Breast Augmentation in Combination with Breast Lift
Breast augmentation is frequently done in combination with a breast lift. The addition of an implant serves to improve the fullness and firmness of the breasts as well as increase their size. There is a common misconception that breast implants alone will lift the breasts and that the bigger the implant the more significant the lift. The assumption is that putting an implant in a droopy breast is like blowing up a deflated balloon: the more air (bigger implant) that you put in, the firmer and more upright the balloon becomes. While this may true for balloons, it is not true for breasts.
Although implants can help some women who are borderline candidates for a lift procedure avoid one, they are not an alternative in those patients who truly need a lift. In fact, implants can actually worsen the problem in some cases. If your nipple is below your breast fold or you have a significant amount of skin hanging down below your breast fold, you probably need a lift.
Implants can complement a breast lift by improving the fullness of the upper aspect of the breasts. Many women would like to see more fullness after a lift in this area. Initially, because of the tightening of the skin, there is nice fullness in the upper breast after a mastopexy. This is similar to being in a push up bra except now your skin is doing all the pushing. However, skin is not strong enough to maintain this fullness. It will relax/stretch to some degree and consequently some of this initial fullness will be lost. The additional volume of an implant can help mitigate this loss of fullness; however, if you are expecting your breasts to look as full and youthful as they did when you were in your late teens or early twenties or before babies, you are probably going to be disappointed. Your breasts will look much better, but a breast lift and augmentation cannot correct all the changes that occur with age and from pregnancy.
The combination of an augmentation with a mastopexy is a more difficult procedure than either on its own. These procedures essentially change the breast in ways that are in opposition to each other. A breast lift is a type of breast reduction (mainly skin) while a breast augmentation is breast enlargement. These don’t always work perfectly together, and knowing for certain how one will affect the other is difficult to predict with 100% accuracy.
Changes, such as skin stretching, will occur after surgery. These changes have caused some patients to need to re-tighten an augmentation mastopexy 6-9 months later. Although the changes may be noticeable soon after surgery, it is best to wait this period of time to ensure that the changes have stabilized. For this reason and for safety reasons, many plastic surgeons will not perform an augmentation at the same time as a mastopexy. Instead, the two are performed as separate procedures 6-9 months apart. The timing of the procedures depends on the individual needs and circumstances of the patient.
Each patient has unique issues with their breasts that will influence which procedure or procedures will best accomplish their goals. If you are considering cosmetic surgery to improve the appearance of your breasts, please give Dr. Slack an opportunity to sit down with you and discuss your options.
Expert Consultation for Breast Lifts in Plano and McKinney, Texas
Whether you have arrived at a decision regarding a breast lift or you simply need more information from a skilled plastic surgeon, schedule a private consultation with Dr. Slack to discuss your goals and concerns. He looks forward to speaking with you.