Combined Breast Augmentation & Breast Lift
Some women desire not only a size and shape augmentation through implants, but also a full breast lift, for a comprehensive transformation of the breast area. Women who undergo only a breast augmentation may end up with nipples that point downwards, as the implant sits above the nipple, and skin that is initially saggy may continue to droop off the implant. A breast lift alone will not add any desired volume to the breast, and may lead to a “hollowness” of the upper breast. In such cases, it is recommended that breast lift and augmentation be performed together. The combination of these procedures is sometimes called a “breast augmentation mastopexy.”
What is Breast Augmentation with Breast Lift Surgery?
A breast augmentation, or augmentation mammoplasty, involves changing the size, texture, and shape of the breasts, usually through implants. A breast lift, or mastopexy, involves the “lifting” of breast tissue by removing excess, saggy skin and repositioning the nipples higher on the breast. The goal of a combination breast augmentation/lift is to add volume to the breasts, build a rounder breast shape, raise the nipple position, and sometimes to reduce the size of the areola.
Are you a candidate for this surgery?
For women who have experienced both a loss in breast volume accompanied by breast sagging as a result of pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss, or for women who simply want a comprehensive transformation of their breasts, a combination breast augmentation and lift is a safe, effective procedure. For some patients, particularly those with minimal breast tissue, your surgeon may recommend doing the procedures separately, with a grace period in between in order to allow the tissue to “settle.” Because of their complexity, combined breast augmentation/lift procedures are associated with a slightly higher rate of corrective surgery than breast augmentation or breast lift alone.
How is a Breast Augmentation With Breast Lift Performed?
When breast augmentation and breast lift are combined, implants are most commonly inserted through an incision made around the areola (a periareolar incision). When breast ptosis, or sagging, is mild, your surgeon may not need to make any extra incisions. When a full breast lift is required, however, a vertical incision will also be made from the areola to the inframammary fold, as well as a horizontal incision along the inframammary fold. Despite the fact that both surgeries may make use of the same types of incisions and are therefore easily integrated, it takes a skilled surgeon to perform this tricky procedure because of the opposing forces at work. While a breast lift is designed to tighten the skin of the breast, the insertion of implants puts pressure on the skin, stretching it out. The breast augmentation is typically performed first, often through a periareolar incision. Then, depending on the extent of work necessary, your surgeon may make one or two more incisions in order to remove excess breast skin, elevate the nipple, and reduce the size of the areola (the darker skin around the nipple).
What to Expect After Surgery
The procedure typically takes between 1-4 hours to perform, depending on the extent of correction desired, and patients are usually discharged the same day. General anaesthesia is almost always used. Most patients can expect to return to work within a week or two following surgery, but every recovery is different, and combining procedures may slightly lengthen recovery time. Patients can return to most normal activities after 4-6 weeks, under the direction of a physician. Scarring should fade over time, although patients are asked to keep in mind that because of the multiple incisions required for a full breast lift, some scarring may always be visible. Furthermore, the shape of the breast will take time to settle and the final results may not be apparent for a few months. It is recommended that you complete any breastfeeding prior to undergoing a breast augmentation and lift, in order for your surgeon to most accurately gauge the true size and shape of the breasts. While it is important to maintain realistic expectations, women who undergo a breast augmentation/lift can expect a dramatic change to the look and feel of their breasts, including increased volume, elevated nipples, and a visible “lift.” Many women find that undergoing such procedures helps to improve their confidence and self-image. At Clinic 360, our number one goal is patient satisfaction, and your surgeon will arrange a number of follow-up visits as necessary in order to ensure a desirable result that meets or exceeds your expectations.