Houston Breast Lift with Augmentation
The medical term referring to a breast augmentation with a lift is mastopexy with augmentation. The breast augmentation provides the patient with larger, shapelier breasts and the breast lift raises the patient’s breasts to a higher, more youthful-looking position on her chest. For more about breast augmentation surgery in Houston simply call our office today.
What Issues Can a Houston Breast Lift with Augmentation Address?
At Lift Plastic Surgery, Dr. Tuan Truong and Dr. Shitel Patel perform breast augmentation with a lift surgery to help women attain the larger, beautifully shaped, symmetrical breasts and youthful-looking silhouette they desire.
The Houston mastopexy experts at Lift Plastic Surgery perform a breast augmentation with a lift to address:
- Nipples that point downward.
- Longer, flatter breasts resulting from loss of volume or ptosis (pendulous breasts).
- Nipples that fall below the inframammary fold at the base of the breast.
- Loose, stretched breast and nipple skin resulting from the natural aging process or weight loss.
- Asymmetrical breasts.
What Causes the Breast Changes that an Augmentation with Mastopexy Addresses?
A woman’s breasts change throughout her lifetime for a variety of reasons.
Breast changes occur due to:
Substantial weight loss
Substantial weight loss – when a woman loses weight her breasts often become smaller, but the amount of skin remains the same. This excess skin contributes to her droopy breasts. In addition, over time, the skin itself loses its elasticity, which also contributes to pendulous breasts.
Weight fluctuations – just as with losing a significant amount of weight, the repeated changes in breast size that occur with weight fluctuations negatively affect the breast skin.
The natural aging process
The natural aging process – caused by the gravitational pull.
Pregnancy – during pregnancy the breasts can begin increasing in size as early as the 14th week. As the breasts become enlarged, the skin stretches, women who have skin with good elasticity may be able to avoid the development of droopy-looking breasts. Nonetheless, women who have skin that lacks elasticity will need a breast lift to address any loose skin on their breasts.
Breastfeeding – the milk within the breasts causes the breast and the nipple-areolar complex’s skin to stretch. In addition, the act of breastfeeding can contribute to the nipple-areolar complex pointing towards the floor and falling beneath the breast crease.
Who May Be a Good Candidate for a Houston Breast Lift with Breast Implants Surgery?
During the patient’s initial consultation, her plastic surgeon determines if she will benefit from a mastopexy with augmentation. Nonetheless, there are some general characteristics taken into consideration.
At Lift Plastic Surgery, Dr. Patel and Dr. Truong may consider this combination a good option for an individual if she:
- Does not smoke.
- Is not pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Has remained at a steady weight (excluding pregnancy).
- Does not wish to become pregnant or breastfeed at any point in the future.
Some patients only need one or the other, not both. During the initial consultation, Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong examines the patient’s breasts. This examination allows the surgeon to determine what will provide the patient with the most beautiful results.
Why Should a Woman Complete Her Family Before She Has an Augmentation with a Breast Lift?
During pregnancy, the mammary glands can begin producing colostrum once the pregnancy reaches 14 to 16 weeks. Unexpressed colostrum collects in the sinus of the breast. As this colostrum collects, the additional weight can cause the breast ligaments to stretch, which contributes to the droopy breasts that many women experience after pregnancy, whether they breastfeed or not. Therefore, if a woman has an augmentation with a lift before she completes her family, the beautiful, more youthful-looking silhouette and breast characteristics the patient receives with this combination procedure will most likely be lost.
How Long Should a Woman Wait After Giving Birth and Breastfeeding to Have an Augmentation with a Breast Lift?
Following pregnancy and breastfeeding, women should wait six months to schedule their initial consultation for a Houston breast lift with breast implants surgery.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Breast Lift with Augmentation at the Same Time?
Instead of two separate surgeries and recovery times, the patient has one. Therefore, by having both procedures during the same surgical session, the patient saves time.
General anesthesia only needs to be administered once.
