The size and shape of your breasts may be mostly determined by genetics, but life has a way of changing their appearance over time. Age and gravity stretch out the skin that supports your breasts, placing them a bit lower on your chest, while postpartum weight loss and breastfeeding, or any significant weight loss, can reduce their volume and leave you with a smaller cup size.
That helps explain why cosmetic surgeries to restore fuller, firmer breasts are so popular: In 2018 alone, over 423,000 US women opted to surgically enhance the size of their breasts or improve their contour, either by having a breast augmentation, a breast lift, or both.
Whether you wish your breasts were larger, shapelier, more symmetrical, more youthful-looking, or all of the above, there’s a cosmetic solution that can get the job done beautifully. Understanding the difference between a breast augmentation and a breast lift can help guide you toward the solution that’s best for you.
Breast augmentation basics
Breast augmentation surgery uses FDA-approved silicone or saline implants to create larger, shapelier breasts. While this procedure is often done to increase the size of naturally small breasts, breast augmentation is also an ideal solution for women who want to restore lost volume to breasts that have been deflated by weight loss or breastfeeding.
All implants have a skin, or casing, made of silicone; it’s what’s inside that differentiates them. Silicone implants are filled with a different formulation of the same versatile polymer, while saline implants are filled with a sterile saline solution.
Much like natural breast tissue, implants made with smooth silicone shells can move subtly in their pockets. Implants made with textured casings are more tightly anchored for a firmer look and feel.
You can also choose between round implants, which give your breasts a fuller appearance all the way around, or anatomical implants, which are designed to mimic the tear-shaped look of natural breasts — fuller on the bottom and more tapered at the top.
Breast augmentation isn’t all about size and shape, either. The procedure also helps create more symmetrical breasts for a beautifully balanced, well-proportioned physique.
Breast lift benefits
The goal of breast lift surgery — also known as mastopexy — is to raise and reposition sagging breasts so they sit higher on your chest. Although this procedure doesn’t increase the size of your breasts or substantially change their shape, it does create a more youthful contour along your bustline.
Although cosmetic augmentation can also lift and firm your breasts — and even eliminate mild skin laxity — simply by making them fuller, it doesn’t address the kind of moderate to severe skin laxity that causes excessive breast sag, also known as breast ptosis.
Breast lift surgery can correct excessively saggy breasts. By removing excess tissue and supporting your breasts in a higher position, a breast lift raises and subtly reshapes your breasts for a perkier, more symmetrical silhouette.
On top of lifting your breasts back to their original place on your chest, this simple procedure also tightens the surrounding skin envelope to keep them in place for years to come.
Choosing the right procedure
To determine which cosmetic breast surgery — or combination of surgeries — is right for you, it’s important to define your aesthetic goals and consider the current size, shape, symmetry, and position of your breasts.
If you’d like to increase the size of your naturally small breasts, for example, a breast augmentation may be all you need to achieve beautiful results, particularly if your breasts are still relatively firm.
If you’d like to turn back the hands of time on sagging, droopy breasts — but you don’t want to change their size or their shape — breast lift surgery can rejuvenate your figure and take years off your appearance.
If you’d like to trade sagging, deflated breasts for a fuller, firmer, and more lifted chest, you may be a good candidate for a combined procedure that includes breast augmentation and a breast lift.
No matter what your cosmetic goals happen to be, the team at Brooks Plastic Surgery can help you understand your options so you can choose the solution that’s best for you. To learn more, call our Hollywood, Florida, office today, or click online to book a consultation with Dr. Christopher Brooks anytime.