Common Breast Lift Questions: How Is a Breast Lift Different From Breast Implants?

An attractive woman lounging on a bed and smiling at the camera (model)

Women concerned about the appearance of their breasts—especially after having children—often want to know if breast implants alone can create the results they want. It’s one of the most common questions asked in online forums and during plastic surgery consultations. But breast lift patients usually have several other questions about the procedure.

How is a breast lift different from breast implants? In this blog post, I’ll answer the most common questions about breast lift surgery, also called mastopexy.

Before & After Breast Lift Case 92 View #1 View in Sacramento, Granite Bay, & Roseville, CA
Before & After Breast Lift
Before & After Breast Lift Case 92 View #2 View in Sacramento, Granite Bay, & Roseville, CA
Before & After Breast Lift
  1. What’s the difference between breast implants and a breast lift? A breast lift reshapes and lifts the natural breast tissue without using saline or cohesive silicone gel implants. This is accomplished by making incisions that provide the plastic surgeon access to the breast tissue, which can be removed and reshaped. The surgeon will remove excess skin and reposition the nipples before closing the incisions. Breast implants simply add volume to increase the size of the breasts. For patients with minimal breast sagging, implants can create a lifted appearance.
  2. How do I know if I need a breast lift or augmentation? Stand in front of a mirror without a top or bra on and notice if the nipples are pointing straight out or down. Can you see the crease where the base of the breast connects to the chest? If the nipples point down or you can’t see a crease, breast augmentation by itself will probably not provide the desired results. Breasts that are out of proportion, in the wrong position, or have too much sag or droop require a breast lift. In some cases, patients choose to combine a lift with implants to create larger breasts that appear more youthful.
  3. What kind of breast lift is best for you? There are different degrees of breast sagging. The type of breast lift performed depends on the severity of the sagging. As you might guess, more significant sagging requires more incisions to ensure there’s enough support. The most common types of breast lifts are performed using lollipop and anchor incision patterns. A lollipop incision encircles the areola and then extends vertically down the bottom half of the breast to the base. An anchor involves adding a horizontal incision just above the crease.
  4. Will I lose sensation in my nipples after a breast lift? Temporary sensory changes both in the nipples and the breast itself may occur, but the risk is quite low. If you do lose sensation, it will typically resolve in a few months.
  5. How long will the results of a breast lift last? It’s difficult to pinpoint the number of years the results will last because each patient is different. There are ways to help keep your breasts looking perky. Sun exposure is one of the primary reasons the skin loses its elasticity, so use sunscreen before sunbathing, even when wearing a bikini. Natural supplements like vitamins C and E may help promote and improve skin elasticity. You should also avoid weight fluctuations that stretch the skin. Finally, wear bras that fit well to provide support to the breasts, especially when physically active.

If you’re self-conscious about the appearance of your breasts and believe cosmetic breast enhancement may be an ideal solution, request a consultation using the online form or call our office at (916) 929-1833 to schedule an appointment.

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