If you’re not quite happy with the way your breasts look, there are many cosmetic options out there that will help you look and feel your best. Among the most popular are breast lifts and breast implants. While they both offer great results, the two procedures serve very different functions. Wondering which is right for you, or if you should opt for both? Keep reading for a look into each of the procedures and how to decide if you should get both a lift and implants.
The Breast Lift
A breast lift—also called mastopexy—corrects sagging breasts and restores a more youthful look. This procedure is slightly different from breast augmentation because it doesn’t enhance or restore fullness to the breasts; it merely decreases sagging.
Breast lift surgeries can also reposition the nipple. To complete the procedure, a doctor will make an incision around the nipple. (In many cases you will also require a vertical incision.) Through the incisions, the doctor will remove skin and gland tissue, creating a more visually appealing breast.
Though a doctor will work to create the best possible results with minimal scarring, breast lifts will result in noticeable scars for a period of time. However, these scars should flatten and fade over time. They will remain visible to some degree, though.
There are many types of breast implants. These procedures all result in fuller, firmer breasts through the insertion of artificial material. The ideal candidates for implants are women who are dissatisfied with the size, shape, or fullness of their breasts, or an individual who would like to correct asymmetric breasts or change their shape.
Saline breast implants are the most common type. They’re made of saltwater solution inside a soft silicone shell. If a saline implant ruptures, your body can safely absorb the saltwater. (Plus, saline implant ruptures are easier to detect.) They are also less expensive than silicone implants and require a smaller incision because the surgeon can fill the shell after it is inserted into the breast.
The drawbacks of saline are that they tend to be firmer and heavier than silicone implants, and there is some risk of the implant rippling. Surgeons sometimes avert this side effect by overfilling the implant, and we work to assess the appropriate volume to minimize any risk. In addition, the implant can be placed below the pectoral muscle for more natural results.
Silicone implants have a soft rubber shell that contains silicone gel, which closely resembles the consistency of natural breast tissue. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stopped their use in the 1990s after concerns that they would rupture and cause autoimmune complications. These concerns were addressed through detailed review and improvements in safety, appearance, and feel, and the implants were reintroduced in 2006.
While silicone implants have a more natural feel, are lighter, and have a smaller chance of rippling, they are more expensive. Plus, their volume is not adjustable and they require a larger incision. The FDA requires patients to be at least 22 years old to get silicone implants.
There are a few forms of silicone implant, including a new version called the “gummy bear” implant. These implants are made of silicone gel that has the firmness and consistency of a gummy bear. This implant appears to have less chance of breakage, less rippling, and the ability to maintain its shape for a longer period.
When should you choose both?
While it’s not necessary, it is possible to have a breast implant and lift at the same time. The lift will reposition the breast higher on the chest, while the implant will help restore the fullness of the breast itself.
This procedure can be very effective for improving deflated breasts with significant sagging, which is often brought on by childbirth. If you have loss of fullness near the top of your breasts or significant loss of volume, combined with breasts that hang lower, you may be very happy with both a breast lift and an implant procedure.
Complete care, advice, and support for your body
Not sure if you need a lift, implant, or both? Contact our office today to learn more about our advanced plastic surgery services in New York City and the surrounding area. We firmly believe in providing our patients with an educational, collaborative environment, ensuring that you have a say in every decision about your procedure. We’d be honored to give you the proper advice so you can make the right decision for your body.
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