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Breast Lift vs. Breast Implants Comparison Guide for Best Choice

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Making a decision between a breast lift and breast implants is a choice many women consider when looking to enhance their breast shape and appearance.

A breast lift, medically known as mastopexy, addresses sagging and loss of shape by removing excess skin and reshaping the tissue. This procedure is suitable for those who are satisfied with their breast size but want to correct drooping or achieve a firmer, more lifted contour.

On the other hand, breast augmentation involves inserting implants, either saline or silicone, to increase the breast volume and alter the shape of the breasts. It caters to those who wish to enhance the volume of their breasts. The choice between a lift and implants depends on the desired outcome and the unique factors of an individual’s body, such as skin elasticity, breast tissue, and body proportions.

Key Takeaways of Breast Lift vs. Breast Implants Comparison Guide for Best Choice

  • A breast lift reshapes and repositions the breasts without altering their size.
  • Breast implants add volume and can change breast shape using saline or silicone materials.
  • Personal aesthetic goals determine the choice between a breast lift and/or breast implants.

Understanding Breast Lift Surgery

Breast lifts, medically known as mastopexy, are cosmetic procedures aimed at raising and reshaping sagging breasts. They address the concerns of breast ptosis, where the natural support of the breast tissue has diminished.

Image Credit: Deagreez / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Exploring the Mastopexy Procedure

The mastopexy procedure can vary greatly depending on the degree of lift required. Typically, the procedure involves three key steps:

  1. Breast lift incisions are commonly made around the areola, down the breast, and sometimes along the inframammary fold.
  2. Excess skin is removed, and the nipple and areola are repositioned to a higher, more youthful location.
  3. The remaining breast tissue is reshaped, and the incisions are closed, resulting in an elevated breast contour.

The goal of a breast lift is to create firmer, perkier breasts by correcting sagging and improving the overall breast shape. It’s important to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to understand the specific details of the procedural steps that are most relevant for each individual’s anatomy and desired outcome.

Discovering Breast Implants

When considering breast augmentation, it’s essential to understand the types of implants available, as well as how to select the appropriate size and shape. The surgical approach for implant placement is also a key factor in achieving the desired outcome.

Saline vs Silicone Implants

Saline implants consist of a silicone shell filled with sterile salt water. They are inserted empty and filled after placement, which can allow for a smaller incision. One of the advantages of saline is that in case of a leak, the saline can be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body.

On the other hand, silicone implants are pre-filled with a cohesive gel that mimics the feel of natural breast tissue. They are often chosen for their natural feel and have a lower chance of rippling compared to saline.

Determining Implant Size and Shape

Selecting the right implant size is crucial for patient satisfaction. It involves considering body frame, volume desired, and overall aesthetic goals.

Implant shape also affects the final look, implants can be round, which generally provide more fullness at the top of the breasts, or they can be teardrop-shaped, which offer a more natural slope. A consultation with a plastic surgeon is necessary to evaluate factors such as chest width and existing breast tissue to determine the optimal size and shape.

Incision Techniques for Implant Placement

The incision made for inserting breast implants significantly affects scar visibility and healing. Three common incision techniques include:

  • Inframammary: Incision under the fold of the breast. It’s well-concealed but provides easy access for surgeons.
  • Periareolar: Incision around the nipple. It is less visible but associated with a potential impact on breastfeeding.
  • Transaxillary: Incision within the armpit. It avoids scars on the breast but offers less precision in placement compared to the inframammary approach.

During a breast augmentation procedure, implants can be placed either beneath the chest muscle (submuscular) or directly behind the breast tissue, over the muscle (subglandular), depending on the patient’s anatomy and preferences.

Choosing a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

It’s essential for patients to seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon. Certification signifies that plastic surgeons have completed specialized training and adheres to rigorous standards of practice.

During the selection process, patients should verify the surgeon’s credentials and experience with breast surgeries.

Image Credit: Kay4yk / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Comparing Breast Lift vs Breast Implant Surgery

When considering a breast enhancement procedure, individuals must decide whether a breast lift or implants will best achieve their aesthetic goals. Each procedure offers a distinct outcome that targets different concerns regarding breast shape and fullness.

