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Breast Lift vs Implants: What are the Differences?

Two of the most common breast-enhancing surgeries are breast lifts and breast augmentations. If you’re in the early stages of considering a breast augmentation procedure, here are the main differences between the two.

Breast Lift vs Implants: WHAT ARE THEY?

Breast Lift

Breast lift surgery addresses the reshaping of the breast and repositioning of the nipple to make it appear more youthful. This means moving it so that it sits higher on the chest wall, as well as removing loose or saggy skin that increases the appearance of age.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, that means removing skin around the nipple, lifting and tightening tissue in the breast, and sometimes inserting a supportive “sling” on the underside of the breast.

Breast Implants

Breast augmentation focuses on the insertion of breast implants into breast tissue, either under the pectoral muscles or over them and under the breast tissue (the latter of which decreases the recovery time substantially). This involves making an incision in the breast, which may occur in multiple places, then incising into the breast to make room for the implant, placing the implant, and sewing the breast back up.


Breast Lift

A breast lift results in a higher, firmer and shapelier breast. For those whose nipples have become enlarged with time, nursing or weight gain, the surgery can also reduce the size of the nipple.. Skin appears tighter all around the breast, with the breast itself sagging less and protruding from the chest wall more.

Breast Lift vs ImplantsBreast Implants PROCEDURE RESULTS

Breast Implants

For obvious reasons, the results of breast augmentation are quite literally larger than those of a breast lift. However, women with smaller breasts often opt for implants to increase the size and roundness of their chest. For some women, this is enough to instill confidence and give them the look they desire. For others, they combine implants with a lift for maximum results.

Breast Lift Surgery RISKS

Breast Lift

Typically, breast lifts have very few risks. Like any surgery, they do carry the danger of infection afterward. This is dramatically heightened in patients who do not reliably take their antibiotics following the surgery. As with any procedure, there will also be some pain. However, breast lifts typically have very positive outcomes, and aside from a considerable healing time (during which you will experience more restricted activity than you will pain), it carries few risk of complication.

Breast Augmentation Surgery Risks

Breast Implants

While there usually aren’t “bad reactions” to surgery, one risk which you should be aware of is capsular contracture. Breast implants are also more likely to require revision than breast lifts.


Breast Lift

A breast lift is an outpatient procedure requiring general anesthesia and between 2 and 3 hours on the

TIME IN Breast Augmentation SURGERY

Breast Implants

Implants also require general anesthesia and are outpatient procedures, but are usually limited to about an hour.

Breast lift vs breast augmentationBreast Lift RECOVERY TIME

Breast Lift

Breast lift recovery time is about six weeks total, though you can resume normal activity during most of that time. For the first week, you will likely experience significant pain, and you cannot shower. You will need help during your recovery time, especially during that first week when pain and limited mobility will prevent you from doing ordinary household tasks. By the 2-week mark, you can move normally, and by 4 weeks you can resume exercise – just not anything related to the chest (think golf or tennis). By 6 weeks, you’re considered fully healed.

Breast Augmentation RECOVERY TIME

Breast Implants

Breast augmentation is typically a less invasive surgery with a simpler recovery. Some physicians will let patients shower after 24 hours, though they must still avoid soaking for 2 weeks (the same is true for lifts). You will still probably be sore for up to a week, and should limit activity or a month or so afterward. Your physician can give you more specific information about your case.

Questions and Answers

Is a boob lift better than implants?

If you are dissatisfied with the positioning or sagging of your breasts, a breast lift surgery may be the suitable option for you. However, if you are content with the position of your breasts but desire increased size, breast implant surgery might be a favorable choice.

Is a breast lift cheaper than implants?

No. But pricing can vary depending of the breast enhancement procedure and the plastic surgeons.

What are the disadvantages of a breast lift?

It is possible to experience temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the nipples or breasts as a result of the procedure. The scarring from a breast lift tends to be more prominent compared to other breast enhancement procedure, as it involves the removal of excess skin tissue and repositioning.

How long does a breast lift last?

The longevity of breast lift results can vary among patients. While some individuals may enjoy the benefits of a breast lift for more than 15 years, others may opt for minor cosmetic adjustments sooner. On average, breast lift results typically last for approximately 10 to 15 years.

Contact Us Today

Of course, the above likely doesn’t answer all of your questions. Please feel free to get in touch with us here at Sieber Plastic Surgery to learn more about our breast surgery procedures and how we work.

Our friendly team will be happy to set you up with a consultation, so you can ask Dr. Sieber a board certified plastic surgeon your questions, make the best plan for you and see if you are a good candidate.


Dr. Dave Sieber and his staff are so awesome! Dr. Sieber is personable yet professional, his work is impeccable. He listens to his patient and works with them to achieve what they want. He’s like my hair dresser, a magician, you just want to do a happy dance with the results, only these results are lasting. Ok, but seriously, the procedure was very smooth, the staff and the doctors (Dr Sieber and the anesthesiologist) had great communication and made sure I was comfortable with very clear and concise pre op and post op directions. The healing process was very easy and the results are FABULOUS. Side note, Dr. Sieber has really awesome skin, I feel like this is impressive and important because really, would you trust a dentist with bad teeth? I am so elated and satisfied with the results, the size is perfect and they look and feel very natural. They are exactly what I wanted.*

SF Scientist

Dr. Sieber is a doctor who is not only extremely knowledgeable about the latest in cosmetic procedures, but a doctor who truly cares about his patients. I highly recommend him!*


Dr. Sieber is a doctor who is not only extremely knowledgeable about the latest in cosmetic procedures, but a doctor who truly cares about his patients. I highly recommend him!*


Dr. Sieber is attentive, responsive, and well trained. I had seen him for Botox and filler and he had done both without any pain or bruising and more importantly the results were fabulous. He has met with me on time at each appointment. He communicates what to expect, made sure I was comfortable throughout the procedure, checked on my healing every day post procedure. He couldn’t be more delightful not more talented. I had seen other plastic surgeons for in office treatments over the past decade and Dr. Sieber is at the top of the list in terms of delivering the desired outcome and high quality care.*

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