Breast Lift, Augmentation, or Both: How Do I Know Which Is Right for Me?

Woman lying comfortably in bed in lingerie

Breast surgery procedures like breast lift and breast augmentation are very common in Atlanta. In fact, a large majority of my patients are women who want to change the size and shape of their breasts. Both breast augmentation and breast lift can improve the appearance of the breasts, but they serve different functions. If you’re wondering which is right for you, keep reading to learn more about these popular procedures and their benefits.

Breast Lift

A breast lift is a surgical procedure that helps reshape and lift the breasts so that they appear perkier and more youthful. Breast lift surgery is common in women who are bothered by sagging or drooping breasts that often result from aging, weight loss, or breast feeding. Usually, the best candidates for breast lift surgery already have a good amount of volume, because a lift alone won’t help improve breast size.
During a breast lift procedure, I tighten lax breast skin, reposition the nipple, and reshape the breasts. The incision placement will depend on how complex the procedure is, but it could be as minor as a small incision around the nipple.

Breast Augmentation

The goal of breast augmentation surgery is to enhance the size of the breasts using either saline implants, silicone implants, or a patient’s own fat (called a fat transfer breast augmentation). The type of implant used is a personal choice and each offers advantages and drawbacks.

  • Silicone implants: Silicone breast implants provide a very natural look and feel that my patients find most similar to natural breast tissue. Today’s silicone implants are safe, cohesive, and durable – meaning they won’t leak into the body. They are FDA-approved for women 22 and older.
  • Saline implants: Many women prefer saline implants because they are filled with a sterile saline solution that poses no risk to the body if the implant ruptures. Saline implants have been used successfully for breast augmentation for several years and are also FDA-approved.

Additional Breast Implant Considerations

In addition to choosing your breast implant type, you’ll have many other decisions to make–including the implant shape, profile, and texture.
Your breast implant shape can be either round or anatomic. Round implants are most commonly chosen because they enhance the look of cleavage and provide a full, rounded look. Anatomic implants are teardrop shaped and give the breasts a more sloped appearance, with less fullness in the upper part of the breast.
The breast implant profile refers to how far the breasts project off the chest wall. Thicker profiles offer more implant projection than thinner profiles. Determining which profile is best for you will depend on your body frame.
The outer shell of a breast implant can be either smooth or textured. Smooth implants are chosen most often because they allow the implant to freely move in the breast pocket so that there is no distortion of the breast shape. Textured implants have a rough surface and are often chosen to help hold anatomical implants in place.

The Best of Both Worlds

Sometimes the best option is to combine a breast augmentation and lift. Doing so addresses both breast volume and shape and provides more comprehensive results. Combining two surgeries at once can also save you the trouble of having another breast surgery down the line.
I usually recommend a breast augmentation and lift for women who need to increase their chest size as well as lift the breasts. This combination is very common in women who have had children, or any woman who notices that her breasts are not as full and perky as she’d like.
It’s important to note that breast surgery should only be performed by a highly skilled board-certified plastic surgeon. At Plastic Surgery Center of the South, we can help you create a customized surgical plan to address your breast concerns.

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