As women age, they may be concerned with sagging breasts, as well as loss of volume in their bust line. There is a solution in a single surgery, that some believe allows a woman to reduce risk by having only one operation. The procedure combines a breast lift, with a breast augmentation for those wishing to increase size and stop the sag. Doctor Paul Watterson discusses why this duo surgery is so popular and produces dramatic results in some patients.
by Dawn Tongish
and Paul Watterson, MD
Several factors can take a toll on a woman’s bust; childbirth, breastfeeding, weight loss, weight gain and just the passing of time. Dr. Paul Watterson, who is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Charlotte, North Carolina practicing at Charlotte Plastic Surgery says, over time, the breasts may begin to sag and lose volume. It often prompts women to feel dissatisfied with their body image and uncomfortable with how their clothing fits. “Women want to have some volume back after having children.” He says the goal is to look and feel like they did before childbirth.
“[Patients] aren’t sure how to get their bodies to that point. They don’t know if they need a breast lift or a breast augmentation. It can become a tough decision to make.” – Paul Watterson, MD
Which to Chose – Implant or Lift – or Both
Childbirth can be a grind on a body, so mothers are often excellent candidates for this combo procedure. Breasts often stretch and usually lose some shape after the rigors of giving birth. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can take a toll. The word “sagging” is often the first giveaway that someone is right for the operation. “When I am in a consult with a woman who says my breasts are sagging or when she says I want my breasts lifted, that’s a key word, and probably she needs a breast lift,” says Dr. Watterson. Once the decision is made to have a breast lift, a woman and her doctor can then decide if implants are also appropriate.
Dr. Watterson says using an implant alone isn’t the right course to solve an issue with sagging breast skin. “If you just put an implant, the breast falls off of the breast, and it doesn’t give the result that they are after. When you explain that to a patient they get it, they understand it.”
Seeing is Believing
Patients should be selected carefully for the one-stage procedure, so it is wise for patients to chose a board-certified plastic surgeon familiar in this operation. Doctor Watterson screens patients carefully and says the best technique is to let a woman “see” what she would look like at the end of the procedure using everything from the best imaging devices to a simple mirror. “I have the patient stand in front of a mirror and I show her what she will look like after the lift and then she undertands. I can show her what volume in the breast will do.”
There is no clearer picture. Seeing is believing. “Anything visual is powerful. When they see what they will look like, it’s powerful.”