No doubt you’ve heard about breast implants. And, if you’ve ever spent a few minutes Googling them, you also probably have a pretty good idea about what the procedure entails.
A breast lift may be less clear. Breast lift and breast augmentation (implant surgery) tend to be used interchangeably when, really, they’re two distinct procedures. The augmentation gets all the attention, but breast lift surgeries are outpacing implant surgeries by two to one, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. So, clearly, there’s value in understanding the difference.
What’s a breast augmentation?
Just to make sure we’re starting on the same page, a breast augmentation refers to a breast implant surgery. They’re one in the same. It’s a cosmetic procedure where a silicone or saline implant is placed into the breast to enhance its size, shape, and volume.
Check out my earlier blog post for a more detailed description of the procedure and the differences between the two kinds of implants. But, for our purpose here, I’m going to keep this to more of a general overview. Like I said, most of us already have a pretty good running knowledge of breast augmentation.
While it remains popular among women who simply want to increase the overall size of their breasts, implants have helped with a much wider range of concerns over recent years, from correcting asymmetry and volume disparities to restoring fullness following pregnancy and significant weight loss to reconstructing a natural-looking breast following a mastectomy.
What’s a breast lift?
With a breast lift, the surgeon removes excess, stretched-out skin, reshapes the breast tissue, and raises the nipple and areola to a more forward position, creating a more youthful contour. The procedure doesn’t add volume, but it does make the breasts look firmer, perkier, and more youthful.
Women commonly have a breast lift following pregnancy and breastfeeding, or a significant weight-loss. We’re also seeing a growing number of women come forward who’ve had drooping or asymmetrical breasts since their teens. A lift can correct such an imbalance.
A breast lift is typically performed as an outpatient procedure using general anesthesia or local anesthesia and IV sedation. It takes about an hour or two. Afterward, most patients experience some soreness and swelling. They’re usually fit to return to work within a few days, as long as it isn’t too physically demanding, and to most normal activities within a week.
There’s no halting the aging process, but a breast lift (plus proper care) is capable of providing many years of perkier, more youthful breasts.
Can I have both?
Yes. In fact, it’s becoming pretty common to combine a lift with an augmentation.
Women who have had children generally benefit the most from the combined surgery because of the toll pregnancy and breastfeeding take on their bodies. Though, there’s a big upside for any woman who wants to boost the fullness and perkiness of her breasts to any degree. Talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon to learn more about how you could benefit.