One of the most popular questions asked by plastic surgery patients in New Jersey is: “What’s the difference between breast lift vs. breast augmentation?” Patients who are looking to enhance their breasts and make this big change seek the right solution for them. While both options are available, understanding the different procedures is very important for choosing the right one for you. Together with your surgeon, you will review your unique needs and every surgical option to come to the right conclusion for you. To enter into that conversation with as much information as possible, read on to learn about the basic differences between breast lift surgery and breast augmentation surgery.
Breast lift vs. breast augmentation surgery
The main difference between a breast lift and breast augmentation is the end goal of the patient. If you are experiencing breast ptosis (drooping), then you will want to discuss a breast lift with your doctor. However, if you are looking to change the shape or size of your breasts, breast augmentation will be the right solution for you. It is also common that patients request both a breast lift and breast augmentation during the same surgical appointment. Your plastic surgeon helps you assess your needs and develop the right surgical plan to achieve your body goals.
Each procedure has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. A breast augmentation will adjust the size and shape of the breast while a breast lift fixes the location or sagging of the breast.
Breast lift vs. breast augmentation: what to expect
These two procedures are performed very differently. Each procedure can be performed in various ways and your surgeon will choose the method that is best to achieve your unique goals.
Breast Lift procedure
There are three different approaches to a breast lift procedure.
- A periareolar incision follows the natural areolar shape. This approach is typically best for a patient with large areolas and minimal breast drooping.
- Vertical breast reduction
- A vertical breast reduction incision follows the same path as the periareolar around the areola. However, the incision also extends directly down from the areola. This provides a greater lift to fix more moderate drooping.
- Inverted-T incisions
- An inverted-T incision follows the same path as the periareolar and vertical breast incision; however, it also includes an incision within the breast fold. The inverted-T incision approach is the most common, most predictable and allows for the maximum breast lift.
To determine which breast lift procedural approach is right for you, your surgeon will assess the amount of breast volume, tissue and the degree of ptosis (breast sagging) you have.
Breast Augmentation procedure
Before breast augmentation surgery, you and your surgeon will choose the size of the implant needed. For the surgery, a general anesthetic is normally used, so you are asleep during surgery.
The following methods are possible.
- Inframammary incision
- This incision is done in the crease under the breast.
- Transaxillary incision
- This incision is made in the armpit to access the breast.
- Periareolar incision
- This incision is made around the nipple to relocate it, if necessary.
The choice of incision depends on several factors, including how much enlargement is involved, the patient’s anatomy, the type of implant, and surgeon-patient preference.
Once the incision is made, the implant is inserted and placed and the incisions are closed.
Breast lift and augmentation: recovery
Recovery for breast lift vs breast augmentation is somewhat different. However, you should follow whatever individual instructions your plastic surgeon recommends to expect the speediest recovery.
After the breast lift procedure, your surgeon may place a temporary thin tube under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that accumulates. After two to three days, your surgeon will remove it. Your surgeon will ask you to wear an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling and support your breasts as they heal.
After breast augmentation surgery, your anesthetic will wear off and you will take painkillers to relieve the pain. Dissolvable stitches usually disappear within six weeks. If you have sutures that do not dissolve, they will be removed during a follow-up appointment.
For both procedures, your doctor will give you specific instructions.
- How to care for your breasts post-surgery
- Medications to heal and reduce pain
- When to follow up with your plastic surgeon
- Avoid strenuous physical activity for about six weeks.
- Do light exercises, such as flexing and moving the arms, to relieve discomfort
You should seek medical help immediately if you experience any of the following.
- Any sign of infection, such as warmth and redness in the breast area
- Chest pains, unusual heartbeats, or shortness of breath
Breast Augmentation with a Top NJ Plastic Surgeon
When considering breast lift vs breast augmentation, finding the right NJ plastic surgeon is important. You should look for a breast surgeon in New Jersey who has years of experience, top credentials, and the right bedside manner to help you achieve peace of mind.
Dr. Berlet has been in practice as a New Jersey plastic surgeon for over 20 years in Essex County, Bergen County, and the surrounding areas. To find out more about the benefits and risks with breast lift vs breast augmentation, contact us today for a consultation!