What should you do if you’re unhappy with the size, shape, or drooping of your breasts? What is the best breast operation for you? Depending on your preferences, you can choose from a variety of cosmetic surgeries. Breast augmentation and breast lift are two of the most common surgeries. Ultimately, you’ll need to meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in aesthetic breast surgery to figure out which technique is best for you.


What is breast lifting?

Breast lift procedure is exactly what it sounds like. Breast tissue that has sagged is lifted and tightened, giving your breasts a firmer, perkier appearance and feel. As you become older, your skin loses its flexibility. Breast tissue sagginess can also be caused by pregnancy and breastfeeding. A breast lift focuses on reshaping your breasts for a more youthful appearance.

What you need to know

There are three types of breast lift approaches including periareolar, vertical breast reduction and inverted-T incisions. The periareolar incision method follows the patient’s natural areolar form and is often optimal for people who have large areolas and only minor breast drooping. 

The vertical breast reduction incision follows the same course as the periareolar around the areola, but it also continues directly down from the areola, providing more lift for moderate sagging. The course of the inverted-T incision is similar to that of the periareolar and vertical breast incisions, but it also involves a cut within the breast fold.


What is breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation is a procedure that enlarges and fills out the breasts. Breast augmentation is accomplished with the use of implants that are inserted beneath the breast tissue. Silicone or saline implants are the most frequent types. 

Most individuals prefer silicone because it has a more natural appearance and feel, but it is risky if the implant ruptures. Overall, implants are fairly safe, and all you have to do is keep an eye out for any changes in your breast that could indicate a problem.

What you need to know

When considering breast augmentation plastic surgery, four primary factors must be considered: incision placement, implant size/shape, implant type, and associated risks.

  • Incision and implant placement: The three most used incisions for breast augmentation include inframammary (under the fold of the breast), trans-axillary (in the armpit) or periareolar (around the nipple).  Each method of incision has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
  • Implant size and shape: You have a variety of sizes and shapes to choose from. The shape of your chest wall, your body form, your lifestyle, your natural foundation, and your lifestyle must all be taken into account. A board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation can help you figure out what size and shape will look best and make you happy. 

In general, we encourage patients not to increase their bra cup size by more than two sizes, as anything greater can overwhelm the chest in terms of appearance, diameter, and/or width. You also don’t want your breasts to take over your complete appearance!

  • Implant types: The choice between silicone and saline depends on a variety of criteria, including desired results, personal preference, and the patient’s body type. Silicone is more expensive, necessitates a larger incision, and is a more time-consuming surgical operation. Silicone implants provide a more natural, realistic feel and are a great option for patients who have very little natural breast tissue. Saline implants are ideal for patients who have a lot of breast tissue because they can add volume and contour without affecting the way the breasts feel. Both types of implants, by the way, last ten to fifteen years, are FDA approved, and have a very good safety record.


Main differences between a breast lift and a breast augmentation

The differences between a breast lift and a breast augmentation are numerous. Both are surgical treatments, but the lift is more concerned with the position of the breasts, whilst the augmentation is more concerned with the shape and size. Although the effects may not be as dramatic as implant placement, the lift can alter the breasts. Breast lift and augmentation costs range from $9000-$12000. 


Who is a good candidate for breast surgery?

You might be wondering if you’re a good candidate for breast surgery at this point. This is dependent on a variety of things, including your physical and mental health. A meeting with a specialist can help you determine whether you are a good fit for the surgery. 

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:


If you are considering breast surgery, you should be close to your ideal weight. Weight gain and loss can have a significant impact on breast look, so if you are continuously shifting in weight, you may want to postpone surgery. Prior to surgery, it’s advisable to maintain your current weight for at least a year.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Many experts advise women to postpone breast surgery until they have finished having children and are no longer breastfeeding. This is due to the fact that the breasts fluctuate during and after pregnancy, and procedures can interfere with breastfeeding. You wouldn’t want to undergo a breast lift before becoming pregnant, just to have your breasts revert to their previous state after the birth of your child.

You’ll want to wait until you’re very sure it’s the perfect moment because they’re both pricey operations and it’s doubtful you’ll want to do them again. If you plan on having children, when you are done having them could be the ideal moment to do it. Unplanned pregnancies do happen, of course. If this happens after surgery, you will be able to have another after the baby is born if necessary; nevertheless, it isn’t ideal if you can avoid it.


Which of these procedures should you consider?

