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Do My Breasts Need a Lift or a Reduction?

Tired, saggy, heavy breasts can be a real problem for many women. While both a breast life and a breast reduction can do much to relieve the pressure, it’s difficult for many prospective patients to make a decision between these two breast enhancement procedures. Once you understand how each works and what benefits they can offer you, your decision might get a little easier. Before you head into your breast surgery consultation, arm yourself with some facts about breast lifts and breast reductions to get ready.

Breast Lifts: A Better Shape

A breast lift surgery, known as mastopexy, is commonly performed when breasts have begun to sag and lose their shape. Good candidates for breast lift surgery are women with drooping breasts as a result of a recent weight loss, one or more pregnancies, breastfeeding, natural elasticity loss due to aging, and the pressures of gravity. Breast sagging is a very natural consequence for breasts of any size. While smaller sized breasts tend to respond best to a breast lift procedure, this surgery can offer benefits to other sizes as well.

Breast lift surgery is performed under general anesthesia and can take about two to three hours to complete. An inverted T incision is made around each areola, running vertical from the nipple and horizontal along the natural breast crease. With the incision made, your plastic surgeon will remove excess fat and skin. Both the nipple and areola will be repositioned to a more appropriate height as the remaining breast tissues are reshaped and lifted upward. Once the procedure has been completed, sutures are used to close the incisions.

Breast Reductions: A Lighter Weight

In a similar fashion, the breast reduction surgery employs surgical techniques to alter the shape, size, and placement of the breasts. On the other hand, the reasons patients cite for breast reduction surgery are very different. Breast reductions are intended to greatly reduce the amount of breast tissue present in order to address problems associated with heavy, sagging breasts. Many prospective breast reduction patients suffer from back problems, poor posture, chronic neck pain, skin rashes beneath the breasts, breathing problems, skeletal deformities, a feeling of being top heavy, limited activity because the breasts are in the way, and significant problems with self-esteem and self-confidence. Reducing breast size can relieve many, if not all of these symptoms almost overnight.

The surgical technique used for breast reduction surgery will largely depend on the amount of tissue to be removed and the extent of the patient’s corrective needs. Breast reductions are also performed under general anesthesia and typically last two to three hours. The procedure begins with a thin incision made around the areola, vertically down the mid-breast, and then horizontally across the breast crease. Next, excess fatty and glandular tissue will be removed to achieve the reduced size of the breasts. The areola and nipple will be reposition, keeping the blood supply, nerves, and milk-ducts all intact for women who choose to breastfeed later. With the tissue now sculpted into the new breast shape, the incisions will be sutured closed.

During a breast reduction surgery, other changes are available to patients who choose them. The nipple and areola can be resized and reshaped, if desired. Liposuction can be added to the breast reduction procedure to remove larger quantities of fat cells and achieve improved results for the right patient. Other choices may be made available to you during your one-on-one surgical consultation.

Choosing the Breast Enhancement for You

Deciding whether a breast lift or breast reduction is the better choice for you should only be done through a surgical consultation with a credentialed plastic surgeon. After hearing your concerns and examining your breasts, he can make recommendations on the procedure that is right for you. While a breast lift does involve some tissue removal, it may not be enough to relieve the strain you experience from your large breasts, and vice versa.

Consider these factors as you prepare yourself for a breast enhancement consultation:

  • Larger breasts don’t respond as well to a breast lift procedure, as the added weight causes them to begin sagging gradually soon after your surgery.
  • If you are planning to have children in the future and would like the option to breastfeed them, this should be discussed with your doctor. A breast lift procedure may not preserve the milk ducts.
  • Breast lifts are ideal for patients who just want to restore the breasts they once had.
  • Breast reductions may be medically necessary in extreme cases where patients are suffering from severe chronic pain.

As you plan for your own breast surgery, consider the goals you have for yourself. Do you want perkier breasts? Are your breasts too large and uncomfortable? Do you have plans for children in the future? What about your breasts is your main concern? By understanding your own motivations, you’ll be better equipped to answer your plastic surgeon’s questions.

The Importance of the Consultation

To get more information, book a consultation with a trusted plastic surgeon today. This one-on-one meeting is the beginning of your journey toward results and can provide a very valuable exchange between patient and surgeon. Get your questions answered and find the advice you’ve been looking for from someone who really understands both procedures well.

Dr. Ronald Lohner is an experienced and board certified plastic surgeon based in Philadelphia who offers male breast reductions to his patients as a solution for gynecomastia. He completed his undergraduate education at Dartmouth College and medical school at UMDNJ-Rutgers. Currently, Dr. Lohner is Chief of Plastic Surgery at Bryn Mawr Hospital and holds a faculty appointment at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His peers have selected him as a Philadelphia area Top Doctor for the last 8 years. His office is located at [primary_address] in [primary_city], [primary_statefull], on the Main Line. Please call his office at [primary_phone] to schedule a consultation for your liposuction procedure.