Both breast reductions and lifts are surgeries whose purpose is to enhance the appearance and physique of the breast. While both procedures aim to improve the appearance of the breasts, they serve different purposes and are tailored to address distinct concerns. To help you gain a better understanding of each procedure, let’s look at the key differences between breast reduction and breast lift surgeries.
A breast reduction procedure helps to reduce the size and volume of the breasts. The goal of breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty, aims to reduce the size and volume of the breasts, alleviate discomfort, and improve breast proportion and symmetry. Good candidates for breast reduction surgery typically struggle with breasts that are disproportionate to their body size and/or have larger breasts that make exercise and other day-to-day activities difficult. Other concerns may include skin irritation, bad posture, and overall discomfort in the back, neck, and/or chest.
A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, aims to lift and reshape sagging or drooping breasts. The primary focus is to improve breast position, contour, and overall appearance. Unlike a breast augmentation, a breast lift does not increase the size of the breast. Individuals who are generally happy with their breast size but wish to address asymmetry and/or breast ptosis, typically opt for a breast lift. Common concerns of breast lift patients include breasts that are sagging or have downward-facing nipples and/or breasts that have lost their shape due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss, or natural aging.
How Are These Procedures Different?
While there are similarities between breast reduction and breast lift surgeries, the techniques and goals of each procedure differ. The primary difference between breast reduction and breast lift is how the excess tissue is managed. During a breast reduction procedure, tissue is removed to provide the desired breast size. During a breast lift procedure, this tissue is repositioned to maximize the lifting effect and to help slow recurrence over time.
Is Recovery the Same?
The recovery process for breast reduction and breast lift surgeries share many similarities, but there can be some differences based on the extent of the procedure and individual patient factors. General recovery aspects to consider for each procedure include:
- Postoperative Discomfort: Both surgeries can involve discomfort, swelling, and bruising.
- Time Off Work: The recovery period for both procedures involve taking time off work and other daily activities.
- Physical Activity Restrictions: Following either procedure, patients are generally advised to avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, or intense upper body exercises for a few weeks.
- Scarring and Scar Care: Both breast reduction and breast lift surgeries involve incisions, which will result in some level of scarring. The extent and visibility of scars can vary depending on the surgical technique used and individual healing characteristics.
- Follow-up Appointments: Regular follow-up appointments are essential during the recovery process for both procedures.
Recovery experiences can vary, and postoperative instructions are often tailored to your situation. They will guide you through the recovery process, explain what to expect, and provide you with personalized recommendations for a smooth and successful recovery.
When considering a breast lift or breast reduction, it is recommended that patients consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss their specific goals and expectations. By understanding the differences between procedures, we hope that you feel confident and empowered to make the decision that aligns best with your personal goals.
To schedule a breast reduction or breast lift consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Ryan Diederich, at MidAmerica Plastic Surgery, call 618-288-7855 or fill out an online contact form here.