Which of these processes should you choose? The only way to know for sure what surgery you should get is to meet with a specialist for a consultation. They will be able to examine your anatomy and listen to your worries before making a recommendation regarding which procedure is best for you. 

You can have one or both surgeries, or if your anatomy requires it, you can have both at the same time. A breast lift is for women who have sagging breasts and extra skin, whereas an augmentation is for women who are unsatisfied with the form and size of their breasts. If your breasts are drooping and you want to change their form or size, a lift and augmentation procedure may be suitable for you. Again, the only way to be certain is to have a consultation.

To determine whether a breast lift or augmentation is best for you, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Is the size of my breasts something I’m happy with? 
  • Is the contour of my breasts something I’m happy with? 
  • Do I like the way my breasts are positioned? 
  • Do I have excess skin on my body? 
  • Do I think my breasts are proportionate to the rest of my body? 
  • Is my mental health in good condition? 
  • Do I have any reservations regarding the procedure? 
  • Am I performing this operation only for my own benefit? 
  • Is the surgery within my financial means? 
  • Are my expectations reasonable?

Make your own list of questions and consider the advantages and disadvantages. This is an important decision!


What should you expect before, during, and after the procedure?

Restrictions and recovery milestones

2 weeks before the procedure

  • There will be no smoking allowed. 
  • There should be no aspirin, ibuprofen, herbal supplements, fish oil, or any other drug that could cause bleeding. 
  • Make plans to have a responsible friend or family member drive you home after your procedure. 
  • Prepare for your recovery period by establishing childcare and/or work arrangements as needed. 
  • Purchase any post-surgery goods you may require (frozen peas/ice packs, gauze, sports bra). 
  • Any sickness symptoms should be reported to the office prior to surgery. Prior to surgery, your medical history may necessitate medical clearance such as lab work, a mammogram, or an EKG. 

The day before surgery: Confirm the date and time of your procedure, as well as your transportation. Prescriptions must be filled. Begin taking Arnica Montana.

The night before surgery: 12 hours before surgery, do not eat or drink anything. Shower, relax, go to bed early, and get at least seven hours of sleep.

2-3 days following surgery: Many women may suffer light to moderate pain in the days after surgery, which can be treated with prescription medication. Nausea caused by the anesthesia used during the treatment is also frequent, but it usually goes away on its own. 

During this time, the surgeon will usually remove any surgical coverings and any drains that were used. Many surgeons will advise that their patients continue wearing a surgical bra and compression bandages to protect their incision sites. Many patients will be able to shower by the second or third day.

1 week after surgery: Pain levels normally decrease dramatically, but considerable bruising and swelling in the breasts may persist. Many patients have been given permission to return to work and engage in light everyday activities such as walking. Bending, moving heavy things, and other vigorous motions should be avoided by patients. 

2 weeks after surgery: Many patients begin to feel normal and are able to go about their everyday lives without pain. Vigorous activities or exercise should be avoided for the foreseeable. Around the 2-week point, incisions are usually totally healed, and patients may be allowed to bathe.

4 weeks after surgery: The majority of patients are well enough to resume their regular exercise program (exercises and activities like golf, tennis, etc. that specifically target the chest should still be avoided). 

6 weeks after surgery: After the majority of the bruising and swelling in the breasts has subsided, the 6-week mark usually signals the end of the recovery phase. Most patients are allowed to exercise freely, sleep on their stomachs and sides, and wear an underwire bra.


Pain management

Following breast surgery, the majority of patients feel mild to severe soreness. The pain is usually the worst for the first 2-3 days after the treatment and then goes away. Your surgeon can prescribe pain medication to help the patient cope with their symptoms. Many surgeons advise against taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or naproxen after surgery since they can cause excessive bleeding.


Scarring from breast surgery is possible, and the extent and location of scarring depends on the type of surgery and technique used. Incisions can be made in low-visibility regions such as around the areola line or under the breast fold in some situations. There are also a number of non-surgical cosmetic treatments that can be used to reduce the appearance of any scarring that may ensue.


Book a consultation with a plastic surgeon

A consultation with an expert is required if you want to make the best choice possible. Listen closely and ask questions to ensure that you and your surgeon are on the same page. It’s also a good idea to schedule consultations with a few specialists so you can pick the one you like most. Of course, you should ask for recommendations, look at portfolios, and read reviews from the society of plastic surgeons, but ultimately, you should trust your instincts.

A consultation with a professional will not only help you choose the best operation for you, but it will also teach you more about what can and cannot be done for your specific anatomy, as well as what to expect in terms of outcomes.

Book your consultation