Breast Augmentation vs Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
Patients often confuse the two terms breast augmentation and breast lift. While both can enhance the breasts, they are very different procedures. At Los Angeles Plastic Surgery, Dr. Anastasatos offers both procedures.
A breast augmentation always requires a breast implant. The breast augmentation does not lift the breast (except minimally in certain cases). The breast implant provides volume and projection. It expands the breast outward and downward. It is the most popular operation in the world after liposuction.
What Is a Breast Lift or Mastopexy?
The mastopexy operation is technically far more challenging and interesting. It requires great skill from the plastic surgeon and detailed pre-operative geometric design. Dr. Anastasatos generally will spend about an hour doing breast markings on his patients before he will go to perform the surgery, as pre-operative planning and geometry are critical to assure symmetry and balance.
The ultimate goal of the mastopexy is to re-arrange the ptotic breast tissue above the inframammary fold and create a breast with significant projection. This is the holy grail of the mastopexy. To create a conical breast shape that will become a tear-drop-shaped breast.
Contrary to what almost everyone thinks, a mastopexy, or breast lift, does not require the placement of a breast implant. Some plastic surgeons promote the use of adding a breast implant at the time of mastopexy in order to help create more breast projection. But this does not always help the patients. Performing a mastopexy and an augmentation at the same time can increase the risk for asymmetry and complications.
Furthermore, breast implants do not last forever and need to be replaced at some future point because they break. The frequency of implant shell rupture increases after 12 years of implantation. Beyond rupture, breast implants can cause other problems, such as capsular contracture and displacement.
Therefore, patients requiring a mastopexy must know that the operation can be done and should be done without implants. It is the skill of the plastic surgeon to create a breast shape that looks like a breast implant and not to rely on a breast implant for this purpose.
Breast Lift with Augmentation
What happens when someone wants a breast lift and a breast augmentation at the same time? Most experienced and seasoned plastic surgeons with expertise in breast surgery, Dr. Anastasatos included, recommend to patients that they do the breast lift first. Then if they decide they want more projection, they can do a breast augmentation.
However, if the patient insists that they want a breast lift with a breast augmentation, Dr. Anastasatos recommends not using a large implant at the same time of the mastopexy. It is important to look at the two processes from the standpoint of geometry and biomechanics – the two operations complete opposing actions. The mastopexy lifts the breast tissue about the inframammary fold and toward the chest wall. The breast implants do the opposite; they expand the breast tissue away from the chest wall and lower the inframammary fold. Balancing these actions is more complex – which is why a smaller implant can be helpful.
Which Best Procedure Is Best for You?
If you are interested in exploring a breast lift or breast augmentation, contact us at Los Angeles Plastic Surgery. Dr. Anastasatos is one of the best breast plastic surgeons in Los Angeles and throughout the world. We can schedule a personalized breast consultation with Dr. Anastasatos to discuss both breast lift and breast augmentation to determine which is best for you. Call our office in Beverly Hills to schedule your appointment.