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Breast Lift vs. Breast Implants MARK A. SCHUSTERMAN, MD, FACS

Fellow of the American College of Surgeons American Society of Plastic Surgeons American Board of Plastic Surgery American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Association of American Physicians and Surgeons Texas Surgical Society Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons

Breast Lift vs. Implants: Do You Need Both?

Like many women, you may be confused about breast lifts and breast implants. They are not the same procedure, but in some cases, you will need both to get the look you want. Everything depends on the condition of your breasts. Small tight breasts require a different approach than large saggy breasts. Before you seek plastic surgery to improve the look of your breasts, you need to understand the difference between a breast lift and a breast augmentation.

Breast Implants

Breast implants are usually made out of saline or silicone, and are meant to augment or replace breast tissue. A breast augmentation, or “boob job,” involves placing implants either under or over your pectoral muscle. Your surgeon will determine which placement is best for you depending on your particular situation.

Can You Get Breast Implants Without a Lift?

In many instances, you can have breast implants without a breast lift, mainly if your existing breast tissue is firm and high.

Implants are also used in breast reconstruction surgeries to restore breast fullness after a lumpectomy or replace the tissue removed during a mastectomy. In these instances, a breast lift is not necessary.

Breast Lift

Saggy breasts often come with aging, although some women experience drooping tissue at an early age. Few women are born with perfectly round, full breasts. Even those women who initially like their breasts may become unhappy with them as their tissue shape changes over the years.

Over time, the breasts sag more and more. Weight loss, gravity, pregnancy, and breastfeeding can all cause breasts to sag, even with the proper supportive bra. If you aren’t sure if your breasts would be considered saggy, you can try the old pencil test. Merely insert a pencil under one breast. If it stays there instead of falling to the floor, chances are you could benefit from a breast lift.

Can You Have a Breast Lift Without Implants?

Depending on your breast size and the amount of tissue sagging, your doctor may feel that implants alone will improve the look of your breasts. This option works best for women with small breasts and skin that still has excellent elasticity. Women with larger breasts will not get the same results from implants alone.

Most often, your surgeon will recommend both a lift and implants. First, your doctor will perform a mastopexy, which involves repositioning your nipples higher on your chest, a more youthful position. He will also remove loose skin and recontour the breast tissue.

While you can have a breast lift without implants, your breasts may be slightly flat on top and lack the fullness you desire. Having both implants and a breast lift will correct sagging and drooping and restore your cleavage.

Explore Your Options

When you visit a plastic surgeon, ask about all your options. The surgeon can explain whether you need one or both breast procedures, and he will take into consideration your age, physical health and expectations before making his recommendation to you.

After the procedure, you will be happy with the shape and size of your breasts. Instead of worrying about passing the pencil test, you’ll be celebrating the fact that your breasts are no longer drooping. In fact, your breasts will be firm, full and high without external support.

Contact us at the Texas Center for Breast and Body to schedule an individual consultation for a more beautiful you.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment with the renowned plastic surgeon and breast & body specialist Dr. Mark Schusterman. Take your first steps to a more beautiful you.

1200 Binz St Suite 1198, Houston, TX 77004