With cosmetic breast surgery, I have three options – I can make your breasts larger (breast augmentation or augmentation mammoplasty), I can make your breasts smaller (breast reduction or reduction mammoplasty), and I can lift your breasts (breast lift or mastopexy). I can also do combinations – breast reduction and lift, or breast augmentation and lift.
A breast augmentation makes your breast larger by placing an implant behind your natural breast – the final size is the combination of the implant I place plus your natural breast tissue.
A breast reduction makes your breast smaller by reducing the breast glandular tissue and breast fat, as well as removing extra skin.
A breast lift usually involves reshaping the breast tissue into a more attractive form and reducing a small amount of skin. Generally, there should be almost no reduction in the breast size, but very commonly, patients tell me that their breasts appear smaller when they are naked. In a bra, you’ll look the same.
Why do lifted breasts appear smaller after the lift when you are naked? Easy answer! Breasts that are droopy also tend to be wide – it’s the pancake effect. From the front view, when you are naked, the breast is wide. You don’t notice the lack of forward projection when you’re looking from the front.
When I do the breast lift, I reshape the pancake-shaped breast into a nicer mound, which provides more forward projection– and that generally means less width, sometimes referred to as less “side boob.” Think of a ball of clay. If you put the ball on your chest, it projects outward and the width is relatively small. If you crush the clay ball against your chest, the forward projection decreases, but the width increases. So – naked your lifted breast will seem smaller, but in a bra it will look the same.
Many patients elect to have a breast augmentation with an implant at the same time as the lift – that provides the nicest shape, and the implant acts to hold the breast in a lifted position, resulting in a better, longer lasting, result.
We can discuss all your breast enhancement options at your consultation. Contact us at 415-362-1221 for a consultation in our San Francisco or Walnut Creek offices.