Breast Lift vs Breast Implants: What’s the Difference?


In 2021, cosmetic surgeons performed about 365,000 breast augmentation procedures in the US.

Plastic surgery has made advances in recent times. There are a lot of possibilities as experts continue to devise new methods and techniques for improving looks. However, taking the leap and entering a surgical facility is no easy task.

For this reason, you must know some important facts about breast lift vs breast implants before going under the knife. The good news is that this article is here to help you out. Keep reading to learn more.

Choosing Between Breast Lift vs Breast Implants

The main difference between a breast lift vs implants is that a breast lift is a surgical procedure used to improve the appearance of drooping breasts, while breast implants are a surgical procedure used to increase the size of the breasts. It is possible to perform a breast lift with or without implants, but implants are usually needed to achieve significant results. Both procedures have risks and benefits, so you must consult a plastic surgeon to determine which option is best for you.

Incision and Implant Placement 

There will be incisions done around the breast that will enable the surgeon to place the implant in the most natural-looking position possible. 

The location of the incisions for a breast lift and breast implants is different. Incisions for a breast lift are made around the areola, in the crease under the breast, or in the armpit. The insertion of the implants will be through these incisions.

After the incisions, the skin is lifted, and excess breast tissue is removed. The surgeon then creates a pocket for the implant and inserts it. The implant can be placed under the muscle or over the muscle.

Different types of breast implants

There are two main types of breast implants: saline and silicone. Saline implants use sterile saline (salt water). They are less expensive than silicone implants and have a lower risk of rupture. Silicone implants use silicone gel. They are more expensive than saline implants, but many women believe they look and feel more natural.

Different types of breast lifts

There are also two main types of breast lift: partial and full. A partial breast lift is also called a vertical or lollipop breast lift. It is ideal for women who have minor to moderate amounts of sagging. A full breast lift is also called a traditional or anchor breast lift. It is perfect for women with more significant amounts of sagging.

The difference in recovery time

The type of incision will affect the recovery time. Breast lift recovery is typically shorter than breast implant recovery. Breast lift surgery is usually outpatient, while breast implants may require an overnight hospital stay.

A breast lift will require about two to three weeks to recover. You will need to wear a surgical bra and avoid any strenuous activity during this time. You will also experience some swelling and bruising.

A breast implant will require about four to six weeks to recover. You will need to wear a surgical bra and avoid any strenuous activity during this time. You will also experience some swelling and bruising. In addition, you will need to watch for any signs of infection.

The Difference in the Costs Between Implants vs Lift

Breast implants typically cost more than a breast lift. Implants require surgery, while a breast lift only involves surgery to remove excess skin.

Breast implants usually cost around $6,000 to $8,000, while breast lift surgery costs around $3,000 to $5,000.

However, keep in mind that breast lift surgery is usually combined with breast implants, which will increase the overall cost of the procedure. Also, remember that you need to replace breast implants every 10 to 15 years, while breast lift surgery results are usually permanent.

When to combine both procedures

In terms of when to combine both procedures, it depends on your goals and your body. Implants may be the best option to add volume to your breasts. However, if you also want to lift your breasts and create a more youthful appearance, combining a breast lift with implants may be the best way to achieve your goals.

In some cases, surgeons may recommend combining breast lifts and implants to achieve the desired results. It is often the case when a woman has lost a significant amount of weight, as the skin may be too stretched out to lift the breasts on its own effectively. Combining the two procedures can also benefit women with small or droopy breasts.

A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon can help to determine if combining breast lift surgery and breast implants is the best option. You can also consult with the Plastic Surgery Institute regarding the procedure you need. You will find that they have lots of experts in the field of cosmetic surgery that can help you out.

Preparations needed before the procedure

Before either procedure, you must consult a plastic surgeon to discuss your goals and desired results. The surgeon will then perform a physical examination and may order additional tests, such as a mammogram, to assess your breast tissue.

If you proceed with a breast lift, you must refrain from smoking and taking certain medications, such as aspirin, for at least two weeks before the procedure. You will also need someone to drive you home after the surgery. You will need a pre-operative breast MRI for a breast implant procedure.

It is essential to have the proper preparations as these procedures can also come with certain complications if done poorly. Follow your doctor’s instructions and keep healthy before and after the procedure.

Have more confidence in your body with the right cosmetic procedures

There are several critical differences between a breast lift vs breast implants. A breast lift can improve the appearance of the breasts by making them look perkier and more youthful. Breast implants, on the other hand, can add volume to the breasts and create a more dramatic look. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your breasts, talk to a surgeon about which procedure would be perfect for you.


Megan Barnes
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