BREAST AUGMENTATION AND LIFT IN ST. LOUIS
What Is a Combined Breast Augmentation and Lift?
A breast augmentation combined with breast lift (mastopexy) can help women achieve breasts that appear fuller, rounder, perkier, and more youthful. Our surgeons often advise women who want breast enhancement to include a breast lift to re-position their nipples so they do not point downward. At West County Plastic Surgeons, we perform breast augmentation-mastopexy simultaneously to position the nipples of our patients in a more youthful, centralized location. An implant adds volume to the breast, particularly its upper pole, when a breast lift alone may not be enough to meet a woman’s aesthetic goals.
Combined Breast Augmentation and Lift: How Is It Performed?
To remove excess skin, incisions include one around the areola (the pigmented circle surrounding the nipple) and one vertical one from the low part of the areola to the base of the breast. Some people refer to this as a “lollipop” scar. Implants are placed through these same incisions and are typically positioned under the pectoral chest muscle. As in standard breast augmentation, implants may be silicone or saline.
This is a relatively complex operation because the skin envelope of the breast is adjusted at the same time as the breast volume. Although it can be an extremely rewarding procedure, it is associated with a higher rate of corrective surgery than either breast augmentation or breast lift (mastopexy) surgery alone.
Click here to view a video on breast lift surgery (mastopexy).
How Is Strattice™ Used in Breast Lift with Augmentation?
Strattice™ is a relatively new product that belongs to a class of products known as the biologics or acellular dermal matrices. It is derived from porcine dermis (pig skin) that has been treated with a sterilizing process called e-beam radiation. The FDA designates this product as sterile. Acellular dermal matrices have an extensive track record in breast reconstructive surgery, where they have been used with great success.
The loose breast skin often noted in patients who request augmentation-mastopexy lacks the structural integrity to support a breast implant for a prolonged period. In effect, Strattice™ can serve under a patient’s skin as an internal bra or scaffold to support the weight of a breast implant. Unsupported, the breast implant can drop, leading to a condition called “bottoming out,” where the lower fold of the breast drops, making the breast position look too low and the nipple position look too high. Strattice™ enables the implant to be positioned and more reliably maintained in the correct location because of its additional support. It can also be used to assist in the correction of other cosmetic and reconstructive breast deformities.
Breast Lift with Augmentation: What You Should Know
Anesthesia: An augmentation-mastopexy is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia.
Length of procedure: 90 to 150 minutes.
Estimated recovery time: Patients can return to work after 7 to 14 days, and they should avoid vigorous activities for 3 weeks. Visible bruising should resolve within 2 weeks, and swelling should begin to subside within 3 weeks. To learn how to prepare for an augmentation-mastopexy in our St. Louis surgery center and what to expect afterwards, click here to download our patient instructions for this procedure.
Side effects: Common side effects include bruising and swelling. The shape of the breast may change over time, and the final result may not be realized for a few months. Augmentation-mastopexy is associated with a higher rate of corrective surgery than either breast augmentation or breast lift alone. Click here to download a detailed consent form from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons that lists the risks and benefits of a breast augmentation with saline or silicone implants and breast lift.
Before-and-after photos of combined breast augmentation with breast lift: Click here
Associated Procedures to Complement Augmentation-MastopexySome of our patients elect to combine breast augmentation and lift with the following procedures to achieve optimal aesthetic results:
- Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). This procedure is best for people who have lost a significant amount of weight and now have loose abdominal skin and lack of abdominal muscle tone. Women who are dissatisfied with their post-pregnancy shape often elect to have a tummy tuck procedure as a part of an overall “mommy makeover.” Our St. Louis plastic surgeons can combine breast lift and “mommy makeover” procedures safely and effectively.
- Liposuction. Removal of fat from the armpit region, sides, thighs, back, and buttocks with standard tumescent liposuction, ultrasonic-assisted liposuction, or SMART laser-assisted liposuction provides a nice complement to refining the breasts with a breast reduction.
- Lower-body lift. After significant weight loss, patients interested in sculpting their breasts may also wish to sculpt the abdomen, flanks, buttocks, lower back, and/or outer thighs with a lower-body lift. An incision is extended like a belt around the lower abdomen, sides, and back to help address loose skin in all of these regions. This procedure can dramatically improve the contour of the waistline after massive weight loss.
Combining breast lift and breast augmentation with other procedures can be performed efficiently and safely. Click here to read Dr. Tenenbaum’s article on combining breast surgery and abdominoplasty.