Breast reduction and breast lift procedures can be great options for women who wish to reduce or alter the position of their breasts. They are also effective surgeries for any woman wanting to refine the size or shape of their breasts. So, which one should you choose? That all depends on your personal goals and expectations. Below you will find information pertaining to the differences and similarities breast reduction and breast lift procedures share, which might just help you decide which surgery is right for you.
In the past, concerns emerged that silicone implants posed health risks, including an increased risk of systemic diseases such as lupus and arthritis. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed a moratorium on silicone implants in 1992 so the safety of these devices could be studied. However, in 2006 the agency concluded that there was no evidence of risk and lifted the moratorium.
Tip: Learn about the possible complications of breast augmentation, which include breast pain, changes in nipple sensation and hardening of the breast tissue around the implant. The FDA provides information on risks. Also, be aware that if you choose to have the implants removed, your breasts probably will not look the same as they did before surgery.
Round breast implants with a smooth surface are currently used for the majority of breast augmentations in the United States and Canada. These implants tend to create a fuller appearance in the upper portion of the breasts and more distinct cleavage when placed over the muscle (subglandular implant placement). When placed under the muscle (subpectoral and submuscular implant placements), round implants create a very natural shape.
If you’re considering breast lift surgery, choosing a cosmetic surgeon is the most important decision you’ll make. When you visit potential surgeons, ask how frequently he/she performs breast lift surgery and how many total procedures that surgeon has performed. View before and after photos, not just on a surgeon’s website but also during your consultation, paying close attention to the results of patients whose breasts before surgery look similar to yours—this will help you get a feel for a cosmetic surgeon’s aesthetic style.
MENTOR® MemoryGel® Breast Implants, MENTOR® MemoryShape® Breast Implants, and MENTOR® Saline-filled Breast Implants are indicated for breast augmentation in women (at least 22 years old for MemoryGel® Implants and MemoryShape® Implants, and 18 years old for Saline Implants) or for breast reconstruction. Breast implant surgery should not be performed in women with active infection anywhere in their body, with existing cancer or pre-cancer of their breast who have not received adequate treatment for those conditions, or who are currently pregnant or nursing.
Since experienced surgeons are aware of these issues with saline breast implants and their need for eventual replacement, they opt to place them under the chest muscle. The chest muscle works as an extra layer of tissue over the implant, which makes for a smoother transition from the chest wall to the implant. The finished product is a more seamless transition versus a more visible and abrupt change when the implant is not placed below the pectoral muscle. As for gel breast implants, they can also be safely placed below the pretorial muscle if that is a viable option for the patient since replacement and wrinkling is less common with this type of implant.
There’s saline, silicone, “gummy bear” (aka cohesive gel), and autologous fat, explains Dr. Rowe. For the latter, you’ll need around two to three pounds of fat to inject into the chest, and patients often need touch-ups to achieve symmetry. With saline, the implant ripples more, and some patients think that it feels heavier. If a saline implant ruptures, it’s absorbed into your body safely; however, the difference is very noticeable, so you’d likely want to see a doctor ASAP anyway, explains Dr. Doft. Silicone tends to feel more natural, hold its shape, and ripple less. Dr. Doft says the majority of her patients choose silicone.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration established the age ranges for women seeking breast implants; for breast reconstruction, silicone-gel filled implants and saline-filled implants were approved for women of all ages; for breast augmentation, saline implants were approved for women 18 years of age and older; silicone implants were approved for women 22 years of age and older. Because each breast implant device entails different medical risks, the minimum age of the patient for saline breast implants is different from the minimum age of the patient for silicone breast implants—because of the filler leakage and silent shell-rupture risks; thus, periodic MRI screening examinations are the recommended post-operative, follow-up therapy for the patient. In other countries, in Europe and Oceania, the national health ministries' breast implant policies do not endorse periodic MRI screening of asymptomatic patients, but suggest palpation proper—with or without an ultrasonic screening—to be sufficient post-operative therapy for most patients.