Analyzing Aesthetic Goals

For those aiming for fuller breasts, breast implants add volume and can change the overall size.

If an individual’s goal is to correct sagging or to restore a youthful, lifted appearance without necessarily increasing size, a breast lift might be the appropriate option. A breast lift repositions the existing breast tissue, removes excess skin, and tightens the surrounding tissue. This procedure enhances the natural contour of the breasts and can boost the person’s confidence, as the final result is a more youthful and firmer appearance.

Combination of Breast Lift and Implants Plastic Surgery

In some cases, a combination of a breast lift and implants is recommended to achieve the desired aesthetic goals. This approach addresses both the position and fullness in one procedure. It can dramatically reshape the breasts to a more aesthetically pleasing position while also adding volume.

The combination of a breast lift with implants caters to the desire for both an augmentation in size and a correction in the sagging of the breasts, leading to a restoration of a youthful silhouette and an improvement in overall confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Lift vs. Breast Implants Comparison Guide for Best Choice

1. What Are The Cost Differences Between a Breast Lift and Breast Implants?

The cost of a breast lift versus breast implants can vary significantly based on geographic location, surgeon expertise, and specific patient needs. Typically, breast lifts might be less expensive than implants as they don’t require the additional cost of the implant device itself.

2. What to Expect in Terms of Recovery When Choosing Between a Breast Lift and Breast Implants?

Recovery from a breast lift is often similar to that of breast implants, with most patients taking time to rest and avoiding strenuous activity. Recovery timelines and specifics, including pain, swelling, and care of the incision site, will depend on the individual procedure and patient.

3. What Types of Scars Should I Expect Following a Breast Lift Procedure?

The type of scars following a breast lift can include a circular scar around the areola, a vertical scar from the areola to the breast crease, and a horizontal scar along the breast crease, often referred to as an anchor scar. The exact pattern depends on the technique used and the extent of the lift.

Image Credit: Zinkevych / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Conclusion and Summary of Breast Lift vs. Breast Implants Comparison Guide for Best Choice

The journey between choosing a breast lift and breast implants is a deeply personal one, with each procedure offering distinct benefits tailored to individual needs and aesthetic desires. For women seeking to restore a youthful contour and address sagging without altering size, a breast lift offers a redefined, firmer silhouette. Conversely, breast augmentation focuses to enhance volume and achieve a fuller breast profile, with options in implants material and shape to customize the result.

Both procedures have the potential to significantly boost confidence and satisfaction, with the added advantage of a combination approach for those looking to address both lift and volume simultaneously. A thorough consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is essential to navigate any considerations and to ensure that the chosen procedure aligns with the patient’s expectations and body factors.

Ultimately, whether opting for a breast lift, implants, or a combination of both, patients can look forward to an improved breast appearance and the psychological benefits that often accompany such positive changes. With advancements in surgical techniques and a focus on individualized patient care, women have the opportunity to achieve their desired breast aesthetics safely and effectively, contributing to an enhanced overall quality of life.

Please note that this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Before making any changes to your treatments, please consult with your healthcare provider to discuss the appropriateness and safety of such changes.

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About the Author

Dr. Brandon Richland, MD is a respected Board Certified Licensed Plastic Surgeon in Orange County / Southern California specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries.

Driven by his passion for medicine, Dr. Richland obtained his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the prestigious program at Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine in 2013. His exceptional skills were recognized when he received the McGraw Hill / Lange Medical Student Academic Achievement Award, and graduated top of his class with Honors. For his undergraduate degree, he attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated with Honors in 2009.

To further enhance his surgical expertise, Dr. Richland completed his Residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) from 2013 to 2019 earning the Academic Achievement Award twice during this period. A total of 14 years in dedicated schooling and medical residency.

Dr. Richland is actively involved with healthcare and medical societies, as a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Contact Dr. Richland today by visiting RichlandMD.com, scheduling a cosmetic consultation, or by calling 714-241-0646 or 949-945-0025 directly.