Breast Lift or Breast Implants

I am constantly asked by women whether they should get breast implants or a breast lift.  There seems to be a lot of confusion on the part of women interested in breast surgery.  Understanding the benefits of each procedure will help to eliminate the confusion and help you decide which procedure will best meet your needs.

What Is A Breast Lift in New York City

A breast lift, or mastopexy, does exactly what it says – it lifts the breasts. It does nothing to change the size of your breasts.  You may notice a change in your bra size, but this is likely the result of a change in breast shape.  You may also feel like your breasts are larger, but this is because they are “perkier” and higher on your chest wall. I tell my patients that a properly performed breast lift should make your breasts appear as if they are held with a push-up bra….but without the need for the bra.

What Are Breast Implants NYC

Breast implants, or breast augmentation, will increase the size of your breasts.  The increase in size will depend on the size of the breast implants placed.  While your breast size will increase, there will be minimal “lifting” of your breast tissue. 

To help women decide which procedure is best for them, a New York City plastic surgeon will perform an exam.  The key to this exam is to determine if you have breast “ptosis” or sag.  This is determined by your nipple location. The normal youthful location of your nipples is at the level of the breast fold.  As the breast begins to droop (from aging, weight changes, or post-pregnancy changes) the nipple begins to descend below the level of the breast fold.  Your plastic surgeon can categorize your degree of breast ptosis depending on the distance below the breast fold.

Only a breast lift will correct ptosis and result in a breast with a nipple located at its youthful location at the breast fold.  A breast implant will improve only the smallest degree of ptosis. 

If your breasts are not ptotic and you desire an increase in size, then a breast augmentation is the procedure for you.  Your surgeon will help you decide what implant type and size is best for your needs.

What if your breasts are ptotic but you also desire for them to be bigger?  This is common, and a simultaneous breast lift with breast implants will solve both problems.  This combined procedure is among the most difficult elective breast surgeries that plastic surgeons perform, so make sure you choose a surgeon experienced in this complex procedure 

Dr. Schulman uses the strength of his refined surgical techniques and creative talent to provide a life enhancement for women interested in breast augmentation. Dr. Schulman offers both saline and silicone breast implants to achieve breast augmentation.

During private consultation with Dr. Schulman, you will learn about every facet of the breast augmentation procedure. You will jointly decide on the right breast implant type and size, placement location such as under or above the pectoral muscles, anesthesia options, patient comforts and facility choices. You will also learn about the option to have a breast augmentation breast lift combination procedure if you are interested in improving breast sagging and droopiness as well as increase overall breast size. In fact, Dr. Schulman uses the most advanced breast lift techniques that offer maximum lift with the smallest amount of scarring. You may also learn about other common procedures that women who receive breast augmentation are interested in such as liposuction, tummy tuck, facial fillers, and eye lid surgery.

Recovering at home

  • Once home, follow any instructions you are given. Your doctor will tell you when you can return to your normal routine. During your recovery:
  • Take any prescribed medications exactly as directed.
  • Wear the special bra or Ace bandage you were given before discharge as directed by your doctor.
  • Care for your incisions and the dressing (bandage) over them as instructed by your doctor.
  • Follow your doctor’s guidelines for showering. Avoid swimming, bathing, using a hot tub, and other activities that cause the incisions to be covered with water until your doctor says it’s OK.
  • When you shower, gently wash your incision sites. Then pat the incisions dry. Don’t apply lotions, oils, or creams to the incisions until after they are fully healed.
  • Don’t raise your arms above breast level for 10 days. And don’t lift, push, or pull anything heavier than 10 pounds for at least 7 days.
  • Don’t drive until you are no longer taking prescription pain medication and your doctor says it’s OK. When riding in a car, carefully position the seatbelt so that it doesn’t compress your breasts.
  • Be aware that breast swelling may last for 3 to 5 weeks. If advised by your doctor, use a cold pack wrapped in a thin towel to relieve discomfort and control swelling. It’s important not to leave the cold pack on for too long, or your skin could be damaged. Put the pack over your bandages for no more than 20 minutes at a time. Then, leave it off for at least 20 minutes. Repeat this as often as needed during waking hours until swelling starts to improve. Don’t fall asleep with the cold pack on. If you’re not sure how to safely use the cold pack, ask your doctor.
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