Is it normal to do a breast lift, heal for a few months and then come back in later for implants?

I went in for my consultation today and the doctor told me I need a Lift and need to let that heal completely and then come back in a few months to get my implants put in.. Is that a normal way to do this? I was expecting to do only one surgery.

Doctor Answers 10

Most plastic surgeons combine procedures.

Most surgeons today perform a lift and augmentation in one surgery, although this is not always the case. There are certain reasons to perform the procedures separately, and some more conservative plastic surgeons still view this as their preferred approach. My advice would be to have a few more consultations with board-certified plastic surgeons and see if you get similar advice. If you do, then there may be a particular reason in your situation that separate surgeries are required. Best of luck to you.

Folsom Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Is it normal to do a breast lift, heal for a few months and then come back in later for implants?

Breast lift with augmentation is a difficult operation. Some surgeons believe the surgery is so difficult that it should be done in two stages. I do the procedure in a single stage, in all but extremely rare situations. Occasionally I do have to take a patient back to the operating room for a revision; my revision rate is well under 5%. This means that less than one of my patients in twenty gets two operations. The patients of my colleagues who do the procedure in two stages all get two operations. A number of large, very credible studies have shown that the complication rates of single-stage procedures are no higher than those in patients done in two stages. In my opinion doing the operation in two stages is not a solution for most patients. All the best.

Eric Pugash, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

I went in for my consultation today and the doctor told me I need a Lift and need to let that heal completely and then come back

Thank you for your question.  It depends on the type of lift.  If you require a full lift it is recommended that the procedures be staged, like your doctor has recommended.  A donut (peri-areolar) lift can usually be combined with implants in one sitting with no adverse effects.  With a vertical lift, it is a somewhat grey area and it is at the surgeon's discretion.  Hope that helps.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Should I stage my breast lift/augmentation?

The answer depends on the surgeon.  The combined breast augmentation/lift procedure is considered by many Plastic Surgeons to be one of the most challenging procedures that we perform.  And, as alluded to by Dr. Folk, there is often a relatively high rate of revision.That being said, many experienced breast surgeons (such as myself) prefer to perform this surgery in one setting.  In my experience, the early revision rate is actually very low.  And even if I were to go back for a revision, it would still be 2 surgeries which would have been the case had I staged the procedures.  But there certainly are exceptions and Plastic Surgery is truly more of an art than a science.  My suggestion would be to get a second or third consult and see what other Plastic Surgeons recommend.  

Gregory A. Buford, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Breast augmentation

Thank you for your question.  As every surgeon has their own unique set of guidelines and procedures they are comfortable doing, to truly answer that question would be impossible .  In our practice we typically combine these procedures to produce beautiful overall results in our patients.  You may wish to consider scheduling another consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options, address your goals and work together to create a surgical plan that you are comfortable with and best helps you achieve your overall desired look.
With kind regards,
Lane F. Smith, M.D., F.A.A.C.S., F.A.O.H.N.S., F.A.B.F.P.R.S.
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
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Lane Smith, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Staging a breast lift and augmentation

Dear brim09,There are times when staging the lift and reduction make a lot of sense. While for the majority of my patients I find that one combined surgery is fine, there are situations when staging them allows for more trouble free healing and a more exact result.If patients are starting with larger breasts with a lot of droop (such as after pregnancies or significant weight loss) and especially if body contouring is also planned, I would prefer to do the lift first and then stage the augmentation after healing is completed and the body's new proportions can be appreciated. I have actually found that many patients are so happy with their results they don't go on to have the augmentation and thus avoided the second stage. Another situation where staging is more commonly advised is when large (and thus heavy) implants are being used which can interfere with healing from the lift.The revision rate for augmentation mastopexy procedures is fairly high (around 30-35%). While staging the procedures means 100% of patients would expect a second procedure rather than the expected third that require a revision, it definitely helps to avoid complications.Best of luck,

Stacey Folk, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast Lift / Breast Augmentation/ Breast Implants/ Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/ Silicone Implants

I appreciate your question. Yes, I recommend staging the procedures as well.   It is better to do a lift first and center the breast on the chest wall.  That allows you to size better and place the implant in a better position  The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative breast  surgery. Best of luck! Dr. Schwartz Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute #RealSelf100Surgeon #RealSelfCORESurgeon

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Is it normal to do a breast lift, heal for a few months and then come back in later for implants?

It's a good question and it can be a confusing subject.A lift and implants can be performed at the same time in the comfort level of this procedure depends on your surgeon. It's important to understand that the revision rates are higher from a combination procedure.In my office careful measurements and physical examination are used to determine how much lifting is required and whether the procedure will be performed as a single stage or separated into two procedures.If you feel comfortable with your surgeon's recommendations completely reasonable to move forward with a two stage procedure.

Austin Hayes, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Breast lift and then come back for implants

Hi brim09,Typically , in most cases, one can do both procedures at one surgical sitting. One exception might be if one has very large breasts and the surgeon needs to do a reduction first to excise  a lot of breast tissue with poor tone, and then put an implant in later for upper pole fullness and tone.  Another exception could be if you have a smoking history , are diabetic or have some other medical condition that predisposes you to a poor blood supply.You should  discuss the issue with your surgeon again.Best,Dr. Christine Rodgers

Christine Rodgers, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Separating lifts and implants

Yes, the suggestion is very normal and becoming more popular these days because of studies that have shown much higher complication rates doing them at the same time. This makes sense because a lift tightens the tissue and an implant stretches it. Done at the same time can be a formula for problems.
Many surgeons will still do them together but you'd need to expect a much higher revision rate and remember that these are revisions for complications than can be hard to fix rather than doing two separate clean surgeries where the risks are lower.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.