When Is A Breast Augmentation And Lift Necessary?

Dr. Ran Stark has over 10 years of training after graduating from medical school prior to starting his practice. He has been trained by the world’s best face and body surgeons and uses modern, cutting edge techniques to perform facelifts, rhinoplasties, breast surgery, abdominoplasties, liposuction, and body contouring. Haute Living chatted with Dr. Ran Stark of Stark MD, located in Bala Cynwyd, Penn., about when a breast augmentation combined with a breast lift is a good idea for patients.

HB: When might a patient need to combine their breast augmentation with a lift?

In essence, a breast augmentation and breast lift have two completely different indications. Breasts change over time with gravity as well as with certain life events:  child bearing, breast feeding and weight fluctuations. The tissue itself changes, the volume decreases and the dimensions change resulting in drooping of the nipple-areola complex which is referred to as ptosis. Many times – not always – the two procedures do go hand in hand, but the goals of each are completely different. In a breast augmentation, the goal is to increase the volume of the breast, while a breast lift or mastopexy restores shape and dimension of the breast, repositioning the nipple-areola complex.

HB: What is the process of a lift?

In general, a lift restores the positioning of the nipple-areola complex back to its proper location. In the process, excess skin and tissue may be removed in order to achieve ideal aesthetic dimensions. In regards to the details of the means that gets to this end, this varies and is surgeon dependent.

HB: Can a lift provide the desired results without augmentation?

This really depends on the patient’s anatomy and more significantly her goals. If the patient wants to restore shape and dimension only, she may just require a lift. However if the patient also has volume loss, the upper portion of the breast may be empty and become more apparent and concave after the lift. Most women want to improve the fullness their breast to create volume and cleavage. If this is the goal, a breast augmentation with either an implant or fat grafting is needed.

HB: Are there any added risks to combining a lift with an augmentation?

This is a very interesting question that tends to be debated often amongst plastic surgeons. In general, after a breast lift with augmentation there is a known 20-30% chance of having to go back to the operating room to revise something. However, there is a 70-80% chance that this is not going to be the case. If the procedures are done separately, there is a 100% chance of having to go to the operating room twice with the same end results. If a patient has specific risk factors that may lead to them having complications from surgeries I will always separate the two procedures.

HB: How long is recovery?

Most women say that their recovery is much easier than they expected. In general, it’s important to take a week or so off work to rest, but following that week daily activities can be resumed. Exercise and strenuous activity can be restarted 4 weeks post-operatively.