Typically, when we hear the term “plastic surgery”, the first procedure that comes to mind is breast augmentation. That’s because breast augmentation tops the charts of the most sought-after type of plastic surgery. What people don’t realize, though, is that there are several different types of procedures that fall under the category of breast augmentation, including breast lifts vs breast implants.
So, if you’re unhappy with the way your breasts currently look, you might automatically consider breast implants. Breast implant surgeries have been the number one plastic surgery in the US for the last 10 years. But lately, breast lift procedures are much more popular in the United States than breast implants.
What are Breast Lifts?
A breast lift is a type of breast augmentation that enhances the overall appearance of the breasts. Also known as a “mastopexy,” in this procedure, your surgeon removes excess skin and tightens the tissue that surrounds the breasts. This entire surgery leads to more lifted breasts with better shape and support from the surrounding tissue.
According to the latest survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of women opting for breast lifts rather than implants has increased by 99% from 2000.
Depending on the degree of breast sag and the excess skin, the surgeon lifts and reshapes breasts using his or her chosen method. The most commonly performed incisions for breast lifts are:
- Donut Lift. In this procedure, the incision is made around the areola. This procedure is used to reduce the size of the areola and to lift breasts that are not already low-hanging. This does provide smaller cuts, but it does not offer much chance for bigger breasts.
- Lollipop Lift. This procedure promises youthful breasts with minimum scars. This procedure is best to achieve small adjustments only.
- Anchor Lift. This procedure is also known as keyhole invasion. This will lead to the most significant lift and removal of excess skin. In this procedure, the incisions that are made are a circular cut on the top, cut at the bottom and cut down the middle. The results of this procedure are significant, and the cuts are hidden strategically.
Post-Op Expectations for Breast Lifts
Immediately following surgery, dressings will be applied to the sites of incision, and a medical bandage type material will be placed around your breasts to provide compression and support. Some use drains to get rid of excess blood and fluid that may collect within the breasts. This measure is taken to avoid additional swelling and prevent a hematoma. A drain is a small, thin tube that is placed under the skin. Drains may be left anywhere from 24-72 hours or longer if necessary. You will be given instructions on how to manage your drains at home. You’ll need to take all prescribed medicines (antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, and pain reducers) as instructed.
When considering breast lifts vs breast implants, you need to be aware that this procedure is costly and is often not covered by insurance. Also, the effects of a lift may not be permanent – especially if the body undergoes any changes like weight gain or loss. Scars from the procedure will be permanent and can become larger with time. You can try to hide the cuts, but you may be faced with visible, permanent scars as part of the surgery.
What are Breast Implants?
Breast implants are part of a surgical procedure that is used to enlarge breasts. If you choose to get breast implants, then you’ll need to be aware of four major things – incision placement, size and shape of the implant, type of implant being used and the possible side effects.
In this method of augmentation, a medical prosthesis is inserted in the breast to completely reconstruct the shape and size of the breast. The 2 most commonly used breast implants are:
- Saline implants – Sterile water is present in saline implants. First, the implants are inserted in the breast and then the sterile water is filled in the implant.
- Silicone implants – These implants are already filled with silicone gel. This gel provides a similar feel like human fat and is thick and gelatinous. Most agree that this type of implants looks and feels the most natural.
Post-Op Expectation of Breast Implant Procedures
During a breast implant operation, your doctor places gauze dressings over your breasts and a medical bandage or support bra minimizes swelling and support the breasts as they heal. Immediately after surgery, your medical team takes you into a recovery area for close monitoring. You may be permitted to go home when you are stable for discharge, typically after an hour or so. Wear your support garment (a bra or elastic band, called a bandeau) around the clock as instructed by your plastic surgeon.
It’s important to keep in mind when considering breast implants that this procedure does not prevent sagging, and there are chances that the implant might rupture. A rupture would require medical intervention and removal. After removal, another surgery might be required to make sure that the general appearance of the breasts is aesthetically acceptable. Also, breastfeeding can be changed for some women. However, many women can breastfeed even after breast implant surgery.
Why are breast lifts becoming more popular in NJ?
There is a 99 percent increase – with around 105, 219 mastopexy procedures performed in 2017 by board-certified surgeons. For breast implants, the increase has been a mere 41 percent since 2000 – with around 300,378 surgeries performed in the year 2017. This shows that the popularity of breast lifts has increased at twice the rate of breast implant procedures.
There is not just one reason as to why breast lifts are more popular now, but rather several explanations:
- Breast lifts are safer than breast implants.
- There has been increasing awareness among women about the advantages of breast lifts.
- There has been an increase in the number of combination procedures that involve both breast lifts and breast implants.
Combining Breast Implants & Breast Lifts
One of the biggest reasons for the increased number of breast lifts in the country is the combined approach. Why consider breast lifts vs breast implants when you can have both procedures? Breast lifts with implants combine both the popular procedures to increase or restore breast size and shape with the help of saline or silicone implants along with a mastopexy.
The doctor makes incisions in this procedure and creates a pit in the breast so that the required implant can be placed on top or bottom of the pectoral muscle. This causes the nipple and areola to move higher and resize the breasts. To achieve the desired contours in breasts, the surgeon reshapes the tissues in the breasts. To create a more defined appearance the top surgeons will trim the excess skin and make it look tighter as well.
Board-certified doctors minimize the chances of scarring and will assist you in every possible way to determine the best incision point based on what look you want to achieve.
Post-Op Expectations of Combined Surgery
In the first week after lift with implants surgery, you may feel tired and sore along with some discoloration and swelling. This usually goes away after a week. The area around the breasts may seem tight and itchy. The doctors will provide instructions for faster recovery after the surgery. The most important tip provided is to sleep on the back in an inclined position. You should refrain from work for at least a week after the surgery. Driving and heavy lifting should be avoided at all costs for a few weeks. After a month, the patients are able to realize the good outcome of their well-orchestrated surgery. After some time, the scarring tends to fade away.
Is Plastic Surgery Right for You?
In the same way that you read caution labels on medicines and cosmetic products, so should you educate yourself on the risks related to plastic surgery. Pre-existing conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, or even a smoking habit, can all interfere and cause complications, putting your health at risk. You only have one body, and any plastic surgery will forever change it. It’s important to recognize the health risks associated with any procedure, whether you opt for a breast lift or a full implant style augmentation.
So, if you’re researching breast lifts vs breast implants in NJ, it’s important for you to also consider the alternative of a breast lift instead. Dr. Berlet has been a leading plastic surgeon in New Jersey for over 20 years, so you can feel confident that he can help you to determine which of the two procedures is right for your body and your goals.