Breast Augmentation With Lift
While breast augmentation can enhance the size and shape of the breasts with beautiful, natural-looking results, the procedure generally does not address significant excess tissue and/or “drooping” in the breasts that can result from weight loss, pregnancy/breastfeeding, or simply the aging process. In contrast, a breast lift – also known as mastopexy – can eliminate excess skin and elevate sagging, drooping breasts for a rejuvenated appearance, though the procedure alone (even a volume-preserving lift) will not increase the size of the breasts.
For women who are interested in increasing the volume of their breasts in addition to correcting a substantial amount of excess tissue and drooping, a breast augmentation with a lift – sometimes referred to as augmentation-mastopexy – may be an excellent option. A large number of patients that ultimately need an augmentation-mastopexy may not realize they were even considering augmentation in the first place. Many of these patients may have postpartum changes after childbirth that have caused breast sagging and volume loss. A mastopexy alone will lift the breasts, but sometimes a small implant in conjunction with the lift will improve the shape of the breast and give some “upper pole” fullness, which is something that a breast lift alone cannot typically achieve. With an augmentation-mastopexy, implants are used to expand and “fill out” the breasts while the breast lift tightens any residual skin and elevates the nipple-areolar complex over the breast mound. In many patients that have breast ptosis (droopiness of the breast), the areolae are enlarged and stretched out, as well. This areola shape and diameter is part of what gets “tightened”, lifted, and shaped better to improve the overall contour and appearance of the breast.
This breast enhancement technique is a highly technical and specialized procedure, and when performed correctly, it can yield exceptional results for qualified patients. Dr. James F. Boynton, our board-certified plastic surgeon, has studied the augmentation-mastopexy procedure carefully, and despite its complexity, he is proud to have achieved an extremely low rate of complication throughout his years in practice. He has even presented on this exact operation to the Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Ultimately, through careful judgment and precise surgical technique, Dr. Boynton can combine a mastopexy with implants to help you achieve lifted, fuller breasts and a more youthful overall appearance.
Details of the Breast Augmentation-Mastopexy Procedure
Breast augmentation with a lift can be performed simultaneously or in two separate stages, depending on the patient’s unique needs and the size of the desired implants. In his studies, Dr. Boynton has found that many doctors place larger implants at the same time as performing a breast lift. The problem is, these two procedures can “fight each other”, which can often be the root of certain issues that may occur. To help prevent this, Dr. Boynton utilizes detailed measurements to determine what size implant can be placed safely and effectively at the same time as the lift.
To perform the procedure, Dr. Boynton generally employs a “mini” T style lift with the implant placed below the muscle, similar to his approach for breast augmentation. “Donut” or Binelli (periareolar mastopexy) techniques tend to have higher rates of complication and areolar expansion when conducted concurrently with augmentation, and he has found that the breast shape is often better when the mini T style lift is used in combination with small implants. Once the implants are positioned, Dr. Boynton is then able to fine-tune his carefully marked incisions and perform the lift. This involves the removal of excess skin as well as the lifting of breast tissues and nipple-areolar complex. The incision does go around the “perimeter” of the areola, which will allow for a more narrow and aesthetically well-shaped areola that is more “centered” over the breast mound, as well as more proportional in size.
Breast Augmentation with Lift FAQ's
What if I have excessive drooping and also desire a large implant?
If you desire a large implant in addition to addressing excessive drooping, it may be necessary to stage the augmentation-mastopexy procedure in two parts to allow time in between for healing. When this is the case, I typically ask patients what is more important to them: adding fullness or being uplifted? Their answer determines which procedure is performed first, and the second procedure is then conducted approximately six to twelve weeks later. Staging the operation like this when a large implant is being placed also maximally ensures optimal circulation to the nipple complex.
How much discomfort will there be and what is recovery like?
The surgery is generally performed as an outpatient procedure, and most patients experience only mild discomfort. In fact, most women only need pain medication for a few days. The majority of individuals feel well enough to walk around, shower, or even go out to dinner the day after surgery, and most can return to non-strenuous work or activities after about a week. To help ensure proper healing, exercise, heavy lifting, and other physical activities should be avoided for at least three to four weeks. When an augmentation-mastopexy is conducted in separate stages, recovery and downtime for each surgery will be similar to what can be expected for the individual operations.
Will sutures need to be removed?
No; all sutures used are dissolvable.
What about scarring?
Some degree of scarring is an inevitable part of all surgeries that involve incisions. However, Dr. Boynton uses embrace® Advanced Scar Therapy to help optimize the healing and final appearance of incisions used during an augmentation with a lift. Additionally, any potential scars can typically be concealed by articles of clothing and swimwear varieties.