If you are unhappy with your breasts, you have some options. Breast enhancement surgery, which continues to rank among the top cosmetic procedures in the United States, offers women control over the shape, size, and appearance of their breasts.
A breast lift can elevate your breasts for a more youthful, sexy appearance, and is a procedure that is especially helpful for restoring the shape and position of the chest after pregnancy or weight loss. Breast augmentation can add volume and increase your breast size.
But do you really have to choose between the two? How about lift plus volume? Breast lift surgery with augmentation is a popular choice because the combination procedure provides the exact look that many women are seeking. Here’s what you need to know about these complementary surgeries.
What is a Breast Lift?
Breast lift plastic surgery, also known as mastopexy, is performed by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to support and reshape the breasts. If sagging breasts are causing the nipples to face downward, the areola and nipples can be repositioned for a fuller, more appealing appearance.
A breast lift elevates sagging breasts caused by breastfeeding, weight loss, and age, but it doesn’t include implant placement. Therefore, a lift will not increase the size of your breasts and cannot always improve symmetry when one breast is smaller than the other.
What Benefits Can I Expect After Breast Lift Surgery?
- Perkier, youthful-looking breasts
- Increased confidence
- More clothing options/better fit for clothes and undergarments
- Enhanced nipple projection
- Reduced irritation under the breasts
Which Breast Lift Surgery is Best for Me?
The crescent lift technique is used less often than other lifting methods but may be chosen for minimal sagging or when the lift is combined with a breast augmentation. A small incision is created at the top edge of the areola in a crescent-like shape to access and shape the natural breast tissue.
Donut lift surgery may be recommended for patients with only a small amount of sagging. The surgeon creates a circular incision at the edge of the areola. The periareolar lift can be performed with augmentation surgery and may also reduce the size of the areola. The scar is concealed along the edge of the areola.
The lollipop lift treats moderate sagging and allows the doctor to remove excess skin and reshape the breasts. The incision runs around the lower edge of the areola and down from the center to the breast fold.
The anchor technique is a popular method for significant sagging and pendulous breasts. The inverted lift is appropriate when breast reduction is combined with a breast lift. The surgeon creates three incisions to remove excess tissue.
One incision is created around the edge of the areola. A second incision is created vertically from the areola to the crease of the breast. The final incision is concealed in the breast crease.
What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation, also known as mammoplasty surgery, is used to increase the size and fullness of the breasts for cosmetic purposes or to rebuild the breast(s) after breast cancer treatment.
Augmentation usually includes the placement of synthetic breast implants under the chest muscle or breast tissue. The location of the incisions, the type of implant, and the size and placement of the implants depends on the goals of the procedure, the woman’s anatomy, and doctor-patient preferences.
What Does Breast Augmentation Do?
- Enlarges naturally small breasts
- Improves the size and shape of the breasts after surgery, weight loss or breastfeeding
- Restores breast symmetry
- Recreates the breast(s) after a mastectomy
Do I Need Breast Implants?
Breast implants can increase the size of your breasts and add volume or restore the breasts after a mastectomy. A qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon will discuss your goals with you and examine your breasts to determine if breast implants are right for you. If implants are recommended, the surgeon will discuss the options with you in greater detail.
Implants may contain silicone or saline and are inserted into a pocket in the chest, either under the pectoral muscle or over the pectoral muscle, behind the breast tissue.
Saline implants are filled with sterile saline (saltwater) solution. The solution is contained within a silicone shell. The implants can be filled with different amounts of saline solution to achieve the feel, firmness, and shape that the patient desires. These implants tend to have a less natural look and feel, but cause fewer problems should a rupture occur.
Silicone implants have an outer silicone shell that is filled with silicone gel. If the implant leaks, the gel will stay within the shell or escape into the breast implant pocket. An MRI or ultrasound scan is used to evaluate the condition of the implants.
These implants tend to have a very natural look and feel and are very popular. Cohesive gel implants, which retain their shape and have a “gummy bear” consistency, have become popular in recent years.
Where are Augmentation Incisions Placed?
There are four approved options for the placement of the incisions during breast augmentation.
- In the crease under the breast
- Under the armpit
- Around the nipple
- Through the belly button
An experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon will go over the best options for your surgery during the consultation.
Breast Lift with Breast Augmentation
If a breast lift or augmentation procedure alone cannot provide you with the results you are dreaming of, breast augmentation with a breast lift can offer you firm, full, perky breasts in the size you want. A plastic surgeon will help you decide which options are best for you based on your goals and your body type.
- Combined surgery is just as safe as a single surgery
- Ideal contours, customized breast size, and natural-looking lift
- Reduced scarring
- Removal of excess skin
- Implants help to fill out the breasts and improve their overall appearance
- Combining the operations is more affordable than having two separate surgeries
- The recovery time is similar to standalone procedures
Risks may include infection, reduced sensation in the breasts or nipples, leaking implant, bleeding, fluid accumulation, hardening around the implant, and scars. Although every surgical procedure has risks, turning to an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon reduces the possible risks.
Top 3 Reasons to Combine Breast Procedures
A significant number of women, especially those who have been pregnant, lost major amounts of weight, or are older than 35, will have some degree of breast ptosis when they seek out a breast augmentation. Natural changes in the elasticity of your breast tissue can result in an empty or deflated breast appearance that can be improved with breast augmentation.
1. More Attractive Breasts
If you have sagging at the time of your breast augmentation, leaving it untreated can end with poor results. A breast lift can help reposition the nipple-areola complex for more natural-looking breasts. While your results may initially look fine, within months you may start to notice the tissue creating a “waterfall” appearance off the breasts or skin accumulating under the implants. These effects can draw attention to the shape of your implants, contributing to an unattractive appearance.
2. Longer-Lasting Results
Breast sagging is caused by weakened breast tissue. You will find that if this sagging tissue isn’t lifted and provided additional support, your breast results will change over time. Sagging that worsens over time can result in double bubble deformity, implants that bottom out, or other implant malposition issues. A breast lift that improves the quality of your breast tissue can help ensure beautiful results that last for years.
3. A Single, One-Time Procedure
Combining procedures might eliminate the need for a secondary revision surgery down the road. Revision surgery can be costly, time consuming, and in some cases, more difficult. A single, one-time procedure can save you money in the long run and will only require one recovery period.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Dr. Stephan Baker, MD, FACS, is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Miami, FL. Call 305-381-305 to schedule a private breast lift and breast augmentation consultation with Dr. Baker, who has over 30 years of experience and provides outstanding, natural-looking results.