Summary: What’s the difference between breast lift and breast augmentation? They’re both designed to enhance the breast, aren’t they? Well, yes, but there are distinct differences between the procedures. And those differences are important. Selecting the right breast enhancement procedure is key to getting the overall results you want.
The Difference Between Breast Lift and Breast Augmentation Explained
Every once in a while we’re inundated with questions regarding breast enhancement procedures. Mostly, people want to know: what’s the difference between breast lift and breast augmentation? The question is certainly understandable, as it might be difficult to know from context clues what each procedure does.
Essentially, a breast lift will seek to improve the silhouette of the breast while a breast augmentation will endeavor to make the breast larger. The end goals are completely different–as are the methods for achieving those goals.
But they aren’t mutually exclusive. There are many patients who will elect to undergo both a breast lift and a breast augmentation in order to achieve their overall desired results. Which approach is best for you will depend largely on your physiology and your desired outcome. In other words, how you want your breasts to look (and what they look like now) will determine the best breast enhancement procedure for you. But knowing the difference between breast lift and breast augmentation can help you make the best possible choice.
Breast Lift Explained
We’ll start by explaining a breast lift procedure. Essentially, a breast lift is intended to change the silhouette of the breast tissue. As you age, your body is at the mercy of gravity, and the breasts will sag. This is natural–but in some patients, it happens earlier than one might expect (due to a variety of factors, pregnancy and nursing among them).
A breast lift will involve:
- Your choice between three basic incision types, from less invasive to slightly more intense; the small incision, the more limited the surgeon’s options will be when performing the procedure.
- Changing the orientation of the breast to a more youthful position. For most patients, the breasts will be lifted into a “perkier” position; the nipple may also be reoriented or adjusted depending on the nature of the procedure
- Additional structure may be added to the breast at this time in the form of a kind of “internal bra”–usually that’s accomplished without the need for any kind of insert or implant, but it can increase the duration of the results.
Essentially, a breast lift is used to make the breasts appear more youthful in their orientation and overall look. A breast lift will not increase or decrease the size of the breasts.
Breast Augmentation Explained
A breast augmentation, however, is designed explicitly to increase the size of the breasts. A breast augmentation can do that in several ways:
- Saline breast implants
- Silicone breast implants (with modern versions sometimes referred to as “gummy bear implants”)
- Fat graft procedures (sometimes called a fat graft breast lift)
Each technique has its own benefits and drawbacks, but the important thing to remember is that patients have a lot of options for achieving those final results. And, to be sure, patients also have a lot of reasons for looking into this procedure in the first place. Some patients want a boost of confidence, others are concerned about their proportions. Still others want to correct some asymmetry.
Whatever the motivation behind the breast augmentation, patients definitely have options. And the results don’t have to be permanent; patients can always opt for a breast explant procedure further down the line.
Combination of Breast Enhancement Procedures
There are plenty of patients who would benefit from combining the breast lift and breast augmentation procedures. If the breasts have begun to sag, for example, an implant may exacerbate and hasten that process. In that case, surgeons would likely recommend a patient undergoes both a lift and an augmentation at the same time.
But many patients don’t realize you can actually get both done. A patient might come in with the notion that you have to choose between the two. That’s not the case. And surgeons have become incredibly good at delivering great results even in complicated cases.
That’s why the consultation is so important. You have an opportunity to ask all the questions you want–and get answers on the best way to move forward. The more coherently you can describe your goals, the more likely your surgeon will be able to know precisely how to deliver the results you’re after.
In some cases, that might mean a breast lift. In other cases, that might mean a breast augmentation. The different between breast lift and breast augmentation is important to remember; but it’s also important to remember that it’s possible to get both when your physiology and your desired results call for it.