Many patients who are unhappy with the look of their chest are confused as to what, exactly, needs to be done to fix it. Oftentimes, a patient will go online and see that her favorite celebrity or social influencer got breast implants, and think that it is the answer to every problem. A breast augmentation can literally transform your body, but only if it is the correct procedure for your anatomy and needs. If you have weak tissue and sagging breasts, you may need a breast lift either on its own or with a breast implant. And if you have too much volume, a breast reduction may be the right choice. Determining the best procedure for your breasts — augmentation, lift or reduction — always begins with an in-person consultation.
Breast Surgery Consultation
There are so many options these days for improving the size and shape of your breasts. It’s no wonder that it is confusing for patients. As a breast surgery expert, it is my job to help determine the right procedure for your anatomy, needs, and lifestyle. During your consultation, I will spend considerable time listening to what bothers you about your chest. I will then perform a thorough physical examination to assess your:
- skin texture
- firmness of your breast tissue
- degree, if any, of sagging skin and tissues
- breast volume
- nipple position in relation to the crease beneath the breasts
Determining if Breast Volume is an Issue
I will then have you suspend your breasts, look in the mirror, and tell me if you are happy with their size. Suspending the breasts re-centers the nipple on your chest wall. This eliminates any sagging that may be present in the lower breast so that the only variable to assess is your breast volume. If you aren’t happy with the size then we know that a breast implant is in your future. The next question is whether or not you will also need a breast lift.
To Lift or Not to Lift?
The idea of a breast lift scares many patients because they hate the idea of a scar on their breasts. First, scars on the breast heal extremely well. Second, trying to use a larger implant to lift sagging skin will typically lead to much bigger problems down the road. The reason that your breast tissue sags is because it has weakened due to:
- weight gain/loss
When the breast tissues weaken, it stretches and your nipple starts to head for the floor. The position of your nipple in relation to the inframammary fold, or crease beneath your breast, along with the quality of your breast tissue are the two things I look for when deciding whether or not a breast lift is appropriate. However, if there is also excess breast volume, we may need to discuss a breast reduction.
Difference between Breast Lift and Breast Reduction
The difference between a breast lift and a breast reduction is that the first only addresses loose skin while the latter also removes excess volume. Some women are born with breasts that are too big. However, many patients develop overly large breasts with time due to the same issues that weaken your breast tissue. Although it sounds counterintuitive, I may even recommend a breast reduction with a small implant. It is all about restoring proper proportion to your torso by creating the right size and shape breast for your anatomy. This, in turn, can make your waist look smaller, your stomach look flatter, and have you feeling more vital, youthful, and energetic.