Breast Lift vs. Breast Augmentation


thinking woman with nerd glasses. white background

For many years, breast augmentation (implants) has been the number one plastic surgery procedure. It is not surprising considering the society we live in and the emphasis it places on a large, feminine bosom. However, augmentation is not the only breast procedure to consider if you are unhappy with the size, shape, or slope of your breasts. A breast lift is another option to consider, depending on what goals you would like to achieve.

Ultimately, you must consult with a board certified plastic surgeon for your cosmetic surgery in Beverly Hills, such as Simon Ourian, MD at Epione to determine which surgery is right for you. Here is a breakdown and comparison of these two types of surgery.

Breast Lifts – Who Needs One?

Breast ptosis, or drooping, occurs as women age, lose a significant amount of weight, or bear children. It is caused by loss of breast volume. A breast lift corrects the drooping by volumetrically reshaping the breasts. To determine if you may be a candidate for a breast lift at home, try the pencil test: If you can place a pencil under the fold of your breast, and it stays there when you take your hands away, you are a candidate. If your nipple falls below the pencil line, then you are an especially good candidate.

Types of Breast Lifts

There are three types of breast lift surgeries that doctors use for patients with minimal, moderate, and maximal drooping.

• For patients with minimal drooping, doctors use a periareolar breast reduction technique. An incision follows the natural shape of the areola and excess skin is removed.

• For patients with moderate drooping, doctors use the vertical breast reduction incision approach. The incision follows the same path around the areola, but then extends down vertically below the areola, allowing for a greater lift.

• For patients with maximal drooping, doctors use the inverted-T incision approach. This follows the same path as the first two types of breast lift surgeries; however, the incision extends along the breast fold. This is the most common, most predictable, and most extensive kind of breast lift.

Breast Augmentation- Who Needs It?

Breast augmentation, also known as enlargement or implants, is often desired by women who have naturally smaller breasts. This procedure is also used in cases of mastectomy, when breast tissue must be replaced or enhanced to restore a natural look. When considering breast augmentation, there are the major areas that need to be considered including placement of the incision, implant size/shape, and type of implant.

Incision and Implant Placement

The three most common incisions for breast augmentation are inframammary (under the fold of the breast), trans-axillary (in the armpit), or periareolar (around the nipple). Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and you should discuss these and your preferences with your doctor before surgery.

Implant Size and Shape

Considerations such as your chest wall shape, your body form, your lifestyle, your natural foundation and your goals must be addressed when selecting implant size and shape. You must discuss all of these things with your plastic surgeon before undergoing your procedure. Your plastic surgeon will also have the experience to make recommendations about proportionality so that your new breasts look natural.

Implant Type: Silicone vs. Saline

The type of implant you choose depends on multiple factors including personal preference and body type. Both types of implants last 10-15 years, are FDA approved, and have excellent safety records.

Silicone implants are more expensive, require a larger incision and a more involved surgical procedure. They have a more realistic feel and for that reason they are the better choice for patients with very little natural breast tissue.

Saline implants add volume and shape without necessarily changing the feel of the breasts. These are suitable for patients with ample breast tissue.

Breast Lift or Breast Augmentation, or Both?

A breast lift focuses on breast position but will not increase the size of your bosom. A breast augmentation focuses on the size and shape of the breast but will not correct drooping breasts. If you desire all of these results at once, you may elect to have both procedures performed at the same time. This is known as an augmentation/pexy, a combination surgery which will give you upper breast fullness while repositioning sagging breasts and nipple areas.

Cosmetic Surgery in Beverly Hills

Making the decision to alter your breasts is very personal. For your safety and peace of mind, consult with board certified plastic surgeon Simon Ourian, MD at Epione Cosmetic Surgery in Beverly Hills. We specialize in breast surgeries and can offer you excellent results. Schedule your consultation today!