appropriate when:
- Your drooping is mild.
- Your nipples/areolas are in the center of the breasts and do not point downward.
- There is visible skin below your nipples/areolas when looking straight at the breasts.
- You would like larger breasts.
A breast lift alone is appropriate when:
- Your drooping is moderate to severe.
- Your nipples area is at the bottom of the breasts and points downward.
- There is no visible skin below your nipples area when looking straight at the breasts.
- You would like to reduce the size of your areolas.
- You are happy with the volume of your breasts and do not want them to be larger.
A paired breast augmentation and breast lift may also be appropriate.
Based on his evaluation of your anatomy and aesthetic goals, Dr. Gabbay may recommend one or both of the procedures. He will develop a plan for the best results and a comprehensive rejuvenation.
In general, if you are in good health and have realistic expectations, you are likely a good candidate for breast augmentation, breast lift, or a combination of the two.
Breast Augmentation vs. Breast Lift: HOW ARE THEY PERFORMED?
A Breast Augmentation
Dr. Gabbay will create a pocket to place the implant. This is done using an access point underneath the breast or through the areola. The implant may be placed under or over the muscle. The implant can have silicone or saline inside.
An alternative to implants is augmentation with fat transfer. In this case, fat is removed by liposuction from your tummy, thighs, or flanks. It is then processed and then injected into your breasts.
A Breast Lift
First, Dr. Gabbay will determine the location of the incisions. He then selects the appropriate technique based on the size, shape, and unique traits of your breasts. The procedure involves several steps:
- Removal of excess skin
- Reduction in size and shifting of the nipple and areola to a higher position
- Reshaping of the breast
- Tightening of the loose breast skin
- Placement of supporting sutures
Some of these incisions are concealed in your natural breast contours, while others are visible.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AT MY INITIAL CONSULTATION?
Successful results depend on good communication with your surgeon. Dr. Gabbay will give you the opportunity to discuss your aesthetic goals. You can lay out all your expectations for the size and shape of your breasts.
He will then perform an evaluation to assess your candidacy. This allows him to recommend breast augmentation, breast lift, or a combination of the two. Dr. Gabbay will take measurements and a 3D scan of your breasts to assess key traits such as:
- Size and shape
- Quantity of breast tissue
- Quality of your skin
- Position of your nipples and areolas
Using the 3D imaging will allow Dr. Gabbay to show you how you can expect your breasts to look after your operation.
Dr. Gabbay’s consultation will include a discussion of your complete medical history including:
- Previous surgeries
- Breast biopsies
- Past and continuing medical conditions
- Current medications
- Family history of breast cancer
- Mammography results
Dr. Gabbay will complete a comprehensive evaluation and then make recommendations. He will provide information about the type of procedure, anticipated outcomes, options of anesthesia, preparation for the surgery, and followup care.
His office staff will also discuss the financial aspects of the procedure and show you before and after photographs to help you make an appropriate choice between a breast augmentation vs. breast lift.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
Both breast augmentation and breast lift procedures are usually performed on an outpatient basis. You will be given detailed preoperative instructions and the estimated length of your surgery. Dr. Gabbay will answer any questions you may have.
A mammogram may be necessary to document your breast tissue before and a few months after surgery. On your end, there are several steps to prepare for your procedure.
- Stop smoking at least six weeks before surgery
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Maintain excellent hydration
- Avoid taking aspirin and other drugs and supplements that can result in increased bleeding
Under normal circumstances, you can go home after a short period of observation following the surgery. Dr. Gabbay will provide you with detailed information afterward. These include:
- Instructions about postsurgical care of wounds and drains
- Expected normal symptoms
- Potential signs of complications that you should be aware of
Breast Augmentation vs. Breast Lift: Final Verdict
In the end, it is up to you and your goals. But, Dr. Gabbay’s extensive experience with breast augmentation vs. breast lift surgeries will help you make an informed choice. Whether you decide on breast augmentation vs. breast lift as the right choice for you, Dr. Gabbay and his staff devote themselves to restoring your confidence and enhancing your appearance.