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Look Your Best, Safely

Breast Lift With Implants

What is a Breast Lift with Implants?

The combination of a breast implant and a breast lift is called many things. You have probably searched under the terms breast reduction and lift or breast reduction with implants or breast lift and augmentation or breast lift with implants. Regardless of the name, what you’re interested in is a breast reduction and a lift – higher, tighter breasts.

The actual procedure combines a breast lift with a breast augmentation in a single operative session. It is designed to manage the loose, saggy skin of the breast and low pointing nipples with the breast lift while adding breast volume and shape with a breast implant particularly in the upper area where it is most desirable.

How is a Breast Lift with Implants Performed?

At Westlake Plastic Surgery, all procedures are performed in our fully certified in-office operating facility and your anesthesia is provided by our experienced Board Certified Anesthesiologist. As always, your comfort and safety are our primary goals.

The procedure itself take about 2 hours. A “vertical” approach to the breast lift is almost always used which means the final short scar is shaped like a lollipop. The “anchor” scar approach is very uncommon. The breast implant that is chosen beforehand is then placed below the muscle and the new foundation of the breast is established (it’s always higher on the chest). The breast lift is then performed to rotate the nipple-areola complex to the most ideal position on the face of the new breast and excess skin and tissue are removed to tighten the breast and optimize the shape.

varying degrees of breast ptosis, or breast sagging that results from advancing age, weight loss, pregnancy or breast-feeding

The breast lift with the least amount of visible scarring is that performed with a breast augmentation alone. A breast augmentation will improve the appearance of breasts with mild to moderate sagging by an illusion effect—the breast looks like it has been lifted a bit. However, this alternative is best for women with mild ptosis and not for those who want the best shape and tighter breast skin.

breast lift - crescent liftThe Crescent Lift is performed with a scar partially around the areola. This is not an actual lift at all but a way of placing the breast implant beneath the breast from a partial incision at the areola border.

breast lift - periareolar liftA Periareolar Lift or Benneli Lift is performed with a scar around the entire areola border. A bigger circle is drawn about the patient’s areola and the breast skin is tightened and the areola can be made smaller. The final scar is only around the areola. This procedure is not very powerful at lifting the breast and always flattens the breast and the areola scar often spreads and can look unsightly as the tension on the closure causes the areolas to spread. This option is best for a patient who doesn’t actually need a lift but whose areolas are large. It has a history of being offered to unsuspecting patients who think they are getting a breast lift with little scarring and end up with disappointing results.

breast lift - vertical liftThe Vertical Breast Lift results in a scar that is shaped like a lollipop. It is a powerful technique that shapes the breast nicely and limits the length of the scar compared to the Inverted T or Anchor technique. This alternative is particularly suited to the use of a breast implant at the same time as the breast lift. The procedures work synergistically to help shape the breast and moves the breast higher on the chest wall while allowing flexibility in the breast shape and limits the scars. This is my alternative of choice.

breast lift - anchor liftThe Anchor Breast Lift consists of a scar around the areola and a vertical scar, and adds a scar under the breast. The final scar is shaped like an anchor or inverted T. This alternative is popular as many surgeons have not had adequate training or experience with the vertical technique and feel more comfortable with it. It has been my extensive experience that the additional scar in the breast fold simply isn’t needed in the vast majority of cases except maybe patients with larger breasts.

Who is the ideal candidate for a Breast Lift with Implants?

The following are the most common reasons to consider a Breast Lift with Implants:

  • If a woman lifts her breasts up in the cups of her hands and says “This is what I want,” the operation of choice is breast lift and implants – also known as augmentation with mastopexy
  • Your breasts have become saggy over time with a loss of superior breast fullness
  • You are considering a breast reduction but like the superior results with a Breast Lift with Implants
  • Your breasts are larger than average but sit quite low and you want them higher with the same, more or less volume
  • You want your breasts to stand up on their own (think strapless dress)
  • You like the sound of “higher, tighter and perkier” breasts
  • You want more up top and less on the bottom
  • Your current breast shape and size makes you look matronly
  • Your breast size or shape is uneven
  • You prefer that your nipples don’t look downward
  • Your breast skin is loose and stretched and your breasts feel empty
  • You lost your waist as your breasts became saggy
  • If you want to look good in your workout clothing without a padded bra
  • You prefer to put your bra on your breasts and not put your breasts into your bra
  • You want what you had back then

before and after breast lift with implants procedure, also known as breast reduction and lift

Can I have a breast lift and breast augmentation at the same time?

