Breast Lift and Breast Reduction: Key Differences

Breast lift is a popular choice among women who seek to restore a firm, attractive look to breasts that have begun to sag as a result of pregnancy, changes in weight or the passage of time.

The procedure recreates a youthful profile by elevating the breasts on the chest. Although there are some similarities with breast reduction, there are also significant differences. Below, experienced Long Island plastic surgeon Lloyd D. Landsman, MD outlines the benefits of each procedure.

Natural Proportions

For women whose breasts are too large for their frame, breast reduction can be a welcome solution to neck and back pain, poor posture and even social awkwardness. When women experience loose skin and droopiness, breast lift may be the ideal solution.

Both breast lift and breast reduction can improve breast symmetry and sculpt a more appealing form. During each procedure, the breast is reshaped, resulting in an elegant, perkier appearance.

With each, Dr. Landsman typically makes a vertical incision, removes fat and skin, and then tightens and reshapes each breast. The size of the areola may be reduced, and in the case of larger breasts the nipple and areola may also be repositioned. Each is performed as an outpatient procedure, using general anesthesia or “twilight” IV sedation.

Shape and Volume

Although breast lift does involve the removal of some tissue, the goal is to reverse sagging and renew the natural contour by elevating the breasts on the chest. This more youthful positioning can actually create the appearance of larger volume, even though the breasts may have slightly decreased in size during the procedure. In addition, by improving symmetry and adjusting low or downward-pointing nipples to restore a natural appearance, breast lift creates a profile that is more dramatic in its projection, shape and proportion.

Breast lift is particularly effective at revitalizing breasts after pregnancy. During this time, breasts naturally swell to a larger size. When this happens, the skin stretches. Once your infant is no longer breastfeeding, the milk-producing gland shrinks and the breasts return to their usual size. But because the skin may not be flexible enough to shrink back to a correspondingly smaller size, sagging can result. That is why it is a good idea to wait until you are reasonably sure you won’t have more children before having breast lift. 

For more information on breast lift or breast reduction, call or email to schedule an appointment in the Smithtown, Long Island office of board-certified plastic surgeon Lloyd D. Landsman, MD.