Breast Reduction Vs Breast Reduction And Lift

Breast reduction and breast lift surgery are very similar in design and execution. The difference is in how much tissue, if any, is removed during surgery.

It is imperative for a surgeon to assess the breast anatomy and dimensions.

There are many factors to consider, make sure your surgeon is skilled and experienced to design, plan and execute the appropriate procedure for you.

A breast reduction, by design, will give you the benefits of a breast lift automatically.

That is to say, with a breast reduction not only will your breasts be smaller, but the breast tissue will be elevated, the nipple position will be elevated and the overall shape will be “perkier”.

Should I Go For A Breast Lift Or Breast Reduction

You may even be able to go without a bra for certain outfits or for certain occasions. A breast lift (mastopexy) will elevate your breast tissue and nipple position, but does not necessarily make your breasts smaller-like a breast reduction does.

Although the patterns or skin incisions (scars) may be similar, the amount of tissue that is removed usually differentiates the two procedures. Some breast reductions are covered by insurance, whereas breast lifts generally are not covered by insurance and are considered cosmetic in nature.

A breast reduction involves the removal of breast tissue (mainly fat) and skin. This is done through a pattern of incision that will allow proper re-arrangement of the remaining breast tissue into the most ideal breast shape possible for any given breast shape and body.

Therefore, a breast lift is by definition also accomplished. If you like your current breast volume and only desire improved breast shape that would be a breast lift procedure. (Remus Repta, MD, Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon)

Breast Lift And Reduction Mammoplasty Are Surgical Procedures That Have Several Things In Common As Well As Differences

A breast reduction is simply a breast lift with larger amounts of tissue removed. A breast lift usually involves removing small amounts of tissue or even adding volume (implants).

A breast reduction surgery will reduce the size of your breasts and lift your breasts at the same time. A breast lift surgery will lift your breasts without reducing your breast size. (Fredrick A. Valauri, MD, New York Plastic Surgeon)

The diference between a lift and a reduction can be confusing.

Technically, almost every reduction includes a lift. That is, the shape of the breast is improved by removing breast tissue and elevating the nipple. In a pure lift, only the nipple is elevated and the breast is reshaped internally and skin is removed.

There is very little if any breast tissue removed. They are basically the same operation with the added surgery of removing breast tissue in the reduction. (Beverly Friedlander, MD, Short Hills Plastic Surgeon)

Choosing Breast Lift Or Surgery

A breast reduction accomplishes three changes to the breast. The breast is made smaller, narrower and it is lifted to a higher more supported level on the chest wall. There are many techniques to achieve this result.

The most stable technique to obtain long-lasting, stable breasts is a technique which sculpts the breast tissue and suturing it into the desired shape. The breast skin is simply re-draped and it is not relied on to maintain the actual shape and position of the breasts.

Older breast reduction techniques frequently rely on the skin to shape the breast similar to a bra. Unfortunately skin can stretch so many of these breasts would drop over the ensuing years. The new techniques including the vertical mammoplasty techniques avoid this pitfall producing well supported, uplifted, reduced breasts. (Carlin Vickery, MD (retired), New York Plastic Surgeon)


A breast reduction procedure will both reduce the size and lift the breasts. A breast lift will improve the shape and contour of the breasts but will not necessarily reduce the size. If you are happy with the size of your breasts but want to lift them and change the shape, we recommend just a breast lift.

If you are also looking to achieve smaller breasts in addition to the benefits of a breast lift, we recommend a breast reduction operation.

The short scar breast reduction technique provides nice lift, can reshape and size the nipple and has less scarring than other breast reduction techniques. (Norman M. Rowe, MD, New York Plastic Surgeon)

When a patient gets a breast reduction a breast lift is usually part of the procedure since the nipple/areolar complex is moved up and extra breast tissue and skin envelope is resected. This combination helps to relieve the symptoms associated with macromastia. (Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD, Houston Plastic Surgeon)

A breast reduction typcially involves removal of skin and breast whereas a breast lift typically involves removal of skin only. Of course there are exceptions but this is the simplest way of explaining it. Traditionally, both procedures result in elevation and upward rotation of the nipple on the breast mound to achieve a lifted appearance.

A breast reduction without a breast lift would usually look like a sagging (ptotic breast). In nearly all instances of breast reduction, a breasd lift is necessary. One exception to this rule is breast reduction with liposuction. In these instances, the nipple is not moved. (Otto Joseph Placik, MD, Chicago Plastic Surgeon)

How does breast shape change from breast reduction?

