Breast Lift With Implants
What is a Breast Lift with Implants?
The combination of a breast implant and a breast lift has many names. 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 query, 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 in the upper area of the breast, 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 concerns.
The procedure itself take about two hours. A “vertical” approach to the breast lift is almost always used, which means the final scar is small and shaped like a lollipop. The “anchor” scar approach is uncommon. The breast implant that you will have chosen beforehand is placed below the muscle, establishing the new foundation of the breast, which will always be 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. Finally, excess skin and tissue are removed to tighten the breast and optimize the shape.
The breast lift with the least amount of visible scarring is that which is performed with a breast augmentation alone. A breast augmentation will improve the appearance of breasts showing mild to moderate sagging with an illusion effect — the breast will appear lifted a bit. However, this alternative is most well-suited for women with mild ptosis and not for those who want the best shape and tighter breast skin.
The 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.
A Periareolar Lift or Benneli Lift is performed with a scar encircling the entire areola border. A bigger circle is drawn around the patient’s areola so that the breast skin can be 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. Additionally, it often leaves an areola scar that can spread and 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.
Can I have a breast lift and breast augmentation at the same time?
Yes, but with one caveat—it depends on your surgeon’s experience. This is considered a controversial topic but it shouldn’t be. I have performed over 500 of these procedures, which in my hands have proven to be reliable and safe, relative to any alternative. If your surgeon doesn’t have extensive experience, he or she 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, with which I have over 15 years of experience and 400 cases is my Breast Augmentation and Reduction (BAR) alternative for the larger, fuller breast. It is 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, which helps to shape the breast and reduce 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 after 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 your breasts have settled. Patients are typically seen in the office at 2 and 6 weeks after treatment.
What are the risks and complications associated with Breast Lift with Implants?
This procedure is considered the most complex breast procedure that plastic surgeons perform and requires significantly more skill than the average operation. 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)
- 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 recommending a breast lift requires experience and good judgment. On 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 continue to 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.
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 remove excess breast skin. The most powerful and consistent technique that can deliver these results is the vertical approach with a final lollipop-shaped scar. The breast cannot be truly 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 unnecessary scars, but some patients most needing a breast augmentation may try to avoid a breast lift at all costs. This sets them up for a less desirable 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 greater 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.