An augmentation mastopexy (breast lift with implants) is a procedure that increases the size and improves the shape of one or both breasts, whilst simultaneously lifting the position of the nipple. Most patients seeking an augmentation mastopexy have a degree of ptosis, or sag to their breast shape. It is a procedure that is designed to:
- Enhance current breast size
- Improve breast shape after pregnancy or weight loss
- Provide balance to your current body shape
- Increase projection of your breasts
An augmentation-mastopexy operation takes approximately 60-90 minutes to complete and is performed under a general anaesthetic. During the procedure, excess breast tissue and skin will be removed if necessary and the position of the nipples will be adjusted so that they’re placed in the centre of the breasts.
The incision for an augmentation mastopexy depends on the degree of ptosis of the breast. Ptosis is the amount of descent, or sag, in the breast tissue, skin and nipples as a result of ageing, weight loss, or post-pregnancy changes. The three types of incisions are around the nipple (periareolar), vertical (or lollipop), and a combination of vertical and horizontal (or anchor/keyhole). Depending on the degree and type of ptosis present, one incision will be better than another.
The location or placement of an implant is most commonly behind the chest muscle (pectoralis major, or ‘pec’ muscle). Typically, part of the implant is placed behind the muscle, and part behind the breast tissue (dual plane). There are variations to this technique, and they are used in variable ways. The technique used depends on a patient’s individual anatomy, as well as the type and size of the implant.
Recovering from a breast lift can be variable, but it usually takes about two weeks before you feel ‘back to normal’. Returning to full physical routine (gym work/heavy lifting) should be avoided for two to three months to allow your breasts to heal and your implants to ‘velcro’ to the surrounding tissues. Breast swelling can persist for several months before a final result is seen.
Most patients can return to work within two weeks, but this will depend on you individual progress during the healing process. During your recovery, you will need to sleep in an elevated position for several days to alleviate swelling and ensure you aren’t placing any unnecessary pressure on your breasts. It will also be necessary to wear a compression garment for several weeks as this will support your breasts and reduce any swelling that occurs after the procedure.
Our resident surgeon Dr Justin Perron will also provide you with specific aftercare instructions that will make your recovery more comfortable and reduce the chances of complications.
There are risks with any procedure. The general risks, as with any procedure include the following:
- Blood clots
Specific risks associated with breast augmentation include the following:
- Capsular contracture
- Asymmetry to breast size, and nipple position
- Collection of fluid around the implant
- Change of sensation to the breast and nipple
- Sore shoulders
- Implant rupture
Each patient has different anatomy and specific expectations. Not everyone is a good candidate for an augmentation mastopexy. Discuss your particular circumstances with Dr. Perron before deciding what is best for you.
Breast Lift Before and After Gallery
Breast Lift with Augmentation (Mastopexy) Patients of Dr Justin Perron
Breast Lift FAQs
A pencil test is the easiest way to get an idea of whether you should schedule a breast lift consultation. You can do this by lifting one of your breasts, placing a pencil underneath it and releasing the breast. If the pencil remains in place, there is some ptosis and you may benefit from a breast lift. However, this is not a fool-proof test and a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon such is Dr Perron is always required before going ahead with surgery.
There is no need to insert implants during a breast lift. Many women choose to simply reposition and adjust the breasts without wanting to add more volume. If you do want to add volume to your breasts after pregnancy, your surgeon can take you through the various implant options and sizes. It’s important to note that if you do decide to pair your lift with implants, you will eventually need to replace them later on in life. Breast implants will also stretch the skin slightly, so you can expect the position of your breasts to shift slightly once your implants settle. However, this won’t be anything like your breasts were like prior to your surgery.
A breast lift usually starts at around $10,000, but factors such as hospital and anaesthetist fees will also need to be factored in, which can drive up the costs. Whether or not you want to have implants inserted will also affect the final cost. Unfortunately, breast lift costs are not always covered by Medicare, however may be if the ptosis is severe. Medicare will not cover any augmentation costs. You will need to speak to a surgeon about the possibility of a rebate during your consultation.
Your surgeon will take every step necessary to minimise scarring after a breast lift, even if it is paired with augmentation. Newer breast surgery techniques are designed to keep scarring to a minimum. Unfortunately, there will always be some degree of scarring that remains but there are steps that you can take during the recovery process that will decrease visibility. Following correct wound care and decreasing sun exposure are two steps that you can take.
Breast lifts are designed to be permanent but your results will still be impacted by the ageing process later on in life. It’s only natural for the breasts to sag again once the skin becomes lax and gravity takes its course. As you can imagine, your results will also be affected if you fall pregnant again or gain a significant amount of weight after your surgery.
A breast lift is more about repositioning the breast, which means there is very little impact on the actual size of the breast. If you decide to combine a lift with augmentation, the size of your breasts will change. Since some tissue will be removed, there is a chance that your breasts might go down a cup size but you can discuss this possibility with your surgeon during your consultation. If you are concerned about a decrease in cup size, breast implants are probably a good choice for you.
The ideal candidate for this procedure will have breast ptosis but be in good health. It’s also essential that you have clear expectations about what can be achieved. Our surgeon Dr Perron will take you through the possibilities and risks during your consultation. The ideal candidate will also be willing to follow all aftercare instructions necessary to achieve the ideal outcome, which includes wearing the necessary compression garment as this aids in your recovery.