The patient saves money because she only pays for anesthesia, as well as any other expenses relating to both procedures (e.g., dressings, drains, medications, etc.) once.
Instead of two recoveries, the patient only has one. This means she misses fewer days of school or work.
Are There Any Negative Aspects of Having a Breast Lift and Breast Implants Placed at the Same Time?
Yes, there are some negative aspects associated with having both of these procedures during the same surgical session.
One of the main concerns is that the interruption of blood supply to the nipple-areolar complex is greater when an augmentation and breast lift are performed together. This disruption increases the patient’s risk of a total or partial loss of the nipple-areolar complex. Nonetheless, as highly skilled, experienced mastopexy experts, Dr. Truong and Dr. Patel can recognize when a patient is experiencing this complication within the initial 24 hours following her surgery. Since the surgeons recognize the issue early on, Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong remedies the problem right away. Due to concerns about their nipple-areolar complexes, some women choose to have their breast lift and breast augmentation procedures separately.
The second concern associated with the combination mastopexy and breast implant surgery is an increase in the likelihood of the need for a revision at some point in the future.
A revision may be necessary because every patient is unique, and it can be difficult for a surgeon to determine:
- The exact location of the breast once healing is complete.
- What the final shape of a patient’s implants will be.
What Happens When a Surgeon Performs These Procedures Separately?
The surgeon performs the breast augmentation procedure first. Once the implants drop into their final position, the patient schedules the breast lift procedure. It could take several months for the implants to drop, which gives the patient a significant amount of time to heal before her breast lift.
During the breast lift, Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong excise the extra skin and reduce the size of her nipple-areolar complex. In addition, the surgeon moves the patient’s breasts to a more youthful position on her chest. After repositioning the breast mounds, Dr. Patel and Dr. Truong use their skills to shape the patient’s breast mounds.
Ultimately, the patient determines whether she would like her breast augmentation and mastopexy performed together or as two separate procedures.
What Issues Would Arise Indicating that a Woman Needs a Revision?
If a revision is necessary, the changes are typically minor. For example, the surgeon may need to tweak the position of the patient’s nipple-areolar complex or the surgeon might need to excise loose skin.
Due to the ease of only needing general anesthesia administered once, having two operations rolled into one, and only needing a single recovery, most women choose to have the combination breast implant surgery with a lift.
After scheduling an appointment:
- Patients need to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment. This allows enough time to fill out registration forms.
- Once the forms are complete, the patient is ready to see either Dr. Tuan Truong or Dr. Shitel Patel, both of whom are board-certified mastopexy experts. Through the years, both of Lift Plastic Surgery’s surgeons have performed many breast augmentation and breast lift procedures, as combination and separate procedures.
An Initial Consultation for a Breast Augmentation with a Lift in Houston
Women in and around Houston who are considering a breast lift with an augmentation should schedule an appointment with one of the mastopexy experts at Lift Plastic Surgery.
Bring Goal Photos
The surgeons at Lift Plastic Surgery encourage patients to bring in photos that portray the breasts they would like to have. Having these goal pictures to view is extremely helpful because it gives the surgeon an actual visualization of what the patient is looking to achieve by having a breast lift with augmentation.
The surgeon needs to know if the patient has any current conditions or ongoing conditions (e.g., diabetes, hypertension). In addition, patients should provide the surgeon with any information related to previous surgeries or treatments.
The Surgeon May Request a Surgical Release
The surgeon may request that patients visit their general practitioner to receive a surgical release.
Breast Procedure Results
Please bring the results of any mammograms, ultrasounds or breast biopsies for the surgeon to review. In addition, if breast cancer runs in the family, please let the surgeon know.
A Baseline Mammogram May Be Necessary
Patients may need a new mammogram before their breast lift with breast implant surgery in Houston. This mammogram can be used for comparison purposes after surgery.
The Surgeon May Order Additional Lab Tests
The surgeon may request other lab tests (e.g., CBC) as well.
