A breast reduction typically includes a lift. However, a lift does not necessarily require a reduction. Both operations have similar incision patterns and resultant scars, but they have different indications. One of the first questions I ask a patient who desires an improved appearance of her breasts is if she would like to be the same size, smaller, or larger. The patient who wants to be the same size and is happy with her breasts when wearing a bra but unhappy with the amount of sagging without a bra is a candidate for a breast lift alone. The patient who desires to be smaller or has one breast noticeably larger than the other, is a candidate for a breast reduction-lift combination. Sometimes patients feel their breasts look smaller after removal of the excess skin with the lift even though no breast tissue was removed; the reason for this is that some of what fills your bra cup is excess skin. The patient with sagging who desires to have larger breasts is a candidate for a breast lift with implants.
2000 European Union European Committee on Quality Assurance & Medical Devices in Plastic Surgery (EQUAM) "Additional medical studies have not demonstrated any association between silicone-gel filled breast implants and traditional auto-immune or connective tissue diseases, cancer, nor any other malignant disease. . . . EQUAM continues to believe that there is no scientific evidence that silicone allergy, silicone intoxication, atypical disease or a 'new silicone disease' exists."
In 1998, the U.S. FDA approved adjunct study protocols for silicone-gel filled implants only for breast reconstruction patients and for revision-surgery patients; and also approved the Dow Corning Corporation's Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) study for silicone-gel breast implants for a limited number of breast augmentation-, reconstruction-, and revision-surgery patients.
I awoke from surgery feeling just as overwhelmed and then crying happy tears. I blame the drugs...in part, anyway. I was in the recovery room with a splint on my nose. I had to go to the bathroom, and I remember feeling sort of drunk as I walked down the hall (again, drugs). When I got to the restroom, I thought, Should I look in the mirror? I did, very quickly, and what a relief! I could see the tip of my nose, and it already looked different. I figured if the splint was any indication of my new shape, I'd be thrilled, as it resembled a very smooth ski slope.
Of course, the breast reduction vs. breast lift question is not really cut and dry because every woman is unique. You may be unsure of what volume you would like with the breasts in a more favorable position. Breasts may be different sizes (asymmetric). The position of the nipple may be out of proportion to the amount of breast sag. Breasts may be ‘deflated’ after pregnancy. You may have heard that breast implants are the only reliable way to lift breasts. These questions can easily be addressed at the time of your consult.
Breast augmentation: If you desire a modest increase in breast size, you are a good candidate for fat grafting to the breast, but your breasts should already have a nice shape and good skin tone. If you have poor skin, sagging breasts, or want a significant increase in breast size, breast augmentation with fat transfer is not for you. The problem with only using fat for breast enhancement lies in getting large volumes of fat to predictably “take.”
Another option is to consider getting your breast implants at a teaching hospital from a learning resident. You won’t get the delicate skill of an experienced, board-certified surgeon, but teaching hospital residents are “assisted by established, experienced, private attending surgeons,” says Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robin T.W. Yuan in a RealSelf Q&A.