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FAQs: Breast Lift vs. Breast Reduction

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If you are navigating the world of breast procedures and deciding what may be the best option for you, questions may come up about the difference between a breast lift procedure or mastopexy and a breast reduction surgery. In some ways, these procedures are similar and may produce similar results. However, the main differences between a breast lift and breast reduction are the reasons patients choose to undergo the particular procedure.

Breast reduction surgery is usually needed due to undesirable physical symptoms caused by oversized breasts, including back, neck, and shoulder pain or skin irritation. In general, a breast lift is performed when the breasts sag and appear deflated. This sagginess may be due to aging, pregnancy and breastfeeding, or other reasons.

A breast lift is commonly combined with other procedures, including breast reduction as well as breast augmentation or as part of a mommy makeover. More specific details about breast lift compared to breast reduction may help you make a better determination.

What is Breast Reduction?

The goal of breast reduction surgery or reduction mammoplasty is to reduce the size of large, oversized, disproportionate breasts. Many women with large breasts suffer from back and neck pain, shoulder pain caused by bra straps, and skin problems due to extensive skin-on-skin contact in the breast fold. Breast reduction surgery can reduce or eliminate these painful and bothersome issues.

During a breast reduction, fat, glandular tissue, and skin are removed from the breast to reduce the size, and the breasts are sculpted to create a more balanced, proportionate appearance. Since large breasts often become weighed down and sag over time, a breast reduction is often combined with a breast lift where the remaining skin and tissue are lifted to create an optimal final result.

Who is a candidate for Breast Reduction?

Those who would like to reduce the size of sagging, heavy breasts and stop the health problems that they are experiencing due to large breasts are great candidates. You will need to be in overall good health and have fully developed breasts which happens typically at or over age 18.

If you have a desire to breastfeed in the future, you will want to discuss this with your surgeon. Since glandular tissue is often removed during a breast reduction, the ability to breastfeed could be affected. In some cases, breast reduction surgery is covered by medical insurance, especially when related health issues have become unmanageable. In men, breast reduction surgery is typically referred to as gynecomastia surgery and, unlike a correction for health issues that women deal with, is performed to create a more masculine pectoral appearance.

What is a Breast Lift?

A breast lift aims to tighten, firm, and lift the breast tissue and skin to provide a more youthful, perky appearance. There are many reasons why the breasts may begin to sag or skin becomes loose. The natural aging process can affect the breasts, as well as breastfeeding or pregnancy. A breast lift can restore the breasts to a younger or pre-pregnancy state and bring back renewed confidence.

Breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, involves removing excess skin and adjusting the breast, areola, and nipple into a higher position. This procedure is versatile and is often used in combination with breast reduction, breast augmentation with implants, or augmentation with fat transfer. It’s important to note that a breast lift alone will not alter the size of your breasts in either direction; it will only elevate your existing breast tissue. So a desire for smaller breasts requires a reduction and larger breasts, an augmentation.

Who is a candidate for a Breast Lift?

Since a breast lift is a highly complementary procedure, many patients looking to make cosmetic changes in their breasts include a mastopexy in their surgical treatment plan. Those who want to lift the appearance of their breasts and eliminate sagging, lax skin and tissue are good candidates for a breast lift. As with any breast surgery, patients should be in good general health, close to their goal weight, and understand the likely outcomes of this kind of surgery. Typically, breast lift patients should be done having children since further pregnancies or breastfeeding can reverse the results of a breast lift. 

Less, Lift, or Both? 

Making a decision to have cosmetic breast surgery is extremely personal and important. The best way to make this very delicate decision is with the help of an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. A plastic surgeon like Dr. Ran Stark can customize and tailor your surgical plan to be exactly what you need and provide precisely the results you want. Scheduling a breast lift or breast reduction consultation with Dr. Stark is the first step to making a change that can positively impact your confidence and overall quality of life.

Philadelphia plastic surgeon Dr. Ran Stark brings decades of experience and training to each consultation. When you meet with Dr. Stark, he takes the time to give you information and options, so you can have confidence in your decision to move forward with the best procedure for you. Confidence. Personalized care. Impeccable results. That’s the Stark Difference. Discover that difference yourself by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Stark today.

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