Recently a patient from Hinsdale, who is very athletic, asked me if breast implants and breast lift combined into a single operation was safe.  This is a question which comes up several times a month in my practice.

There are three important issues which influence my answer to this question: the structure of the breast, the choice of surgical technique of breast lift, and whether the patient has optimum health.

I determine the structure of the breast when I examine the breasts at the time of consultation.  Sometimes the structure of the breast is so thin that it may not be sufficient to support the circulation of the nipple if a lift and implants are combined.  This may be a consideration especially if this is a patient who is considering a revisional procedure with replacement of existing breast implants.  Fortunately most patients have enough breast structure that I will give them the “ok” to undergo combined surgery.  This was the case with my patient from Hinsdale.

Some breast lift techniques involve wide undermining with a separation of the skin from the underlying breast tissue.  This is often the case with traditional breast lift techniques, which simply tighten up the skin to lift the breast. In my opinion this approach is more likely to affect breast circulation,especially in patients with relatively thin breast structure.  Fortunately the structural mastopexy technique, which is my most frequent technique of breast lift, involves very little skin undermining.

Optimum health involves a combination of personal habits and any underlying medical conditions you may have.  Negative habits such as smoking, poor hydration, poor nutrition and hyperactivity can tip the balance in recovery from surgery in a bad direction and may require a more conservative approach to surgery.

Of course it is also possible for you to modify those habits in a positive direction prior to the surgery.  This has two distinct benefits.  First it will make the surgery safer.  Second, it can establish a platform for permanent habit modification.  We are particularly proud of how many of our patients wh quit smoking in preparation for surgery stayed off cigarettes permanently.

There may also be health factors that are beyond your direct control that might affect the overall surgical strategy.  These include diabetes, high blood pressure, and evidence of vascular disease. Since these factors affect circulation and healing, they will influence the choice of surgery.

Patients who visit Dr. Cook at the Whole Beauty Institute in Chicago and Winnetka benefit from a detailed consultation that will address the factors we have just mention and allow for a selection of the optimum breast surgery technique.

For more information about breast lift and breast implant surgery contact us at or call 312-751-2112.