Breast implants have gotten a bad reputation from the past and the fact that they had been known to rupture. The modern-day breast implants are very well made, and it’s almost impossible to cause them to rupture. This doesn’t mean that it can never happen, but it’s exceedingly rare. The rippling and wrinkling however, is a more difficult problem to address. This tends to me more common in the saline implants than with the silicone implants due to the filling. The saline implant is just water which is less dense then the silicone gel. The gel is denser and more closely resembles the actual breast tissue. Even when if the implant is placed below the muscle, it only covers about a half to two-thirds of the implant. Therefore, along the sides or underneath the implant you may see some wrinkling or rippling, however, depending on the size of implant used it may not even be noticeable. The larger the implant used the more visible any wrinkling or rippling could become. Typically, silicone implants are recommended because the risk of any wrinkling or rippling is lower and the implant feels more natural.
When trying to determine the best implant size for your surgery, this is where you need to be very honest and exact about what you want. There is no need to feel embarrassed or shy about what you are wanting, but if you don’t accurately communicate your expectations to your Surgeon they will not be able to give you what you want. If you want an exaggerated fake look than say so, if you want an enhanced natural look that that is what you tell the Surgeon. Based on the look you are wanting the Doctor will be able make recommendations for you to achieve your desired result. There are so many varieties of implants that it is important that both you and your doctor are on the same page about expectations.
Breast reduction involves reducing the size of the breast. A breast lift involves lifting the nipple-areolar complex and reducing the excess skin of the breast. Breast reductions can involve just liposuction in patients who have more fatty tissue than glandular breast tissue. Liposuction alone indeed does reduce the volume of the breasts. However, sagging of the breast can result and liposuction alone is therefore performed usually in highly selected patients.
Be on the same page as your doctor - Make sure both you and your physician are clear about what facial areas you want to treat, how you ideally want them to be fixed, and what the ideal final result may be. Different people have different aesthetics. For instance, if the "frozen face" look is your doctor's definition of successful Botox but you disagree, you better make sure both of you are aiming for the same target or you'll end up with a result your doctor thinks is beautiful but you think is horrific.
The ASPS and the Plastic Surgery Foundation (PSF) have partnered with the FDA to study this condition and in doing so created the Patient Registry and Outcomes For breast Implants and anaplastic large cell Lymphoma Etiology and epidemiology (PROFILE). The United States FDA strongly encourages all physicians to report cases to PROFILE in an effort to better understand the role of breast implants in ALCL and the management of this disease.
It is very important, as stated earlier, to be mindful of the information and opinions that are available on the internet, as well as the advice and stories of your friends. Each patient is a unique individual and as such, your case will also be unique from any other. A good surgeon is aware of this fact and will customize your consultation and procedure to you, so that you are able to obtain the desired results.
Many patients themselves are skeptical and most of the time unable to determine if they are needing a breast lift or and augmentation, but the surgeon will be able to take a look at your breast and after evaluation will be able to determine if a lift is sufficient and the best choice, or if you should look into an augmentation. One of the many things they will take into consideration is the relationship of the nipple with the breast fold aka infant mammary fold. If the nipple is significantly below that level, the patient will need a breast lift no matter what as an augmentation alone will not correct the underlying problems. If the nipple is just barely at the level of the mammary fold, it is possible that you can have just an augmentation, as it will work as a sort of internal lift for them.
As with any medical/surgical treatment, individual results may vary. Only a surgeon/physician can determine whether reconstruction or augmentation>is an appropriate course of treatment. The following are general adverse events associated with breast implant surgery: Device Rupture, Capsular contracture, Infection, Hematoma/Seroma, Pain, Reoperation, Implant removal, changes in Nipple and Breast Sensation, unsatisfactory results, breast-feeding complications. Other reported conditions are listed in the Product Insert Data Sheet (PIDS). See full list in the PIDS for the product information. These potential adverse events, including contraindications, warnings, and precautions need to be discussed with your doctor prior to surgery.
Implants come in various sizes, and your surgeon will guide you on choosing the right size to help you achieve the look you desire. In addition, your surgeon will help you decide whether you want a more natural, teardrop shape or a more rounded look. Implants also come with either smooth our textured shell surfaces, and your surgeon will help you decide which is best for you.
Many patients return to work within the first week after breast lift surgery, depending on the nature of their jobs, and resume most daily activities after a week or so. You will need to limit exercise other than walking for the first 2-6 weeks after a breast lift; your cosmetic surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions about when it is safe to resume any activity.