At Least Seven Days Before Surgery, All Testing Must Be Complete
Any tests the surgeon requests must be completed no later than seven days before surgery. Otherwise, the surgeon may not receive the results in time and the surgery will need to be rescheduled.
Medications, Vitamins and Herbal Supplements
The patient needs to inform the surgeon of any supplements or medications she takes regularly. This is important because there are medications, vitamins and herbs that thin the blood, which increases bleeding. There may be certain products that the patient needs to discontinue for a specific length of time before her surgery.
Previous Negative Reactions to Anesthesia, Allergies
If the patient has ever experienced a negative reaction to anesthesia (even if it was just nausea), is allergic to latex or any type of medication the surgeon needs to know. Safety is always the number one priority at Lift Plastic Surgery.
A Breast Examination
The surgeon also examines the patient’s breasts during her consultation. Once the examination is complete, Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong discusses which procedure, or procedures, will provide the patient with optimal results.
Photographs and Measurements
If the patient would like to move forward, the surgeon takes photographs of her breasts from various angles. In addition, the surgeon may decide to take several measurements of the patient’s breasts.
The Surgeon Creates a Custom-Designed Plan
The surgeon uses the measurements, information and photographs to create the patient’s custom-designed surgical plan. At Lift Plastic Surgery, the surgeons customize each plan for a specific patient, tailoring them to her particular body type.
Other topics that may be discussed during the initial consultation include:
- Breast implant specifics, such as materials, shapes, projections, textures and placement options.
- Potential breast size after surgery (using the photo the patient brings for reference).
- Specifics related to the breast lift (e.g., nipple-areolar complex reduction, breast mound location, incisions).
- The surgeon answers the patient’s questions.
What Are the Differences Between Saline and Silicone Implants?
The silicone breast implants that the surgeons use today are nothing like those used years ago. Today’s silicone implants consist of a thick, highly cohesive gel. If these implants do leak, the gel remains in the general area (within the pocket around the implant or directly outside the pocket).
FDA Recommendations for Women with Silicone Implants
Since there are very few signs when a silicone breast implant ruptures, the FDA recommends that women who have silicone breast implants have an MRI of their breasts three years after their implant placement procedure. And every two years thereafter. The radiologist reads the MRI to determine if the patient’s silicone implant is intact.
Mammograms After Breast Implant Placement
Patients with silicone and saline breast implants must continue having their annual mammograms.
What Happens if a Saline Breast Implant Ruptures?
The sterile salt water used in saline breast implants is identical to that which is given to patients in the hospital who have IVs.
What Happens to the Fluid if a Saline Implant Ruptures?
If a rupture should occur, the body just absorbs the saline. After absorption, the body excretes the salt water through the urine.
What Are the Signs Indicating a Saline Implant Rupture?
Unlike the silicone implant, when a saline breast implant ruptures it becomes evident rather quickly. The breast usually looks deflated; therefore, the patient needs to return to the plastic surgeon to have the issue addressed as soon as possible.
Preparing for a Houston Breast Lift with an Augmentation
About a week before their combination procedure, patients should pick up anything they will need as they recover.
Some of these items include:
- Antiseptic soap.
- Prescription medications.
- Oversize shirts that button or zip up.
- Extra pillows.
- A travel neck pillow to use while sleeping upright.
- Anything else that the surgeon recommends.
Breast Implant Surgery with a Breast Lift in Houston — The Day of Surgery
This combination procedure takes from two to four hours.
Following general anesthesia use, patients are unable to drive for 24 hours; therefore, since this is an outpatient procedure, patients need to arrive with their drivers. Those who neglect to bring a driver will be rescheduled for a day when they can bring a driver.
Patients need to arrive at least 15 minutes before their scheduled procedure. This allows plenty of time for the patient to fill out any last-minute paperwork as well as for any unanswered questions to be addressed (from the patient herself or to the patient from a staff member).
