Better known as an augmentation mastopexy, breast lift with implant procedures aim to lift and fill out breasts suffering from ptosis. Breast lift procedures aim to restore the breasts to a natural position on the chest wall, while the augmentation portion of the procedure aims to return firmness and fullness to the breasts.
A specialist plastic surgeon can also perform adjustments to the nipples during surgery. This can involve resizing or recontouring the nipples, and even relocating them to a more natural position on the breast.
What is breast ptosis? It basically describes the natural consequence of aging where the breasts and/or nipples gradually droop and sag. The rate at which a woman’s breasts droop and the degree of ptosis depends on a number of factors. These include:
- Skin heredity
- Number of pregnancies
- Breast feeding impacts
- Body mass index (BMI) changes
- Heavy breasts or larger cup sizes
- Significant weight gain or weight loss
Post-menopausal women and those with more collagen deficiencies (such as lose who suffer from ehlers-danlos) may experience more drastic ptosis due to a loss of skin elasticity.
Conditions of Breast Ptosis
There are varying conditions of ptosis and these will determine the kind of procedure you will require.
The 3 conditions of breast ptosis are:
Ptosis – the medical term for when the breasts sag far enough that the nipple and areola are out of position relative to the breast crease
Empty Sac Syndrome – the breasts have lost their fullness due to age, genetics or breast feeding. The nipple and areola are also in the incorrect position, similar to ptosis
Pseudoptosis – where the breast is lacking fullness. Your breasts may appear full below the nipples and areola but not above
Grades of Breast Ptosis
There are three grades of breast ptosis. These are:
Grade I – Mild
Mild ptosis is generally characterised as when the areola is either in front of or slightly over the inframammary crease.
Grade II – Mild to Moderate
Mild to moderate ptosis is seen to occur when the centre of the areola is close to 3cm below the inframammary crease.
Grade III – Severe
Severe ptosis is noted when the areola is more than 3cm below the inframammary crease.
Breast Implant Options
If your breast ptosis requires breast implants – something you can discuss with your specialist breast surgeon – you will need to discuss your breast implant options. There are also several types of breast implant available including:
If you choose a breast lift with implants, Dr Craig Rubinstein can discuss with you, during your consultation, the best implant options, size, and locations for you. For further information on implants, please visit our breast implants page.
Breast Lift with Implants Techniques
There are a variety of techniques recognised for augmentation mastopexy. In Australia, these include:
The Crescent Breast Lift
This is a simple breast lift procedure that corrects only mild ptosis. It is not usually recommended for breast lift with implants as the surgeon only removes a small crescent of tissue above the areola before raising the nipple into a higher position.
The Benelli Breast Lift
Also known as a “Doughnut Lift” or “Doughnut Mastopexy” the Benelli breast lift is best used for mild to moderate ptosis. This is generally around Grade I-II on the ptosis scale. Your surgeon removes a doughnut shaped piece of tissue from around the areola before reattaching it to the remaining tissue to your areola.
The LeJour Lift
Also know as the Lollipop Lift, this is the preferred method of performing the breast lift. It provides more lift than the Benelli, especially for those with moderate ptosis. Your surgeon removes a doughnut-shaped piece of tissue, similar to the Benelli lift. However, in addition to this, a straight incision is made down to the breast crease to provide more lift.
Breast Lift with Implants Procedure
How is a Breast Lift with Implants performed? When breasts sag, the skin gets looser and the amount of breast tissue decreases. As a result, there are two surgical options to correct this issue. Loose skin is corrected with the mastopexy procedure. The loss of volume or fullness of the breast can be corrected with augmentation or implant at the same time as the lift.
The breast implant fills up the extra skin of the breast, restoring the fullness of the upper aspect of the breasts. Placing the implant under the muscle is preferred as implants placed over the muscle create additional weight. As a result, this can cause an acceleration of breast ptosis.
Dr Craig Rubinstein will generally recommend you spend 1-2 nights in hospital, allowing you to rest and recover while having access to medical professionals and your surgeon as needed.
Breast Lift with Implants Scarring
All surgery leaves scars, including plastic surgery procedures like breast lift with implants. However experienced surgeons like Dr Rubinstein are extremely careful about scar placement and minimisation, with surgical scars generally fading over time.
Dr Rubinstein also conducts follow-up treatments using a Fraxel Laser and Healite II to minimise your scars, with most scars being barely visible after 12 months.
