Breast Reduction vs Breast Lift – Which One is Right for Me?
There are many women who find themselves unhappy with their natural breasts size and shape, even with fuller breasts. There are studies that suggest women with very large breasts see them as a hinderance in their personal lives. Larger breasts can cause back and neck pain, sleep disruption, issues with clothing and may affect self-esteem. When choosing a breast procedure to address this, it is common for patients to ask whether a breast reduction or lift will help them reach their body goals.
WHAT IS BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY?
Breast reduction is medically known as reduction mammaplasty. It is a procedure performed on large breasts that are aesthetically displeasing to the patient or that cause symptoms – severe problems associated with large breasts. These issues can be emotional or physical, such as insecurities about appearance, chronic back pain, shoulder or neck pain, nerve pain, permanent grooves in the shoulder caused by bra straps and chronic rashes and skin irritation around the breast area.
During the procedure the surgeon will use either a vertical or anchor incision pattern to remove excess skin, fat and glandular tissue from the breast to create a smaller breast size. The vertical reduction pattern is also called a “lollipop scar” because the shape of the incisions resemble the shape of a lollipop. This incision is best for patients that have small amounts of tissue to remove and creates a circle around the areola with a straight line underneath the breast.
WHAT IS BREAST LIFT SURGERY?
Breast lift surgery corrects breast ptosis or sagging skin. During a breast lift, excess skin is removed, and incisions are created in the breast tissue to elevate the breasts to a more desired position and shape. The number of incisions and patterns will depend upon the amount of excess skin, breast volume and patient goals. When the excess breast skin is removed and the tissue is lifted, the breasts may appear smaller. However, both the breast and areola will be repositioned to appear firmer and more youthful.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BREAST REDUCTION AND A BREAST LIFT?
Depending on the patient’s natural breast size and shape, either a breast reduction, breast lift or a combination of the two may help them achieve the breasts they want. There are cases where patients book a consult for breast reduction surgery and find that a breast lift procedure will give them the desired results. Often when there is a great loss of volume in the breast, a lift combined with a reduction will be the best option.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO HAVE BREAST REDUCTION OR BREAST LIFT SURGERY?
If your breasts are causing you physical pain, it is best to see a surgeon as quickly as possible to discuss options that will provide relief from the pain and discomfort. Many patients choose to have breast surgery during colder seasons to reduce breast discomfort caused by heat and sun exposure.
WILL HAVING CHILDREN AFTER A BREAST REDUCTION OR BREAST LIFT AFFECT MY RESULTS?
Ideally, we prefer for our patients to have their breast reduction and breast lift surgeries when they are finished having children because hormones and weight gain can have an effect on the results. However, for patients in severe pain who may want to have children down the road, we will confer with your primary care doctor to determine the best time for the surgery.