Breast Mastopexy With Implant
A breast augmentation combined with breast lift (mastopexy) can help women achieve breasts that appear fuller, rounder, perkier, and more youthful. A breast lift with enlargement through insertion of an implant (mastopexy-breast augmentation) is a combined surgical procedure designed to lift and reshape the breast and increase its size to address this common phenomenon.
Combined Breast Augmentation and Lift: How Is It Performed?
To remove excess skin, incisions include one around the areola (the pigmented circle surrounding the nipple) and one vertical one from the low part of the areola to the base of the breast. Some people refer to this as a “lollipop” scar. Implants are placed through these same incisions and are typically positioned under the pectoral chest muscle. As in standard breast augmentation, implants may be silicone or saline. This is a relatively complex operation because the skin envelope of the breast is adjusted at the same time as the breast volume. Although it can be an extremely rewarding procedure, it is associated with a higher rate of corrective surgery than either breast augmentation or breast lift (mastopexy) surgery alone.
What is done during surgery?
In the preoperative area, surgical markings are drawn on the breasts to plan the operation. Three major approaches exist, based on different scar patterns. In general, a greater degree of ptosis will need a greater lift, which requires a longer incision resulting in a longer scar. A variable portion of the skin is removed, allowing the nipple and areola to be repositioned. The procedure can also involve removal of a small amount of breast tissue, with repositioning of breast tissue so that the breasts appear higher and fuller. When combined with breast augmentation, the breast implant can be placed below the breast tissue or below the pectoralis muscle that sits under the breast tissue. Surgical drains may or may not be necessary after mastopexy-breast augmentation. A dressing is applied to the surgical site and a bra is usually worn for several weeks after surgery.
What to expect in the recovery? How long will I be off work? When can I resume exercise?
The procedure itself can take from 1 to 3 hours depending on how much work is required. Specialized skin tape and/or a bra will be applied at the end of your surgery. After the operation you will be brought to the recovery room, and medications will be given to help relieve any pain or prevent nausea. You will be discharged from hospital 2 days from the operation with a prescription for pain medication, postoperative instructions and a follow-up appointment. For the best results, you should plan on resting and taking it easy after surgery. For the first few days after surgery, most patients experience some discomfort at the surgical site. Pain should generally subside after one week, and it is normal to experience some minor oozing around the incisions. After which you will starting feeling better and returning to your normal self. Recovery from the surgery varies between individuals and the specific procedure performed. Swelling and bruising in the area of the surgery will be present and generally begins to improve about 1 week after surgery. You should plan on being off work for 1 week. During your recovery, you should refrain from strenuous physical activity including lifting and pulling for 6 weeks following surgery.
What are some common complications of surgery?
Complications of breast lift with enlargement surgery, like those of other cosmetic procedures, are uncommon but may include unfavorable scarring, asymmetries, bleeding, infection, swelling and numbness. Specific to breast lift surgery, risks including recurrence of the sagginess and the rare possibility of loss of feeling or skin loss around the nipple can occur. Complications specific to breast enlargement surgery are also uncommon but can be serious. Mild infections are treated with antibiotics, but severe infections may require surgical removal of the implant. In rare circumstances implants may rotate, deflate, rupture, have visible edges, or develop a hard and painful scar capsule called capsular contracture. Your plastic surgeon will speak to you in greater detail about expected outcomes including potential complications.
When will I see the final results of the surgery?
An improvement from mastopexy-breast augmentation surgery should be apparent immediately after surgery, and will continue to improve over 3 to 6 months as incisions heal and swelling resolves. Scars mature over time, and will become fainter and lighter up to one year after your operation.