Breast Lift vs. Breast Reduction

“Will my breasts still be droopy after a breast reduction?”

“Will a mastopexy make my breasts smaller?”

photo courtesy of office.com

photo courtesy of office.com

These two questions actually highlight the similarities between a breast reduction and a breast lift, or mastopexy.  A breast reduction and a mastopexy both result in the breasts being perkier.  And both take off some breast tissue, resulting in a (variably) smaller breast.  So what exactly is the difference?  In this blog post, I will explain that the two procedures are really variations along a spectrum.

In a mastopexy, an incision is made around the nipple.  Depending on how much the breast needs to be raised, this incision may continue down the front of the breast, and even underneath the breast.  This same “anchor” type incision is also used for a breast reduction.  In a mastopexy, a small amount of breast tissue is removed so that the remaining tissue can be remolded into a more pleasing shape, but this small amount of tissue does not result in a visibly smaller breast.  In a reduction, however, much more tissue is removed: generally somewhere in the range of ½ to 1 pound or more.  So you can see that the two procedures are very similar.  The most notable difference is whether or not your insurance will cover the procedure.  A breast reduction is considered medically necessary, and is done with the goal of improving the neck, back, and shoulder pain that are often associated with having large breasts.  And because reduction is medically necessary, it will often be covered by insurance.  A mastopexy, on the other hand, is done with the goal of improving the appearance of the breasts.  Because it is a cosmetic surgery, mastopexy is not covered by insurance.

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

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