At Dr. Clayman’s Plastic Surgery Center and Miracle Spa, we often have clients who are interested in altering the shape, size and overall appearance of their breasts. Due to the soft, malleable skin and tissues of the breast area, it is possible to make any number of adjustments. Modern plastic surgery offers a host of cosmetic breast procedures including reductions, augmentations, lifts and reconstructions. Among these, augmentations and lifts can both be options for our clients who are seeking a perkier shape for their breasts. Depending on your goals, your health and your body, one or a combination of these two surgeries may be a much better fit to help you achieve your ideal breasts. During your consultation, Dr. Clayman will discuss options for your anatomy and desired change, to help you make a decision about whether you might need a breast augmentation, a breast lift, or a combination of the the two.
Your Natural Breast Size and Shape
The size and positioning of your natural breasts will always influence your decision to have a breast lift, augmentation or combination lift and augmentation. Smaller breasts, for example, may require an implant to achieve a balanced shape. Additionally, many breast lift techniques require incisions that are better hidden by larger breasts — scars along the bottom of the breast or between the bottom of the breast and the areola are more visible on smaller shapes.
If your breasts are mid-sized and you are interested in going up a size or two, you should consider a combined lift and augmentation, especially if your shape is relatively pendulous or you have any sag to your breast. A lift will correct shifted breast tissue or nipple placement due to sagging, even if you want implants as well. A combination can ensure that the shape and symmetry of your augmented breasts will last longer.
If you have sagging or pendulous breasts of any size and are wondering if a lift or combination lift and augmentation is what you need, there are some simple tests you can do at home that are good indicators. First, stand in front of a full-length mirror and locate your inframammary fold — the line where your breast meets your rib cage. If your breasts are sagging enough that your areola or nipple has fallen below your inframammary fold, your nipple is pointing down or sits low on your breast, it is likely that you will be a good candidate for a breast lift. You can also try placing a pencil along your inframammary fold. If your breast tissue folds over the pencil such that your breast holds the pencil in place when you stand normally, a lift may be right for you. There are also several options with breast lifts and some people are candidates for minimal scar techniques while some women require more extensive surgery, resulting in more potential scarring.The technique that is right for you will depend on your consultation with Dr. Clayman, your anatomy, goals and desired changes.
The best way to talk about the difference between these two procedures is to address the results that they can achieve. The main intent of a breast augmentation is to increase the size of the breasts. While improved shape and symmetry are certainly a benefit of using uniformly-created implants, most breast augmentation clients’ main concerns are related to breast size. An implant will always increase the size of the breast.
A breast lift, on the other hand, is an excellent choice for clients who are happy with the volume of their breasts but who may be struggling with pendulousness or sagging. A lift can restore perkiness and shape without the need for a size-enhancing implant. Some lift techniques do use specially-shaped implants to fill out the top of the breast if volume has significantly shifted, but this is not always necessary. Many surgeons are able to reposition breast tissue to round out the shape of the breast so that your restored volume is entirely natural. This will depend on your body, your current breast shape and appearance, and technique agreed upon during your consultation to obtain the look you are trying to achieve.
Generally speaking, if you are interested in increasing your breast size as well as achieving a more symmetrical shape, a breast augmentation would be a better fit for you. However, if your goals are related to shape, you might be a good candidate for a breast lift and you can combine the two procedures if you want to lift and enlarge your breasts.
Your Body Type
Depending on your health, your body and your age, your plastic surgeon may recommend one procedure over the other to avoid unnecessary complications. If you are particularly prone to sagging, you may want to opt for a breast lift with implant.
Other body types or health conditions can mean that an implant may be more likely to cause adverse reactions, or that some lift techniques will leave particularly visible scarring. During your consultation with your plastic surgeon, you will be able to thoroughly discuss factors like health history and your body’s tendencies to determine what kind of surgery will have the best and longest-lasting results. Based on your individual assessment and your goals, your surgeon will give you their expert suggestion and talk through the benefits or downsides of each procedure.
If you are interested in a cosmetic breast surgery, your first step should be to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area. In Jacksonville, Florida, the team at Dr. Clayman’s Plastic Surgery Center and Miracle Spa can help you understand your options and make the best decision for your health and your appearance. Drs. Mark and Loren Clayman know that no two clients are the same, and we are always prepared to make sure our clients understand the right procedure for their needs. You can learn more about the important differences between breast augmentations and breast lifts by scheduling a consultation today. Call us at 904-388-6110.