What’s the Difference Between a Breast Reduction and a Breast Lift?

Over time, most women experience changes in their body that affect the shape and size of your breasts which can lead to both physical discomfort and insecurity in how their bodies look. Some of the more common concerns are sagging and drooping or a large breast size that causes discomfort and even back pain. For women who are uncomfortable or unhappy with the shape of their breasts, our plastic surgeon in Raleigh offers breast lifts and breast reduction surgery, but how do you know which one is right for you?

While scheduling a consultation is the best way to know for sure, we also want to give you a foundation of understanding, which is why we’re breaking down the two procedures, the concerns they address, and who they are right for.

How Is a Breast Lift and a Breast Reduction Different?

Both a breast lift and a breast reduction change the shape of the breast, and they both require removing extra skin and tissue. However, the main difference in the procedures is simply that with a breast lift, the size of the breasts don’t change – they won’t be larger or smaller, whereas a breast reduction significantly reduces the size and weight of the breasts by removing more of the internal fat and tissue.

Breast Lifts

A breast lift, also called a mastopexy, involves more reconstruction to the outer tissues, and the breast tissue itself is not lifted. During the procedure, your surgeon will remove excess skin and tighten the skin and tissue around the area, raising the breasts. The end result is reduced sagging and a lifted, younger-looking shape. Some women do experience increased fullness due to the firmer appearance, and there may be a change in cup size due to an improved fit.  Many women receive a breast lift with augmentation which enhances the overall size and shape by lifting and raising sagging breasts while silicone implants are placed to increase the size.

Breast Reduction

Breast reduction, also called a reduction mammaplasty, reduces the size and weight of large breasts by removing excess fat and skin as well as glandular tissue, often using liposuction as well as the manual tissue removal technique. The end result are smaller, lighter breasts, and patients also can experience improved firmness, minimal to no sagging, and a more symmetrical, proportionate shape. Breast reduction also decreases or eliminates pain in the shoulders, neck, and back associated with large breasts, allowing women to move more freely, exercise in comfort, and wear clothing that is more flattering and comfortable.


Choosing Between a Breast Lift and a Breast Reduction?

Both procedures are one-day, outpatient procedures that typically require around the same amount of recovery time. The main question you need to ask yourself when choosing between a breast lift and a breast reduction is what your goals for your physique and physical comfort are.

Choosing a Breast Reduction

If your breasts are large and they cause you discomfort, such as back pain, make exercising difficult, or you are simply uncomfortable with how they look, a breast reduction may be the better option. Following your surgery, you’ll experience an immediate reduction in the back and shoulder pain related to having large, heavy breasts, and you’ll see that your breasts are more proportionate to your body and symmetrical to each other.

Choosing a Breast Lift

Hormonal changes, breastfeeding, genetics, and age can take its toll on how your breasts look. If you are uncomfortable with the shape of your breasts and want a more youthful, uplifted appearance, a breast lift may be the right option for you. Following your surgery, you’ll experience firmer, lifted breasts that can help you feel more confident in your appearance.

Schedule a Consultation with Our Plastic Surgeon in Raleigh Today!

If you would like to learn more about breast lifts and breast reduction procedures and determine the best option for your unique needs, schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Ortiz. He’s helped countless women reduce pain and discomfort, improve self-confidence, and feel better about their physical appearance. Give us a call at (919) 532-2270 or complete our online contact form.