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Differences Between A Breast Lift and Breast Augmentation

July 20, 2017

When it comes to cosmetic surgery for the breast area, there is often some confusion over breast lifts and breast augmentations. Patients often think they the same thing, just with different names. However, breast lifts and breast augmentations have totally different results, providing improvements for different conditions.


A breast lift and breast augmentation are two very different surgeries, it is common for women to have them both done at the same time. This way, they can achieve the appearance that they desire.


It may be possible to establish which procedure is right for you based on the aspects of your chest that you would most like to change. Some people are unsure what exactly about their breasts they don’t like, only that they are unhappy with their overall appearance. In these instances, a good cosmetic surgeon can help to clarify their goals and recommend the right procedure.


What is a breast lift?

A breast lift is all about the positioning of the breasts. As we get older, our skin becomes looser thanks to the decreased production of collagen. Gravity also plays a part, and breasts often begin to hang lower, particularly if they are large and heavy.

​​​​​​​This force can also pull the nipples downwards, and one of the most common indicators used to determine whether a patient requires a breast lift is whether the nipples fall below the crease of the breast. 

If you are happy with the size of your breasts, but feel that they aren’t fulfilling their potential due to sagging, a breast lift can reshape your breasts so that they sit higher on your chest, making them appear tighter, firmer and more youthful. 

Most breast lifts require the surgeon to undertake significant reshaping of the breast tissue and as a result, the nipple will almost certainly need to be relocated so that it sits higher on the breast mound.


Will any of the breast tissue be removed?

Many patients report that their breasts look and feel smaller after a breast lift. Only excess skin is removed during a breast lift and not breast tissue. However, the smaller effect is partly because the surgery doesn’t replace the volume that is typically lost in the upper part of the breast when sagging occurs. For this reason, a large number of patients choose to combine their breast lift with an augmentation, so that they can improve the volume as well as the position of their breasts.


What scarring can I expect from a breast lift?

As with all surgical procedures, some scarring from a breast lift is almost guaranteed. However, a good surgeon will do their best to ensure that incisions are as hidden as possible. 

The type of scarring that you can expect from a breast lift largely depends on how much excess skin is being removed. In cases where only a little skin needs to be removed, a small incision around the areola, also known as a ‘donut’ can be sufficient to perform the procedure. 

However, if large amounts of skin need to be removed, then more extensive incisions may need to be made. Again, an experienced surgeon, like Dr. Lesavoy will ensure that these are as subtle as possible.


What is a breast augmentation?

Unlike a breast lift, which is concerned with the positioning of the chest, breast augmentation focuses primarily on the size of the patient’s chest, with a view to increasing it. However, the procedure to increase the size of your chest can also provide some natural lift if your breasts aren’t too saggy to begin with. 

Augmentation surgery involves placing implants into the chest cavity to make the breasts appear larger and fuller. There are two main varieties of implant available. Silicone implant are the most popular, come in various set sizes and are inserted into the chest ‘full’.

In comparison, saline implants are placed into the chest empty, and then filled with saline once they are in the correct position. Saline implants are a particularly beneficial solution for patients who have one breast significantly bigger than the other, as the amount of saline in each can be altered to create a gorgeously symmetrical silhouette.


What scarring can I expect from a breast augmentation?

When implants are inserted, Dr. Lesavoy creates a small incision under the armpit, where the incision cannot be seen.

Although scarring may look red at first, over time it will start to fade, particularly if the relevant aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon are followed as recommended.


If you are interested in either breast lift or breast augmentation surgery, Dr. Lesavoy can help you deteremine which is right for you based on your figure. Want to learn more? Call Lesavoy Plastic Surgery today at 310-248-5451.

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