Sometimes a breast lift alone, or a breast augmentation alone, is not enough to restore a youthful shape and volume to the breast. In cases where the skin has stretched and sagged, the breast volume has deflated, and the nipples are pointing noticeably downwards, a combined procedure involving both a breast augmentation and a breast lift is the most appropriate procedure. This combined procedure is known as a Mastopexy Augmentation; mastopexy being the clinical term for a breast lift, and augmentation being the term for breast implants.
Dr. Nicholas Vendemia performs breast lifts with and without breast implants for women in the New York metro area. We encourage you to contact us online or give us a call at 917-703-7069 to schedule a visit. Dr. Vendemia is a leading cosmetic surgeon in New York City with a reputation for custom care and beautiful results.
View our patient photo gallery to see more women like you who choose breast augmentation and a lift from Dr. Vendemia.
Is it safe to combine a breast lift with breast implants?
Yes, for most women it is safe to have both procedures at the same time as long as you are not pushing either procedure to its extreme (i.e. going too large on the augmentation, or needing an extreme lift because of excessive sagging). Only a surgeon who is comfortable with the advanced technique of performing both procedure at the same time can tell you whether it’s appropriate to have a single-stage mastopexy augmentation, or whether it is a better idea to perform a two-stage procedure. Obviously a single procedure with a single cost and a single recovery is preferable for most women, but the operation should never be more risky than it needs to be simply to save cost and time. Listed below are the advantages and disadvantages of performing a single-stage mastopexy augmentation, both of which should be considered and discussed thoroughly with your plastic surgeon:
Advantages of a Single-Stage Mastopexy Augmentation
- It is one procedure with one recovery period.
- Only one session of anesthesia is needed because it is a single procedure.
Disadvantages of Single-Stage Mastopexy Augmentation
- Performing the procedure in a single stage introduces some unpredictability into the healing process and may lead to a suboptimal result or a need for revisional surgery. The results of the two stage procedure can be more predictable, especially if you want a larger size implant, or if you have an extreme amount of sagging.
- Implant size is limited in a single stage procedure, so you may not be able to safely achieve your goal for volume if you want a larger size implant.
For most women, it makes sense and is completely safe to have a single stage mastopexy augmentation, but at the end of the day the single stage procedure is mostly about the conveniences of saving time and money as compared to a two stage operation. A two stage procedure in which the breast lift is performed first, and then the augmentation is performed 3-6 months afterwards, minimizes some of the risk and unpredictability in the heading process, so make sure to discuss with your plastic surgeon whether or not he feels that it’s worth it for you to consider the two stage approach.
How do I know if I need Mastopexy Augmentation?
A breast lift treats sagging and elevates the nipple position, and a breast augmentation treats volume loss. If you have a breast that looks deflated and lacks cleavage no matter how you push it up, and if your nipples point downwards, chances are that you need both procedures for an ideal result. Sometimes a breast lift can be avoided by using a larger size breast implant for the augmentation, but this procedure requires a special technique and is limited to women who have not only lost a significant amount of breast volume, but also want a significant amount of volume restored. The following is a list of factors that make it more likely that both procedures will be required for an ideal result:
- Multiple pregnancies (and multiple times breast feeding)
- Pregnancies with an excessive amount of weight gain or excessive breast engorgement during breast feeding
- Significant fluctuations in weight, especially weight loss
- A history of large, heavy breasts that deflated after pregnancy or weight loss
- Poor skin elasticity due to aging (usually genetic)
How is Mastopexy Augmentation different from a standard breast augmentation?
- Mastopexy Augmentation is a longer procedure with a longer recovery period. An average mastopexy augmentation procedure takes about 3 hours, while a standard breast augmentation can usually be completely in an hour or less. The longer procedure requires more anesthesia time, which lengthens the recovery period, as does the requirement for more incisions that all have to heal. A breast augmentation requires only a single 2-3 inch scar under the breast, while a mastopexy augmentation requires the classic anchor pattern scars that are much more visible and take longer to heal.
- Mastopexy Augmentation is a more complicated procedure with more risk and cost involved. There are many more steps to a mastopexy augmentation than there are to a breast augmentation, and this introduces more risk, unpredictability, and cost.
- Mastopexy Augmentation leads to more visible scarring. As described above, the scarring with mastopexy augmentation is more visible than with a breast augmentation, but in cases where the nipples point downwards there is often no other way of producing an aesthetically pleasing result.
It is not a trivial decision to have a Mastopexy Augmentation procedure, and it should only be performed with the benefits outweigh the risks. In some women who have a minimal to moderate amount of volume loss and sagging, a breast augmentation using a slightly larger implant may produce a very nice result with a fraction of the risk and healing time, but in many cases where both the volume loss and sagging are more extreme, a single procedure will not lead to a satisfactory result. The only way to know for sure which procedure(s) you need is to have a thorough discussion with your plastic surgeon during a formal consultation.