Breast reductions and breast lifts are very different but often complementary plastic surgeries. At Spectrum Plastic Surgery, you can find out during your consultation if a breast lift is recommended along with breast reduction surgery. Although both surgeries are exactly what they sound like, they yield very different results. A breast reduction reduces the size of the breasts by removing fat and/or breast tissue. Liposuction and surgical removal of excess tissue can be performed with minimal incisions and scarring. The only goal of a breast reduction is to reduce the breast size, but it does not enhance the shape of the breast. Skin laxity is only addressed with a breast lift.
Whether or not you will also benefit from a breast lift depends on numerous factors including how much tissue/fat is removed and the degree of skin laxity. Younger patients with good skin laxity who are not drastically reducing their breast size might not require a breast lift. However, the majority of patients interested in a breast reduction are having ample amounts of fat/tissue removed. This means that a breast reduction is usually only performed when the breasts are quite large and often causing pain.
What to Consider with a Breast Lift
It might seem like adding a breast lift to your breast reduction surgery is an easy choice, but bear in mind that it will extend the recovery period and requires much more aggressive incisions. Very small incisions are needed to remove fat and tissue, but a breast lift trims away excess skin. There are many possibilities when it comes to incision placement with a breast lift, and your exact incisions will be dictated by how much skin is being removed and where.
One of the most popular incisions for a breast lift is the anchor or lollipop incision. These incisions are made in the natural crease of the lower breast with an additional vertical incision from the crease to the lower areola. If the nipples need to be “moved,” which is quite common, an incision will also likely be made around the areola. Incisions at the border of the pink area are easy to camouflage once the surgery has healed. However, keep in mind that even when incisions in the crease and vertically are fully healed and white, they may still be visible. You can further decrease their appearance with non-surgical treatments like lasers or energy-based devices.
Patients often need to decide if they prefer the benefits of lifted breasts or want to avoid any additional incisions. This is a personal choice, but our team can work with you to help select the best option for you. The best way to minimize scarring for any procedure is to exclusively work with a leading expert in your particular surgeries.
What These Surgeries Can Do
Both smaller and lifted breasts look more youthful. Those who opt for a breast lift might discover that they no longer “need” or want to wear a bra. A breast reduction can be an immense relief and you might discover you no longer have back pain, neck pain, or lacerations from bra straps. Both of these surgeries can help make you more comfortable and confident. Not everyone who is interested in one of these surgeries necessarily needs the other, but breast reductions and breast lifts are very commonly paired together.
It can also be confusing to gauge exactly what your breast size and shape might be after a breast reduction—this is where a consultation with a surgeon is critical. A breast reduction is usually not “just” liposuction (which is strictly the removal of fat), but also involves the removal of breast tissue. However, if you worry that you won’t be able to breastfeed after breast surgery, rest assured that most women who get surgeries can go on to breastfeed if they like. Removing excess breast tissue should not automatically mean you cannot breastfeed, since the milk ducts are not removed.
Scheduling Your Breast Consultation
You have many options when it comes to customizing your breast surgery. If you’re ready to take the next step and get the aesthetic and comfort you want, start with a consultation with an expert. Connect with Spectrum Plastic Surgery today by calling the office or fill out the online form.