Many women visit a plastic surgeon to discuss breast augmentation, only to learn that a combination breast lift with augmentation may be a more appropriate procedure to meet their goals. In this blog, female board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Katerina Gallus of Restore SD Plastic Surgery in San Diego answers your top questions about breast augmentation with lift.
How do you lift saggy breasts? Can implants lift saggy breasts?
A surgical breast lift is usually needed to correct visibly sagging breasts. Why? Breast sagging (also known as ptosis) occurs when the skin has lost elasticity due to weight fluctuations, childbearing, and/or aging, ultimately resulting in having too much skin compared to breast tissue.
To lift the breast, I surgically remove the excess skin using the ideal technique for your anatomy and reshape your tissues to provide perkier, rejuvenated contours. With a breast lift, we can also address the appearance of the nipple-areolar complex and improve symmetry between your breasts. When a patient also wishes for increased breast volume, I additionally place implants to achieve their desired size.
Implants are not a good stand-alone solution for lifting saggy breasts as, while implants can help fill the breast out, they can easily weigh down loose or fragile breast skin, leading to disappointing or short-lived results. That said, some patients with good skin elasticity and only minor sagging (Grade 1 on the Baker scale) may find augmentation alone, skillfully performed, can correct mild sagging. Moderate to severe sagging can only be corrected with a traditional breast lift.
When is a breast lift needed with augmentation?
A breast lift will likely be needed if your breasts appear deflated or if the nipple rests below the breast fold. In some cases, the nipple may be positioned above the breast fold but the breast tissue droops below, making a breast lift necessary to achieve your goals.
A breast lift will likely be needed if your breasts appear deflated or if the nipple rests below the breast fold.
Because it can be hard to envision the difference a breast lift can make to your surgical results, Restore SD Plastic Surgery uses Vectra 3D imaging to show patients what is possible with a combined breast lift/augmentation procedure. I will review the computer-generated images with you, explain your options, and together we will decide what procedure(s) will achieve results you will love.
Will breast lift with augmentation results start to sag again?
Breast lift with augmentation results typically remain satisfying for about a decade, though this can vary quite a bit based on an individual’s health habits, the size of their implants, and their specific anatomy. Many breast surgery patients enjoy long-lasting results and accept further aging as natural; others seek touch ups over the years to continuously maintain a perky appearance.
The natural aging process and gravity will eventually affect all surgical results but there are steps you can take to extend your breast surgery results:
- Maintain your weight — A healthy lifestyle will ensure you enjoy your results for as long as possible. Weight fluctuations and pregnancy/breastfeeding will alter your breasts’ appearance and somewhat shorten the life-span of your results
- Wear proper support — Investing in proper-fitting bras to support your new breasts will help preserve your results. This is especially true when it comes to exercise; the effects of gravity are increased during physical activity and will accelerate breast sagging if the breasts lack adequate support.
- Protect your skin — Skin elasticity is largely genetic but you can help improve elasticity by avoiding excessive sun exposure, using proper SPF, and nourishing your skin with a healthy diet.
Will I need drains after a breast lift with augmentation?
No; breast lift with augmentations patients do not typically require drains as part of their recovery. You will simply need to care for your incision sites, wear a compression garment instead of a regular bra, and follow the easy, detailed postoperative instructions we provide each patient.
Postoperative drains are more likely to be indicated with substantial body lifting procedures, if liposuction will be a significant part of your San Diego plastic surgery, or if you have a BMI over 30 (calculate your BMI here). In these cases, I may determine that drains would allow you to enjoy a safer, faster recovery.
How much does a breast lift with augmentation cost in San Diego?
The cost of a breast lift with augmentation in San Diego starts at $12,500. The cost is dependent upon the type of breast implant you choose, the breast lift technique I will use, and other details of your procedure. I will go over pricing with you in detail during your consultation.
When can I be active after a breast lift with augmentation?
You may resume light activity and return to work within a week or two after surgery. Importantly, you will need to avoid exerting yourself or any heavy lifting for around 4-6 weeks. The Restore SD Plastic Surgery Recovery Calculator can help you get a better sense of the length and stages of your recovery period.
How do I prepare for a breast lift with augmentation?
There are several steps you can take to make sure you are fully prepared for your breast lift with augmentation in San Diego and experience optimal results.
- Choose a highly-qualified, board certified plastic surgeon who can prove their expertise with numerous relevant before and after photos of results they have provided for patients with similar concerns and goals.
- Avoid smoking and using tobacco products to reduce the risk of complications during and after surgery.
- Schedule your procedure(s) after you have reached and maintained a stable weight and, ideally, do not intend to have more children.
- Arrange for a loved one to help for the first few days after surgery.
- If you have younger children, plan for extended childcare as you will not be able to pick them up for some weeks.
- Disclose your medical history and any medications or supplements during your consultation to avoid any contraindications.
- Be open and honest about your goals, and don’t be afraid to voice your concerns or ask questions.
- Take time to review implant options, implant positioning, and incision placement. I will thoroughly explain each option and help guide you through this process.
- Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet to help your body prepare for surgery.
- Follow post-surgery wound care to the letter. This will minimize complications, speed healing, and extend your results.
- Continuing following healthy habits, including eating a whole-foods rich diet, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption or smoking.
- Wear support garments as instructed; these are key to supporting ideal results. (We will monitor your healing and let you know when you are cleared to wear other types of bras and eventually shop for your dream lingerie!)
- Avoid direct sun exposure for a minimum of six months — unprotected scars can see an increase in scar formation and hyperpigmentation.
San Diego breast lift with implants
Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Katerina Gallus serves the San Diego area with a unique female perspective and is here to help you plan and prepare for your La Jolla breast lift with augmentation. Dr. Gallus will listen to your goals and ensure you feel completely at ease and empowered in every aspect of your procedure. To schedule your free consultation, call 858-224-2281 or contact Restore SD Plastic Surgery online.