Breast Lift Breast Reduction Liposuction

Breast Lift vs. Breast Liposuction

Breast Implant

Many of my patients for breast lift have asked which is the best way to improve  the shape and size of their breasts: breast lift, or breast liposuction? Before I answer this question, let’s look at what each option really accomplishes.

  • Breast lift is a surgical procedure performed to raise (and often reduce) the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue. Older techniques for breast lift used to involve removing and repositioning the nipple, and a large, anchor-shaped scar around the areola and below the breasts. More up-to-date techniques give us better options to reduce the amount of scarring necessary, and adapt the procedure to match a broad range of different breast shapes and goals, including combining minimal-scarring techniques with implants or with breast reduction to correct problems with minimal or excess breast tissue at the same time. This procedure does involve some level of scarring, especially by comparison to the liposuction technique, but an up-to-date breast lift surgery does offer opportunities for much more significant tightening of excess skin.
  • Breast liposuction is a newer and increasingly popular technique that also aims to reduce and recontour the breasts, while giving them a mild to moderate lift. In breast liposuction, instead of creating an incision around the areola and removing sagging excess skin and fat that way, the surgeon will instead focus the procedure on fat only, removing it gently by suction through a liposuction cannula. The procedure helps reduce weight, size, and volume of the breasts. While the lift is less direct and usually less significant than with traditional breast lift, in cases where the patient has very good skin elasticity, simply removing the extra weight and allowing some time for the skin to tighten is enough to help the breasts lift and tighten to a more natural position. This procedure is not necessarily going to get the best results for every breast reduction patient, but there is a good reason this procedure is so attractive right now: minimal to nonexistent scarring. Technically, liposuction always involves tiny amounts of scarring, but the incisons are about the size of a pencil tip and heal so quickly they seem to “disappear.”

Which Works Best?

The answer is definitely: “It depends on the patient.”

Breast liposuction can be an effective method for a specific group of patients who have a good overall breast position, and good to excellent skin firmness and elasticity, but who want to see targeted reduction to correct the excess heaviness that is giving their breasts a false impression of sagginess. Liposuction can remove up to 60% of the breast volume, so if you are happy with your breast shape overall but feel a smaller shape would create a perkier appearance, this procedure might be appropriate.

Breast lift is a more effective choice in cases where the patient has thin or loose breast tissue, severely sagging breasts, noticeably drooping nipples, or little excess breast volume. While it’s reasonable to expect some scarring with this technique, the scope of the procedure is much more significant, and the variety in techniques allows the surgeon to correct a bigger range of concerns more fully.

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