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Breast Implants + Breast Lifts: Are They Really Better Together?

Dr. Frank Campanile, Top Denver Plastic SurgeonBy Frank Campanile

When it comes to combining a breast lift with breast implants, there’s much debate surrounding whether or not the two procedures should be performed simultaneously or separately in order to get the best results. Luckily, there’s new information available to help women decide whether a single operation or staged procedures is the best way to achieve the most beautiful breast enhancement results.

Benefits of a Combined Procedure
A recent study has shown that combining breast augmentation with a breast lift presents no additional risks of complications than when the two procedures are performed separately. From the patient’s perspective, performing the two procedures concurrently offers the opportunity to avoid the risks, extra expense and additional recovery time associated with having multiple surgeries. For these reasons, the overwhelming majority of women prefer to have a one-stage procedure, and there’s now clinical evidence to support this comprehensive approach.

The study also noted that successfully performing a breast lift and implant augmentation simultaneously does require advanced technical skill on behalf of the surgeon. So, for women planning to have both procedures at once, the importance of choosing a highly qualified, board certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience in performing both of these procedures (together as well as separately) cannot be overstated.

Are Both Procedures Really Necessary?
Many women who desire breast implants but have some degree of ptosis, or sagging, automatically assume that a breast lift is absolutely necessary, although that’s not always the case. Mild ptosis can be successfully improved with breast implants alone. In these situations, the focus of the augmentation would be on using implants to restore upper pole fullness, which in turn can create a lifted look to the breasts without actually performing a lift.

For the right patients, correcting mild sagging with volume from implants offers the benefits of less
scarring and a more affordable surgery. However, if your nipples are located very low on the breasts
near the inframammary fold, you will likely not be able to achieve satisfactory results with just implants. A breast lift combined with implants can give you added volume as well as correct any sagging to improve the location of the breasts.

The Limitations of Implants
If you happen to fall in the category of women who have unfavorable nipple location or whose sagging cannot be appropriately addressed solely with implants, a breast lift, or mastopexy, can bring out the best in your breast augmentation. Patients with significant droopiness who attempt to avoid a breast lift will likely be frustrated in the long run by the additional sagging that will probably occur when implants introduce more weight into a breast pocket that needs to be lifted and corrected.

If your surgeon has determined that a breast lift could best help you achieve your goals, you may be concerned about the additional incisions, and therefore scarring, a lift will require. However, keep in mind that the additional sagging that is likely to occur over time is generally not worth avoiding the
scars, which typically blend and fade over time. The significant majority of women feel that the superior
result that’s seen when the two procedures are combined is well worth any additional incisions that are necessary. In the end, properly addressing all the concerns about your breasts, including size and placement, will yield a more beautiful result and better overall improvement.