Breast Lift with Implants Vs Lift Now, Implants Later?

I'm in the consultation phase of my mommy makeover. I'm definitely getting a tummy tuck, but also considering breast surgery. I would require both a lift and implants to achieve the look I desire. Some doctors prefer to do both the lift and implants at once (along with the tummy tuck). Others prefer to do just the lift with the tummy tuck, followed by implants six months later. I realize the situation differs based on the individual patient, but what are the pros and cons to each method?

Doctor Answers (7)

Breast lift with implants?

+2

Thank you for the controversial question.

This is not a question agreed-upon by all plastic surgeons. There are good plastic surgeons who will insist on doing the procedures separately and there are good plastic surgeons who can produce excellent outcomes in a single stage.
The combination breast augmentation / mastopexy surgery differs from breast augmentation surgery alone in that it carries increased risk compared to either breast augmentation or mastopexy surgery performed separately. Furthermore, the potential need for revisionary surgery is increase with breast augmentation / mastopexy surgery done at the same time.
I'sn my opinion, the decision  to do the operation in a single or two  staged fashion becomes a judgment call made by a surgeon after direct examination of the patient.  For me, if I see a patient who needs a great degree of lifting, who has lost a lot of skin elasticity, or  whose goal is a very large augmentation then I think it is best to do the procedures in 2 stages (in order to avoid serious complications). However, doing the procedure one stage does increase the risks of complications in general and the potential need for further surgery. This increased risk must be weighed against the practical benefits of a single stage procedure (which most patients would prefer).
Conversely, if I see a patient who requires minimal to moderate lifting along with a small to moderate size augmentation (and has good skin quality), then doing the procedure one stage is much safer. Nevertheless, the potential risks  are greater with a 1 stage  procedure and the patient does have a higher  likelihood of needing revisionary surgery.
I hope this helps.


San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 759 reviews

Combining a breast lift and implants is straightforward when carefully planned

+1
Combining a breast lift and implants is straightforward when carefully planned.  Some surgeons prefer to stage it, first do a lift and then a few months later perform an augmentation when they are unsure about the effect of the lift.  In some cases where a significant breast asymmetry exists, or the breasts are very sagging, it might be beneficial to stage it, however, in our experience that is rarely necessary.  Ultimately, each surgeon does things a little differently and you want to find one that you believe will give you the best possible results and care, not just simplest and cheapest offer.

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 164 reviews

Single vs staged approach

+1
During staged augmentation mastopexy, the mastopexy is usually performed first. This allows the breast to be lifted and shaped without the added weight of the breast implants working against the lift. Enough time is allowed to pass for the breasts to adequately heal in the lifted position before proceeding with the breast augmentation, a second surgery scheduled no less than three months afterward.

The staged approach to breast lift augmentation is tried-and-tested. Its benefits include:

  • Good control over the outcome of each procedure, since the subsequent procedure can be better designed to improve on the results that have been achieved
  • A lower rate of additional surgery to correct undesirable results, since it is harder to predict results from the single-stage approach
  • Better selection of surgical techniques to minimize incisions and resulting scars
  • A lower complication rate as the single-stage approach is associated with higher risks and complications, including disruption to the blood supply to the tissues and capsular contracture.
However, the benefits of the single-stage approach include being less costly and experiencing only a single recovery period. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

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Breast lift with implants vs lift now and implants later?

+1
Hello! Thank you for your question! These two procedures can safely and effectively be performed in one setting, given you are healthy and without medical comorbidities to prevent such. Staging the procedures to have them done at various times will likely not have any cost benefit for you. When you combine procedures, there is often a discount that is provided by the surgeon for multiple procedures. Also, when having multiple procedures performed at the same time, you save on anesthesia and facility fees, which otherwise are paid for with each individual procedure. In addition, you may benefit by the single recovery time. However, more importantly than the financial aspect, your plastic surgeon will have to determine for you if the viability of the breast as well as nipple-areolar complex may be placed at jeopardy if done at the same time. If for this reason, it would be wise to stage these procedures.

Certainly it is you decision as to whether you have your procedures performed in one or multiple stages, but your surgeon will give his/her recommendations. Consult with a plastic surgeon well-versed in breast surgery who will discuss and examine you, while assisting you to decide which procedure will be the best option for you. I would discuss your concerns with your surgeon and see what your options are - sometimes multiple consultations with board-certified plastic surgeons is helpful for you to decide. Hope that this helps! Best wishes for a wonderful result!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Breast lift w/ implants vs. Lift now and implants to follow

+1
Thank you for your question. Some plastic surgeons do the mastopexy first and then add volume later. Each patient is different, and so sometimes the treatments may be different. One stage breast augmentation and mastopexy is also done. Remember it depends on the individual's goals, tissue, etc;, Best to talk with a board certified plastic surgeon, (or two...). Together you will come up with a plan.

Jeffrey Roth, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Implants and lifts together or separately?

+1
Augmentations and lifts are procedures that can work against each other and each increase the risks of the other. They can be done together but getting them just right can be a challenge, and not always under the complete control of the surgeon. Mild periareolar lifts can be easily done at the time of implants, but the more complex the lift (vertical, anchor), the more possible the problems with contour issues and blood supply problems with the nipple. That does not mean that many experienced surgeons can not get good results with the combined procedures, but the risk of revisions is higher than in most other surgeries, and longterm revisions are not uncommon. It simply must be understood...aug/lifts are many times more complex than augs or lifts alone, and the results less predictable, so many surgeons feel that they can control the results better by lifting the breast into the proper position first and, after sufficient healing, more precisely control implant position.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Breast lift and augmentation

+1

The difference between having the lift and augmentation as one operation vs two is that you may need a revision of the first more commonly than the second choice.  However, in most cases it saves a second operation.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.