Combining Breast Lift (Mastopexy) with Augmentation: Pros and Cons

By Dr Jake Lim – Plastic Surgeon | Updated: April 11, 2024

Pros and Cons of Changing Both Breast Shape and Size

Getting a breast lift (mastopexy) with an augmentation alters not only the position of your breasts on the chest wall, but also their size. It is a big decision, and like any big decision, there’s a lot to think about.

Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Jake Lim discusses the good and the not-so-good parts of combining a breast lift (mastopexy) with an augmentation, to help you figure out if it’s the right decision for you.

Download Dr Lim’s 2024 Breast Lift Surgery Guide

Breast Lift Guide

Understanding Breast Lift (Mastopexy) and Augmentation

A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure that targets the elevation of the breasts. By removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue, the breasts are reshaped and supported in a higher position on the chest wall. This procedure is often sought after by women looking to improve the effects of gravity, ageing, or significant life events such as weight loss or childbirth, which can lead to a sagging appearance of the breasts.

What is breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation (augmentation mammoplasty), on the other hand, focuses on increasing the size of the breasts through the insertion of implants or the transfer of fat. This procedure is popular among those who wish to enhance the fullness and projection of their breasts.

Differences and similarities between the two procedures

While a breast lift (mastopexy) primarily addresses the position and shape of the breasts, augmentation concentrates on size and fullness. However, both share the ultimate goal of altering the appearance of the breasts. By understanding the specific outcomes each procedure offers, you can better decide whether one or both procedures align with your personal goals.

Pros of Combining Breast Lift (Mastopexy) with Augmentation

  • Two-in-One Procedure: Opting for a combined breast lift with augmentation means you undergo one surgery instead of two, streamlining the process. This is especially beneficial for those with busy schedules or apprehensions about undergoing multiple surgeries and anaesthesia exposures. It simplifies the surgical journey, offering convenience and less overall stress
  • Improved Shape and Volume: This dual approach allows for the correction of sagging breasts while simultaneously increasing their size. The lift removes excess skin and raises the breast, and the augmentation adds the desired volume, resulting in a fuller breast profile
  • Cost Savings: Combining the procedures can lead to financial savings. Instead of paying twice for the operating room, anaesthesia, and your surgeon’s fees, you pay only once. This cost-effectiveness makes the combined procedure an option, reducing the financial burden of cosmetic surgery
  • Shorter Overall Recovery Time: Though the recovery from a combined procedure might initially be more intense, you’ll ultimately save time by healing from both procedures simultaneously. This means less time off work and fewer days spent managing post-surgery care, speeding up the return to your normal life and activities
  • Customisable Results: Dr Lim can tailor the outcome to meet your specific goals more accurately. This customisation ensures that the final results align closely with your vision, addressing both the aesthetic and functional concerns you may have about your breasts
  • One Surgery, One Downtime: Having a single recovery period means you only need to arrange for time off from your responsibilities once. This makes the logistical aspects of surgery—like planning for assistance during recovery and taking leave from work—much more manageable
  • Long-Lasting Results: The effects of combining a breast lift – mastopexy with augmentation are designed to be durable. While natural ageing and life events like weight fluctuations can affect your results over time, the initial improvement can be long-term.
  • Correction of Multiple Issues at Once: This approach efficiently addresses several common breast concerns, such as sagging, diminished volume, and asymmetry, in one procedure

Download Dr Lim’s 2024 Ultimate Breast Surgery Guide

Breast Surgery Guide

Cons of Combining Breast Lift with Augmentation

  • Increased Surgical Complexity: The combination of a breast lift (mastopexy) with augmentation requires precise technique and planning, making the surgery more complex. In some cases, Dr Lim may advise against a combined procedure after your initial consultation.
  • Longer Operation Time: Due to the detailed and intricate nature of combining a lift with augmentation, the operation typically requires more time than either procedure would alone. This extended duration under anaesthesia can increase the risks associated with surgery and requires a thorough discussion with Dr Lim regarding these potential risks
  • Higher Risk of Complications: The combined approach carries a higher risk of complications, such as infection, bleeding, or issues with how the implant sits. These risks are inherent to the procedure’s complexity and underscore the need for careful post-operative care and close monitoring by your healthcare team to mitigate potential problems
  • More Intensive Recovery Period: Recovering from a combined breast lift and augmentation can be more demanding on your body. The dual nature of the procedure can lead to increased discomfort, swelling, and a longer duration of restricted activities, necessitating a well-prepared recovery plan and possibly more time off from work or daily responsibilities
  • Potential for Revision Surgery: There’s an elevated chance of requiring revision surgery after combining these procedures, whether for aesthetic refinements or to correct any complications. This possibility can add to the overall cost and time invested in achieving your final desired breast appearance, making it important to have realistic expectations and a clear understanding of potential outcomes
  • Costlier than Single Procedures in Some Cases: While combining procedures can be cost-effective regarding facility and anaesthesia fees, the overall expense may be higher due to the surgery’s complexity
  • Increased Scarring: The surgical techniques involved in lifting and enlarging the breasts simultaneously may lead to more significant scarring than either procedure alone. Managing expectations regarding scar placement and visibility is crucial, and following your surgeon’s advice on scar care can help minimise their appearance over time
  • Limitations on Achievable Results: Achieving both lift and added volume in one session can sometimes mean compromises on the final outcome. For individuals with extensive sagging or those desiring a significant size increase, there may be physical limits to what can be accomplished safely in a single procedure, affecting overall satisfaction
  • Longer Time to Final Results: The healing process from a combined lift and augmentation typically involves more prolonged swelling and bruising, meaning it can take longer to see the ultimate results. Patience and understanding that final outcomes may not be fully apparent for several months are essential aspects of planning for this surgery
  • Emotional and Physical Stress: Undergoing any major surgery involves both emotional and physical challenges, and the combined breast procedure is no exception. The anticipation, the surgery itself, and the recovery can be taxing, highlighting the importance of having a strong support system and realistic expectations about the journey to recovery

