Breast reduction and breast lift (mastopexy) are similar operations and are associated with similar risks and complications. Although conceptually similar, it is the indication that underlies the patient’s request that determines the procedure choice.
Breast reduction can be both a cosmetic as well as a medically indicated procedure that requires a significant volume of breast tissue and skin to be removed.
Breast lift involves primarily the removal of skin and reshaping of the gland and is considered a cosmetic procedure.
Breast lift can be combined with breast implantation when there is a limited breast volume along with a skin excess or sagging. There are a variety of techniques that can be used for breast reductions and breast lifts. The technique that is offered depends on the patient’s size, shape, weight, and anatomy. All techniques will result in visible scars, which need to be considered by prospective patients. Nevertheless, patients who undergo these procedures are among the happiest of all plastic surgery patients. Breast reduction rates continue to rise at 8% per annum and the increase is among the largest of any operative group, with more than 68,000 procedures performed every year in America.