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What’s the Difference Between Breast Augmentation & Breast Lift?

Should I get a breast augmentation or a breast lift? That’s the question more and more women are asking themselves. If you’re unhappy with the size or shape of your bust but don’t know which surgical procedure to get, then it’s best to speak with a certified plastic surgeon for the most accurate recommendation. Continue reading to learn what each procedure involves so you can best prepare yourself for your initial consultation.

Breast Augmentation: It’s About Size

Breast augmentation involves the insertion of implants to increase bust size and create a proportional chest contour. You’ll have a few decisions to make if you choose to go with this procedure, including the type of implant and incision placement.

Woman Holding Different Size Implants

Saline breast implants are filled with a sterile saltwater solution that is harmless if any leakage were to occur. However, silicone breast implants are far more popular as they offer a more natural look and feel. If you are between the ages of 18 and 21, silicone is not an option as it is not FDA approved for those within that particular age range.

Where you choose to have your incisions will greatly influence how your surgeon performs the operation. You essentially have three incision options to choose from. The most popular option is the inframammary incision because it is most ideal when using a silicone implant and the scar is hidden under the breast fold.

The transaxillary incision is placed in the armpit and is a good choice for those who don’t want a scar along their breast fold. For those who are undergoing both breast augmentation and breast lift surgeries, the periareolar incision is preferred. The natural transition from the areola to the breast helps hide the incision scar.

Overall, the operation can last up to two hours with a relatively easy recovery period lasting a few days.

Breast Lift: It’s About Shape

A loss of volume in a woman’s breast can be due to significant life events such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, aging, or weight loss. Breast tissue can lose its elasticity and begin to droop and sag (ptosis).

Woman With Implants Drawn On Her Chest

A popular method to see if a woman needs a breast lift is the pencil test. Insert a pencil under the breast fold, ideally as high as you can. If the pencil does not fall, then that is a clear sign of breast drooping. Another test you can do is to see if the nipple rests below the pencil. If it does, then you most likely have ptosis.

The procedure itself has a variety of incisions to choose from. Each patient is different, so each operation is tailored to the patient’s individual needs. A patient with minimal skin laxity will likely have an incision made around the nipple. A vertical incision, or “lollipop” technique, is best for patients who have more skin laxity. For those with a significant amount of laxity, a horizontal incision, or “Wise” pattern, is preferred.

The procedure is fairly straightforward. Once anesthesia is induced, the operation begins and can last from one to three hours. Your surgeon will be sure not to cause any trauma to the breast tissue so that your recovery is swift and as pain-free as possible.

What Is the Best Option?

There are plenty of benefits for each option. Keep in mind that breast augmentation will increase the size of your breast but will not treat any sagging or droopiness, and a breast lift will correct the shape and position of your breast but will not increase its size.

Woman Measuring Bust

Breast lift and breast augmentation surgeries can be combined. When joined together, the procedure will correct the shape and restore youthfulness while adding volume to your bust.

Like with any major surgical operation, a qualifying patient must be in good standing health and have realistic expectations before the procedure begins. These procedures do not last forever. The size and shape of your breasts can change over time due to pregnancy, weight loss, and age.

If you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us at Iconic Plastic Surgery today! Call 760-637-5288.

Woman Measuring Bust

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