Breast Lift vs. Breast Augmentation

There are two primary reasons women seek to make cosmetic changes to their breasts: They want smaller breasts to be larger or they want sagging breasts to sit higher on the chest—or sometimes both. Each goal is accomplished by a different type of breast surgery. Toronto based cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr. Wayne Carman performs both augmentation and lifts, and seeks to guide his patients in determining which procedure or combination of surgeries is best suited to deliver the desired results.

Breast surgery to augment the breasts involves the insertion of an implant to add volume. Varying implant shapes and styles allow for customization that can determine the ultimate feel and fullness of the breast. The most important characteristic of an implant is the volume though using an appropriate shape and style can enhance the final result as well.

An increase in volume makes breasts appear larger, but drooping breasts with downward-pointing nipples will continue to sag. Implants can actually contribute to this look, as added weight can further pull down breasts, especially for women whose skin is particularly lax.

A breast lift or mastopexy removes excess skin and tissue to position the breasts higher on the chest with the intent of creating a perkier, more youthful silhouette. This procedure may also involve surgically repositioning the nipples so that they point upward and outward instead of down. Since tissue is being removed, a lift does not increase breast volume, and so will not cause them to appear larger.

For some women who desire an increase in volume, especially those with healthy skin and significant projection, augmentation surgery is enough to give them the look they want. Others are happy with a lift alone. Still others may consider combining the two in order to gain both volume and projection. This is not uncommon for women who have had one or more children who nursed, since childbearing and lactating can cause breasts to lose volume as well as sag over time.

In some cases, only one breast may require surgery in order for the patient to maintain a look of symmetry. Dr. Carman also performs breast reduction, which may be used to help with balancing asymmetries, reducing volume to combat the pull of gravity which may cause shoulder and neck pain or simply to help a woman who wants to change her proportions so that clothes fit better.

To schedule a consultation to determine an ideal breast surgery procedure—whether a lift, augmentation, or both—call the Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Toronto at (416) 322-7108 or 1-888-451-1140. You may also visit drcarmanplasticsurgery.com.

Written by +Wayne Carman

Dr. Carman is a Toronto Plastic Surgeon practicing breast, body and facial cosmetic surgery.