Becoming a new mother can bring countless joys and greatly improve the quality of your life, but it can also wreak havoc on your bustline. After breastfeeding, and the weight fluctuations that can accompany pregnancy, a lift and/or an augmentation could very well become the focal point of your Viva Eve Mommy Makeover.
But what’s the difference between a breast augmentation and a breast lift? Happy you asked. Because while the two cosmetic procedures are frequently combined, they each serve a unique purpose. And when you’re armed with knowledge regarding the difference between breast lift vs. breast augmentation, you and your Viva Eve board-certified plastic surgeon can make the best choice for your body and lifestyle.
Breast Lift: The Core Need-to-Knows
Staring in the full-length mirror, wondering how to fix saggy breasts? A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, is one sure way to do exactly that. But before going in-depth on the lift procedure itself, let’s dive into how breasts start to droop and head south in the first place.
During and after pregnancy, a woman’s breasts undergo substantial changes. At first, in preparation for breastfeeding, they get bigger, and fat tissue is replaced by functional tissue.
Once breastfeeding is complete and you’re no longer producing milk, that functional tissue atrophies—with no fat to replace it. As the breast tissue shrinks, the skin surrounding it stays stretched, causing that confidence-zapping, tell-tale sagginess that so many new mothers struggle with.
Breast lift surgery alleviates sagging, restoring a youthful, rounded look to the breasts while maintaining their natural size. The process involves:
- Surgically removing loose skin
- Reshaping the breast tissue
- Repositioning the nipple higher
These three crucial steps contribute to a more youthful looking bustline.
To achieve these results, the surgeon will need to make at least one incision, typically in the areola. One of the most popular types of lifts, dubbed “the lollipop,” requires an incision from the areola down to the breast crease, and another cut encircling the areola itself.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, excellent candidates for a breast lift include women who are physically healthy, able to maintain a stable weight and don’t smoke. Beyond that, their breasts’ appearance ticks one or more of the following boxes: they have a flatter, elongated shape; the nipples point downward and the areolas are enlarged. And if one breast is lower than the other, a lift can also save the day.
Post-surgery, you can expect at least two weeks of recovery, while swelling, bruising and discomfort subside. Itching to get back to the gym? You’ll need to wait a solid six weeks before resuming any kind of rigorous exercise.
In many cases, you will be able to breastfeed after having had a lift. So if more kids might be in the cards for you, this category of plastic surgery doesn’t have to mark the end of your ability to nurse future babies.
Breast Augmentation: What It Entails & Best Candidates
While a breast lift addresses sagging tissue, augmentation increases the volume of your breasts, boosting cup size. It’s a great choice for any woman who has lost volume due to post-pregnancy weight loss and / or breastfeeding.
At Viva Eve, we offer two paths to enhancing your breast size: implants and fat transfer. Although implants are the more common choice, fat transfer is actually pretty revolutionary. During the two-step procedure, your surgeon first removes fat from your thighs or buttocks and then adds it to your breasts, immediately enlarging them. For patients who are looking to trim down in some areas and beef up in others, fat transfer augmentation is ideal.
Implant-centric breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, entails surgically placing implants in your breast. During your initial consultation with our board-certified Viva Eve plastic surgeon, you’ll make a series of choices regarding the best shape and size to complement your post-baby body; the type of implants (saline vs. silicone); whether they’ll be placed above or beneath the chest wall muscle, and the incision site.
As with a breast lift, the best candidates for augmentation are in good physical and mental health, are finished breastfeeding and are not pregnant, and don’t smoke or drink. In other words, they’re in great overall shape, but simply want the confidence boost having a beautiful bust can deliver.
For most women, recovery from augmentation is a bit lengthier than for those who simply opt for a breast lift. Expect to wear some type of compression bandage or sports bra for support and positioning while you heal, and several weeks of soreness and bruising. If your surgeon placed drainage tubes near your breasts, those will be removed in a follow-up visit.
Follow your surgeon’s directions, practice some excellent self-care, and you’ll be back to your work and most of your other activities in under a month.
Breast Lift Vs. Breast Augmentation: Ultimately, It’s Your Call
Now that you’re up to speed on the key points of difference between the two procedures, it’s time to consult with your surgeon and move forward with a plan that meets you exactly where you are in terms of your lifestyle and goals for your body.
No matter which path you choose – lift, augmentation or combination of the two – rest assured that with the stellar plastic surgery team at Viva Eve, and our state-of-the-art, AAAASF-certified facility, you’re literally in the best possible hands. If you’re interested in scheduling a complimentary consultation with one of the surgeons at Viva Eve, book an appointment today.