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The Difference Between Breast Augmentation and MastopexyDr. Nicholas Jones

When considering breast enhancement surgery, weighing all the options can be confusing and time-consuming. There are different types of implants and incisions. Sometimes, these surgeries are combined with other procedures like tummy tucks or mommy makeovers, and often different surgeons have varied opinions on the best choices. With so many different possibilities, it’s best to start with the basics. When women want to enhance their breasts, the two most common changes involve size increase and breast position. In this article, we will take an overall view and discuss the two surgeries that cover these changes; breast augmentation for size and mastopexy for position.

What is breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation is what most people think of when they consider getting breast enhancement or “a boob job” because the most common request for enhancement is breast enlargement. Breast augmentation changes the size of the breasts by adding either a natural or an artificial implant. Silicone or saline implants can be used and can help achieve a significantly larger cup size. Silicone implants are silicone only, and saline implants are made with a silicone casing that is then filled with saline via a syringe after its implanted. If something more subtle is the goal and you perhaps want to avoid a foreign substance in your body, another option for breast augmentation is the use of fat transfer. Liposuction is used in another area of your body to harvest adipose tissue. This fat tissue is then injected into your breast tissue to create enlargement.

There are also multiple different incisions that can be used for breast augmentation depending on the size of the implant and the desire to avoid significant scarring. Since a fat transfer breast augmentation only involves the injection of the transferred tissue, there is virtually no scarring. The larger the implant, especially in the case of larger silicone implants, the larger the scar. However, a skilled surgeon can ensure that scarring is discrete and as minimal as possible. Breast augmentation is performed under general anesthesia and usually requires around a week of recovery time. This procedure focuses on increasing the size of the breasts, but it does not address sagging breasts or projection. This is where a breast lift comes in.

What is mastopexy?

Sometimes with age or after pregnancy and breastfeeding, your breasts can sag or appear deflated. The technical term for this is ptosis. If sagging or flat breasts are a concern, mastopexy surgery, also called a breast lift, is the procedure that can address this. Depending on your aesthetic goals, there are a few different incision techniques for mastopexy. Other things to consider when deciding on mastopexy approaches are your current breast volume and the degree to which your breasts are affected by ptosis.

The goal of each mastopexy technique is to reshape the breasts to restore lift and improve projection or “perkiness” for an enhanced appearance. Mastopexy is typically performed under general anesthesia. However, depending on the circumstances and comfort level of the patient, some surgeons will perform mastopexy with IV sedation and local anesthetic. Since this procedure does not increase the size of your breasts, if volume is not a concern you want to address, your surgeon may only recommend a mastopexy.

Can breast augmentation and mastopexy be combined?

In many cases, women want to address both size increase and sagging concerns. If your surgeon determines that it is the best option for you, then breast augmentation and mastopexy can be performed simultaneously. During the surgery, your breast tissue will be reconstructed, any excess skin removed, and an implant or fat transfer will be inserted for volume. A combined surgery will provide an outcome with both increased fullness and lift. This is a very commonly blended surgery, but it does mean it is a bit more complex and extensive. It also means that the recovery period can be a bit longer and more difficult. The healing process is essential to any surgery, including cosmetic surgery, since achieving optimal results often partially relies on proper healing. You will want to be sure you have a good support team both at home and in your surgeon’s office.

When is the best time to get a Lymphatic Massage?

Many patients enjoy the benefits of the postoperative lymphatic massage treatment within the first week after surgery, as that helps the body kickstart the healing process. Many decide that multiple, one-hour sessions per week for the first month or so after surgery yield the best results before they scale it back to 30-minute sessions. At Nip & Tuck Plastic Surgery in Atlanta, we recommend our patients begin postoperative lymphatic massage treatment as early as the first few days after surgery in some cases. It can make that big a difference.

If you're experiencing pain or swelling following surgery, schedule a session for recovery care in Atlanta at Nip & Tuck Plastic Surgery. No matter who did your procedure, our recovery experts can give you a second opinion on your recovery plan and provide immediate relief with a postoperative lymphatic massage. Fill out the form below to schedule your visit.

Making The Best Choice For You

When deciding between breast augmentation, mastopexy, or both, it’s important to remember the basics about each surgery. Breast augmentation will give you more volume but will not address any issues with ptosis or projection. Mastopexy will lift the breasts and help with better projection, but it will not add any volume. If you decide that one or both of these procedures is a good option for you, it is extremely important to choose a qualified, board-certified, and experienced provider who has performed many breast augmentation and breast lift surgeries in the past and can offer before and afters of excellent results. Choosing to seek breast enhancement surgery is a very personal decision, and you only want the absolute best when it comes to your care team.

Come visit Dr. Jones and our team and let us help you achieve the spectacular look you deserve!

3280 Howell Mill Rd NW, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30327

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3280 Howell Mill Rd NW, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30327