Augmentation mastopexy is when the breasts are enlarged or augmented with implants and the breast is lifted at the same time. It is done when a patient wishes to undergo a breast augmentation and has a droop or ptosis in the breast tissue and a low position of the nipple. Breast ptosis can occur following pregnancy and breast-feeding, with ageing or significant weight loss or may be the natural position of some womens’ breasts. If the breast undergoes augmentation alone (insertion of a breast implant), this will enlarge the breast. But if the breast tissue and nipple position over the implant are too low, the desired shape will not be achieved – what is termed a “waterfall effect” may be seen where the breast appears to be “falling off the implant”. This is prevented by lifting the breast tissue and repositioning it over the implant – the mastopexy part of the operation.
Augmentation mastopexy can be done as a single surgery or two separate surgeries depending on the situation. The breast implant is inserted through the planned scar for the breast lift. This will be around the nipple as the nipple will need to be lifted and usually there will be an incision vertically from the nipple down to the breast crease. In women who only need a very mild lift, the scar may only be around the nipple. In women who need significant lifting and tightening of the breast, there may be a scar in the breast crease as well. It is usually best not to choose too large an implant when needing a breast lift as well as larger implants are heavier and require more support. They are more likely to stretch the tissue out again sooner. After the implant is in position, the breast tissue is lifted and the breast skin tightened. The nipple is placed in a higher, more youthful position.
This surgery is done under general anaesthesia and usually involves a one-night stay in hospital. There will be some swelling and bruising afterwards and surgical tapes on your breasts. You will need to wear a supportive, non-underwired bra for six weeks.