Breasts don’t stay exactly the same throughout life. They might become larger or smaller at different times, based on changes in your weight or your hormones. Birth control use, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause are all things that can affect the size and shape of your breasts.
In some cases, women feel happy with the changes that take place at certain times. A woman who has naturally small breasts might be thrilled to see them become larger during pregnancy. Other women who have larger chests, however, are often not so delighted with the same changes. In many cases, breasts can become smaller or droopier thanks to breastfeeding and the effects of gravity.
If you want to do something to change the way your breasts look, the first step is to understand the options available to you. There are breast surgeries that can change your breast size, such as breast reduction and breast augmentation. Other surgeries are designed to change the shape or positioning of the breasts.
Breast Lift or Implants: What’s the Difference?
Breast implants are used during breast augmentation to change the size of the breasts. Implants increase breast size. A breast lift, however, is performed to change the shape or position of the breasts. It might make the breasts look perkier, but it won’t make them bigger or smaller.
What a Breast Lift Can Change
The goal of a breast lift is usually to change the position of the breasts and to enhance their shape. As women get older, it’s common for the breasts to start to sag. The sagging can occur as a result of the effects of gravity or due to normal changes in the breasts, such as the swelling of the milk ducts while breastfeeding.
During a breast lift, the plastic surgeon focuses on removing excess, sagging skin from the breasts. The surgeon then reshapes and repositions the breasts so that they sit higher on the wall of the chest.
A breast lift is also often performed to change the position of the nipples. Factors like gravity and breastfeeding can cause the nipples and areolas to become larger and to sag or point downward. A breast lift will reduce nipple size and reposition them so that they sit higher on the breasts.
Although a breast lift won’t make the breasts smaller or larger, it can have an effect on their volume. After breastfeeding, it’s common for the breasts to look deflated or to lack volume and definition. This can also occur as a result of aging or after weight loss.
During a breast lift, a surgeon will reshape the breasts. The breasts won’t be bigger or smaller, but they will look fuller and rounder.
How to Know if a Breast Lift Is Right for You
There are a few ways to tell if a breast lift is right for you. One option is to perform a pencil test. Place a pencil or similar-shaped object into the crease beneath your breast and extend your arms to the sides. If the breast sags down enough that it snugly holds the pencil in place, then you might benefit from a breast lift. If the pencil falls to the floor when you let go of it, you most likely don’t need a breast lift right now.
What Are Your Implant Options?
If your primary concern is changing the size of your breasts, then a breast augmentation with implants might be the right option. Breast implants can increase the size of your breasts while improving their symmetry and balance.
Implants come in a range of sizes, shapes, and materials. For example, an implant can be filled with saline (saltwater), or it can be filled with a silicone gel. Each type of material has its pros and cons. Silicone implants tend to feel smoother and more natural while saline implants tend to be firmer and rounder.
A plastic surgeon can fill saline implants after placing them in the breast pocket, meaning they can make a smaller incision during surgery. Filling the implants after placement also allows for a more customized fit.
Should You Choose Both Implants and a Breast Lift?
It’s not uncommon for women to want to change both the size and the position of their breasts. In fact, it’s very common. Many plastic surgeons will combine breast augmentation and breast lift surgeries to enhance the size of the breasts while adjusting their position and shape.
If a woman has larger, drooping breasts that are bothering her, it’s also possible to combine a breast reduction with a breast lift to make the breasts smaller while minimizing any sagging or drooping.
There are a few benefits to combining a breast lift with either a breast augmentation or reduction. The combined procedure will take less time to perform as compared to individual surgeries performed at different times. A combined procedure also cuts down on overall recovery time. Combining the surgeries allows a surgeon to make the changes all at once, potentially improving the overall results.
In Houston, Texas, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Vitenas performs breast augmentation, breast lifts, and breast reductions regularly. He’s been named a Top Doctor and is one the most highly regarded breast surgeons in the area. To learn more about the difference between breast implants and a breast lift and to see which breast surgery might be right for you, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas today.