Auto Augmentation Mastopexy - Upper Pole Breast Fullness Using Your Own Breast Tissue

Michael Law, MD

Article by
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon

Breast lift (mastopexy) surgery works well for patients who have enough existing breast tissue which allows the surgeon to build a projecting and aesthetically pleasing breast, and who do not have a severely ‘deflated’ appearance from pregnancy or weight loss.  In many patients, however, it can be difficult to create substantial, long-lasting fullness in the upper aspect of the breasts (the cleavage area, which surgeons sometimes refer to as the ‘upper poles’ of the breasts) by means of a routine mastopexy surgery alone. This is particularly true in patients who have experienced significant deflation following pregnancy and lactation, and in patients who have experienced major weight loss.

This need for increasing upper pole fullness can be accomplished in one of two ways: by using the patient’s own lower pole breast tissue (‘auto-augmentation mastopexy’), or by placing a breast implant. Auto-augmentation mastopexy is a surgery in which some of the patient’s own lower pole breast tissue (from the area of the breast below the nipple/areola complex) is moved into the upper pole of the breast.  A pocket is created behind the upper pole of the breast and the lower pole tissue is advanced, with its blood supply intact, into the upper pole pocket.  This truly remarkable procedure can create a mastopexy appearance that previously has only been possible by means of breast implant placement.  Not all patients are good candidates for this procedure, as there must be an adequate volume of lower pole tissue available to produce significant upper pole (cleavage area) breast fullness.  Most patients undergoing auto-augmentation mastopexy in this practice have a full B cup to D cup breast volume preoperatively.

For patients who do not have enough lower pole tissue available to allow an aesthetically ideal auto-augmentation mastopexy, or for patients who desire a larger breast volume than can be achieved by use of their own tissues, I recommend that they undergo augmentation mastopexy. This surgery combines a breast lift with the subpectoral placement of a breast implant usually of a moderate size, which produces lasting upper pole fullness.  This procedure is often the ideal choice for patients with an A cup or small B cup breast volume preoperatively, who are interested in having a C to D cup breast profile postoperatively.