What Are the Risks of Getting Implants at the Same Time As the Lift?

I am planning a lift and tummy tuck on the same date and want to have implants done at the same time. My surgeon advised me that he would not be able to put the implants in until after the lift has healed. What are the risks if I change surgeons and get the implants done during the lift?

Doctor Answers 19

What Are the Risks of Getting Implants at the Same Time As the Lift?

It is obvious you want a large implant. So it is very hard to do a full lift and have a large implant placed. Discuss in detail with your surgeon to fully understand the effect of healing on the breast scar. 

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Breast Lift with Implants

Plastic Surgeons arel clearly divided on whether doing breast lift and augmentation in one or two stages. All would agree that the risks are somewhat higher with a single stage procedure, but disagree as to how much higher. If executed properly, the risk profile of combining the two is, in my opinion, acceptable. There is also the issue of having two "moving parts" (implant and breast tissue) and getting everything to end up exactly where you want it because both the breast and the breast implant will settle after surgery. In some patients, a second stage will be required to adjust the position of the implant, but if this is a small percentage, many of us would argue that it is preferable to having every patient undergo two procedures. Listen to opinions on both sides of this discussion and choose what makes the most sense to you.

Joseph Fata, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Risk Of Combining Augmentation & Breast Lift

There is always some increase in risk simply by the additional time required in performing multiple simultaneous surgeries.  Some plastic surgeons feel that there are added risks in performing a breast lift at the time of an augmentation and insist of staging these two procedures.  Other plastic surgeons are willing to perform the procedures at the same setting.  If you feel strongly about having everything done at the same time, obtain a second opinion, but remember that there is a slight increase in having complications (assuming that you are in good general health).

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Breast implants combine well with breast lift

For some surgeons the idea of combining breast implants with a breast lift can be unsettling, however we find that few enjoy the lift as well without the fill in the upper breast that the implant will provide. We have little difficulty in adding a breast implant at the time of breast  lift, and have not suffered any complications from doing so. You may need another opinion if your surgeon is unwilling and you wish to avoid an additional procedure.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

breat augmentation and lift at the same time

The moment I saw this question I knew there would be a lot of answers and they would be 50-50. If you get several opinions in your neighborhood I'm sure it will be the same thing. As you can see, the more conservative approach is to do the operations separately. I  see a significant number of patients who are marginal for augmentation alone and have been told by several people they need a lift at the same time. Most patients of course would like to avoid the extra scars and expense. I will  explain the alternatives and often suggest  we do the augmentation alone and there is a good likelihood that they will not ask for the lift. The great majority of these patients are happy with the single procedure. If they do need a lift at a second operation is usually a minimal procedure with less expense and less scarring

Sherwood Baxt, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Your surgeon is correct

The combination of the lift and implant is a high risk procedure. The revision rate for the breast augmentation with implant is more than 40%. The complications include nipple loss, nipple asymmetry, implant bottoming out, breast sagging off implant, breast asymmetry and infection. I would recommend staged procedure and you should not change your surgeon.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Breast lift is best done together with implants.


I think it is safe to say that the vast majority of plastic surgeons who do a lot of cosmetic surgery of the breast do breast lifts and breast implants at the same time.  This saves you an additional operation and in fact produces better results than doing it in two stages.  There are only a very few exceptions to this rule.

It is true that combing breast lift and breast augmentation can increase the risk, but this is just a matter of experience and good technique and good judgment.

Hope this is helpful.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast Augmentation with a Lift in one Procedure

There are pros and cons involved in performing a breast augmentation with a lift as one or two procedures, and plastic surgeons are in general divided on this.  I think the bottom line is that certain patients can do fine with both the augmentation and the lift performed as one procedure, while others really need two procedures to get the best result.  Similarly, some surgeons have better results with two procedures versus one, and there is no one absolutely right way to perform the procedure.  So ultimately it comes down to finding a surgeon that you feel comfortable with and can get you the results you want with the least risk possible, even if it may mean more than one procedure.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Doing breast implants and a breast lift at separate times

The main reason to perform a breast augmentation and a breast lift separately is that the complication rate is much lower if both procedures are done separately. The blood supply to the skin and nipple is much more robust if done separately. The shape and contour is typically better if you can stage the procedures (do separately). The surgeries should be spaced out by about 4-6 months. Although almost all patients want to have the procedures done simultaneously, this is not always the best approach. The safest way is to stage the procedures. This is a general guideline, not an absolute rule.

Each person has their own unique anatomy, so a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is the best way to find out what's best for you.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

Lifts and implants

When you think about it, lifts and implants are actually working against each other. The lift is tightening the breast and the implant is stretching out the breast. Without a doubt the complication rate (skin necrosis/loss, nipple malposition, etc.) and revision rate is much higher than if they are done separately. The main reason the two surgeries are done together is patient driven: nobody wants two surgeries! My personal preference is to put the implant in first and do the lift later to avoid nipple malposition. Have a frank discussion with your surgeon and know what your are getting into! Good luck!

Marcel Daniels, MD
Long Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 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.