The benefits of breast lifts are numerous and clear cut, as are the reasons a woman considers having her breasts augmented. Now the question: Does combining both surgeries significantly improve a woman’s breasts?
Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Camp of Fort Worth details the reasons why women seek out these highly successful procedures, as well as when they can be combined into one.
Common Reasons for Both Breast Lift and Augmentation
Common reasons women consider a breast lift:
- To restore a better breast shape following pregnancy and breastfeeding. Pregnancy can bring some unwelcome changes to the breasts, often leaving them stretched and sagged. A breast lift can help undo these changes and restore a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
- To improve breast contour after significant weight loss. Losing weight often means losing breast volume. A breast lift can help restore a more proportional, youthful breast shape by removing excess skin.
- To enjoy a beautiful, perky breast shape for the first time. A small but growing number of breast lift patients have had drooping breasts since their teens. Breast lift surgery can help a woman get the breast profile she has always wanted.
Common reasons women consider augmentations:
- Reconstruction following breast cancer
- Breast shape
One may note that many of the reasons overlap, specifically when it comes to contour and shape. If a would-be patient is looking to rejuvenate the shape of her breast, can volume be added with implants at the same time?
Combining a Lift with an Implant
Dr. Camp says a large percentage of his patient population can’t exactly describe what changes they want in their breasts, but they are sure they want improvements. “In my practice, I see a lot of patients that are looking for a breast enhancement. They really want something that looks pretty. And a lot of times they think that a breast augmentation alone is the answer. For a lot of patients, it is. However, I have a mature patient base in my practice and a lot of my patients have been mothers and breast fed and have undergone several weight changes that will affect the tone and shape of their breast skin. So in a lot of cases we have to explain to them it’s shape and not just size.”
For many patients, it may be troubling to know that more than an augmentation will be required. This fear is seated in the fact that a breast lift comes with more noticeable scars than just an augmentation. Dr. Camp understands this fear and works to allay those concerns.
“A lot of times there’s fear related to ‘Am I going to have any scars on my breast? And how’s that going to look?’ he explains. “One of my jobs is to explain to them how shape will always trump a scar that is well-healed.”
When it comes to shape, contour, and the need to remove skin, scars are required. Even though today’s techniques – in an expert’s hands – minimize the scars dramatically, they will be there nonetheless. What Dr. Camp and other surgeons routinely drive home is how much benefit the new shape will provide – in clothes and out. When this is realized following a procedure, it is rare for patients to be more unhappy with slight scars than over the moon with their new shape.
“I love the procedure in terms of it’s like a true ying and yang in plastic surgery,” shares Camp. “It allows us to use all of our tools, not just in terms of putting an implant in and then basically close things and set it and forget it so to speak ,but it really allows us to have an artistic point of view during the procedure.”
A Lift and Implant Volume for Total Enhancement
Dr. Camp says improving the lower part of the breast can be especially tricky, using one technique or another. But, he adds, bringing both approaches to improving the entire dimension of the breast is often very successful.
“I think where the procedure is really powerful and makes a difference is a lot of the problems when patients need breast lift is in the lower portion of the breast,” says Dr. Camp. “So un-weighting and reshaping the lower part of the breast that almost gets misshapen with time and weight loss is essential. In my opinion, this allows us to achieve a really pretty breast by optimizing the aesthetics of the breast.”
Many patients do not need a breast lift. Some patients who do may not need any extra volume. Usually, they may need both. This is to color that every patient is unique, and thus finding an experienced surgeon to consult with is critical. Surgeons like Dr. Camp will perform an extensive and thorough examination and consultation to understand a patient’s unique situation, their desires, and the possible fixes that can be done both safely and effectively. With a strong patient – physician bond, breast lift and augmentation combos can truly be a restorative procedure.