Q&A with Dr. Chandler

Q: So, What’s the Difference Between a Breast Lift and Breast Augmentation?
AThere is no doubt that for many women, breasts are a defining part of their overall physique.

But we all know that aging, gravity, weight fluctuation and pregnancies can significantly change their appearance over the years. For others with smaller breasts, there is often a desire to enhance the overall size, shape and proportionality of their breasts. So, what are your options when it comes to plastic surgery?

First breast augmentation and breast lift accomplish different goals. For example, breast augmentation increases your breasts’ cup size and give the breasts a fuller shape (by placing an implant or placing your own fat within the breasts), while a lift raises sagging breast tissue and reshapes the breast to a more aesthetic appearance. In short, breast augmentation focuses on your breasts’ size and shape, while a breast lift focuses on the breasts’ overall position and shape but does not increase volume. Additionally, for women with significant breast ptosis (sagging), performing a breast augmentation alone usually would not give the desired result, as the augmentation would not lift the sagging tissues.

The Breast Augmentation
When you’re unhappy with the volume or size of your breasts, breast augmentation may be the right procedure for you. First, we would discuss your goals for the surgery and your desired breast volume would be determined. The surgery is then performed by placing an implant in each breast to give the desired volume as discussed in our consultation.

The Breast Lift
Multiple life events and gravity can cause your breasts to sag and lose their round, perky shape over time as your skin stretches and your breasts begin to sag. During a breast lift, excess skin is removed and repositioning of breast tissue and areolas is performed, moving the areolas higher on the breast, and reshaping the breasts to restore a more youthful and fuller appearance.

The Combination – Lift and Augmentation
For some women, either procedure alone may not be sufficient to accomplish her desired goals. Combining the two procedures can often create a desired breast shape that is only achievable by this combination. In general, women who may desire the combined augmentation and lift are those who are unhappy with the degree and sagging of the breasts and are also unhappy with the volume of the breasts, even in a bra. Ultimately, determining which procedure is best for you is a highly individualized decision and only by communicating about your desired goals and understanding your individual anatomy, can we decide upon the best procedure to accomplish those goals.

All three procedures typically require a 2 to 4-week recovery with a gradual return to activity over this period.