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Breast lift vs. breast augmentation: What’s the difference?

Kelly Vasileiadou
8. September 2023
For many women, a well-defined breast is an expression of healthy femininity and it tremendously boosts their self-confidence. If breasts start sagging with age or lose volume, both breast lift and breast augmentation can restore a beautiful appearance. I also combine both techniques in many cases. It is a wonderful operation from a female surgeon who understands the needs and desires of another woman.

Breast lift, also called mastopexy, and breast augmentation, are two different surgical procedures. Both aim to aesthetically improve your breast appearance, but for different reasons and with different methods.

As an experienced plastic surgeon, I advise my patients in detail about the advantages and disadvantages of both treatments prior to a potential surgery and help them to choose the right method for their desired result. In the following article, I will explain the difference between breast lift and breast augmentation.

What is a breast lift?

The main goal of a breast lift (mastopexy) is to tighten and lift sagging breasts to achieve or restore a youthful and aesthetic shape. 

I proceed as follows: During the procedure, I remove excess skin and tighten the remaining breast tissue to lift the breasts. If necessary, I can also correct the position of the nipples. The aesthetic symmetry that can be achieved by this method often looks very advantageous as a result.
Normally, no implants are used in a breast lift. The main focus is on tightening and lifting the breast by removing excess tissue.

What is a breast augmentation?

On the other hand, the main goal of a breast augmentation is to increase volume and size of the breasts to achieve more fullness and definition.

During breast augmentation, as a surgeon, I insert breast implants to increase the volume of the breasts. 

Although breast augmentation can also involve a slight tightening of the breasts, the focus of this treatment is not on correcting a sagging breast.

Can breast lift and breast augmentation be combined?

Even though a breast augmentation and a breast lift are two different procedures, each with a different aesthetic focus, the two procedures can also be combined to achieve an augmentation and lift of the breasts at the same time. The choice between breast lift and breast augmentation depends largely on the individual needs and wishes of my patients. A detailed individual consultation in my clinic is therefore the most essential foundation for decision-making.

What speaks for and against a breast lift?

The argument in favour of a breast lift is that sagging breasts can be tightened and lifted. Your breasts regain their youthful shape. The breast lift does not only improve the aesthetic appearance, but usually also your female self-confidence.

Of course, a breast lift can also leave scars. You should plan for a longer recovery time and it is crucial to know that the result may not be permanent, as the natural skin elasticity may diminish over time.

What speaks for and against breast augmentation?

One of the arguments in favour of breast augmentation is that it increases breast volume and gives more fullness and definition. This usually has a positive effect on your self-confidence and enhances your symmetrical posture.

Breast augmentation can in rare cases involve infections or complications with the implant. Therefore, I always advise my patients in detail about long-term care and possible future implant replacement.

Which procedure is better suited for me?

Breast lift or breast augmentation? The decision for one of the two procedures or a combination of them depends largely on your individual needs, goals and the current condition of your breasts.

I generally recommend a breast lift to women who have sagging breasts and want a lift without increasing the volume. I usually advise a breast augmentation when my patients want to increase the volume of their breasts and desire more fullness and definition, but do not need a significant lift.

How long is healing time after breast lift and breast augmentation?

The healing time varies from patient to patient and depends on individual factors, the surgery and the technique used. For both procedures, possible pain subsides completely after a few days to a week at the latest. Normal activities can be resumed after about one to two weeks after both, breast lift and breast augmentation. After four to six weeks you will reach your normal capacities.

Your final result is visible after several months, when swellings have subsided and scars have healed. In the case of breast augmentation, implants must also settle. Above all, it is important to carefully follow the recommendations for care and aftercare for the best possible healing process.

I see women every day having a consultation for breast surgery. As a patient myself I feel and understand the needs, wishes, and anxieties that come along with a breast augmentation or breast lift . Let me guide you to find the best possible outcome for your body.

About Dr. Kelly

Dr. Kelly Vasileiadou

Specialist FMH for Surgery
Beauty is not perfection. Refining your face or body image to enhance or restore your natural beauty – that is my mission. Your trust commits me to providing you with excellent medicine and exceptional care. My team and I work tirelessly to satisfy you. That’s what I stand for with my name.

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Kelly® today.

Before you decide on a treatment, you have the great opportunity for a personal consultation. Our goal is to care for you not only medically, but also from person to person.

Dr. Kelly® | Aesthetic Surgery and Medicine
by Dr. Kelly Vasileiadou

Luzernerstrasse 72
CH-6333 Hünenberg See

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