While in the pre-op area, the surgeon may make several markings on the patient’s breasts. The plastic surgeon uses these markings during the breast lift with augmentation. They serve as a guide for the surgeon. If the patient has any last-minute questions, she is encouraged to ask them now.
Patients who experience nausea following general anesthesia use need to let the anesthesiologist know ahead of time. A medication may be available that can prevent this side effect.
Once the anesthesiologist administers the general anesthesia, the patient falls into a deep sleep.
Incision Options for a Breast Augmentation with a Lift
During the procedure, the surgeon uses one of the incision options below. The incision option used is discussed with the patient prior to her combination breast lift with breast implant surgery.
Incision options include:
Vertical lift or lollipop incision
Vertical lift or lollipop incision — the surgeon creates an incision around the nipple-areolar complex. From the bottom of the nipple-areolar complex, the surgeon creates another incision, which runs vertically to the breast crease at the base of the breast.
The periareolar or donut incision
The periareolar or donut incision — the surgeon creates an incision around the outer edge of the nipple-areolar complex. This incision is for resizing of the nipple-areolar complex or for sagging. The periareolar incision is ideal for a patient who only wants a breast lift of no more than 2 cm. Patients who would like to lift their breasts higher than 2 cm need to have the surgeon use one of the other incision options.
Inverted-T or anchor lift
Inverted-T or anchor lift — the incision begins around the nipple-areolar complex and then vertically down the center of the breast to the inframammary crease at the base and then along that crease. This incision option is best for those with a significant amount of sagging due to their very large breasts.
Reshaping the Patient’s Breasts
In order to reshape the patient’s breast mound and move it to a higher position on her chest, the surgeon creates an incision in the breast tissue.
By removing excess tissue and skin, the surgeon reshapes the patient’s breasts. This excess skin and tissue are responsible for the sagging. Then the surgeon repositions and, if necessary, resizes the nipple-areolar complex.
The surgeon can use permanent sutures to ensure the patient’s complexes do not become overstretched and change shape again.
Placing the Breast Implant
Breast implant placement options are above the muscle or beneath the muscle. Again, the surgeon discusses these options with the patient before her surgery.
Reviewing the Patient’s Breasts
Several times during the mastopexy with a breast augmentation, the surgeon gently lifts the patient to view the way her breasts look when she sits up. As mastopexy experts, Dr. Shitel Patel and Dr. Tuan Truong believe that this review of the patient’s breasts is vital to providing her with a natural-looking, balanced result.
Internal Stitches Support the Breast Tissue
The surgeon places several layers of the dissolvable stitches within the tissue of the breast to provide support for the breasts as they heal. These stitches will dissolve about seven days after surgery.
Closing the External Incisions
The surgeon uses sutures, surgical tape, skin adhesives or a combination of the three to close the external incisions.
Patients may receive surgical drains. These drains help to reduce inflammation by providing a place for excess fluid and blood to exit the body. The surgeon may request that the patient monitor the amount of fluid coming out of the drains. She will receive instructions about how to empty their drains.
Applying the Dressings
To ensure the patient’s breasts have support as they heal, the surgeon uses gauze to wrap her breasts.
Placing the Compression Garment
Once the breasts are wrapped, the surgeon places a compression garment around her chest.
The Recovery Area
Once the patient is awake, she receives information about caring for her incisions and drains, etc. The patient also receives a list of her restrictions. To reduce the likelihood of complications as well as to ensure her results are optimal it is crucial that the patient follow the restrictions she receives.
At Lift Plastic Surgery, staff is always happy to answer questions; therefore, before leaving to head home, patients should ask any questions they have.
Upon returning home after the augmentation with a lift, the patient will be groggy. She will most likely want to rest. She must avoid putting pressure on her breasts, which is why she needs to lie on her back.
Patients return for their post-surgical visit within a week of their procedure. The patient will need help, which is why Dr. Patel and Dr. Truong request that their patients have someone they trust remain with them as a caregiver for at least seven days following surgery.
