Over time, the majority of women experience noticeable changes in the appearance of their breasts as a result of factors such as genetics, gravity, weight fluctuations, pregnancy, breast feeding, aging, sun exposure and artificial tanning. Some of the most common changes occurring include a decrease in skin elasticity, drooping or sagging of breast tissue and an appreciable loss of breast volume.
While a breast lift (mastopexy) can address skin laxity and tissue sagging, it will not increase the size of the breasts for individuals also seeking to restore lost volume (and possibly more) or replace strategic contours. On the other hand, a breast augmentation can add volume to the breast but it will not correct drooping or skin laxity for those wishing to lift the breasts to a more youthful position.
To fully address all of these concerns, a breast lift along with a breast augmentation is generally the most appropriate surgical solution. Also referred to as an augmentation-mastopexy, breast lift with implants or breast augmentation with a lift, this cosmetic procedure is designed to simultaneously elevate and enlarge the breasts through tissue removal and reshaping as well as with the placement of breast implants. When performed properly by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Steven H. Turkeltaub, the final outcome can be attractive, rejuvenated, perkier breasts with an enhanced overall shape and volume.
- What Are the Benefits of a Breast Lift with Implants?
- Who Is a Candidate for Breast Augmentation with a Lift?
- What Breast Implant Options Are Available?
- How Is the Augmentation-Mastopexy Procedure Performed?
- What Is Augmentation-Mastopexy Recovery Like?
- What Does a Breast Lift with Implants Cost?
- Are Breast Lift with Augmentation Scars Noticeable?
- What Are the Risks of a Breast Lift with Implants?
- Augmentation-Mastopexy Before-and-After Photos
What Are the Benefits of a Breast Lift with Implants?
Combining a breast lift with augmentation is ideal for many women desiring a more youthful breast aesthetic as well as an increased breast size. Depending on your unique needs and goals, an augmentation-mastopexy can be customized to help:
- Restore lost breast volume
- Increase the size of the breasts
- Eliminate excess skin and breast drooping
- Elevate the position and projection of the breasts
- Enhance the shape of the breasts
- Achieve greater symmetry between the breasts
Along with these physical benefits, a breast augmentation with a lift can provide a significant boost in self-confidence and self-image in both social and personal settings, leading to greater happiness, satisfaction and an improved overall quality of life for many patients.
Who Is a Candidate for Breast Augmentation with a Lift?
An augmentation-mastopexy procedure is generally an appropriate breast enhancement option if you wish to restore and/or increase breast volume but have too much excess skin and drooping to achieve an acceptable outcome with implants alone. More specifically, when the distance between the inframammary crease and nipple is approximately 10 cm or greater, a breast lift is usually recommended in combination with augmentation. Placing implants without excising the extra skin and elevating tissue in these instances can lead to a dissatisfactory and even bizarre appearance of the breasts.
To be considered a good candidate for breast augmentation with a lift, you should also be in good general health and have reasonable expectations for what can realistically be achieved. Individuals who smoke cigarettes or use tobacco products of any kind will need to quit starting at least one month prior to surgery and maintaining this until a minimum of a month postoperatively.
At the time of your consultation, Dr. Turkeltaub will discuss whether or not augmentation-mastopexy is an appropriate option for you.
What Breast Implant Options Are Available?
Breast implants are available in a wide range of types, shapes, sizes and surface textures. At the Arizona Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Dr. Turkeltaub offers a variety of silicone and saline options including the highly cohesive gel (gummy bear) implants. Individualizing the particular implants to meet your desires while taking into account your anatomy and tissue characteristics can increase the prospects of realizing beautiful, voluptuous breasts that you can be very happy with.
For more detailed information about available implant options, please see Dr. Turkeltaub’s page dedicated to breast implants.
How Is the Augmentation-Mastopexy Procedure Performed?
For virtually all patients, the augmentation-mastopexy procedure is performed as a single operation instead of in two separate stages. During surgery, excess skin is removed, breast tissue is contoured and lifted to a higher position, the nipple-areolar complexes are resized and repositioned and implants are precisely placed in order to obtain firmer and more aesthetically pleasing and youthful appearing breasts. This is typically accomplished under general anesthesia as an outpatient.
If you are also interested in improving other areas affected by pregnancy and/or dramatic weight fluctuation, augmentation-mastopexy can often be combined with an abdominoplasty and/or liposuction as part of a “Mommy Makeover” or even other procedures such as arm lifts and eyelid surgery.
The specific incision utilized for breast lift with augmentation will depend on such factors as the extent of breast sagging, skin elasticity, quantity of excess skin, nipple location, current and desired breast size and Dr. Turkeltaub’s preference. The following are possible incision options:
- Periareolar – Generally reserved for patients who have only minor breast drooping and tissue laxity, this incision solely encircles the outer perimeter of the areola. Although there is less scarring associated with this approach, Dr. Turkeltaub rarely recommends the periareolar incision due to the unacceptable “flattened” breast shape that it usually creates.
- Lollipop – Mostly used for individuals with mild sagging and excess skin, this incision encircles the areola and continues down to the crease below the breasts. As suggested by its name, the resulting scar resembles the shape of a lollipop. There are not many situations where this approach would be appropriate and the best choice.
