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What’s the Difference? Breast Augmentation, Reduction, and Lift

What’s the Difference? Breast Augmentation, Reduction, and Lift

Breast surgery has become widely popular over the years. Today, breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic procedure performed in the United States. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons released a report that shows 290,467 patients moving forward with the surgery. Women seek out breast surgeries for a variety of reasons. Whether it be for medical purposes or they’re just looking for a new look, the possibilities of breast augmentation are becoming much greater. Whatever the reason may be, it is important that you are knowledgeable on the types of breast surgeries you can receive. For this reason, we’re going to explain the difference between a breast lift, reduction, and an augmentation.

Breast Lift

A breast lift, often called mastopexy raises breasts that are saggy. It does this by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breasts. To get a breast lift, you should be physically healthy and maintain a stable weight to increase the chances of a successful and safe surgery.

Procedure Process

  1. When you go to get a breast lift, a professional will administer medication to you to provide you with comfort during the surgical procedure.
  2. After the anesthesia, the surgeon will begin the incision. There are 3 common incision patterns: around the areola, around the areola and down vertically from the areola to the breast crease, and around the areola vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease.
  3. The doctor will then reshape your breast by lifting and reshaping the underlying tissue. Additionally, the doctor will reposition the nipple and areola to give it a more natural appearance.
  4. Lastly, the surgeon removes excess skin to compensate for the lack of elasticity and then tightens remaining skin as incisions close.

Why You May Want a Breast Lift

A breast lift is great for those who want the appearance of more youthful and rejuvenated breasts. Naturally, a woman’s breast is ever-changing. There are many factors that go into breasts appearing saggy. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to: pregnancy, breastfeeding, aging, weight, and genetics. If you are experiencing any of these, you may want to consider getting a breast lift.

What are the Risks?

Here are some risks to consider before moving forward with a breast lift. Some of these risks include, but are not limited to:

  • bleeding
  • poor healing from incisions
  • fluid accumulation
  • infection

gloved doctor reaching for surgical tools

Breast Reduction

A breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty is a procedure that removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin. The goal of a breast reduction is to achieve a breast size that is more proportional to the body. Similar to a breast lift, with a breast reduction, you need to be physically healthy and maintain a stable weight. Additionally, for breast surgery to be approved, many insurers want documentation that you experience neck and back pain due to the enlargement of your breasts.

Procedure Process

  1. Like with a lift, when you get a breast reduction, you will first be administered anesthesia.
  2. After anesthesia, the incision process will begin. There are 3 incision patterns: a circular pattern around the areola, a keyhole pattern with an incision around the areola, and down vertically to the breast crease, and an anchor-shaped incision pattern.
  3. The next step is to remove tissue and reposition.
  4. The last step is to close the incision.

Why You May Want a Breast Reduction

You may want a breast reduction if your breasts are causing you severe neck and back pain. Enlarged breasts that cause you pain can interfere with sports and other activities. Additionally, you may be uncomfortable with breasts that are not proportional to your body and are seeking something more appropriate.

What are the Risks?

Here are some risks to consider before moving forward with a breast reduction. Some of these risks include, but are not limited to:

  • infection
  • blood clots
  • persisting pain
  • potential inability to breastfeed
  • excess firmness of the breasts

Breast Augmentation

A breast augmentation is a prosthesis consisting of a fluid material in a flexible sack or fat transfer. This material or fat is implanted behind or in place of a female breast in reconstructive or cosmetic surgery. The goal of a breast augmentation is to simply change the size, shape, and contour of a woman’s breast. Just like a breast lift and a breast reduction, doctors will want to know that you have a stable weight and that you do not have any medical conditions that will put you at risk.

Procedure Process

  1. When getting a breast augmentation, you will first be administered anesthesia to provide you with comfort during the surgical process.
  2. After anesthesia, the incision process will begin. The incision will be made in discreet areas to minimize the appearance of scarring. Depending on your desired outcome, you and your surgeon will discuss which incision option is best suited to you. The 3 incision options include: a periareolar incision (a pocket created on lower semi-circle of the areola), an inframammary incision (made in the fold where the lower part of breast meets chest wall), and a transaxillary incision (a small 1-inch, well-hidden incision in the depth of armpit).
  3. Next, is the insertion of the breast implant into a pocket either: under the pectoral muscle or directly behind the breast tissue.
  4. The last step is the closure of the incision.

Why You May Want a Breast Augmentation 

If you are looking to improve the appearance of your breast, then a breast augmentation can provide satisfaction. You may feel that your breasts are too small, lack fullness or are uneven. A breast augmentation can certainly help alleviate that problem and improve your self-esteem overall.

What are the Risks?

Here are some risks to consider before moving forward with a breast augmentation. Some of these risks include, but are not limited to:

  • breast pain
  • changes in breast and nipple sensation
  • rupture with deflation of saline-filled implants
  • rupture with or without symptoms of silicone gel-filled implants

There are various reasons to consider getting a breast lift, reduction, or augmentation. Undergoing these types of procedures can be a very rewarding experience and lead to a more happy and healthy life. Before undergoing any of these types of procedures, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the process and understand the potential risks. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding breast surgery, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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