Breast Lift VS Breast Reduction – What’s the Difference?

Published: March 8, 2023
Category: Dr. Christine Stewart, Breast Lift, Breast Reduction, Blog

Breast augmentation is currently the second most popular plastic surgery worldwide, but it is not the only option patients have when it comes to surgical breast enhancement. Although tens of thousands of women increase the volume of their breasts each year with breast implants, thousands more solely wish to lift or decrease the size of their breasts. Breast lift and breast reduction surgery are two safe and effective procedures to improve the appearance of a woman’s breasts without adding extra volume.

Breast augmentation tends to steal the limelight when it comes to plastic surgery for breasts, but other procedures can significantly improve the appearance of a woman’s breasts that have nothing to do with implants or additional volume,” explains Dr. Christine Stewart, a board-certified plastic surgeon and partner at Edina Plastic Surgery. “Depending on a woman’s lifestyle and aesthetic goals, a breast lift or reduction may help her achieve her desired appearance. Although somewhat similar, it’s important to understand the key difference in these two surgeries.”

What is Breast Reductions Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery (also called reduction mammoplasty) is designed to reduce the size and weight of a woman’s breasts. This surgery is especially beneficial for breasts that are wider, longer, or larger than the ideal for a woman’s body type or frame. A breast reduction removes breast tissue, skin, and fat and can even reduce enlarged areolas. After breast reduction surgery, a woman’s breasts will be lighter, smaller, firmer, and more in proportion to the rest of the body.

“Women with large, pendulous, heavy breasts may suffer from a variety of medical problems caused by the excessive weight of her breasts,” says Dr. Stewart. “Back and neck pain, skin irritation under the breast, bra strap grooving in the shoulders, and postural problems are just a few of these. Overly large breasts can dramatically affect a woman’s everyday activities and self-confidence. Many find it uncomfortable to participate in physical activity, have difficulty with clothes fitting well, and feel incredibly self-conscious in public. Breast reduction surgery creates a breast size and weight that is more comfortable for a woman’s body and more visually balanced and proportionate to her frame. This surgery can significantly impact a patient’s quality of life because she is able to comfortably participate in more physical activity, and it can also alleviate baseline discomfort that she feels on a daily basis due to back and neck pain.”

What is Breast Lift Surgery?

Breast lift surgery (also called mastopexy) is a procedure designed to lift the breasts to restore a more youthful breast profile. By removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue, a breast lift can reshape the breast, firm the skin, and create a higher breast profile. When indicated, a breast lift can also reduce enlarged areolas.

“Pregnancy, nursing, age, and gravity can all take a toll on the appearance of a woman’s breasts,” says Dr. Stewart. “As the skin of our breasts loses its elasticity, they often lose their shape and firmness and begin to sag. Because breasts are so heavily synced to many women’s sense of femininity, these changes are frequently unwelcomed and can significantly impact women’s self-confidence. A breast lift results in breasts that are higher on the chest and firmer and perkier than before, due to a tighter skin envelope.”

How Are Breast Reduction and Breast Lift Surgery Different? How Are They Alike?

“Unlike breast reduction surgery, a breast lift does not make a woman’s breasts significantly smaller, as only excess skin is generally removed,” explains Dr. Stewart. “But, the two procedures do share several benefits and advantages to patients.”

Similarities Between Breast Reduction Surgery & Breast Lift Surgery

  • Both procedures are safe and effective
  • Both procedures result in instantly noticeable outcomes
  • Both procedures have a very high rate of patient satisfaction
  • Both procedures can improve a woman’s posture
  • Breastfeeding is possible after both procedures
  • Scarring is unavoidable with both procedures, but incisions can be placed in discreet locations

Can a Breast Reduction & Breast Lift be Combined?

“A breast reduction always includes a lift, but a breast lift does not always include a reduction,” says Dr. Stewart. “There are some breast reductions that are mostly lifts that remove a small amount of heavy tissue at the base or out laterally to improve the shape of the breast. The final result is smaller, higher, lighter, more lifted breasts and self-confidence!”

Are you interested in learning more about breast lift or breast reduction surgery? Schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Christine Stewart or another board-certified surgeon at Edina Plastic Surgery by calling (952) 688-3177, texting (952) 925-1765, or CLICKING HERE.

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