Why Does the Patient Need a Caregiver for a Week?
During the first week following surgery, the patient should lift nothing that weighs more than five pounds. In addition, she must not reach above her head. As such, it is best that she wear oversized, button or zip-up tops. Nothing that requires the patient put her hands above her head.
How Long Does the Patient Need to Wear the Compression Garment?
Unless showering, the patient must wear her compression garment continuously.
The Importance of Supporting the Breasts After a Breast Lift with Augmentation
During recovery, patients remain more comfortable when their breasts are supported. This comfort can be attributed to the compression garment keeping inflammation down. Less swelling means a reduced pain level.
What to Expect During Recovery
The surgeons at Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston continue caring for their patients until recovery is complete.
What to expect during the recovery from a breast lift with breast implant surgery:
- Patients receive prescription pain medication. Please take this medication as directed.
- For six weeks, the patient must not put any pressure on her breasts; therefore, she needs to sleep on her back or in a reclining chair. Extra pillows under the patient’s head are usually helpful during this time.
- When she lies flat, keep her from accidentally rolling over by placing extra pillows on the sides of her.
- The patient should expect her chest to feel tight; she will also have bruises, inflammation and soreness. One way she can reduce her swelling is to sleep upright. By reducing the inflammation, some of the symptoms the patient is experiencing will decrease.
- Numbness may be present in the nipples or throughout the whole breast; this symptom usually subsides within six weeks.
- Patients with surgical drains will only have them, at most, during the seven days following surgery. The surgeon usually removes these drains at the first post-op appointment. In addition, the surgeon may remove the patient’s bandages and change them during this appointment.
Results of the Combination Surgery a Breast Lift with an Augmentation
Directly following surgery patients notice that their breasts are fuller and sagging less. Initially, the breasts are up higher on the chest than they will be after they settle. The name given to this process is drop and fluff, and it can take up to six months.
Once the incisions heal, Dr. Truong and Dr. Patel may recommend some self-massage techniques that can help move the drop and fluff process along. However, it is vital that patients wait until their surgeon recommends that they begin self-massage. Starting too soon can negatively affect their final result.
What Are the Potential Risks of Having a Breast Augmentation with a Lift?
As with all procedures, there is the potential for complications to arise. However, choosing an experienced, board-certified, mastopexy expert like Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong is a great way to reduce the likelihood of complications.
Potential complications include:
- Asymmetrical breasts or nipples.
- Difficulty breastfeeding.
- Capsular contracture – excessive amounts of scar tissue develops around the breast implant. Eventually, the excess tissue puts pressure on the breast implant and causes the breast to feel firm.
- Pendulous breasts.
- Excessive bleeding.
- Sensation changes in the breasts or nipples (e.g., numbness).
- Implant rupture.
- Suboptimal scarring.
Scarring – What to Expect
Scarring is inevitable; however, there are steps a patient can take to help her scars fade. Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong may recommend a specific type of scar treatment to the patient. With their years of experience, patients know they can trust their recommendations. Healing incisions must never be exposed to UV rays. Otherwise, the incision may darken and never fade. Therefore, patients need to avoid tanning beds and exposing their scars to the sun.
The combination procedure of a breast lift with augmentation restores breast balance by enhancing the shape and size of the breasts while raising the breasts to a higher location on the chest to provide the patient with a youthful-looking profile. If you would like to meet with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon and mastopexy expert, please call the office today.
Our surgeons can determine whether you are a good candidate for a breast lift, an augmentation or a combination of the two procedures.
Questions? Book a Consultation Now.
Contact Houston and Webster, Texas Plastic Surgeons Shitel D. Patel, MD and Tuan A. Truong, MD, FACS, FAAP:
Serving patients in Houston Texas, Webster, League City, Pearland, Galveston, Kemah, Seabrook and all other surrounding Greater Houston, Texas communities and more.