BREAST IMPLANTS VS. BREAST LIFT: WHICH SHOULD I CHOOSE?
Genetics, aging, weight fluctuations, and pregnancy all influence the shape and size of a woman’s breasts, which might not satisfy her ideal body. My patients come to me wishing to have larger breasts, correct asymmetry, reduce sagging skin, or restore the youthful perkiness they once had. Depending on a woman’s goals, either a breast augmentation, breast lift, or combination of both procedures can meet her needs. Obviously, an in-person consultation is required to advise on the most appropriate plan for you, but here is an idea of how to determine which procedure you should choose.
WHAT IS YOUR BREAST TYPE?
SMALL OR DEFLATED BREASTS
You may have breasts that are naturally small, or you may have plenty of natural volume but want even more of an increase in size. Or, maybe your breasts were once very full and youthful, but after pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss, they have become deflated. No matter your reason for dissatisfaction with your breast size, breast augmentation is the procedure that will make your breasts larger and improve their shape at the same time. However, a breast augmentation will only lift the nipple one to two centimeters, which, in some cases, is just not enough to recreate a “perky,” youthful breast.
Younger women who have good skin elasticity and simply desire larger breasts can achieve their results with a breast augmentation alone, but others may benefit from a breast lift. If there is any sagging skin or if the nipples point downward and/or fall more than one to two centimeters below the breast crease, a breast lift is the only procedure that can make them appear more youthful. Women who have experienced a lot of volume loss and whose breasts have succumbed to the effects of gravity over time often benefit from a breast augmentation combined with a breast lift.
Breast asymmetry is very common even among young women and those who have never been pregnant. In fact, just like other aspects of the body, the left side does not exactly mirror the right side; breasts are considered “sisters,” not “twins.” Many women have uneven breasts before their breast augmentation procedure and don’t notice it until they take a closer look during their consultation. Some patients would like to correct the size difference even if it is not noticeable. If the breasts are significantly different in size, two implants of differing sizes can be used, or a breast lift may be customized with or without breast implants to correct any degree of asymmetry.
WHAT DO YOU DESIRE?
Some patients, especially those who are in the modeling industry, are concerned about noticeable scars after breast surgery. Scars with breast augmentation are not typically noticeable. The most common incision locations are beneath the breast crease (inframammary) and around the areola (periareolar). The scars from these incisions are easily hidden and will fade with time. However, a breast lift will leave a more noticeable scar because of the vertical incision that is needed from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease. There are techniques available to achieve the appearance of youthful breasts with a breast augmentation alone while avoiding the more noticeable scars from a breast lift. If this is your goal for surgery, be sure to ask me about these options during your consultation, since there are many factors to consider.
A NATURAL-LOOKING RESULT
Patients can achieve natural-looking results with either a breast augmentation or a breast lift depending on their desires, existing breast tissue, and on how they personally define a natural-looking result. Your breasts will look very natural and youthful without implants if you choose to get a breast lift alone. If you also want a subtle to moderate size increase, there are many choices that can lead to a natural look without the more noticeable volume toward the upper pole of the breast that one might consider “fake” or unnatural looking. As you communicate your goals for your breast surgery, I will guide you through the decision-making process toward your ideal breast appearance. Together, we will decide on the surgical process that is right for you.
If you are interested in breast augmentation or a breast lift, please schedule your consultation with Charles J. Galanis, M.D. Dr. Galanis is double board certified in surgery by the American Board of Surgery and in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and he has years of experience helping women achieve the breast appearance they desire. Contact us today by calling 310.858.8930 or by filling out our online contact form.