Yes, but with one caveat—it depends on your surgeons experience. This is considered a controversial topic but it shouldn’t be. I have performed over 500 of these procedures and they have proven quite reliable and safe relative to any alternative. If your surgeon doesn’t have extensive experience they may suggest that you “stage” the procedures. This means you would have the lift or augmentation first followed by a second procedure to complete the operation. Always visit with several qualified surgeons if you are considering a Breast Lift with Implants.

Can I get a Breast Lift with Implants if my breasts are on the larger side?

A far more advanced procedure that I have over 15 years of experience with (and 400 cases) is my Breast Augmentation and Reduction (BAR) alternative for the larger, fuller breast. Similar to a Breast Lift with Implants except that the excess, saggy tissue is actually removed and not simply tightened. A mastopexy works well with smaller breasts but larger breasts benefit from the actual removal of tissue that helps to shape the breast and reduces the probability that the breast tissue will sag in the future. More details of this advanced option can be found here.

What is Breast Lift with Implants post-op recovery like?

The recovery is similar to that of a breast augmentation alone. There will be moderate but tolerable discomfort for three days treated with pain medication followed by soreness that can last 4 weeks. The breasts will look unnatural at first but will settle into the expected shape after 6 weeks as the tissues relax. Motrin works well for breast soreness during this time. You can reasonably expect to return to most work activities in a few days. Non chest exercise is acceptable in 7-10 days at a low level, gradually increasing to full activity in 2-3 weeks. Listen to your body and avoid excess activities that cause pain or discomfort. You can buy a “sexy bra” in about 6 weeks once they have settled. Patients are typically seen in the office at 2 and 6 weeks after treatment.

What are the risks and complications with Breast Lift with Implants?

This procedure is considered the most complex breast procedure plastic surgeons perform and requires significantly more skill than average and your surgeon must have abundant experience and a proven track record of great outcomes done safely. It should be noted that smoking is a contraindication to this procedure.

The most common risks include the following:

  • Bleeding and hematoma (collection of blood in the breast)
  • Infection
  • Asymmetries
  • Breast implant issues (contracture, rippling, failure and others)
  • Poor scarring

How much does Breast Lift with Implants cost?

The pricing for this procedure varies with the size and complexity of the individual patient. The global fee includes the surgeon, anesthesiologist and facility fees and patient follow-ups. There are minor additional fees for medications and garments. Our highly popular and secure Virtual Consultation allows you to perform a consultation from the privacy of your own home so that Dr Caridi can determine if you are a suitable candidate and provide you with pricing. This is a tremendous opportunity to learn from a master of this procedure.

How do I know if I need a breast lift?

After 30 years of practice I can tell you that making the recommendation of a breast lift requires experience and good judgment. On the one hand why lift a breast with the resulting scars if it is not needed? On the other, you will be disappointed if your breasts sag and don’t turn out the way you expected. In many cases, surgeons offer patients “modified” lifts (typically around the areola) that don’t lift at all. I always recommend that you visit with several experienced surgeons to help you determine what is best for you to meet your goals.

magic wand to give a breast lift without scars

Is it possible to get the results of a breast lift without the scars?

A breast lift is designed to reposition the nipple-areolas, make them smaller if needed and to remove excess breast skin. The most powerful and consistent technique to achieve this goal is through a vertical approach with a final lollipop shaped scar. The breast cannot be lifted with an incision only around the areola. A “crescent” lift will do absolutely nothing to the final shape of the breast. A lift with an inverted T scar or “anchor” scar may be needed in some cases but this should be rare.

No one wants extra scars that are not necessary, but many breast augmentation patients try to avoid a breast lift at all cost even when it is needed. This sets them up for a poor result and more surgical procedures in the future. Some surgeons will place too-large implants above the muscle in an attempt to fill out the loose skin and avoid the breast lift that the patient needs but does not want. Ultimately this may lead to even more tissue stretching and breast sagging, and require more complex surgeries to fix the problem. It is better to have a well-shaped breast with scars that generally fade nicely over time than an implanted breast with an unsatisfactory shape and contour.