Many women experience changes in the shape and placement of their breasts due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss and age. These factors, in addition to genetics, loss of skin elasticity, and sun damage, can cause the breasts to deflate, sag and the nipples to point downwards.
A breast lift with implants (or augmentation mastopexy) is performed when the position of one or both breasts on the chest needs to be altered and an increase in breast volume is required due to deflation or simply not having developed a significant breast.
Combining a breast lift with a breast augmentation restores a fuller, contoured shape to the breast by removing excess skin, repositioning the areola and increasing breast volume using implants.
The result of a breast lift with implants can rejuvenate the appearance of the breasts, providing a more youthful silhouette and improving the patient’s everyday comfort and self-confidence.
Dr Avery has over a decade of experience in plastic surgery and has been performing breast augmentations and breast lifts in Newcastle since 2013.
During an initial consultation, Dr Avery will assess your relevant medical history and before going any further, ensure that a breast lift procedure is a safe and appropriate choice for you.
Next, we will discuss and decide on variables such as implant size, type, and placement, tailoring a surgery plan to align with your individual needs and requests.
Each breast has a unique shape, size and composition (even your left from your right) which is why every breast augmentation and lift we do is customised to suit the existing breast tissue and the desired result.
After discussing your individual concerns and deciding on a procedure that is best suited to you, a second consultation before the surgery involves discussing things like recovery time, advice on returning to work, driving and exercise.
All of our breast augmentation and lift procedures take place in an accredited hospital, with appropriately trained staff including the surgeon, support staff and anaesthetist.
The surgery for a breast lift with implants involves removing excess skin, inserting a silicone implant, reshaping the breast tissue and tightening the remaining skin. Large areolae may also be reduced during a breast lift.
The procedure followed in each breast lift and augmentation surgery depends on several variables including:
The amount and shape of existing breast tissue
The size and type of implant
The incision area
Where the breast implant is being placed
There are three techniques for breast implant placement during the procedure:
1. Subglandular Placement (overs)
The implant is placed directly behind the glandular tissue but in front of the muscle.
2. Partial Submuscular Placement (partial unders)
The implant is placed partially behind the pectoralis muscle, with the lower part of the implant not covered by the muscle. Partial submuscaular placement is performed using a ‘dual-plane’ technique to optimise the interaction between the breast tissue, chest muscle and implant.
3. Complete Submuscular Placement (full unders)
The implant is placed completely behind the pectoralis muscle and connective tissue. Complete submuscular coverage is generally used in reconstructive cases only.
Taking the other variables into account, Dr Avery will help you determine the best implant placement technique that is right for you.
Generally a breast augmentation with breast lift is a day surgery, with the patient free to leave that afternoon. The procedure can take anywhere between 1–3 hours, with another 1–2 hours for recovery before the patient can go home.
In addition to varying in size, there are a number of other options to consider when choosing breast implants. The implants may be round or have a contoured “tear drop” shape, with a smooth or textured silicone rubber shell, filled with either a silicone gel or a saline solution.
The texture and feel of silicone implants closely resembles that of a natural breast. Saline implants have the same salt concentration of the body and therefore pose fewer health risks, although they do not feel as natural as silicone implants.
For most patients, implants are expected to last at least 10 years before they should be removed and/or replaced. The longer a breast implant is inside the body after 10 years, the more likely it is to deteriorate and rupture.
Usually presenting as a slow leak, a breast implant rupture can cause the breast to become misshapen, lumpy or sore. If you notice consistent symptoms such as these, it is recommended that you come in for a consultation.
As with any foreign material placed within the body, breast implants do carry a risk of complications they may need the implant to be removed. Often when removing an old breast implant, the patient will choose a replacement of the same size, which is a relatively uncomplicated procedure.
If a patient has undergone another procedure in addition to the breast lift with implants such as liposuction or a tummy tuck, one or two overnight stays in hospital may be required post-surgery to aid with recovery.
As with any operation, the patient will need to organise somebody to drive them home and it is recommended that they have another adult stay with them during the first night after surgery.
The full recovery period for a breast augmentation is usually around six weeks, which can be broken down as follows:
The first 2 weeks after the procedure:
It is recommended that you don’t put any unnecessary strain on your body. This includes exercise, picking up children or even driving, as any pain or discomfort experienced while driving could be dangerous.
Between 2 and 4 weeks after the procedure:
You can begin to do some light exercises such as picking up children and driving, as long as you aren’t straining your body too much.
Between 4 to 6 weeks after the procedure:
You can begin returning to normal activities with care, such as mild exercise. After 6 weeks’ recovery you should be able to resume a normal level of physical activity.
Patients recovering from a breast lift with implants will be required to wear a compression garment for 4–6 weeks to provide support and reduce post-operative pain or swelling.
A customised pain relief program will be created for each patient and issued before leaving the hospital. If circumstances change at any stage during the recovery period, then the pain medication can certainly be adjusted accordingly.
Scarring from a breast lift will depend on the surgical technique used. There are four main surgical techniques used for a breast lift with implants:
The Crescent Technique
The least invasive, this technique involves removing a crescent-shaped area of skin from above the areola. The crescent technique is usually recommended for patients with smaller breasts or minor breast sagging.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. Dr Avery is a member of the two leading professional associations for plastic surgeons in Australia, ASAPS and ASPS. Their websites provide additional information regarding plastic surgery in Australia that you might find useful, please visit ASAPS and ASPS.