21 Year Old Woman Treated With Breast Reduction By Dr Charles G. Polsen, MD, League City Plastic Surgeon

The usual result from breast reduction is an upward lifting, compaction of looseness, and reduction in overall volume. There are quite a few ways to do this but most involve removing excess skin and internal breast tissue, and repositioning the nipple to be directed forward rather than downward. (Dan Downey, MD, Seattle Plastic Surgeon)

All breast reduction procedures will result in improved breast and nipple position, reduction of the areola, and improved projection or fullness of the breasts. (Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD, San Diego Plastic Surgeon)

All breast reductions include lifting the breasts and making them perkier. The scar, recovery, costs, pain are all the same for either the lift alone, or the lift with a reduction in volume. (David Finkle, MD, Omaha Plastic Surgeon)

A lift is included in the breast reduction procedure as well as removal of excess breast tissue and skin. A breast lift usually removes a smaller amount of skin and minimally removes some tissue along with lifting the nipple areolar complex to a more anatomical location. (Thomas Guillot, MD, Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon)

A lift will occur with reduction.

A very large breast will droop or sag. The breast reduction procedure , involves a combination of reducing breast size while lifting the breasts by removing specific amounts of tissue, skin, and fat and breast re-shaping.

This usually result in breasts that are smaller, lifted and firmer; therefore, breast reduction should provide both a smaller breast size and a noticeable lift. You should also speak with your doctor about the type of results you would like to see from a breast reduction to ensure you will get the result you desire. (Norman G. Morrison, MD, FACS, New York Plastic Surgeon)

A breast reduction will also lift and reshape the breasts. The areolae are also usually made smaller. I have heard of surgeons performing an insurance breast reduction and then charging separately for the lift, but I don’t think that is appropriate. (Laurence Weider, MD, Dallas Plastic Surgeon)

Breast Reduction Includes Lifting the Breasts Into Normal Position

Breast reduction and breast lift are basically the same procedure. Technically, the only difference is whether or not we remove any breast tissue. With a lift, we just remove skin to tighten the skin envelope of the breast.

With a reduction, we remove skin and a significant amount of breast tissue to reduce size as well as tighten the skin. Both will result in lifting – which one you need just depends on your anatomy and the size you ultimately want to be. (Marie E. Montag, MD, Omaha Plastic Surgeon)

All breast reduction procedures also lift the breasts.

A breast reduction includes:

  1. Breast Lift
  2. Removal of Excess Breast Tissue
  3. Areola Reduction.

A lift is performed as part of every breast reduction. The reverse is not necessarily the case (ie, with a lift there may be basically no reduction – there’s always a little bit but it may be very slight).

For some breast reductions the ONLY difference between the two (a lift and a reduction) is the amount of tissue being removed; with others it is inherently a different procedure (even if it leaves similar scars).

So – all reductions have lifts but not all lifts have (much of) a reduction. (Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS, New York Plastic Surgeon)

Unless you are having breast reduction done by liposuction alone, a breast reduction will always include some form of breast lift. (Jason Brett Lichten, MD, Columbus Plastic Surgeon)

Most large breasted women have developed sagging of the breast and nipple as well as areolar enlargement over the years because of the weight of their breast.

Only a very young woman is likely to have large breast without the sagging.

For that reason, most women require a breast lift as well as a reduction for the best result. (George Sanders, MD, Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon)

When a surgeon performs a breast reduction the lift is thrown in. The surgeon cannot perform the breast reduction without moving the nipple – areola complex highter/ Thus the lift. They go together. (Gary H. Manchester, MD (retired), San Diego Plastic Surgeon)

Combining breast reduction and breast lift

A breast reduction usually results in a significant lift in the position of the breast tissue and nipple area. The reduction in weight of your breasts diminishes the constant stretching of your skin created by the pull of gravity.

Decreasing the weight will result in a longer-lasting lift as compared to lifting the breast by excising the skin only with very little, if any, reduction in size. Unless you’re a B cup to begin with (in which case you’d likely need implants) a breast lift should give you nicely shaped breasts.

However, if you really want large upper pole fullness, you most likely will need a combination of both. (Deason Dunagan, MD, Huntsville Plastic Surgeon)

A breast reduction always includes a lift

All breast reductions resize and reposition the nipple and areola. Also the skin in reduction to match the volume reduction of the breast. The length of the incisions are proportional to the amount of skin removed. (Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD, Atlanta Plastic Surgeon)

When you have a breast reduction, the breasts are typically lifted at the same time, because skin, fat and breast tissue are removed, and when closing the incisions, the breasts are tightened and lifted. However, if you are happy with the volume or cup size of your breasts, but not with the sagging, then a breast lift will tighten the breasts and lift them, without removing breast or fatty tissue. (Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS, Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon)

In almost all cases a breast reduction includes a lift. The nipple position is elevated and the breast tissue is positioned superiorly. It is a very satisfactory operation for the vast majority of patients. (Tracy Pfeifer, MD, Manhattan Plastic Surgeon)

A breast reduction will give you the lift benefit in addition to reducing the size of the breast. You can look at the breast lift procedure as a mini lift procedure with minimal tissue removal. (Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS, Orange County Plastic Surgeon)

There are a number different types of breast reductions. All reductions, however, result in a breast lift. The nipple and areola are repositioned to a redetermined location fit for your body. The excess skin, breast tissue, and fat are then removed from each breast giving you good overall volume symmetry and shape.

