A Breast Lift or A Breast Enlargement with a lift

Do you look down at your breasts and wish they had more fullness, especially in the upper pole? Do you pull up your breasts and hold it into the position you would like and wished there was an invisible tape that could hold them in the position without the need for a push-up bra? Do you ever feel that your breasts could have more volume and be perkier?

The questions to ask yourself if you’re considering either a breast lift and or breast enlargement:

  • Are you happy with the size/volume of your breasts?
  • Are you happy with their shape?
  • Are you happy with your breasts when naked?
  • Are you happy with how your breasts look in a bra?
  • What is the main reason behind considering breast surgery?
  • Do you understand the risks involved and the implications if a complication were to occur?
  • Are you prepared for the commitment of long-term follow up if you have any form of surgery on the breast?

Depending on what you hope to achieve, the results of surgery to the breasts can only achieve so much. If it is a volume that you want, then an augmentation will enlarge your breasts. But the breast implant will make your existing breasts larger.

So if your breasts are positioned low on your chest wall, they will still do so afterwards. If your breasts are positioned widely apart with a large gap between them, that will still be the case after a breast enlargement. If your nipples point in different directions, that will still be the case after your enlargement surgery. So a breast augmentation with an implant will give you a larger cup size but cannot provide a substantial breast lift.

However, in some instances, a small degree of lift can be produced when performing a breast augmentation with an extra high projected round breast implant using a Dual Plane technique.

A breast lift alone can raise the nipple to a higher position on the chest wall and will also reposition the breast gland itself on the chest wall, and in so doing, can also reshape the breasts by internally reshaping the breast gland and by externally tightening the skin envelope. But it will not increase the volume of your breasts and it will not on its own give you much upper pole fullness of significant longevity.

To achieve that upper pole fullness, one requires an implant as well as a lift. This surgery is known as an augmentation/mastopexy or breast lift and enlargement.

Some surgeons perform this in stages. Others can achieve good results in one stage.

The combination breast augmentation/mastopexy surgery in one stage carries increased risk compared to either breast augmentation or mastopexy surgery performed separately or in stages. This is due to the opposing forces that occur – on one hand, the breast is being enlarged whilst on the other hand, the skin envelope is being reduced and breast gland tightened. If too much tension is placed on the wound closure there is a potential for wound breakdown and implant exposure and surgical failure. Furthermore, the potential need for revisionary surgery is increased with breast augmentation/mastopexy surgery done at the same time.

These increased risks should be weighed up against the potential benefits of a single stage procedure (which most patients prefer).

If a patient requests a large volume enlargement with a lift, then I would stage the surgery to avoid significant complications if performed in a single stage. If a patient also requires a large amount of lift, then it is perhaps better to do the surgery in two stages.

However, if I see a patient with good skin quality who requires minimal to moderate breast lift along with a small to moderate size augmentation, then I would consider performing the procedure in a single operation.