Complications of Mastopexy w/ Augmentation to Correct a Drooping Breast?

I have one breast with an implant however since pregnancy the other (natural) breast is left drooping with a lot of excess skin. I have read up on Mastopexy and Augmentaion, there is too much excess skin for augmentation alone, are there any additional complications with having both procedures on the same breast ?

Doctor Answers 11

Complications with Breast Lift and Augmentation

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Breasts are often asymmetric. They can be lifted differently. One side can be reduced or the breasts can have different size implants or different amounts of fat added to improve symmetry.

All surgical procedures carry some degree of risk. Any breast operation can result in changes in sensation. This happens less with lifts than reductions but is still possible. Occasionally, minor complications occur and do not affect the surgical outcome. Major complications associated with this procedure are rare. The suitability of the breast lift procedure and specific risks may be determined during your consultation.

#Hypertrophic or #keloid scars can also be a problem. The worst are usually under the breast with an #AnchorLift or inverted “T”. These can be treated like all thickened scars with re-excision, laser, kenalog/5-FU injections, creams, silicone strips and other methods to reduce and improve healing.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Complications of mastopexy w/ augmentation to correct a drooping breast?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! These two procedures can be effectively and safely performed in one setting. Staging the procedures to have them performed 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, 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. For this reason, it would be wise to stage these procedures. It is true that larger implant will place increased tension on the overlying breast tissue and may compromise the integrity of the skin.

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. I would discuss your concerns with your surgeon and see what your options are. Hope that this helps! Best wishes for a wonderful result!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Breast Augmentation Mastopexy Staged?

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Thanks for the 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.

In 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.

Augmentation and mastopexy

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This is a common combination after pregnancy.  Yes, there are more variables with the two procedures together, but most patients do not want to stage two surgeries.  Seek a board certified Plastic Surgeon with breast experience to give you the best result.  Donald R. Nunn MD Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Breast lift and augmentation

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Mastopexy (Breast lift) and implants together can be a complicated operation and that is why some plastic surgeons like to perform this operation separately - usually the breast lift first and then the implant surgery.  I perform this procedure together routinely so I do not think it is a problem, however, there are some increased risks.  These risks are still very low, but they are increased: loosing the nipple and areola where it turns into scar tissue and about a 10% risk of needing to go back to the OR to get things just right.  Good luck!


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The procedures can be performed simultaneously in certain circumstances.  In particular, the distance the nipple areolar complex needs to elevated is to be modest.  in my experience 4 cm is the most I feel comfortable in elevating the nipple at the same time as an augmentation.  You will find a 3-D video explaining the procedure on my website.

Breast Implant-Lift Combination Procedures Have Higher Risks of Need For Revision

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The combination of placing a breast implant and doing a breast lift at the same time is one of the more difficult aesthetic body contouring procedures. It is hard to get the best breast result when one procedure actually fights against the other one...volume enlargement (stretching loose skin) and lifting and tightening loose skin. The revision rate is definitely higher in combination procedures than either done alone. But the breast implant-lift combination is usually done together due to the economic considerations.

Breast augmentation and/or lift

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If you have enough breast volume, you  may be a candidate for just a breast lift.  But, augmentation and lifts are done all the time together.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

You may need lift only

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The combination of the lift and implant has higher complication and redo than the each procedure alone. If you had implant for one breast before your pregnancy, you may need lift only. Pictures would help to give better answer.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Augmentation mastopexy complications

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Most complications in this combined surgery are from the implants.  When you think of it, a lift tightens the tissues and an augmentation stretches them out.  No wonder when you bump these two opposing forces head to head, there can be issues.

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.