Breast augmentation with a lift is an option for women who have sagging breasts and require a lift, yet want additional volume with implants. This combined surgical technique incorporates skin tightening, which removes excess skin and lifts the breast to a higher place on the chest wall. While some women have enough breast tissue to end up with a result they are happy with, many prefer to have implants placed within the breast to increase the size. Dr. Paul Critelli, board-certified plastic surgeon at UT Health East Texas Cosmetic Surgery Center will meet with you to discuss your needs and goals, then advise as to whether or not a lift is needed first. It's important to understand that if a breast is sagging to a certain degree, placing an implant without performing a lift could result in a poor outcome. Breast augmentation with a lift creates beautiful, shapelier breasts for countless women.
About the Surgery
The surgery begins with the breast lift before placing the implant. During the procedure, excess skin is trimmed away, the underlying tissues are tightened with sutures and the breast is reshaped. This completes the lift portion of the procedure. Sometimes the areola is also reduced and the nipple repositioned. When the lift is done, the breast implant will be placed either on top of the chest muscle or underneath it based on the patient’s condition.
Breast Lift Incision
All breast lift procedures will require incisions due to the removal of skin. There are several incision patterns that can be considered:
- Incision made along the line surrounding the areola;
- Incision made along the line surrounding the areola plus a vertical incision down to the natural crease below the breast; and,
- Incision made along the line surrounding the areola plus a vertical incision down to the natural crease below the breast, then another horizontal line following the direction of the fold under the breast.
Breast augmentation is a common cosmetic procedure. Patients can choose between a silicone implant and one that is filled with saline. The type of implant chosen depends on the patient’s aesthetic goals and the chest form. Some surgeons prefer to do a breast lift, and then see how the shape is affected before moving forward with implants. There are cases when patients are content with the results of the breast lift and no longer desire to have the augmentation portion.
This surgery is an outpatient procedure and is performed at UT Health Tyler under general anesthesia. Following the procedure, patients will need to limit movement, especially in the chest area for approximately 48 hours. Because this surgery represents a combination of procedures, the recovery is a bit longer and can take up to 8-10 weeks to recover. Optimal results will be evident within 6-12 months. This is the time period it takes for the implants to settle in their new position and for the scars to heal.
Implants for breast sag?
Implants will surely help increase breast size, but it is a breast lift that resolves the sagging. Breast sag is caused by overstretched skin that has lost its elasticity due to natural conditions such as pregnancy, weight loss or aging. Placing an implant does not correct the breast projection, in fact, it could make it worse. A lift corrects any sagging to create a tighter breast appearance.
Breast lifts can last for years, especially when patients adhere to a healthy lifestyle. Any significant weight gain or additional pregnancies could compromise the results of the surgery. This is why it is recommended to have this type of surgery when the patient is at or near their goal weight and do not plan to become pregnant in the future. As for breast implants, while they may not last a lifetime, they are manufactured to last up to 15 years or longer.
Due to the nature of the procedure, scarring is unavoidable. The incisions made during a breast lift are patterned to best meet the aesthetic goals of the patient. Although these incisions can be concealed under clothing, they will still exist. The good news, is that over time and with proper scar care, they do fade and become barely noticeable. Most women find that their new shape and beautiful figure outweigh the scarring.