Determining whether a patient will need breast augmentation as well as a breast lift is highly dependent upon the patient’s unique anatomy and aesthetic goals. Having said that, it is quite common for these two particular procedures to be conducted together, as part of what you might consider a “complete” cosmetic enhancement of the breasts. Breast augmentation alongside a breast lift is a common part of a “Mommy Makeover”, which is a term that refers to the set of cosmetic treatments that mothers who have undergone childbirth frequently pursue. To determine whether or not you would benefit from both of these procedures, it’s best to have a comprehensive consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon. For now, let’s explore what each of these procedures actually involve, why a patient may choose to have them conducted together, and some other important considerations.
What is a Breast Lift?
Mastopexy, or a breast lift, is a procedure by which both breasts are raised and may involve the shifting upwards of the nipple and areola. Excess skin is removed, and the underlying tissue is tightened. This allows for the contour of the breast to be reshaped and tightened, but a breast lift does not alter the size of the breast—it can simply make it appear more perky and youthful.
Patients with breasts that sag or droop, a condition known as ‘breast ptosis’, will benefit from this procedure as it will raise and redefine the breasts while making them firmer as well. In many cases, women find that their clothing fits better and their cleavage is remarkably improved post-procedure. After pregnancy, a substantial amount of weight loss, or over time the breasts will typically lose volume, shape and perkiness causing them to rest lower than is desirable. Through a breast lift, the previous proportion and position of the breasts can be restored.
What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a procedure which reshapes and resizes the appearance of the breasts. It involves the use of either a saline implant filled with sterile salt water or a cohesive gel implant also known as “gummy bear” or “form stable” because of its gel like consistency. Alternatively, fat transfer involves the removal of fat from other parts of the body that is then injected into the breast, but is not as mainstream as the other options.
Breast augmentation is entirely customizable to the desires of the patient. Your plastic surgeon will provide you with recommendations and advice after a consultation and examination, taking into account your unique breast anatomy. During your consultation you’ll have a better understanding of what size, placement and type of implant to use—subtle enhancements are far more common than most people would expect.
During a breast augmentation procedure, the surgeon will place the incision in either the inframammary fold, around the areola or through an incision made in the armpit. In some situations, patients may require a combination of procedures such as a breast augmentation, breast lift and breast reduction to correct asymmetrical breasts.
Why Are These Procedures Commonly Combined?
A breast lift is commonly combined with a breast augmentation procedure because it can offer a patient a more comprehensive treatment solution to reach their aesthetic goals. A breast lift is not intended to augment the size of a breast, it can only lift it—which for many patients is quite enough to reach their goals—but for those patients who would like to both lift as well as enlarge the breasts, the two procedures together are a common solution.
Whether you need one surgery or a couple of procedures is something that you can discuss during an in-depth consultation with your plastic surgeon. They will help you explore all of your options, the benefits, and any potential drawbacks. Plastic surgery is ultimately a very personal decision, and for many women it has been remarkably successful in enhancing both appearance, confidence and self satisfaction.