Good Candidate for Combining Breast Lift – Mastopexy and Implant Surgery

In assessing whether one is an appropriate candidate for combining breast lift and augmentation surgery, several factors come into play. Here are some considerations for individuals contemplating this procedure:

  • Physical Health: A foundational requirement is being in good general health. This means having no active infections, untreated cancer, or serious health conditions that could impair healing or increase surgery risk
  • Stable Weight: Your weight should be stable for a considerable period. Significant weight fluctuations post-surgery can affect the results, leading to dissatisfaction with the final appearance
  • Realistic Expectations: Understanding what the surgery can and cannot achieve is vital. While the procedure can significantly improve breast shape and size, expecting perfection might lead to disappointment
  • Age and Lifestyle: There’s no strict age limit, but it’s advised that breasts are fully developed before considering surgery. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as plans for future pregnancies can impact the timing and advisability of the procedure, as pregnancy and breastfeeding can alter breast size and shape
  • Non-smoker: Smoking can hinder the healing process, increasing the risk of complications. Candidates are usually advised to quit smoking well in advance of the surgery
  • Emotional Stability: Emotional readiness and stability are important. The decision to undergo surgery should be made for personal reasons, without external pressures, and with a clear understanding of the recovery process
  • Commitment to Recovery: Understanding and committing to the recovery process, including following post-operative care instructions and attending follow-up appointments, is essential for achieving optimal outcomes

Selecting to proceed with a breast lift and augmentation surgery is a significant decision. It requires thorough evaluation and discussions with Dr Jake Lim to ensure that it aligns with one’s physical health, lifestyle, and aesthetic goals.

Comparison with Other Breast Procedures

When considering breast surgery, it’s best to understand the different options available and how they compare to combining a breast lift with augmentation. Each procedure serves unique goals and has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here’s a look at how combining a breast lift with augmentation stacks up against other popular breast procedures:

Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Alone

A breast lift (mastopexy) targets sagging and improves the position and shape of the breasts without altering their size. Unlike the combined lift and augmentation, a mastopexy is suited for those satisfied with their breast volume but looking to correct droopiness. The main difference is that a lift alone won’t significantly change the size, which might not fulfil the desires of those looking for a fuller look in addition to elevation.

Breast Augmentation Alone

Breast augmentation – augmentation mammoplasty focuses solely on increasing breast size using implants or, less commonly, fat transfer. This procedure is ideal for individuals who are happy with the positioning of their breasts but wish to enhance their volume. In contrast to combining it with a lift, augmentation alone does not address sagging or improve breast contour, which might be necessary for a more elevated appearance.

Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

This method enhances breast size by transferring fat from another part of the body to the breasts. While it offers a more natural alternative to implants and can provide a modest increase in size, it doesn’t offer the same degree of lift or predictability in volume increase as the combined procedure. For those desiring a significant lift in addition to volume, fat transfer alone may not suffice.

FAQs about Combining Breast Lift (Mastopexy) with Augmentation

FAQs

What is the difference between a breast lift (mastopexy) and breast augmentation, and why combine them?

  • A breast lift, or mastopexy, raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue. Breast augmentation increases breast size using implants. Combining them addresses both sagging and volume loss, offering a more pronounced overall enhancement.

How long does recovery take after combining a breast lift with implants?

  • Recovery varies by individual but generally, you may expect to return to non-strenuous activities within two to three weeks. Full recovery and the final settling of the breasts can take several months. Following Dr Lim’s post-operative care instructions is important for a smooth recovery.

Will there be visible scars after the surgery?

  • Scarring is inevitable with any surgical procedure, but the extent and visibility depend on the technique used and your body’s healing response. Dr Jake Lim strives to place incisions in less noticeable areas, and with proper care, scars can fade over time.

Can I breastfeed after a breast lift with implants (augmentation)?

  • Some women can breastfeed after this procedure, but it depends on the specific surgical techniques used. If preserving the ability to breastfeed is important to you, discuss this with Dr Lim during the consultation.

How do I know if I’m a good candidate for combining a breast lift (mastopexy) with implants?

  • Good candidates are generally in good health, have realistic expectations, and wish to improve both the position and volume of their breasts. Factors such as your physical health, lifestyle, and whether you plan to have children in the future can influence your suitability. A consultation with Dr Jake Lim is the best way to determine if this procedure aligns with your goals.

Further Reading about Breast Lift Surgery – Mastopexy with Dr Jake Lim

Medical References about Combining Breast Lift with Augmentation

About Dr Jake Lim

Highly qualified and experienced specialist plastic surgeon Dr Jake Lim focuses on facial plastic, cosmetic breast and body contouring after significant weight loss

Dr Lim creates the best possible plastic surgery results for his Australia-wide and international patients.

Dr Lim is passionate about making sure each and every patient has access to the right information about available treatments and procedures and is able to make well-informed decisions.

At My Klinik, patient safety, education and achieving optimal results are our top priorities.