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Do Your Breasts Need a Reduction or Just a Lift?

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Posted May 31, 2023 in Breast Lift, Breast Reduction

4 Min Read: Breast reduction and breast lift surgery are two of the most common cosmetic breast surgeries. These surgeries are often performed together — whenever a reduction in size is needed — allowing women struggling with large breasts to achieve the well-shaped and youthful bustline they desire.

Woman with bandages covering her breasts

However, a breast lift can be done without a breast reduction. In fact, a breast lift is the most versatile breast enhancement surgery, as it can be performed alone or in combination with breast augmentation, breast revision, Mommy Makeover surgery, and more.

So, what exactly does a breast lift do, and is it enough to address your cosmetic breast concerns? 

What Is the Difference Between a Reduction and a Lift?

The difference between these two surgical procedures is spelled out in their names. 

Breast reduction reduces the size and weight of overly large and heavy breasts. This surgery removes glandular tissue and fat to eliminate unwanted volume. A breast lift is included in all breast reduction surgeries to ensure the smaller breasts remain perky and well-shaped.

A breast lift elevates sagging or drooping breasts by tightening the skin and breast tissues. Breast sagging (ptosis) occurs for many reasons, from pregnancy and breastfeeding to weight loss to natural aging. Because of this, many women struggle with droopiness without struggling with excessively large, cumbersome breasts. 

Why Doesn’t a Breast Lift Make the Breasts Smaller?

A breast lift tightens the tissues and trims stretched skin. This surgery does not remove glandular tissue or fat in the breast. Therefore, your breast volume will not shrink with a lift alone. 

Because the breasts are more compact, they may even seem as if they’re slightly fuller.

Which Surgery Is Right for You?

So, now that you know what a breast reduction and lift do, it’s time to determine which surgery is right for you. 

For some women, the choice is obvious. 

If you struggle with physical pain and emotional discomfort due to overly large breasts, then a reduction/lift combo is certainly for you. However, if you are relatively pleased with the volume of your breasts when you manually hold your breast up, then there is no reason to remove tissue. 

A consultation with your board-certified plastic surgeon can help you decide whether you want a breast reduction or a lift. During your consultation, you will discuss your health history, your goals, and what you can realistically expect from your procedure(s).

How Are These Procedures Performed?

These procedures have a very similar approach. In fact, the same incisions are used for both reductions and lifts. 

Anchor Breast Reduction / Anchor Lift

The traditional way to perform breast reduction or a significant breast lift is with an “anchor incision.” This incision option allows for the greatest amount of correction, whether resizing or lifting the breast.

Here, an incision is made around the areola that continues down the lower pole of the breast and along the breast crease (inframammary fold). From here, tissue and fat are removed (for reductions), tissues are tightened, and excess skin is removed (for reductions and lifts).

Once the procedure is complete, the resulting scar will be shaped like an anchor — giving the technique its name.

Short-Scar Breast Reduction / Lollipop Lift

Known as a lollipop reduction or lift, this option eliminates the incisions along the breast fold. Because the incision goes around the areola and then straight down, it gives a lollipop-like appearance, hence the name.

This option is ideal for women requiring less reduction or lift.

Want to Find Out More?

Whether you are struggling with skin rashes beneath the breasts due to the constant friction and rubbing of the breasts against the top of the ribcage, or you are simply displeased by their sagging appearance (or both), you can benefit from a breast reduction/lift or a lift alone.

If you’re wondering what a breast reduction or breast lift can do for your body and your outlook, contact NOVA Plastic Surgery and Dermatology at (703) 215-9152 or fill out our online form to schedule your consultation. Also, follow us on Instagram  

We look forward to helping you achieve a body you can be happy with.

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