What is the difference between breast reduction and breast lift? I have just received insurance approval!

On initial consult surgeon thought I would be more of a candidate for breast lift than reduction. In 2004 had gastric bypass and lost 110lb which I have maintained weight. Had abdominalplasty in 2005 with great results. Was 42DD prior to bypass and now am 36DD. Breasts have lost fullness and gravity has not been kind. Skin has lost elasticity due to weight gain/loss. Have preop eval in 3 days and would like info on questions to ask. Small C is desired. Thank you for any information.

Doctor Answers 5

Breast Lift Vs. Breast Reduction

There are many, many ways to perform both operations but the general goal is the same. That is, provide you with a breast shape and size that you desire, put it in a location that looks good and do so in a way that will last as long as possible. The biggest difference between the two can be as simple as how much tissue is removed or it can be a more complex discussion. The challenge in insurance approved breast reductions is that your insurance company reserves the right to refuse payment for your surgery should the surgeon not remove enough tissue.  Why the insurance company gets to decide that is a discussion for another day.  But there is no question that the demands of the insurance companies play into the operative decision making of some surgeons.  It is better in some borderline cases where the amount of tissue required of the insurance company would leave a person with inappropriately small breasts that she does not desire to eschew the insurance process and focus more on the lift part of the discussion than the reduction. Nonetheless, if your question is "Will I get a lift with my reduction" the answer is absolutely yes.
Dr. Pyle

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Breast lift and Breast - are they the same??

Basically, a breast reduction and a breast are exactly the same.  The only difference is that in a breast reduction some breast tissue is being removed were as in a breast lift only breast skin is been removed.  the way to think about this is that in a breast lift the goal is to make the skin that tightly over the breast tissue or the amount of volume that you have.  And a breast reduction the goal is to make the breast smaller and by default the breast skin is made tighter over what you have.

From what your telling me it sounds like most likely you will become a small C. with a breast reduction were is with a breast lift you may not get down to a small C. but possibly a full C. or between those 2.

Bivik Shah, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

A breast reduction usually includes a lift, but not vice versa

Thanks for the question. This is a common inquiry. A breast lift (mastopexy) will move the nipple areolar complex upward. Normally the inframmamary fold is the point of reference. The nipple position can only be lifted a certain distance however or the nipple can "flip upward" and be pointing at the sky. In a reduction the pattern is similar and the scar are too. The difference is that in a reduction the breast volume is reduced. Typically this is to alleviate symptoms of neck and back pain. Hopefully you can find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area that is an ASAPS member to help you with this. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Breast reduction vs lift

A breast reduction is designed to only reduce the size of the breast by removing excess tissue. A breast lift is designed to reshape the breasts to make them perkier in contour, which involves some removal of tissue (although not usually as much as what is removed during a breast reduction). Generally, insurance does not cover a breast lift but can cover breast reduction to resolve a medical concern, and it sounds like this is what you'll be getting.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Breast reduction vs. Breast lift

Breast reduction surgery is a type of breast lift in which more tissue is removed to reduce the breast size. It sounds like you have been approved for a breast reduction surgery and that is what you want to reduce your breast size from a DD to a C cup. You will also end up with a lift of your breast with the procedure. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

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.