Some women who want to undergo breast augmentation surgery via breast implants also consider the possibility of breast lift, allowing them to achieve not just a fuller bosom but also a perkier appearance. Depending on the amount of correction they need, the procedures might be performed in one surgical setting or separately.
Despite the convenience of one surgery, Riverside plastic surgery expert Dr. Tarick Smaili says some patients should elect for a staged approach to achieve their cosmetic goals and to minimize risk of complication as well.
In general, staging the procedures is ideal if you have a significant amount of breast ptosis or sagging. Aside from skin and tissue laxity, Dr. Smaili says the viability of your nipple-areola complex, breast implant sizes, tradeoffs you are willing to accept, and desired cosmetic results are also taken into consideration.
The celebrity plastic surgeon says breast lift with implants is technically more challenging than performing the surgeries one at a time, although experienced doctors can do it successfully as long as they conduct proper patient selection.
If you fall under the category of “patients who need more correction,” the general rule of thumb is to start off the procedure with breast augmentation; the idea is to wait at least six months to see how the implants will alter the breast projection and shape, explains Dr. Smaili.
After the implants have settled into place, which could take about six months, then a breast lift can be done. By staging the surgeries, Dr. Smaili says the risk of overcorrection or making too many incisions in an attempt to lift the saggy breasts can be minimized.
It is important to note that breast implants could provide some lifting effect or at least increase the distance between the inframammary fold and nipple-areola complex, leading to a somewhat perkier appearance. In fact patients with pseudo ptosis—i.e., the upper cleavage is deflated but the areola has not yet sagged beyond the breast crease—can benefit from an implant-alone procedure.
Another benefit of staging the procedures, according to Dr. Smaili, is the reduced tension on the skin. In breast lift, the incisions around the areola and the vertical scar between the nipple area and the inframammary fold may receive some “stress” from implants if the two surgeries are performed at the same time.
Nevertheless, a combo procedure—or performing breast lift and augmentation in one surgical setting—remains a viable option if the patient will only need a little amount of lifting, he adds.