Breast Augmentation with Lift
Not Every Breast that Is Mildly Settled Needs a Lift
If your breasts overhang their fold by a short distance, it is possible to take advantage of the lifting effect that occurs when a breast implant is placed under the breast.
One strategy is to place the implants immediately under the breast and on top of the pec muscle (submammary augmentation). As the breast’s volume is restored, it will be lifted to a degree. The disadvantage of this approach is that often there will be an unnatural transition in the upper portion of the breast where the top edge of the implant rests. This gives the all-too-obvious “augmented” look that we try to avoid.
One way to obtain the benefit of the lifting effect from an implant without making the upper portions of the breast look unnatural is for the surgeon to make use of a technique that I call pectoral repositioning. This is also referred to as “biplanar augmentation.” In this technique, the lower edge of the pec muscle is released and the muscle is allowed to move upward so that the lower portion of the breast is filled out and lifted by the implant. Because the upper portion of the implant is still covered by the pectoral muscle, the slope of the upper portion of the breast will be more natural.
The first question you should ask: Am I happy with my breasts when supported in a bra, or do I desire more volume as well?
If you are happy with your breasts when they are supported by a well-structured, non-padded bra, it is possible that a breast lift without implants will satisfy your needs. There are a number of possibilities that are discussed thoroughly in the breast lift section of this website. The structural breast lift, a technique that I have developed, is often a good solution, in that it allows for a redistribution of breast volume to the upper portion of the breast.
On the other hand, if you feel that your breasts look under-filled or deflated, even when supported with a bra, the combination of a lift with implants will probably be best suited to your needs.
When should Breast Augmentation with Lift be considered?
Except for women with very small breasts, almost every woman will eventually experience a loss of breast tone and structure, so that a portion of the breast will overhang the natural fold under the breast. Plastic surgeons refer to this settling or drooping of the breast structure as “ptosis.”
Many women are perfectly content with this natural process of breast settling and have no desire to change. If, on the other hand, you would like to bring your breasts back to the higher position they once occupied and increase their volume, the breast augmentation with lift combination can be helpful. We offer several versions of this operation, the choice of which is based upon your goals and your breast structure.
Why You Should Not Rely on Breast Implants Alone to Provide a Significant Breast Lift
Although breast implants can provide a mild breast lift, it is a very bad strategy for a surgeon to push this simple idea to extremes. Unfortunately, we still see too many patients whose former surgeons placed very large implants immediately under the breast in an attempt to avoid a breast lift. The immediate result will look forced and unnatural, and over time three very undesirable things may happen.
How to Tell if You Need A Breast Lift along with Your Breast Augmentation
Here is a simple test you can perform on yourself to see if you need a lift as well as a breast implant. Place a pencil so that it sits up against the fold under the breast and look at your breast in the mirror.
If your nipple sits below the level of the pencil you should combine a breast lift with a breast augmentation. If the degree of overhang is milder you may still need a breast lift if you want a relatively “perky” breast structure. If there is just a little bit of overhang, for example less than one inch in a larger breast, implants alone may produce enough of a lift to achieve a nice breast shape.
Please bear in mind that these are general guidelines. They will vary with your personal circumstances, but I hope they will point you in the right direction. It is important to seek the opinion of a highly experienced plastic surgeon who does a significant volume of advanced breast surgery.
IN SOME BREASTS A MILD LIFT CAN BE OBTAINED WITH BREAST IMPLANTS ALONE
If you have breasts that have lost volume and are mildly settled, this may be a good choice for you. The breasts will still have a somewhat “mature” look, which is preferable to many patients.
THE ROLE OF IMPLANTS IN RESTORING VOLUME TO THE UPPER PORTIONS OF THE BREASTS IN BREAST LIFT SURGERY
Since most of the breast lifts that I perform make use of the structural technique, I find that I have less need to use breast implants for the sole purpose of providing upper pole volume than I did in the past. Occasionally I see patients whose breast structure makes this strategy a logical choice, even when combined with a structural lift.
A HIGHLY INDIVIDUALIZED APPROACH IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS WITH COMBINED AUGMENTATION AND BREAST LIFT SURGERY
We offer a variety of choices for the patient who wants to restore breast volume and bring her breast to a better position.
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