Breast Lift vs. Breast Augmentation
Enhancing size, shape, or both? The right procedure.
Dr. Sorokin finds that many of the women who visit him for breast augmentation actually need a breast lift. To get a better sense of which surgery is best for you, it’s important to clarify if you’re bothered by your breast size, breast shape, or both.
Choosing Breast Enhancement
Dr. Sorokin takes the time to explain breast lift and breast augmentation to women who are candidates for both procedures. Many women considering breast augmentation also need a breast lift, and many women who are interested in breast lift also need breast implants to create their desired look.
Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
This procedure raises and reshapes sagging breasts. If you are looking to elevate drooping breasts or nipples and don’t mind being a little smaller, a lift by itself may meet your goals. During a breast lift, Philadelphia surgeon Dr. Sorokin moves the nipple and areola to a higher position on the breast, removes excess skin, and closes the remaining skin underneath the breast to tighten and lift the breast.
There is a classic “pencil test” that often helps ladies determine whether or not they need a lift. When looking at the breast, if a lady can place a pencil under the hanging breast skin between the breast and chest wall and it will stay there when she lets go, chances are a breast lift will be needed. This is an important physical examination point as simply placing an implant will give a bigger version of the current breast, not lift the hanging skin.
There are different types of breast lift to consider. There are minimal scar techniques with incision only around the areola. These can be used when only a minimal amount of lift is needed. A moderate amount of sag will require a vertical mastopexy or an incision often described as a lollipop lift as there is a circle around the areola and a vertical scar extending downward from the areola. Larger amounts of lifts will require larger incisions usually in an anchor (inverted T) shape. Lifts usually result in more scarring due to the need to move around significant amounts of skin and tissue.
When is it best to combine an implant with a lift? Well, certainly if you want to be larger, you need a lift. Also, if you are looking for a round, very full in the upper pole breasts you need a lift. A lift alone will only reposition the nipples and remove hanging skin but does not create the superior fullness of an implant. Dr. Sorokin sees many ladies for second opinions after they have lifts done elsewhere where they have a perfectly nice result from a lift without an implant and the problem was that nobody explained to them that a lift without an implant will never look like a lift with an implant over the long term. This is important to understand, and we are happy to show you photos of both types of results.
Breast augmentation patients choose a breast implant to increase the size and volume of their breasts. This increases the size of the breast and breast fullness and can change the shape of the breast in terms of giving more roundness and upper pole fullness but will not lift skin that has sagged.
During this surgery, Dr. Sorokin places an implant in a pocket directly under the breast tissue or under the muscle of the chest wall. Going above or below the muscle is not a simple answer. While many out there feel that under the muscle is a superior operation, this is far from the truth. For some people, under the muscle is absolutely the wrong choice. Implants can be placed above or under the breast wall muscle (pectoralis major) depending on many factors. While for many women submuscular (under the muscle) implants will be a better location, sometimes the best choice for a particular patient is above the muscle. While in past years this above the muscle (subglandular) pocket location was considered by many to be an inferior location, many thought leaders in the field of plastic surgery have returned to subglandular augmentation as an excellent alternative for certain patients. While Dr. Sorokin usually places implants under the muscle he feels strongly that for some ladies above the muscle is the place to go. Sometimes implants are placed in a dual-plane position meaning partially above and partially below the muscle. A reason to do this might be a breast with just a little bit of sag. This is a complicated discussion best had after Dr. Sorokin speaks to you in consultation and is able to examine your starting point. Then, and only then can he make a personalized recommendation.
If you seek fuller, firmer breasts, Dr. Sorokin may recommend a combination of these procedures. Combining breast lift and breast augmentation minimizes scarring and recovery time through the use of a single surgical session.
Breast Lift Or Augmentation: Which Is Right For You?
To determine which surgical options are right for you, there are a number of questions to answer at your consultation with Dr. Sorokin in Philly.
- Are your breasts currently a satisfying size?
- Do you feel that they sag or droop more than you would like?
- Are you happy with the position of the nipple on each breast?
- Are you happy with the size of the areola?
- Do you have excess skin and lost volume from pregnancy or weight loss?
- Are there stretch marks on your breasts?
During your consultation in Philadelphia Dr. Sorokin will perform a brief physical examination to help determine what type of surgery is best for you. When looking at your breast from the side, if the nipple hangs below the breast crease (the area under the breast where the breast joins to the chest wall), Dr. Sorokin usually will recommend a breast lift, but if the nipple sits above the breast crease, breast augmentation alone may provide a satisfying result.
Why Choose Dr. Sorokin?
Dr. Sorokin focuses his practice on breast enhancement such as augmentation mastopexy. He is known as The Breast Doctor in Philly as he performs hundreds of breast enhancements every year and patients come to him from not only Philadelphia but from all over the East Coast. When Dr. Sorokin started his practice he enjoyed a wide range of plastic surgery procedures from facelifts, trauma, and even hand surgery however eventually he found his true passion was for breast enhancement surgery. He has directed his focus toward breast procedures. He performs difficult revisions on patients who have had suboptimal outcomes elsewhere and thus many patients have been willing to travel distances for this specialization. Word has now spread and it is common for patients to come to us in Philadelphia from New Jersey, New York, Maryland and more recently even international clientele. Shouldn’t you consider a surgeon who focuses on the procedure you are looking for?
Dr. Sorokin was one of the first surgeons in Philadelphia to have access to and use the newer gummy bear style of silicone breast implants. He does not understand (other than a profit motivation) why some local surgeons in the Philadelphia area continue to use older 4th generation technology implants. Unfortunately many patients think they are getting highly cohesive “gummy” implants when in fact they are getting plain cohesive silicone implants. He has all currently available silicone implants and will help you pick the right implant for you based on your body type and surgical goals. Dr. Sorokin has access to implants from Mentor, Allergan, and Sientra. From each of these manufacturers there are various options of implants available. This is something to discuss with your prospective surgeon. Find out exactly what type of implant you are getting. You wouldn’t go to a car dealer and let the salesman pick out a random Ford or Chevrolet. You would listen to his or her guidance, and then make a choice!
Through his extensive training and experience with breast augmentation and breast lift, Dr. Sorokin is able to help you understand your surgical options and make the right choice. Request a consultation at our office in downtown Philadelphia to discuss your options in detail, or call us to set up an appointment.