If you've always been dissatisfied with your breast size or shape, you may have finally decided to take action by seeking out cosmetic surgery. In other cases, when the process of aging and/or having children has left your breasts mere shells of their former glory, you may be wondering whether augmentation or a breast lift is the better option. Read on to learn more about the similarities (and differences) between these two procedures to help you determine the right choice for you.
Breast Augmentation vs. Breast Lift
A breast augmentation, more commonly known as "implants," involves a surgical incision in the crease of your breast (or around your nipple) through which an implant is placed. While silicone implants were all the rage in the 80s and early 90s, most implants today are filled with a saline solution that mimics the texture of your natural breasts. Others are made from a polymer gel that is closer in composition to silicone.
But a breast lift doesn't add to the size of your breasts at all. Instead, it removes excess skin and lifts the breast tissue to reduce sagging. Depending on the size of your breasts, the amount of skin removed, and the extent of any pre-surgical sagging, a breast lift may actually give the appearance of implants by consolidating the breast tissue into a smaller area.
In some cases, a lift is performed in conjunction with an augmentation. For patients who have seriously sagging breasts, implanting saline pouches into the breast tissue isn't likely to solve this problem, and may actually increase the risk of back or shoulder pain post-surgery. By first removing excess skin and lifting the breast tissue and nipple, then placing the implant, the surgeon can help you achieve a more youthful and aesthetically-pleasing appearance without requiring you to undergo multiple surgeries.
How Can You Know Which Procedure is Right for You?
Always consult with a cosmetic surgeon before you make a decision. In many cases, you may assume you need one procedure (like implants) when the same result could be achieved by a breast lift. And even if you have your heart set on breast implants, it's important to have answers to questions like the size you're seeking, whether you'd prefer saline or silicone, and other factors that can affect the success of your procedure.
Having a surgeon examine you closely and show you models of the potential outcomes of each procedure can give you the tools and knowledge you need to make the best choice for your body.