Breast Lift Recovery
You will be given specific post-operative instructions to follow after your surgery. It is important you follow these instructions in order to aid your recovery and surgical results.
Post-operative swelling, soreness and other associated discomfort may last for about 6 weeks but this can vary from patient to patient. Visible bruising should begin to subside within 2 weeks. Pain levels will also vary from patient to patient and Dr Rubinstein will work with you to create an individual pain management plan.
When Can I Return to Work After a Breast Lift?
When you return to work will also vary from patient to patient. Many patients can return to work after 1-2 weeks, depending on the kind of work you do. However, you should avoid rigorous activity for at least 3 weeks or more and wait to begin exercising until your surgeon has cleared you to do so. It is also incredibly important to avoid heavy lifting or strenuous work until you are fully recovered as activities like this can affect your pain levels, healing and recovery time.
Is Breast Lift and Breast Augmentation Too Much Surgery at Once?
Dr Rubinstein frequently performs this combination of surgeries without any concern. The down time for augmentation mastopexy is no more than the procedures on their own. Further, it is found that performing the combined procedures results in less skin removal, therefore resulting in less scarring.
Breast Lift with Implants and Breast Feeding
It is important to remember that many women are unable to breast feed, regardless of whether they have undergone a breast lift procedure or not. However, a breast lift may affect your ability to breast feed, especially if you decide to have an incision around the nipple.
It is also possible that you may experience a slight loss of nipple sensation, however these side effects are rare when using “under the muscle” implants.
Breast Lift with Implants and Breast Screening
In general, breast implants cause very little, if any, interference with a mammography. However, it is important that you discuss your risk of breast cancer with your plastic surgeon and GP, especially if you have a first degree relative with a history of cancer.
All women who have had breast implants should inform their radiographer so tests can be adjusted as needed.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Sagging, ptotic breasts and heavy breasts can lead to chronic pain or skin inflammation, and in these cases, the breast surgery is more likely to be corrective or reconstructive. Consider the following questions if you are considering a breast lift procedure with implants:
- Do your breasts droop or sag?
- Are they noticeably asymmetric (uneven)
- Have you experienced significant changes to your breasts after pregnancy or weightloss?
- Are you at your ideal weight?
- Do you find your breasts or cleavage hangs too low?
- Have you finished having children?
- Do you have over-stretched or enlarged nipples after breastfeeding?
Breast Lift with Implants Cost
The cost of breast lift can vary based on a number of factors including what you need performed, the surgeon you choose, where you have your operation, the quality of your implant, etc.
Often sites that post the estimated cost of a breast lift surgery do not include all the related and necessary expenses. As a result, you may end up paying more than you expected. Dr Rubinstein never recommends shopping for low cost surgery as it is unlikely that a FRACS level plastic surgeon will be performing the procedure. It is important to do your research before deciding on a plastic surgeon for your chosen procedure. Further, revision surgery is costly and is not guaranteed to fix the issue you experienced with your initial surgery, if you chose to explore cheaper surgical options.
It is always important to pursue plastic surgery based on skill, not cost.
Breast Lift with Implants Before and After Gallery
To view some of Dr Rubinstein’s previous breast lift with implants patients, please click the image below. This will direct you to the augmentation mastopexy before and after gallery.
The Next Steps
- Visit the FAQs pages and patient reviews to learn more about your intended procedure.
How to Book your Initial Consultation
- Email us or call on (03) 8849 1444 to arrange your consultation with Dr Rubinstein
- A referral from your GP or from your specialist is helpful but not essential
What to Bring to your Surgeon Consultation
- You are more than welcome to bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
- Ensure you also take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents provided
- Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. December 2018. Breast Implants with Lift [online] Available from: https://plasticsurgery.org.au/procedures/surgical-procedures/breast-implants-with-lift/ [accessed 17 December 2018]
ASAPS. December 2018. Do I Need Implants Alone or a Breast Lift With Implants to Fix My Drooping Breasts? [online]. Available from: https://aestheticplasticsurgeons.org.au/news/drooping-breasts/ [accessed 17 December 2018]
ISAPS. December 2018. Breast Lift [online]. Available from: https://www.isaps.org/procedures/breasts/breast-lift/ [accessed 17 December 2018]
American Society of Plastic Surgeons. December 2018. Combining a breast lift with breast implants [online] Available from: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/combining-a-breast-lift-with-breast-implants [accessed 17 December 2018]