Augmentation vs. Lift: Which is Right for You?

Augmentation vs. Lift: Which is Right for You?You know you are ready for a plastic surgery procedure to enhance your breasts, but how do you know which procedure will serve your needs best? There are different options in breast enhancement today, from augmentation using synthetic implants to a surgical lift to restore a youthful body profile. Understanding the differences between these two procedures is the first step in determining whether augmentation or a breast lift is the right procedure for you.

What is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that adds size and volume to the breasts using implants. At Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery, Dr. Andrews prefers silicone implants in assorted shapes and sizes, offering patients a multitude of options to fit their body proportions and desired results. The implants are placed directly into the breast behind the pectoral (chest) muscle.


Breast augmentation offers a number of potential benefits for women:

  • Increases the size and fullness of the breasts
  • Improves breast cleavage
  • Brings symmetry to breasts that are different sizes
  • Restores breast volume lost after pregnancy and nursing

When you meet with Dr. Andrews for your consultation, he will go through your concerns and aesthetic goals in detail with you to ensure breast augmentation is the right procedure for you.


Candidates for breast augmentation are:

  • In relatively good health with realistic expectations about the outcome of the surgery
  • Non-smokers or willing to quit smoking prior to their procedure
  • Hoping to increase the size and fullness of their breasts
  • Self-conscious about the size of their breasts
  • Challenged to find clothing that fits properly
  • Wishing to reverse changes to the breasts after pregnancy and nursing
  • Concerned that one breast is noticeably smaller than the other

Procedure Details

Dr. Andrews usually performs breast augmentations at Surgery Center Cedar Rapids on an outpatient basis. Women most often opt for general anesthesia. The choice will depend on the woman’s medical history, the specific procedures being performed and the patient’s personal preference.

Breast augmentation involves an incision along the breast crease underneath the breast. Care is taken to place incisions in the natural folds of the skin so post-operative scarring is minimized. Dr. Andrews uses the incisions to place the implants, using care to ensure a natural, beautiful result.

Breast augmentation usually takes about an hour to perform, longer if the procedure is going to be combined with another treatment. Patients generally return home the same day as the surgery and are usually back to work in a few days and back to strenuous exercise in 3-4 weeks.


The results of breast augmentation will be seen right away with results becoming more apparent as the patient fully recovers from surgery. Breast augmentation is a durable procedure, with many patients never needing to replace their implants if they are happy with them. However, patients can also opt to have the implants removed or replaced as the breasts change with time to fit their aesthetic goals.

What is a Breast Lift?

A breast lift is a surgical procedure to restore the breasts to a youthful position on the chest. Breasts can start to droop and sag over time, particularly after pregnancy and nursing take their toll. This procedure can also remove excess skin and reposition nipples if necessary to achieve the most beautiful, natural results.


The benefits of a breast lift may include:

  • A more youthful body profile
  • An increase in the projection of the breasts
  • Nipples that were pointing downward are repositioned
  • Restored breast appearance after pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Clothing fits better


The best candidates for a breast lift are:

  • In relatively good health, with realistic expectations about the results of the surgery
  • Non-smokers or willing to stop smoking prior to their procedure
  • Unhappy about the drooping in their breasts
  • Concerned about nipples that point downward
  • Worried that their breasts appear “deflated” after pregnancy
  • Wanting to bring symmetry to the shape and position of their breasts

Like breast augmentation, a breast lift can be performed alone or in conjunction with other procedures to achieve the best possible results. Dr. Andrews will discuss your concerns and aesthetic goals with you to help you determine whether a breast lift is the best approach to meet those goals.

Procedure Details

Like breast augmentation, a breast lift is performed on an outpatient basis and women most often opt for general anesthesia. The procedure involves incisions around the areola, down the center of the lower breast and possibly in the breast crease. The incisions will allow the surgeon access to the breast tissue so that the breasts can be repositioned from the inside out to create the most natural look.

The procedure will take approximately two hours to complete if no other procedures are performed at the same time. Patients are able to return home the same day as their procedure and will be back to work within 2-3 weeks. Strenuous exercise is usually allowed 3-4 weeks after surgery.


The results of a breast lift can be seen right away and will continue to improve as the breasts heal from surgery. In most cases, breast lifts only need to be performed one time to offer long-lasting results. Some women may find age and gravity once again takes their toll on the breasts over time and they require subsequent procedures to maintain their positive results.

When Two is Better than One

By understanding the difference between the two procedures, it is easier to determine which surgery will give you the best possible results. Women who are happy with the position of their breasts but desire more size and fullness can opt for breast augmentation. Those who are mostly satisfied with their breast size but wish to correct drooping and sagging will be better off choosing the lift procedure. In some cases, a combination of a breast lift and augmentation performed simultaneously will produce the best possible outcome giving desired fullness and restoring youthful shape often lost with age, weight loss or pregnancy/lactation.

Having any type of breast enhancement surgery is a highly personal decision that should be made between a woman and her plastic surgeon. Dr. Andrews will take the time to listen to your concerns and help you find the best option to meet your specific aesthetic goals. To learn more or schedule your consultation with Dr. Andrews, contact Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery at 855-338-0261.

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