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Breast Implants Vs. Breast Lift: Which Should I Choose?

By Dr. Charles J. Galanis

breast implants vs breast lift

Genetics, aging, weight fluctuations, and pregnancy all influence the shape and size of a woman’s breasts.  Patients come to Galanis Plastic Surgery wishing to have larger breasts with breast implants, correct asymmetry, reduce sagging breast skin, or to 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 with our board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Charles J. Galanis, is required to advise on the most appropriate plan for you, but here are some ideas of how to determine if either a breast lift procedure or breast implant surgery is right for you to achieve your aesthetic goals.



You may have naturally smaller breasts, or you may have plenty of natural volume but want even more of an increase in cup 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 improve their shape and enhance size at the same time.

However, a breast augmentation will only lift the nipple one to two centimeters higher on the chest wall, which, in some cases, is just not enough to recreate a “perky,” youthful breast.


Younger women who have good skin elasticity and healthy breast tissue, that simply desire larger breasts, can achieve their results with a breast augmentation alone, but others may benefit from breast lifts.

If there is any sagging excess 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 correct the breast ptosis and 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 combined procedure of a breast augmentation with a breast lift procedure.


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 initial 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.



Some patients, especially those who are in the modeling industry, are concerned about noticeable scars after breast lift surgery. Scars with breast augmentation are not typically noticeable.

The most common incision locations are beneath the breast fold (inframammary) and around the nipple area or 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 where breast augmentation focuses to achieve the appearance of youthful breasts while avoiding the more noticeable scars from a breast lift.


Patients can achieve natural-looking results with either a breast augmentation or a breast lift surgery depending on their desires, existing breast tissue, and on how they personally define a natural-looking result.

Your breasts can 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 breast tissue 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, we will guide you through the decision-making process toward your ideal breast appearance. Together, we will decide on the correct cosmetic surgeries that are right for you.

breast implants vs breast augmentationQuestions and Answers

What exactly is a Breast Lift?

Breast lifts don’t incorporate implants; instead, the plastic surgeons work with the existing breast tissue to elevate and firm the breasts.

This process enhances the natural contour of your breasts and addresses issues like sagging, drooping, or slight asymmetry that may result from factors like aging, pregnancy, or illness.

What is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation and breast implant surgery are interchangeable terms for a comparable procedure. In both cosmetic surgeries, silicone or saline implants are inserted into the breasts, either above or below the chest muscle, to augment their size, shape, and volume.

What is the downside of breast lift?

Like any significant surgical procedure, a breast lift carries potential risks such as bleeding, infection, and adverse reactions to general anesthesia. There is also a chance of developing an allergic reaction to materials like surgical tape used during or after the surgery.

What makes me a good candidate to get breast implants?

Typically, you just need to be in good overall health. This entails the absence of active infections, untreated cancer, or severe illnesses. If you have any medical concerns, it is crucial to openly discuss them with your plastic surgeons. This dialogue allows your surgeon to assess whether breast enhancement surgery is a suitable option for you.


Getting Ready for Surgery

A huge part of the process is breast lift or breast implant preparation through acquiring all the knowledge you can.  Ask your plastic surgeon if you are a candidate for a breast enhancement procedure like breast implants or a breast lift surgery.

Explore the options available to you regarding size, shape, and surface texture.  Learn how durable are breast implants. Your surgeon will provide a comprehensive overview of the potential risks and benefits associated with each of these surgical options.

Request visual references, such as before and after photos of previous patients, to gain a realistic understanding of potential outcomes and align your expectations accordingly.

Book Your Consultation Today

If you are interested in breast augmentation or a breast lift, please schedule your initial consultation at Galanis Plastic Surgery 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 youthful look and breast appearance they desire. Contact us today by calling 310.858.8930.




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