Perky breasts and youth go together and so do saggy breasts and aging. That’s an unfortunate fact of life. Another unfortunate fact is that life is not fair when it comes to breast size. Some women get an abundance, and others only get a morsel.
Although these may be facts of life, you don’t have to live with them. It’s just a simple matter of choosing to get the breasts you want.
Breast augmentation, known also as augmentation mammoplasty, is the most common cosmetic surgery procedure for a reason; women are unhappy with the size or look of their breasts. That’s the same reason mastopexy or breast lift, is among the top 10 plastic surgery procedures.
For some women, the best choice to change their breasts is augmentation-mastopexy, which is having a lift and enhancement at the same time.
Small and Deflated Breasts
Small breasts, or ones that are smaller than you’d like, are an easy fix with augmentation, but what if they’re also deflated? Maybe your original breast size pleased you, but after they started sagging, they seemed to also shrink. It happens, and it’s worse when your breasts were small to begin with, and you end up losing some of the little bit you had.
Because breasts have no muscle, there’s nothing to keep them in their upright position. Sagging is not only common, it’s unavoidable because of what breasts contain, which includes fat, glands and Cooper’s ligaments. These ligaments are connective tissues made of collagen and elastin, which break down over time, reducing the firmness of breasts.
When you hit menopause, fat replaces glandular tissues, which also contributes to drooping breasts. The end result is a loss of fullness on the top side of breasts and a loss of breast size.
While you can’t reverse time or the effects of aging, getting bigger, perkier breasts is easy to do when you have lift with augmentation. The procedures also help solve the problem of uneven breasts and can help with stretch marks.
Lift and Augment
Combing a lift with implants gives you a better possible outcome when changing the look of your bosom. Because the lift is elevating and repositioning what you already have, your breast shape changes. That means you may not need as much volume for the augmentation, which could allow you to choose a smaller implant size.
Plus, instead of undergoing two surgeries and recoveries, you’ll only do it once.
When you consult with the cosmetic surgeon, plan to tell the doctor exactly what you want from surgery, including size, shape and breast dimensions. You may need to bring a photo example of the breasts you want to have. It’s important to be very clear about your desires before augmentation so that you get the best outcome.
Before surgery, you may have a second consultation with the physician to make sure your wishes are clearly understood. During the consultation, the physician makes sure the patient is aware of potential surgical risks, such as infection.
Your Surgical Procedure
Breast augmentation with mastopexy is typically performed under general anesthesia, but local anesthesia with sedation is also an option. The surgery takes about three hours.
Incision types and locations vary because each patient’s body is different, and each patient has specific desires for how their breasts should appear after surgery.
Someone in need of minimal adjustments may get an incision around the nipple-areola area, while a patient needing moderate or substantial lifting with augmentation may have an additional vertical incision or an anchor-shaped cut that follows the natural contour of the breast.
During the procedure, the surgeon cuts away excess skin and lifts the breast tissue to the desired position. The surgeon creates a pocket in which to place the implant, which goes under the breast tissue or under the chest wall muscle.
Implants are saline or silicone, and they may have a round or smooth shape and a smooth or textured feel. The implant chosen should reflect the patient’s desired breast outcome while also factoring in the patient’s body type and anatomy. Once the surgery is complete, the incision is stitched, and breasts get bandages, tape, and gauze. Tiny drains may be in the breasts for a day or two.
After surgery, patients usually experience pain, soreness or tenderness. Pain medicine can help with discomfort. There is also swelling, which decreases significantly during the first four to six weeks after the procedure, but it can take up to three months for all swelling to fade.
For the first few weeks, expect the breasts to be sensitive to stimulation. Patients should avoid heavy lifting or using the upper body to push or pull for at least two weeks. The same recommendation goes for activities that elevate heart rate or blood pressure.
Full recovery, which includes the muscles, breast tissue and skin stretching to fit the implant, can take up to six months.
Scars are a natural consequence of breast lift with augmentation. Over time, they may fade but won’t disappear. How much scarring remains varies from patient to patient. Your cosmetic medical team has scar care tips to help minimize scarring.
Within the first few days after the procedure, patients have a follow-up appointment with the surgeon. During the visit, the doctor removes bandages and drains and examines the breasts. There may be other follow-up appoints during the first few months after a lift with augmentation. Most patients go back to work about a week after their procedure.
Dr. Louis DeJoseph of the Premier Image Cosmetic & Laser Surgery is triple board certified in facial plastic & reconstructive surgery & laser surgery. Dr. Tornambe is a published author, writes articles and blog posts for popular media outlets, and winner of many academic awards. He sees patients in Atlanta, GA.