Breast Lift Versus Breast Augmentation: What’s the Difference?

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You’ve probably heard the terms "breast lift" and "breast augmentation" before, maybe even used interchangeably. But did you know that a breast lift is a completely different procedure than a breast augmentation? Whether you’re just curious or are considering a surgical procedure to improve the size, shape, volume or lift of your breasts, there are many things to consider.

Breast Lift

A breast lift is a procedure that is done to correct the loss of volume and sagging (ptosis) of the breast. Breast lifts reshape the breasts and lift them up without the use of implants. There are three main types of breast lift. 

Vertical Breast Reduction: With vertical breast reduction, the breasts are opened around the areola and the middle of the breast. Tissue is then removed from the central and lower part of the breast, and the remaining tissue is stitched back up in a lollipop-shaped suture. This procedure is best for small to medium reductions, and does away with the lower breast-fold scar commonly associated with the inverted T procedure. The healed breast appears rounder and more youthful than with other lift procedures.

Inverted T Incision: The inverted T incision is the most common breast lift procedure used today. Also known as a full mastopexy or anchor incision, the inverted T is often used for women who have moderate to significant drooping. The inverted T is best for women with excessive skin at the bottom of the breast. It gets its name because of the shape of the incision made on the breast. The incision in an inverted T goes down the middle and continues along the base of the breast. This incision allows the surgeon to remove more tissue and reshape the remaining tissue into a more desirable shape. It also enables the surgeon to lift the areola without disconnecting it from the nerves and tissue of the breast.

Periareolar: Periareaolar breast lifts, also known as crescent lifts, are great for women who have small to medium-sized breasts and a minimal amount of sagging. Generally considered the least invasive breast lift, a periareolar lift can improve the perkiness of the breast with minimal scarring, by removing a small amount of tissue and raising the nipple up to 4 centimeters. Periareolar lifts can be done with or without the inclusion of breast implants.

Breast Augmentation

A breast augmentation is surgery that places breast implants inside of the breast. Unlike a breast lift, an augmentation can increase the size and shape of the breast, creating a fuller, perkier breast with a lot more volume. Within the augmentation category there are many options, such as implant type (saline, silicone or "gummy bear"), implant shape and even incision placement. Each of these factors will depend on the patient’s body shape, lifestyle, personal preferences and budget.

If you are interested in learning more about which breast lift or breast augmentation options may be right for you, please contact Dr. Mitchell’s office for a consultation by calling 702-430-1198.

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