I often perform a short scar breast reduction (vertical reduction) which I feel lessens the scar length and provides the best shape. (Michael Baroody, MD, Danbury Plastic Surgeon)

A breast reduction automatically results in a breast lift, as the nipple / areola complex is moved upward to a new position on the chest. You should spend some time looking at reduction photos, lift photos, and augmentation photos.

You will note that the upper pole of the breast is relatively smooth in both lift and reduction cases. If there is curvature (fullness) in the upper pole, the patient has implants. The full upper pole look does not result from either a lift or reduction surgery (unless the photos are taken very soon after surgery. (Michael A. Bogdan, MD, FACS, Dallas Plastic Surgeon)

Almost all breast reduction techniques involve elevation of the nipple-arolelar complex resulting in a breast lift. The one exception is a reduction performed by liposuction alone which may well lead to increased sagging. (John Whitt, MD (retired), Louisville Plastic Surgeon)

A breast reduction includes a breast lift

Many patients are confused by the terms breast lift and breast reduction and think that they are mutually exclusive. This is not true. A breast reduction makes the breast smaller and repositions the breast up on the chest wall.

A breast lift does not involve the removal of any breast tissue so the breasts remain the same size but they are repositoned up on the chest wall. That is to say, a breast reduction reduces and lifts the breast while a breast lift only lifts the breast. (Susan E. Downey, MD, Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon)

Breast lift is an integral part of standard breast reductions. The breast tissue is reshaped and lifted after removal of breast tissue. It is also possible to do a breast reduction with liposuction alone but few patients are ideal candidates.

Breast lift without reduction or with augmentation are also possible, depending on your desired size of the breasts. (York Jay Yates, MD, Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon)

A Standard Breast Reduction includes a Breast Lift.

Standard Breast Reduction surgery is a full Breast Lift in addition to the removal of breast tissue to reduce the volume of the breasts. They will appear high and swollen at first, but will soften and settle over the first few months post-surgery to a more normal position. (John P. Di Saia, MD, Orange Plastic Surgeon)

the reduction procedure will provide a lift as well. If you prefer to keep the volume of your breasts the same, then you may do a lift without removal of breast tissue. (Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS, Manhattan Plastic Surgeon)

Most breast reductions will also include a lift

20 Year Old Woman Treated With Breast Reduction By Dr. Benjamin Boudreaux, MD, Mandeville Plastic Surgeon

Most breast reductions will lift the breasts as well. There are rare instances when a breast reduction will be performed with liposcuction alone. Liposuction would rarely ‘lift’ the breast unless there is fantastic elasticity. Many breast reduction techniques will utilize the same incisions used for a breast lift with or without a breast implant. (Sanjay Grover, MD, Orange County Plastic Surgeon)

The bonus of a breast reduction is that you also get a breast lift. Two for the price of one! There are some surgeons that will exclusively liposuction the breast to reduce their volume, but this does not usually lift the nipple or breast significantly. (Steven Wallach, MD, New York Plastic Surgeon)

Almost all reductions give some lift to the breast.

The procedure to lift a breast and to reduce a breast are very similar. The difference is that with a reduction, tissue is removed at the same time as the lift. In my experience, in an effort to make each breast look as good as possible, I usually lift all breasts. The two exceptions are very young patients who have large but non- sagging breasts and those patients that desire only to have reduction through liposuction. (Robert M. Freund, MD, New York Plastic Surgeon)

Every good breast reduction automatically includes a breast lift

In a breast reduction, the excess breast tissue is removed. Then the remaining breast tissue is positioned upward INTERNALLY and the nipple is made a little smaller and lifted. So you should end up with a nice, lifted shape.

The typical scar looks like a lollypop. (George J. Beraka, MD (retired), Manhattan Plastic Surgeon)

Sagging of the breasts is corrected in a breast reduction procedure

The principles of a breast reduction and a breast lift are similar. Each procedure repositions the nipple to a higher level. With a breast reduction breast tissue is removed.

If a woman is satisfied wtih the size of her breasts but not the sagging then a lift is all that is needed. If the breasts are large and heavy then a breast reduction is indicated. (Jeffrey Zwiren, MD, Atlanta Plastic Surgeon)