Breast lift vs. breast augmentation: What's the difference?

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Breast lift vs. breast augmentation: What's the difference?

Question

What is a breast lift? How is it different from breast augmentation?

Connie
Maryland

Answer

A breast lift (mastopexy) is a surgical procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts. Unlike breast augmentation, it does not change the size or firmness of your breasts.

During a breast lift procedure, your surgeon moves your nipple and areola to a higher position and removes excess skin from beneath your breast. Closing the remaining skin tightens and lifts the breast. In breast augmentation, your surgeon places an implant behind your breast tissue or a layer of chest wall muscle.

Breast lift procedures achieve the best results in women with small breasts, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Breasts of any size can be lifted, but the results may not last as long in heavy breasts.

Breast lift and breast augmentation procedures are generally safe when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. In evaluating whether you might need a breast lift or breast augmentation, your doctor will consider:

  • Size and shape of your breasts
  • Condition of your skin
  • Placement of your nipples and areolas

Sometimes a breast lift is done at the same time as the breast augmentation.

Breast lift: How it's done

Illustration of breast lift.

During a breast lift procedure, your surgeon moves your nipple and areola to a higher position and removes excess skin from beneath your breast. Closing the remaining skin tightens and lifts the breast.

Last Updated: 01/31/2006
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