“Augmentation Mastopexy” refers to the combination procedure where breast enlargement with breast implants (“augmentation”) is done in conjunction with a breast lift (“mastopexy”).
Augmentation mastopexy is usually the best breast enhancement procedure if your breast skin is loose or stretched, or your breasts are “droopy”, as a standard breast enlargement may not give you the result you are looking for. Augmentation Mastopexy has the combined benefits of using breast implants to enlarge and enhance your breast shape and volume, as well as tightening the skin and lifting your nipples. The result is a more youthful appearance with improved shape, volume and breast aesthetics.
How can this procedure help me?
Augmentation Mastopexy is recommended for women who have lost breast volume as well as having stretched, loose and drooping of the breasts. This most commonly follows pregnancy or weight fluctuations, but is also seen with naturally sagging breasts. Augmentation mastopexy is for women who want to increase breast volume, improve breast shape and correct the nipple position.
Benefits may include:
- Improve your breast appearance, with larger, firmer and more uplifted breasts.
- Improve the position of your areolae and nipples.
- Increase firmness of soft breasts, by removing excess skin
- Restore or add volume to your breasts.
- Reduce skin irritation under the breast folds
- Improve your confidence and self esteem
The Consultation Process: What to Expect
During your consultation, Dr. Merten will ask you a variety of questions including your current health to details about the physical outcomes you desire. Be prepared to talk about current medications, allergies and any past or current medical treatments.
Dr. Merten will discuss your personal expectations with you. Your breasts will be examined as well as any variables that may affect your procedure.
Dr. Merten will explain the best options to give you the outcome you desire, which may range from mastopexy alone, breast augmentation alone, or the two together. This will depend on your final desired breast size, your current breast volume and skin looseness. By the end of your consultation you should have a clear understanding of the options and likely outcome of your surgery, so you can make an informed decision about what path to take.
Dr Merten and his team will also discuss the recovery process and any potential complications that could arise. At any time, you are encouraged to ask any questions that you may have.
You may be required to perform a breast X-Ray or other investigations, depending on age and family history.
Your second consultation will further deal with your operation choices and reiterate the possible problems and complications with reference to your specific case.
The Procedure: What Does it Involve?
Augmentation Mastopexy is a significantly more complex operation than a standard breast augmentation, and should only be undertaken by experienced specialist plastic surgeons such as Dr Merten. Please note: smokers are unsuitable for this operation, and Dr Merten will need you to stop at least 6 weeks before the operation.
In an Augmentation Mastopexy, the outer layer of skin around your nipple is removed (your nipples are not, however, removed – a common misconception), as well as loose tissue from the lower breast. The breast implant is inserted, usually behind the chest muscle, and then the nipple is lifted to a new, higher position, tightening the breast tissue inside. The lower breast is then reshaped with internal stitches, then skin is closed using dissolving stitches to assist in minimising scarring. Dr Merten does not use drains for this surgery.
The entire procedure takes up to 4 hours to perform. Most patients require a “vertical” or “lollypop” scar pattern, but more extensive loose skin may require an additional scar beneath the breast in the fold.
Will I need to be hospitalised for the procedure?
Augmentation Mastopexy operations are done in a licence day surgery or hospital, under general anaesthetic, and take up to four hours. You can choose to go home the same day, or stay in hospital overnight. All surgeries are performed in fully accredited facilities, ensuring your safety.
What is recovery like?
Advancements in anaesthesia over recent years has meant more comfort for patients – less pain, less “grogginess”, less nausea and a quicker recovery to “feeling normal.” The anaesthetists in our team are highly skilled and experienced in modern techniques and devoted to keeping you comfortable.
The stitches used are dissolving and will not have to be removed. Supportive dressings of the first few days of recovery are replaced by a soft support bra for 6 weeks. You can then wear any bra, or go without one, but good supportive bras should usually still be worn most of the time. Gravity over the years takes its toll, and any breast of reasonable volume will eventually show some degree of droop without good support.
Results: What and When?
Results of Breast Lift surgery are immediately visible. Swelling is usually minimal after mastopexy, and this settles over about 6 weeks. Final shape and positioning will continue to settle for a few months. Scarring can remain red and raised for several months and will diminish up to two years. We will provide you with information on how to minimize scarring as well as topical agents that can be used to assist in healing.
When can I resume day-to-day activities?
Most patients need two to three weeks off work. You will be able to do basic duties, including looking after children, but should avoid heavy lifting. You should not do any strenuous exercise for about six weeks. You can start lightly increasing your activity after about 4 weeks, then gradually increase and should be back to normal by 6 weeks.
What complications can arise from the procedure?
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications. These include:
- Bruising, bleeding, haematoma formation
- Anaesthetic problems
- Deep Vein thrombosis
Risks and complications specific to Breast Augmentation + Lift include:
- Capsular Contracture
- Implant rupture
- Nipple Necrosis
- Altered Nipple Sensation
- Altered breast feeding potential
- Wound Breakdown
Will this procedure leave scars?
It is not possible to have breast lift surgery (“mastopexy”) without incisions. However, there are different designs of the procedure that leave scars in differing location and length. We strive to achieve scars of superior quality and minimal length and wherever possible, Dr. Merten utilises the latest “short scar” techniques, which avoid scars on the underside of the breast. You can be sure that Dr. Merten will discuss the various types of surgery with you and help you to choose the one most appropriate to your problem.
What else should I consider before having this surgery?
To understand what is reasonable to expect from the surgery, it is a good idea to look at before and after photos. This will give you a good perspective of what results other patients have achieved through Dr. Merten’s work. Some other things you may need to consider are;
- Are you happy with your body weight or do you intend to lose weight in the future?
- Do you plan to have children in the future?
- Do you have a preconceived idea of how you would like your breasts to look?
- Have you considered the effects of surgery on sensation of the breasts and nipples?
- Have you considered the prospect of scarring on your breasts?
- Have you considered that breast lift surgery is not permanent, and gravity, ageing and weight fluctuations can result in changes to your breasts over time?
You may also want to consider your planning for the healing period. Will you need help or assistance from others? Also if you do encounter complications, it is a good idea to understand how they are typically handled so that you are fully prepared.
Do you have any more questions?
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions that you might have about this procedure. Our team will be happy to address any concerns that you may have.