Breast Augmentation vs Lift

There are many personal reasons a woman might consider breast enhancement surgery. Improved physical appearance, increased self-confidence and the desire for a revitalized contour can all be factors in the decision. When contemplating any procedure, it is important to fully understand the different surgical terms involved, as many may be initially unfamiliar. Breast augmentation, breast lift and breast implants are three specific but related terms, commonly discussed in breast enhancement surgery.

Dr. Ashley Howarth is a board-certified female plastic surgeon in Scottsdale, specializing in cosmetic breast surgery. Trained at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Dr. Howarth can handle cosmetic breast procedures from simple to the most complex. The first step to any cosmetic surgery is an in-depth consultation, which is an opportunity to find out if you are a candidate for breast enhancement surgery and which surgical option is best for you. Dr. Howarth will explain the nuances involved in various treatment options so that you can make a well-informed decision. There are many questions to consider.

Breast Augmentation vs Implants vs Lift: What is the difference?

What is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure utilizing either implants or fat transfer to increase or restore the breast size. Breast augmentation is commonly performed on women who seek to enhance, enlarge, or restore their breasts, creating a more aesthetic silhouette. Many women report increased levels of self-confidence and satisfaction after breast augmentation procedures.

What are Breast Implants?

A breast implant is one of the most popular implanted medical devices used in surgery across all fields. A breast implant is a silicone shell filled with silicone gel or saline, that is surgically placed in the area of breast tissue to enhance, add volume or change the appearance of a woman’s breast. There are many different types, shapes, and sizes of breast implants available. Your plastic surgeon will be able to explain the differences between them and discuss the benefits of each.

What is the Difference between Breast Implants and Breast Augmentation?

What is the Difference between Breast Implants and Breast Augmentation?

Some women are confused by the difference between breast implants and breast augmentation, but the difference is actually quite simple.

Breast augmentation is a general term for a procedure that enlarges or increases the volume of the breast. A breast implant is the actual implantable medical device inserted during surgery to augment the breast, making it larger.

Most women seeking breast augmentation desire fuller, larger breasts and using a breast implant is the most common way to achieve this result. A less common, but also effective way to reshape the breasts is through procedure called fat transfer auto-augmentation. This natural alternative to implants uses your own fatty tissue to enlarge the breasts.

What are the Different Types of Breast Implants?

Thanks to recent advancements, there are many different types of breast implants available for augmentation procedures. Each implant type offers specific benefits and features. By understanding the differences and collaborating with your surgeon, it will be easier to decide which implant is best for you.

Breast implants are differentiated by the type of material within the shell of the implant, as well as by the contour/texture of the exterior implant shell. Here’s some basic information about the different types of implants:

Silicone breast implants

Silicone breast implants are composed of a silicone gel and often described as the most soft and natural feeling. They are currently the most commonly used implant for breast augmentation surgery and are FDA approved for women age 22 and over (a waiver may be signed for patients younger than 22). If an implant shell ruptures, which occurs rarely, the interior gel of a silicone implant tends to stay intact, maintaining the breast’s shape. Because silicone is not naturally found in the body, some medical surveillance may be necessary over the years to reassure that the silicone implants remain intact.

Saline breast implants

Saline breast implants contain a sterile salt water called saline and can be filled to a desired volume at placement. This allows the surgeon to work within a smaller incision and also to customize the saline fill level for optimal results. Saline implants tend to be firmer, and of a rounder shape, than natural breast tissue. Should the implant shell rupture for any reason in the future, the saline will be naturally absorbed into the body and expelled physiologically. Saline breast implants are FDA approved for women age 18 and older.

Gummy Bear breast implants

Gummy bear breast implants are also known as form stable implants. The term “gummy” refers to the consistency of the gel inside these implants; it tends to be thicker than regular silicone implants. Because of the increased consistency of the interior gel, gummy bear breast implants may feel a little firmer, but may be better able to maintain shape in some circumstances. These implants tend to perform well over time and last a bit longer than standard silicone gel implants. They sometimes require a slightly larger incision.

Round breast implants

Round breast implants generally have a smooth shell exterior filled with either saline or silicone gel, and as described, a round shape. These implants are the “original” shaped breast implant and tend to deliver a higher projection result to the upper breast area.

Smooth breast implants

Smooth breast implants refer to the outer shell of the implant surface. They are the smoothest feeling and allow natural movement within the breast pocket. On occasion, rippling can be visible or palpable under the skin with a smooth breast implant, depending on placement and body type.

Textured breast implants

Textured implants have a pebbly outer shell surface. This texture creates mild interior scarring which can help an implant stay exactly situated in the pocket area of breast where it is placed. Keeping an implant in placement helps to maintain the original aesthetic result. There may some risks to textured implants that should be discussed with your surgeon prior making a final decision.

Each of the above implant types have subtle differences in look, feel and overall performance. It is important to consult with your plastic surgeon and discuss the pros and cons of each implant type before making a final decision.

Can I Have a Breast Augmentation without Breast Implants?

You may wonder if you can have a breast augmentation without breast implants. Some women are candidates for a procedure known as auto-augmentation fat transfer, where fat is transferred from a different area of the body, to the breasts.

