Breast Lift vs. Breast Reduction

Breast lifts and breast reduction are two separate procedures, yet either can enhance your figure in different ways. At the same time, both breast enhancement surgeries can be very complementary and use some of the same surgical techniques. Learning more about the differences between a lift and a reduction can help you choose the best option for reaching your cosmetic goals.

Breast Lift vs Breast Reduction

Dr. Michael Halls is well-known throughout the San Diego area as a breast enhancement specialist and leader in breast surgery. With over 25 years in active practice as a board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Halls offers a full range of cosmetic breast enhancement procedures as well as the most innovative techniques in reconstructive breast surgery for beautiful, natural-looking results.

Please contact us online or call La Jolla Breast Institute today at (858) 458-0100 to schedule your breast enhancement consultation.

Comparing the Procedures

Although a breast lift and breast reduction share some similarities, there are important differences between these two breast enhancement surgeries. A breast lift improves droopiness and sagging in the breasts, but is not designed to dramatically reduce breast size. In contrast, the primary goal of breast reduction is to remove excess breast tissue and create a more proportionate look. Dr. Halls can work with you to explain the pros and cons of each procedure, and help you decide which of these options might work best for your needs.

  • A breast lift addresses sagging in the breasts. During breast lift surgery, Dr. Halls reshapes your natural breast tissue to create a rounder shape, and lifts your breasts to a higher position on your torso, excising any excess skin. Additionally, the nipple is repositioned and the areola can be resized as needed. The result is a tighter, youthful and perkier look without a significant increase or decrease in breast size.
  • A breast reduction differs from a breast lift in that Dr. Halls will remove a certain amount of excess fat, glandular tissue and skin from your breasts, bringing them down to a smaller size. Additionally, he will shape the remaining fat and tissue into natural-looking contours. Like in a breast lift, the nipple will be repositioned and the areola resized if needed. There is typically some element of a lift included in the breast reduction to create shapely, proportionate results.


Want to see for yourself what these two surgeries can achieve? We encourage you to visit our patient photo gallery to see real women who have had breast reduction and breast lift surgery. Seeing before and after photos may help you make a decision about your own surgery. You can also find answers to commonly asked questions in our Breast Reduction FAQs and Breast Lift FAQs.

Pricing of Breast Lifts and Breast Reductions

The cost of a breast lift and/or reduction surgery will vary depending on the particular approach that Dr. Halls takes. In cases of medical necessity, a breast reduction may be covered by health insurance, although a breast lift is considered cosmetic. After your consultation Dr. Halls’ staff will discuss surgical costs with you, including information about procedures that may be allowed by your insurance plan or are self-pay, so you can make an informed decision before moving forward.

Recovery & Results

Whether you decide to get a breast lift or a breast reduction, you should notice immediate results that continue to improve throughout your recovery. Both a lift and reduction can result in a perkier breast shape that’s firmer and higher, although a reduction will also give you more petite, proportionate breasts.

During recovery, Dr. Halls may ask you to wear a special surgical bra or bandage 24 hours a day to reduce swelling. It’s normal to feel some pain in the first couple of days, and milder degrees of pain for a week or two after your surgery. Dr. Halls will also provide you with detailed post-operative care instructions and confirm a date for your first follow-up appointment.

Either a breast lift or a breast reduction can bring out the best in your natural assets. Dr. Halls can help you better understand the differences between these surgeries, as well as the ways each can complement the other for a superior outcome.