- Breast augmentation vs. breast lift
- Can breast augmentation alone lift sagging breasts?
- Degrees of breast ptosis
- Should I get a breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast augmentation mastopexy?
- What are the benefits of getting breast augmentation?
If your breasts display a sagging appearance and you’re unhappy with how they look and feel, you may have started researching your options – both surgical and non-surgical.
It can be stressful with so many options available. Many think their best option is adding breast implants during an augmentation procedure. However, this isn’t the only option. Some women may find a breast lift more suitable. This post will review how they compare and discuss whether implants alone can solve sagging breasts.
Breast lift vs implants
During a breast augmentation, we insert implants of your desired size to change your breast size and shape. Implants can appear differently in different patients depending on the natural footprint of their breasts. Some patients end up with lower-sitting implants, while others sit higher.
We can strategically place implants to make the breasts sit in higher or lower positions. Some patients hear breast augmentation and automatically picture large, unnatural breasts. But most patients usually get a breast augmentation to improve the shape rather than the size, with their implants being as small as 150 to 250cc. To put that into perspective, the average implant patients ask for when seeking size alone is 350 to 500cc.
Breast augmentation gives a fuller appearance, which, in turn, can promote a more lifted appearance. However, implants should never be considered the total solution for drooping.
During a breast lift, we create incisions around the areola, under the nipple to the bottom of the breast, and along the crease of the breast. We then remove excess skin from sagging breasts while tightening the underlying tissues. This results in a tighter, lifted, and more youthful appearance.
In their prime, many women have perky, high-sitting breasts, and the breast lift is performed as a restoration procedure to give them what they once had, or perhaps something even better in terms of shape.
If breasts appear saggy because of lost volume rather than a substantial amount of excess skin, implants will provide a noticeable improvement in breast appearance. It is especially so when paired with a slight breast lift. In more acute cases of sagging, a total breast lift is necessary because implants alone can’t fix severe sagging breasts for a long-term result.
And if a breast augmentation and lift are combined, the two procedures accomplish multiple goals simultaneously and promote dramatic results in making your breasts appear more youthful again.
Can breast augmentation alone lift sagging breasts?
A breast augmentation will not entirely correct drooping breasts as it focuses on the size and shape of the breasts rather than position. However, the effect on position will also depend on your tissue quality.
Typically, younger patients who have not experienced much weight fluctuation have good tissue quality. The supportive tissue in their breasts can hold its new position long-term after being manipulated during a procedure. The amount of healthy tissue and skin you have to work with can also impact whether you are a candidate for breast augmentation because it is harder for Dr Liland to add more volume to your breasts with small, loose pockets to hold them.
If you think a breast augmentation is the only option to achieve your dream results but only have a small amount of breast skin, Dr Liland may use techniques similar to his breast reconstruction patients to give you your desired goal. Your candidacy for breast augmentation also depends on the degree of drooping you are experiencing.
If your concerns go beyond mild shape malformation and lean more toward moderate droopiness or more, you will need additional efforts other than implants alone.
Degrees of breast ptosis (drooping or descent of the nipple):
- Grade 1: Mild shape deformities – This is typically seen in younger patients experiencing hormonal changes and fixed easily using small implants below 200cc.
- Grade 2: Moderate drooping – Skin laxity with initial signs of drooping of the breast tissue and skin starting to show. Typical in younger mothers who were recently breastfeeding for the first time.
- Grade 3: Significant drooping – Typically caused by pregnancy or weight fluctuation and may cause an increase in cup size to hold the entirety of the sagging breasts.
- Grade 4: Allotropic skin – This is when collagen strength is poor and is usually in women older in age who have gone through menopause, multiple pregnancies, etc.
If patients are only experiencing mild shape malformation, implants alone will address their concerns. If patients’ conditions range from moderate to more severe stages of drooping, Dr. Liland will recommend a breast lift over an augmentation.
To summarize, determining factors for whether you are an ideal candidate to get implants to improve the shape of your breasts include:
- Your age
- The quality of your breast tissue
- The goals you have in mind for your results
- The degree of breast ptosis you currently have
- The amount of healthy breast tissue and skin you have to work with
Should I get a breast augmentation, lift, or both?
Three of the top breast surgery procedures are the breast lift, breast augmentation, and a breast lift with implants, known as breast augmentation mastopexy.
When you schedule a breast surgery consultation with Dr. Liland, he will examine the condition of your breasts, listen to your goals, and ask plenty of questions to get a well-rounded understanding of your situation and goals. Once he feels that he knows what you want and assesses the current state of your breasts and tissue quality, he will share his recommendations for which procedure would best suit your goals.
If you have some excess skin in your breasts and Dr. Liland determines it is healthy enough to hold its new placement with the added volume, you may be a great candidate for a breast augmentation to improve the shape. It is especially ideal if you would benefit from the added volume.
Breast augmentation can be physically and emotionally beneficial if breastfeeding or weight loss has caused your breasts to appear deflated and the tissue is strong enough to hold the implant. Again, however, breast augmentation alone is not a solution to drooping.
If you are only looking to improve the placement and tightness of your breasts and are happy with your breast size, a breast lift alone may achieve the results you desire. Some women, especially those with thin frames, aren’t concerned with having fullness in their breasts and prefer a more natural look that complements the rest of their bodily features.
A breast augmentation mastopexy may be ideal if your breasts appear saggy and deflated and need excess skin removal while lifting the placement and adding volume. It is a highly favored procedure for mothers who have lost the fullness of their pre-baby breasts.
What are the benefits of getting breast augmentation?
If you are only experiencing minor shape deformities rather than noticeable drooping in your breasts and your tissues are strong enough to hold your results, a breast augmentation can give your breasts a perkier, firmer appearance. The main advantage is that it makes your breasts appear fuller in size while improving their overall shape.
Keep in mind that there are specific criteria you must meet to benefit from a breast augmentation on its own to address shape concerns such as a deflated appearance. This procedure is mainly for increasing the size of the breasts.
Dr. Liland will use his extensive knowledge of the anatomy of the breasts and how they react to specific techniques to strategically place the implants in a higher position for a slightly perkier appearance.
Other benefits of getting a breast augmentation include:
- Enhances the appearance of the breasts
- Promote a more feminine, curvy appearance
- Can improve cleavage by both lifting and adding volume
- Restores a youthful appearance in the breasts
- Improves the location of the breasts