Question: What is the difference between a breast lift and a breast reduction?

Answer:

In  many ways a breast reduction and breast lift are similar .  A breast reduction reduces the overall volume of the breast parenchyma,  the excess skin is excised to drape over the gland, and the nipple areola complex is lifted into a more aesthetic position.  A mastopexy or breast lift is similar in that the gland is lifted and often parenchymal sutures are used to shape the breast, the skin is then draped over the gland, the excess skin is removed, and the nipple areola complex is raised to a more aesthetically pleasing position.   While some tissue may be removed during a breast lift, it is often minimal in  most cases.  In many ways, the amount of tissue removed is really the biggest difference. There are many different techniques that are used to perform these procedures. The skin can be excised in an inverted “T” fashion or what is sometimes referred to as an anchor incision.  This means that there will be stitches around the areola, vertically from the base of the areola to the breast fold, and also along the inframammary fold in a transverse fashion. A common alternative is a lollipop incision pattern in which there are only stitches around the border of the areola and vertically from the base of the areola to the breast fold, thus eliminating the inframammary incision.   The breast parenchymal tissue can be treated using various tissue pedicles most commonly using an inferior pattern, but this can also be vertically, superomedial, or superolateral.  Modifications of the breast lift procedures are sometimes performed when a patient desires breast implants as well. A circumareola lift can sometimes be offered when only the nipple has to be raised a short distance.

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