Breast Augmentation with a Lift
On its own, a breast augmentation can add size and fullness to the breasts for a larger, more shapely appearance, but it cannot significantly lift the breasts to a higher position on the chest wall. Likewise, a breast lift (mastopexy) can reshape and elevate the breasts for a more youthful contour and projection, but it cannot provide an increase in breast volume by itself.
For women interested in both lifting and enlarging the breasts, a combination of breast augmentation and mastopexy can often be an excellent cosmetic option. Referred to as breast augmentation with a lift or a breast lift with implants, this aesthetic procedure can correct sagging/drooping caused by excess breast skin while simultaneously improving the overall size and shape of the breasts with exceptionally natural-looking results. Although this treatment is not limited to a particular subset of women, I find that mothers who lost a considerable amount of breast volume following the cessation of breastfeeding tend to benefit the most from breast augmentation with a lift.
Benefits of a Breast Lift with Implants
A breast lift with implants can provide numerous benefits for qualified patients. Depending on one’s unique needs and cosmetic desires, this combination procedure can often help:
- Augment the size of the breasts
- Restore breast volume
- Remove extra breast skin
- Correct breast drooping/sagging
- Reposition the breasts higher on the chest
- Enhance breast shape and symmetry
- Elevate and resize the areolas
Implant Options for Breast Lift with Implants
Depending on your unique needs and desires, I can help you select an implant shape, type, and size that can best achieve your aesthetic goals. At my practice, I use a variety of shapes and sizes of both saline and silicone gel breast implants for breast lift with augmentation. I might advise against selecting certain larger implants for this procedure—since the skin has already been stretched out previously, it may not be able to support a heavier implant, ultimately compromising the results of your surgery. After a thorough examination, I should be able to give you a better idea of your ideal breast implant options. A patient’s tissues and anatomy will determine whether the implant is better placed over or under the muscle and I have found that most patients prefer the natural look and feel silicone gel implants provide.
How Breast Augmentation with Lift Is Performed
In virtually all cases, I recommend that breast augmentation and breast lift surgery be performed at the same time as opposed to in separate stages. During the procedure, implants will first be carefully inserted through an inframammary incision. I sit the patient up, while asleep, and re-shape the breasts by folding and stapling the skin into place. I mark the created edges and remove the staples. This indicates the skin that requires removal. After removing the marked, redundant skin, the wounds are closed and a bulky, cotton dressing is placed.
The entire surgery usually takes about three hours to perform, and patients are generally able to return home under the care and supervision of a loved one later the same day.
Breast Lift with Augmentation Scars
Mild scarring should be expected following a breast lift with implants. With proper post-surgical care, scars typically fade and become more inconspicuous over time. However, most of my patients report that the benefits of the procedure greatly outweigh any concern about scarring. The appearance of your scars will depend on the incision used during surgery—I usually employ either the lollipop (vertical) or anchor (inverted “T”) incision when performing this procedure. I prefer the anchor incision for patients with significant ptosis (drooping/sagging), while the lollipop incision can be used for patients with mild to moderate ptosis. Both incisions are made around the circumference of the areola and vertically down along the breast to the inframammary fold. The main difference between the two is an additional incision made along the inframammary fold for the anchor incision. In some rare cases, I may be able to perform a breast lift with augmentation using a periareolar incision, also known as a “donut” incision. With this method, two concentric circular incisions are made around the perimeter of the areola, resulting in a scar around the healed areola that is often virtually unnoticeable. In your consultation, I can inform you of the incision type recommended for your individual needs.
Recovery from Breast Lift with Implants
Following breast lift with augmentation, I have found the best dressing to be thick cotton padding held in place with an extra long ace wrap. Bras have a tendency to dig in and cause ulcerations along the incisions where the skin has no feeling. Sutures come out after two weeks, a special bra is used, and support of the new breasts continues for six weeks with it. Some swelling, bruising, and tenderness in the breasts can be expected initially, but these symptoms should resolve over time. Any discomfort experienced can generally be alleviated with medication. All but the most strenuous jobs can be returned to in two to three weeks, and vigorous exercise or physical activities should be avoided for at least four to six weeks to help ensure proper healing.
Ultimately, the great majority of individuals are extremely happy with the final results of their breast augmentation with a lift. In fact, this procedure has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates of all the treatments I perform here at Aesthetic Surgery of Virginia.
Breast Lift with Implants FAQs
Q: What if I want a larger implant?
A: When a larger implant is desired for a breast lift with augmentation, I might recommend against it because results could be negatively affected. However, when using a larger implant, the success of the procedure can sometimes be improved if it is broken up into two stages. After you have healed from your first surgery, the second surgery can be performed.
Q: Is a breast lift with implants painful?
A: Most of my patients experience mild to moderate discomfort following a breast lift with augmentation. Most pain can be managed with medication, but many patients find they no longer need the medication after a few days. Patients typically feel well enough to walk around a bit later on their day of surgery, and usually return to less strenuous daily activities after a week.
Q: How do I know if a breast augmentation with lift is right for me?
A: If you wish to address the position of your breasts as well as increase fullness, a breast lift with implants might be appropriate. I recommend scheduling a consultation with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon to get personalized answers about the best way to achieve your aesthetic goals.
Q: How much does a breast lift with implants cost?
A: It is difficult to provide an exact number, since the cost of this procedure can vary based on several factors, such as the severity of your case, type of breast implant being used, anesthesia, surgeon’s fee, medications, post-surgery garments, and more. In your initial consultation, a more specific price quote can be provided, to help you plan accordingly. Additionally, my practice offers plastic surgery financing to provide you with more affordable options.