In general, auto-augmentation fat transfer works best for women who desire a modest increase in breast size, and those who already have a good shape and skin tone to their breasts. If you are seeking a more significant increase in volume, or have sagging breasts, augmentation with implants is usually the more indicated procedure.

What is a Breast Lift?

A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, is a surgical procedure that elevates the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening surrounding tissues, creating a rejuvenated appearance to the breasts. Over time, breasts tend to lose volume due to aging, pregnancy, childbirth or even weight loss. A woman may find herself dissatisfied with the look or feel of her sagging breasts and may consider a breast lift.The ideal candidate for breast lift surgery desires a more youthful look to her breasts, has breast tissue still available, and would rather have breast tissue repositioned than have implants placed.

What is the Difference between Breast Implants and a Lift?

The major difference between breast implants and breast lift relates to both volume and positioning. A breast lift elevates the breast tissue, but does not add size or fullness. To add volume, breast implants are placed during an augmentation procedure and the size and shape of the breast will change, appearing larger. Implants will not, however, address the overall sag of the breast shape if that is a main concern, which naturally leads to a follow up question.

Do I Need a Lift with my Breast Implants?

It is common to wonder if you will need a breast lift with breast implants. The positioning of the breasts and nipples can be evaluated during an augmentation consultation to answer this question. The placement of the nipple on the breast is one sign of whether a breast lift will be needed. If breast tissue begins to fall significantly below the nipple, or nipples are pointing downward, a breast lift may be indicated when implants are placed. Sometimes implants can fix a small amount of sagging, especially if the pre-operative breasts are small, but because every case is unique, discuss your situation with your surgeon.

Am I a Candidate for Breast Augmentation, Breast Implants, or Breast Lift in Scottsdale?

Most women are good candidates for breast augmentation, breast implants or a breast lift in Scottsdale. In general, you should be in overall good health, close to your ideal weight, and be done with pregnancy and breastfeeding.

It is also important that your breasts are finished developing and that you hold a realistic expectation of outcome, which will be discussed prior to surgery. If you are bothered by the look or size of your breasts, it makes sense to schedule a consultation appointment so that you can explore all of the options you have to enhance and improve your breasts.

Dr. Ashley Howarth, a top tier female plastic surgeon in Scottsdale, has years of experience helping women choose the optimal course of breast enhancement for their specific physique, goals, and lifestyle and she will gladly guide you through the decision-making process.


How Much are Breast Implants in Arizona?

The cost of breast implants in Arizona varies depending on a variety of factors. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the national average for the cost of breast augmentation surgical is near $4000. However, that figure does not include the cost of the implants, facility fees, and anesthesia fees which vary. Most plastic surgeons will not quote fees until after a consultation, because each surgery is personalized. For that reason, it is helpful to know the average fees for planning and comparison.

Dr. Howarth, a highly skilled female plastic surgeon in Scottsdale, will listen carefully to your concerns regarding your breasts and design a best course treatment plan for you, keeping in mind your specific expectations. Once your initial consultation is complete, our financial coordinator will provide you with detailed information on the cost of your breast implant surgery.

How Much is a Breast Lift?

You may also be wondering how much a breast lift will cost in Arizona. While it’s helpful to know the general average cost for a breast lift, it is more valuable to schedule an initial consultation at our office, so the costs for your specific case can be discussed. Nationally, the cost of a breast lift is around $5,000, however that does not include facility and anesthesia fees. Also, it is important to remember a breast lift is also often combined with an augmentation procedure.

Your initial consultation with Dr. Ashley Howarth, a leading female plastic surgeon in Scottsdale, is the time to have all of your procedural and financial questions answered. Dr. Howarth will ensure you leave your consultation fully satisfied and confident as you move toward your surgery.

Is a Breast Lift and Breast Augmentation Included in a Mommy Makeover?

Many women wonder if a breast lift and breast augmentation are included in a mommy makeover. While there is no set checklist of surgical procedures that are part of every mommy makeover, most women do seek some sort of breast lift or breast augmentation when they are designing their mommy makeover. The breasts are often greatly changed by time, pregnancy and childbirth, and many mothers wish to restore or improve the look of their breasts in order to feel more self-confident.

The procedures that can be included in your personal treatment plan for mommy makeover are based on your physical presentation and goals. Dr. Ashley Howarth, having performed many mommy makeovers, is artfully skilled at designing a combination of procedures that will yield excellent results. After listening to your concerns and performing an in-depth evaluation, she will be able to recommend the choice elements to include in your mommy makeover to achieve beautiful, natural results.

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon Dr. Ashley Howarth

If you are looking for a female plastic surgeon in Arizona for your breast augmentation, breast implants or breast lift, consider Dr. Ashley Howarth. Highly trained and deeply compassionate, Dr. Howarth prides herself on her obsession to detail and consistent, outstanding results for breast enhancement surgery.

Schedule a consultation at our Scottsdale plastic surgery practice to begin your personal journey towards a more aesthetic, attractive, radiant appearance. We look forward to welcoming you.


You may also like