The Surgeon Minute

Breast Lift or Breast Augmentation?

Breast Lift or Breast Augmentation?

The breast lift and breast augmentation; Meridian Mississippi plastic surgeon tells how to decide which procedure is right for you. According to Dr. Lee Thornton, a board certified plastic surgeon, one of the most difficult areas to grasp as a patient is when and how to choose between breast implants, a breast lift or the need for both procedures.

By: Dr. Lee Thornton
and Carolynn Grimes

For many women, when they lose weight or stop breast feeding, the skin does not shrink back to its original shape. If you would like to re-gain your original breast tissue but aren’t sure which procedure would be best, Dr. Thornton sorts out the differences and explains some of the most common questions women are asking.

How to choose?

It requires the evaluation and expertise of a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in all of those procedures to achieve the best result.

What are breast implants designed to do?

Implants add volume or size to the breast and they can also change the shape of the breast.  Implants can make the breast fuller, by giving it a more rounded appearance, as well as adding fullness to the upper portion of the breast. Losing volume or fullness is a common complaint of many women that comes with age or pregnancy.

Implants come in different sizes and shapes.

Implants come in different sizes and shapes and can be filled with saline or silicone gel. A plastic surgeon can help you choose the right fill and shape of an implant to correct differences in shapes and size of the breast.  In fact, says Thornton, “Most women have some degree of asymmetry naturally.  He says, “If the asymmetry of the breasts are not too great and the breast does not have too much sagging, drooping or excess skin, a breast augmentation alone will be all that is needed.”

Choosing an Implant that’s too big, could mean complications later.

Breast Augmentation SurgeryChoices get more complicated Thornton says, when the differences in breast size or shape cannot be corrected with an implant alone.  He says, don’t  pick a breast implant that is too large for your body.  “ The use of an implant that is too large will lead to problems requiring more complications in the future,” says Thornton. Implants, as a general rule, do not keep the breast from sagging and can often make sagging worse when the breast ends up too large for your body.

Some women have enough breast tissue and don’t need an implant

If you already have a breast size that is adequate, you and your surgeon should give serious consideration to performing a breast lift alone.  Thornton says, “There is no way to add an implant to your breast for fullness and not also increase the size of your breast.”

What is a breast lift?

A breast lift, otherwise known as a mastopexy can give long lasting and natural results without the need for an implant.  The mastopexy alone does not give quite the fullness above the nipple long term that you can get with an implant, however the trade off of the lift alone without the implant is often the best choice when your breast is already big enough.

What the experts say…

In Thornton’s experience, he says in most situations it’s not appropriate to remove your natural breast tissue and place an implant to get that “implant” look or fullness up top.  If you have enough beast size naturally, use your own tissue and just have a breast lift.  “I have often seen patients after they have had a combination lift and implants and they feel they are too big and then they begin to sag again,” says Thornton. He says, “The heavier the breast, the more it droops, regardless if there is an implant or not. Implants, as a general rule, do not keep the breast from sagging and can often make sagging worse when the breast ends up too large for your body.”

To summarize, breast implants are normally used for increasing breast size and for relatively minor shape changes, while a breast lift is sometimes needed with an implant to overcome greater amounts of excess skin or sagging and can be used alone to correct sagging when breast size is already adequate.

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