What’s the Difference Between a Breast Reduction and Breast Lift?

As with any other part of the body, the breasts change with age. This change can be multifaceted—affecting the body in diverse ways. It can be difficult for a patient to know, then, when a breast reduction or a breast lift might be the most beneficial. In many cases, the two procedures are simply combined into one.

Do I Need a Breast Lift or a Breast Reduction?

So it’s understandable that some patients might not be completely clear about what a breast lift does and what a breast reduction does. The best choice for you is going to depend on several factors, most notably your body and your desired final outcome.

Breast reduction and Breast lift are both designed (and performed) to accomplish specific tasks. Knowing more about these tasks—about these objectives—can help you determine whether a breast lift, breast reduction, or combination of both will provide you with the best possible outcome.

What Does a Breast Lift Do?

As the human body ages, there are several things that happen to the breasts. First and foremost, gravity begins to pull the skin downward. Second, that “downward pull” is exacerbated due to the skin’s loss of elasticity. This is something that happens naturally with aging, and the end result is a change in the orientation of the breasts.

This change in orientation can make many people feel self-conscious—they can feel as though their breasts simply no longer reflect their desired body image. In many cases, normal aging processes can be exacerbated by life events. Pregnancy and nursing, for example, can often speed up the process through which breasts can look more aged.

A breast lift is designed to correct the orientation of the breasts. The end result is profile that projects youth and fitness, helping the patient to feel more confident and comfortable.

Breast lift procedures generally present patients with at least some of the following benefits:

  • A more youthful orientation of the breasts
  • Correcting sag caused by pregnancy, nursing, or other life events
  • Repositioning of the nipple into a more youthful position
  • A boost in self-confidence
  • Clothes may often fit patients better
  • Breast might be more “self-supportive” after the procedure

It should be noted that, when performed in isolation, a breast lift is not designed to add or remove volume to or from the breasts. In other words, a breast lift patient will leave surgery with roughly the same sized breasts as when had going in. It’s the orientation of the breasts that will change.

What is a Breast Reduction?

If patients are looking for a change in breast sizing, then a breast reduction might be the best course of action. It’s true that gravity (over time) can cause the sagging of breasts to accelerate and the orientation of the breasts to change. However, one of the other side effects of gravity (especially when combined with lifestyle changes or life events) is the creation of excess skin.

In other words, the breasts can get larger. And those larger breasts—especially on a frame that can’t support them—tend to cause problems. Indeed, overly large breasts can create a variety of medical issues, including the following:

  • Chronic back pain
  • Chronic neck pain
  • Chronic headaches caused by tension in neck and back muscles
  • Difficulty exercising
  • Problems with posture

During a breast reduction procedure, Dr. Bosbous will remove the desired amount of excess skin and tissue from the breasts. Most patients who undergo the procedure will see a significant improvement in the amount of pain and discomfort their breasts cause. But patients will also look more youthful, as overly large breasts can often be seen as a signifier for aging.

Which One Should I Choose?

Most patients do not have to “choose” between a breast lift and a breast reduction. In fact, most patients will simply opt to undergo both procedures. The reasons for that are pretty simple, and they reflect the way aging happens in the human body. The gravity that exerts a downward pull on the breasts, for example, will often also be creating excess skin.

That means that the majority of patients will require a breast reduction and a breast lift in order to achieve their desired final outcome. This approach, performing the two procedures at once, enables surgeons to maximize the benefit to the patient. Excess tissue is removed, making the breasts more proportional to the body. Additionally, the breasts are reoriented in order to make them appear more youthful.

The incisions for both procedures are quite similar, meaning that combining them does not necessarily increase your recovery period or any visible incision marks. However, everyone is different, and Dr. Bosbous will discuss the best course of action for your individual body and desired results.

Complimentary Purposes

There are certainly some patients who will require a breast lift without needing a breast reduction (indeed, breast lift procedures are often also performed with breast augmentations). There are fewer patients who will need a reduction but not a lift. In most cases, your desired end results will dictate the best approach.

Most women interested in lifts and reductions have similar goals. They want to look younger and more energetic. They want less pain and discomfort. And they want the confidence and self-esteem that comes with loving the way they look and feel. That makes both breast lift and breast reduction procedures exceptionally popular.

If you want to know more about what a breast lift or a breast reduction can do for you, contact the offices of Dr. Bosbous to schedule a complimentary consultation—and discover how your body—and your feelings about it—can transform!