Breast Reduction and Lift

Do I need to have a combination of both to acheive a lifted breast? Or if I do the breast reduction, will that give me a lift in my breasts?

Doctor Answers 105


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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.

Many different types of breast lifts are now available in conjunction with a breast reduction, including lifts just around the areola (periareolar), vertical/lollipop mastopexies (incision around the areola and down to the breast fold, and full breast lifts with an anchor incision. For patients who have very loose skin in the armpit or back, axillary or bra lifts are also often combined with breast reductions.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 188 reviews

Breast reduction and breast lift: different goals, similar procedures

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The primary goal of breast reduction: reduction or elimination of symptoms associated with enlarged breasts. These include upper and mid back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, shoulder bra strap grooves, postural problems, inability to jog or participate in other sports activities, and chronic sweating or rashes beneath the breasts.

The primary goal of breast lift: improved contour of the breasts.

While breast reduction and breast lift (mastopexy) have different goals, they are very similar procedures. Both involve incisions around the nipple areolae (to lift the nipples and reduce the size of the areolae) and the lower breasts. Both involve removal of excessive skin from the lower breasts. Both involve repositioning of the breast tissues. And both involve lifting of the breasts.

Ronald Friedman, MD
Plano Plastic Surgeon

Breast reduction usually involves a lift too

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Most breast reduction techniques involve not only removing breast tissue but also repositioning the nipple to a more aesthetic (and higher) location. If you are having reduction by Liposuction only then the position of the nipple will not improve, but may actually be worse. Discuss it with your surgeon and ask exactly where the incisions will be.

You will automatically get a breast lift with your reduction.

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This is a good question. Basically, the breast reduction surgery and the breast lift surgery are the same. The only difference is that, with the reduction surgery, all the extra breast tissue is excised.

Good luck with your surgery.

David Shafer, MD
Shafer Plastic Surgery

A breast reduction has a breast lift built in

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A breast reduction procedure reduces the volume and skin envelope of the breast while lifting the nipple into proper aesthetic position. Breast reduction can be done for cosmetic purposes, or as part of an insurance claim for medically necessary surgery.

Breast Reduction is a large form of a breast lift

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The common elements of a breast lift and reduction are as follows: a) reduces excess breast tissue and skin; b) downsizes and makes the nipple areolar complex more circular; c) reshapes the breast mound to a higher position on the chest wall by selective resection of droopy tissue and tightening the remaining skin; d) situates the nipple at the "apex" of the breast mound.

Where the techniques diverge is the amount of skin and breast tissue removed. so when you have a breast reduction, although it's primarily a reconstructive procedure, your cosmetic benefits, should be assured. Good luck.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Breast reduction and lift

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Breast reduction is a breast lift + removal of breast tissue. That is why insurance companies place a minimum amount to be removed during a breast reduction before they cover the cost of the surgery. They say that if only a minimal amount is removed, then you are having only a breast lift. So, the great thing about a breast reduction is that not only do you get a more proportionate breast size, you also get a better, more youthful appearing breast shape. That is why breast reduction patients are the happiest plastic surgery patients - they feel better and look better.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Top 6 factors affecting Breast Reduction Surgery

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If you are considering a breast reduction procedure, the top 6 criteria in deciding what type of operation to perform are as follows:

  • Position of the nipple relative to the bra crease
  • Amount of skin redundancy
  • Amount of volume excess
  • Size of the areola
  • Amount of lateral breast fullness
  • Previous incisions on the breast

The position of the nipple and areola is important in answering your question. If the nipple is below the breast crease, then you will need a breast lift at the same time. This is usually performed during the same procedure.

The Reduction is also a Lift.

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Most women who require a breast lift, have hanging or low breast tissue. In the process of removing the excess tissue, the nipple is lifted and the extra skin is removed. This lifts the breasts into a better, more natural position. In very rare cases, the removal of extra breast tissue may be done with liposuction to reduce the size. In these cases, a lift is not necessary. With a normal reduction, you are getting two procedures for the price of one.

Breast Reduction and Lift

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This is one of the most commonly misunderstood conceptions about breast reduction surgery. When a breast reduction is performed it is rare when the skin envelope is not tightened and reduced along with the size of the underlying breast tissue. You should expect that with your breast reduction, your breasts will be lifted as well. Now the reverse is not necessarily true. In other words, when a lift (mastopexy) is performed, your breasts may not necessarily be reduced in size. You should definitely, discuss this with your Plastic Surgeon though, so that you have a good understanding of what your getting prior to surgery.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.