Both breast reduction and breast lift are cosmetic plastic surgeries performed to rejuvenate breasts that have a saggy or droopy appearance.
Both procedures may differ in their technique, but they share the same goals: achieving more contoured, youthful, and attractive breasts.
Both procedures are considered great options for women who wish to reduce, alter the position, or refine the size or shape of their breasts.
In some cases, a reduction is essential to be performed and not elective, while breast lift is often elective and performed mainly for enhancement of the appearance of your breasts.
What is breast reduction?
Medically known as reduction mammoplasty, this procedure reduces a significant amount of the breast volume by removing excess skin, fat, and tissue to reduce the breast size.
Why is it necessary to perform a breast reduction?
There is no cut-off point for your breast’s size or weight makes it essential to perform a reduction, generally speaking, if your breast’s size, weight, or appearance makes you suffer from;
- Limited physical activity.
- Chronic skin rash in the area under the breast, or recurrent infections.
- Poor postures.
- Chronic back or neck pain.
- Difficulty finding clothes or bras that fit you.
- Low self-esteem because of your appearance.
What is a breast lift?
Medically known as a mastopexy, is a procedure that reshapes and supports the breast tissue to achieve a more youthful breast.
During the procedure it only excess skin, not the actual breast tissue is removed, the nipple and areolas are repositioned or reduced in size if it is necessary to create a more natural look.
Why do I need to perform breast lifts?
Did the breast lift procedure affect the breast size?
Could breast lift procedure be combined with breast augmentation?
The breast lift alone is not designed to enhance breast size, however, in most cases, when only saggy skin is removed your breasts will appear fuller and more shapely, but some women want to enhance their breast size along with the lift, in this cases, a combination of breast augmentation with a lift may be performed to achieve the desired results.
Which procedure fits me to rejuvenate my breasts?
Generally, if your breasts size is large that limits your physical activity, so breast reduction fits you. And if you have dropped, and saggy breasts which just need to be repositioned or reshaped.
And finally, if you need to enhance your breast size and lift your breast, breast augmentation combined with a breast lift is the best choice.
How are breast reduction and breast lift performed?
Both procedures share some techniques, and the steps to perform each are almost the same.
Who are ineligible?
Almost all are eligible to perform breast plastic surgeries, but in some conditions, it’s better to postpone your procedure until you fix it, like;
- If you are a smoker, you should stop smoking at least six weeks before and after the procedure.
- If you are planning for weight loss, for better outcomes you should have a stable body weight, since weight loss significantly changes the size and shape of the breast.
- If you are planning to have children since pregnancy and breastfeeding affect breast shape.
How are these procedures performed?
During breast reduction, the surgeon removes excess skin, fats, breast tissue, and skin to reduce the breast size and weight, however, during the procedure, the surgeon removes excess skin only to lift the breast.
The general steps followed during the two procedures
- In the standing position, the surgeon will mark to you the new position of the nipple on your breast.
- The surgeon will explain to you the type of anesthesia used.
- The surgeon will make an incision (a cut) around the areola through which he performs the procedure.
- Finally, the surgeon will close the cuts using stitches, sutures, skin adhesives, or surgical tape.
Where will the procedure be performed?
Breast reduction and lift procedures might be performed in the plastic surgeon’s accredited clinic, an outpatient surgical facility or a hospital. Be sure that your plastic surgeon and the assisting staff will fully care for your comfort and safety.
How long does it take to recover?
Immediately after the surgery
Bandages cover the breasts and a surgical bra is worn to hold them in the right position.
- A drainage might be placed under each arm to drain any extra blood or fluid.
- You may receive medicine for pain management, prophylaxis against infection, and blood clots.
The recovery period
It takes a few days to return to your routine life and from 4 to 6 weeks to return to physical activity.
Up to a week, you might feel breast tenderness, and the surgical bra is worn to support the breasts.
Does the surgery leave a permanent scar?
The scars left after the procedures fade over time and become almost invisible by time.
What are the expected results?
Successful breast reduction surgery results in relieving the upper back, neck, and shoulder pain, increases the ability to take part in physical activities, and promotes a better self-image.
Successful breast lift results in breasts appearing fuller and curvier and reshaping the breast to become more attractive.
Did the results last?
The final results generally last a long time, but changes in weight, pregnancy, and breastfeeding can change breast shape and size.
Breast lift, reduction and breast augmentation procedures are great options for women who wish to reduce or modify the position or shape of their breasts.
Your surgeon will illustrate to you the best procedure that fits you according to your breast weight, size, and appearance.
If you aren’t sure, or cannot imagine how it would look, 3D photography may be able to assist you to visualize realistic outcomes.
Many board-certified plastic surgeons utilize 3D photography and special software to assist with surgical planning to visualize your desired outcome and how it would look after your procedure.