Breast Augmentation has been the most popular cosmetic procedure for years with the last data provided by BAAPS advising that nearly 10,000 operations were carried out in 2015. Breast Augmentation can be carried out alone or in combination with a Mastopexy, commonly referred to as a Breast Uplift.
Could you need a Mastopexy alongside your Breast Augmentation?
In the case of a female with smaller breasts, where the skin has not been subjected to any stretch either as a result of weight loss, pregnancy or breast feeding the most appropriate procedure is usually a Breast Augmentation. If the skin has encountered some laxity it maybe that a Mastopexy is required in conjunction with the Augmentation to give the breast a more adequate lift and a more aesthetically pleasing shape. If the degree of laxity makes it difficult to determine whether the patient requires both or only one of the procedures, a series of measurements will be taken and the surgeon will offer his best advice as to how the patient may achieve their desired result taking into account the instance of scarring involved with each procedure.
What measurements are taken and how do they affect the advice given?
The distance from the nipple to the inframammary fold (where the breast and chest meet) is key to determining whether a Mastopexy is required. If the breast is above the fold then the advice would be to go ahead with a straight forward Breast Augmentation and if the height of the nipple is lower, then a Mastopexy is usually required along with or without a breast implant.
There are of course cases where the patients nipple is at the same height as the inframammary fold, it is in these cases that the surgeons advice is crucial and so it is important to trust your surgeons expert opinion. Your surgeon is equipped with a number of techniques that work well in patients who are considered a borderline Mastopexy.
The dual plan technique which involves separating the tissue in two levels both under and partially over the muscle, this technique will lift the nipple a small amount. Another option could be to move the inframammary fold slightly lower so that the height difference between the fold and nipple is more acceptable and lastly a good choice of implant shape alone can help to fix the issue.
Your surgeon will discuss all of the options along with the benefits of each technique and any risks associated with the procedures themselves. It is then important for patients to take the advice and information home and to think carefully about whether surgery is the correct option for them and at the correct time in their life.. We would always advise patients to bring a partner or friend along to the consultation not only for moral support but to ensure that patients have got answers to all of their questions.