Breast Augmentation or Breast Lift — Which One is Right For You?

Breast enhancements have topped the list of plastic surgery procedures in the United States since 2006, with more than 423,000 performed in 2018 alone. And each one of those women has a very personal reason for choosing to change her breasts. 


At his plastic and cosmetic surgical practice in Rockville, Maryland, and McLean, Virginia, Frederick H. Watkins, MD, helps women love their bodies by coming alongside them in their decision to enhance their beauty. He knows that physical and inner beauty mean something different to each of his patients, so his philosophy includes taking the time to get to know your unique vision before he advises you on your surgical options. 


When it comes to changing your breasts, the procedure you choose depends on your aesthetic goals. Here’s what to consider.

Breast augmentation

Women who want a breast augmentation, or bigger breasts, come to that decision for a variety of reasons, including:



Whatever your reason for wanting to enlarge your breasts, Dr. Watkins, who is certified with and a diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, offers a perfect blend of engineering and artistry. Given his expertise, you can expect a safe procedure that results in a natural, realistic look. But before he gets started, he discusses a few choices with you.

Silicone or saline?

The implants Dr. Watkins inserts can be filled with either silicone or saline. Silicone feels more natural, but ruptured implants are less obvious than saline and may require special studies (MRI or ultrasound) for diagnosis. Saline feels somewhat less natural, but it is safely absorbed by your body if any leakage occurs.

Where do you want your incision?

Dr. Watkins makes a small incision in order to insert the implant, but you get to decide where to hide the small scar: in your armpit, in the fold under your breast, or in the areola.

How big?

If you’re considering breast augmentation, you want bigger breasts, but how big? Dr. Watkins generally recommends keeping the increase to within one or two cups sizes to maintain a realistic silhouette. He also takes into consideration your body type, the dimensions of your chest wall, and your lifestyle and activity level. 

Breast lift

If your main concern is not size, but rather the droop of your breasts, then a breast lift might be what you need. As you age, especially if you’ve breastfed, you may notice that your breasts have begun to sag. A breast lift can pull them back up into position.


One of the main differences between a breast augmentation and a breast lift is that breast lifts do not involve implants and do not increase size. Instead, Dr. Watkins reshapes your breasts, removes excess skin, and repositions your breasts so that your nipples point forward rather than down.


Whether you’ve always been dissatisfied with your breasts or just since a major weight loss or life event, such as nursing an infant, breast lift surgery can give you perkier more youthful and proportional breasts.

Breast augmentation plus breast lift

If you wish, you can combine your breast augmentation with a breast lift to improve both volume and position. This procedure, called augmentation-mastopexy, allows Dr. Watkins to give you the best of both worlds.


If you’re exploring the idea of a breast augmentation, breast lift, or both, Dr. Watkins would love to talk with you about your options and his technique. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with the practice of Frederick H. Watkins, MD, today.

We have two locations to serve you in the DC Metro area. Give us a call or request an appointment online.

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