Breast augmentation or breast lift? Here’s a helpful guide
It’s no secret that bodies change over time, though many people work to slow or prevent the effects of aging.
In particular, you may wonder about ways to enhance the appearance of your breasts. There are a few different cosmetic procedures for changing the way your breasts look, each with different benefits. Your primary options include breast augmentation and breast lift. Learning about the differences will help you decide what is right for you.
What is breast augmentation?
This procedure changes the shape and size of your breasts using breast implants. Women’s breasts can change after childbirth or with age, and may begin to look less full. Breast augmentation helps to restore this lost volume. Some women choose implants to enhance their self image, or to correct asymmetrical breasts.
Prior to your procedure, your doctor will help you choose the size and type of implant that’s best for you, as well as the best location for the incision. Your doctor will also help you decide whether to place the implant above or below the chest muscle. Depending on your preferences, your plastic surgeon will create an incision either near your armpit or around your nipple to insert an implant made of silicone or saline. After placing the implant, your doctor will stitch the incision closed. Cleveland Clinic noted that the surgeon may also put temporary drainage tubes in place.
What is a breast lift?
Breast lift is a procedure to correct sagging or droopy breasts. Unlike augmentation, this surgery does not involve implants. If your breasts have lost their shape or firmness after weight loss or pregnancy, this procedure can help restore their former appearance.
During a breast lift procedure, your surgeon will make an incision in your breast. According to the Mayo Clinic, this incision can be around your areolae — extending from the breast crease to the areolae — or along your breast creases. Next, your doctor will remove excess skin and realign your nipples higher on your chest. Your doctor may also do other things to reshape your breasts, like make the areolae smaller. Finally, your surgeon will close the incisions and protect the area with gauze. They may also place drainage tubes before closing the incisions, to help with the healing process.
What should I expect when recovering from a breast augmentation or breast lift?
The recovery processes for breast augmentation and a breast lift are similar. When recovering from breast surgery, it’s important to follow your doctor’s advice carefully. For the day of the procedure, ask a family member or friend to drive you home from surgery. Your breasts and the incision sites will be protected with gauze, and may be sore, swollen and bruised for a few weeks after your surgery.
Your incision scars will fade with time, but they will never disappear completely. Your doctor will let you know when it is safe to resume physical activity, how to care for your incisions and drainage tubes and when to return to have the tubes and stitches removed.
For information on this subject, check Reid Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
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