- Inverted “T” – Also known as an anchor-shaped incision, this technique encircles the outer border of the areola, continues vertically down to the crease beneath the breasts and extends horizontally for a variable distance along the inframammary fold. This incision pattern is the most common approach utilized by Dr. Turkeltaub due to its greater flexibility, accuracy, comprehensiveness and impact when contouring tissues (among numerous other advantages).
Breast implants can be successfully inserted and placed into position employing each of these incision options. The most appropriate method for your procedure will be comprehensively discussed and reviewed at the time of the consultation.
Augmentation-mastopexy patients have two options for breast implant placement: behind the pectoralis major muscle (submuscular or subpectoral) or in front of it (submammary). In the vast majority of instances, Dr. Turkeltaub recommends placing implants behind the muscle for the following reasons:
- Mammogram results can be more easily and accurately read
- There is a reduced risk for capsular contracture (hardening of scar tissue around the implants) to occur
- The greater amount of tissue coverage diminishes the risk of visible rippling on the surface of the skin
- A more natural appearance is often created due to a superior interface between the implant and chest wall
- The pectoralis major muscle provides better long-term implant support in comparison to skin only. (When skin alone is providing support, the implant’s weight will cause the skin to stretch and thin more quickly over time, which ultimately leads to greater sagging.)
What Is Augmentation-Mastopexy Recovery Like?
A conforming, supportive dressing is employed following surgery. This is removed within a few days and replaced with a surgical or sports-type bra that is worn day and night for around a week to ten days. After this time, Dr. Turkeltaub strongly suggests wearing a supportive bra as often as possible to help slow the progression of the breasts drooping over time due to gravity.
Some degree of swelling does occur initially but there is typically little or no bruising. Most patients experience mild to moderate discomfort for the first few days of recovery. The majority of women feel well enough to resume non-strenuous daily routines like school and office jobs within five to seven days. It is recommended that any sports, strenuous activities or heavy lifting be avoided for at least three weeks.
Are Breast Lift with Augmentation Scars Noticeable?
The technique employed in the performance of a breast lift with implants will directly determine the overall incision length and therefore, to some extent, the degree of scar visibility. As highlighted above, incision options for augmentation-mastopexy include periareolar (around the outer margin of the areola), lollipop (encircling the areola and continuing vertically down the underside of the breast) and inverted “T” (encircling the areola, continuing vertically down the breast and extending horizontally along the inframammary fold). Important factors that can have an effect on the ultimate extent of visibility of the scars include the incision closure technique selected, the surgical skill employed, genetic predisposition for scarring, one’s general health and healing potential, compliance with postoperative instructions including restriction of certain activities for a period of time, and the quality of scar care products used and compliance in usage.
All things considered, most women typically have very few—if any—issues with the final appearance of their scars and are extremely pleased with the physical and emotional benefits of breast augmentation with the lift. When performed appropriately and skillfully, most patients also find that virtually all incision lines can be concealed by a large variety of underwear and swimsuit styles.
What Are the Risks of a Breast Lift with Implants?
The probability of a serious complication arising from augmentation-mastopexy is rather minimal when the procedure is performed correctly by a board-certified plastic surgeon who is skilled and experienced in combining breast lift surgery with augmentation. However, as with any surgical procedure, there is always the possibility that less than desirable results will occur or that there will be complications or untoward issues. For this reason, it is important to be fully aware of all risks prior to treatment.
Some of the more notable risks associated with a breast augmentation-mastopexy include:
- Hematoma (a buildup of blood deep within skin tissue)
- Seroma (a buildup of fluid deep within skin tissue)
- Breast asymmetries
- Capsular contracture
- Continuation of drooping (a given)
- Implant breakdown with time (they are not permanent devices)
- Decrease or loss of nipple sensation
- Implant malposition
- Wide and/or thick scars
As stated previously, the likelihood that any of these issues will manifest is greatly reduced when breast lift with implants is performed by a highly skilled and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.
What Does a Breast Lift with Implants Cost?
The cost of a breast lift with implants varies based on a number of different factors, including the:
- Type and shape of the implants selected
- Incision pattern and surgical technique employed
- Degree of tissue reshaping and amount of skin removal needed
- Skill and experience of the plastic surgeon
- Anesthesia and operating facility fees
- City and/or region of the country in which the practice is located
Supplementary costs may also include any pre- and post-operative medications, lab work or pathology charges that might be necessary.
To determine exact pricing for a breast augmentation with a lift, an in-office consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub is required. Following a physical assessment and thorough discussion of your needs and desires, he can provide a close estimate of the projected total cost based on the specifics of your individualized treatment plan.
If you are interested in plastic surgery financing, a member of Dr. Turkeltaub’s staff can review various payment plans available including through CareCredit®, ALPHAEON® CREDIT and other respected healthcare lenders. With many monthly payment options available to choose from, the expense of a breast lift with implants can fit well within most budgets.
Augmentation-Mastopexy Before-and-After Photos*
Dr. Turkeltaub is highly experienced in combining breast lift surgery with implants to achieve exceptionally natural-looking results. The following are examples of the outcomes some of his patients have attained.
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*Individual Results May Vary
Interested in Breast Augmentation with a Lift?
If you are interested in breast lift with implants, or if you would like additional information about this procedure, please contact the Arizona Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery online or by phone at 480-451-3000 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub.