Why a Breast Lift with Implants?
A breast lift and breast augmentation are two different procedure types that involve their own unique methods and outcomes. While both procedures are designed to improve the appearance of the breasts, each is achieved independently and in accordance with the cosmetic wishes of the patient.
A breast augmentation procedure increases the size of the breasts and affect their shape and profile with breast implants. This type of procedure is typically sought after by patients who are unhappy with their natural breast shape and size and would like to achieve fuller, bigger and curvier breasts. A breast lift on the other hand is designed to correct breast skin tissue elasticity and firmness affected by aging, weight loss, weight gain and pregnancy, as well as conditions such as naturally sagging breasts, asymmetrical breasts and nipple malposition.
A breast lift involves the removal of excess skin and breast tissue, as well as modifications designed to raise the breasts and help correct any misalignment or malpositioning of their features. Performed together, a breast lift with implants offers the benefits of both procedures simultaneously for a more youthful contour and breasts that are larger, firmer, perkier and fuller than before.
Which Conditions Can be Treated with a Breast Lift with Implants?
A breast lift with implants is a two-in-one procedure designed to treat multiple cosmetic features of breasts simultaneously, which may include:
- Small breasts
- Loss of breast volume
- Loss of breast tissue elasticity
- Loss of breast tissue firmness
- Misshapen or asymmetrical breasts
- Enlarged nipples and areolas
- Undesirable breast shape
- Undesirable breast profile
- Undesirable breast appearance
- Sagging breasts due to aging, pregnancy, weight fluctuations or heredity
- Nipple malposition with nipples pointing downwards, at or below breast crease, or uneven nipples
What are the Benefits of a Breast Lift with Implants?
A breast lift with implants offers the benefits of both a breast lift and breast implant procedure simultaneously, including:
- Raised breasts
- Bigger breasts
- Reduced breast sagging
- Raised nipples
- Reduced areola size
- Enhanced breast contour and profile
- Aligned breasts and breast features
- Perkier breasts
- Rounder breasts
- Firmer breasts
- Improved breast tissue elasticity
- Enhanced figure
Is a Breast Lift with Implants Right for Me?
A breast lift and breast implant procedure is cosmetic in nature and designed to achieve your personal goals of enhancing the appearance, shape and size of your breasts. To help determine if this procedure is right for you, please consider answering the following questions:
- Do you want bigger breasts?
- Do you want perkier breasts?
- Do your breasts sag or droop?
- Do your breasts appear deflated?
- Do your breasts appear misshapen or asymmetrical?
- Do you have enlarged areolas or malpositioned nipples?
- Does your breast profile or appearance leave something to be desired?
- Have your breasts lost volume, elasticity or firmness as a result of aging, weight fluctuations or pregnancy?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be an ideal candidate for a breast lift, breast implants, or both. In the case of a breast lift with implants, it is important to know exactly what you want to achieve and have realistic and positive expectations. It often helps to discuss the topic with friends or family who have had a breast lift or breast augmentation in the past, while performing objective research through credible sources.
Ultimately, a consultation visit at the Michael Horn Center for Plastic Surgery will help you personalize your goals to the unique condition of your breasts and learn exactly what this procedure can achieve. As a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years’ experience and 10,000 breast procedures performed during his career, Dr. Michael Horn is a leading authority on breast lifts and breast implants in Chicago and surrounding areas. His extensive knowledge and expertise can help you understand the outcomes of the procedure, as well as the limitations of your body. Dr. Horn will never recommend a procedure that he thinks will not result in achieving your cosmetic goals. His ability to evaluate breast tissue, utilize advanced techniques and materials, and accommodate the most hopeful expectations of his patients makes him one of the most sought-after breast lift and breast implant specialists in the country. By understanding what can and cannot safely be done, you will be able to have a reassuring perspective on the possibilities of a breast lift with implants and make a well-informed decision in line with your cosmetic goals.
How Does a Breast Lift with Implants Work?
A breast lift with implants involves 2 separate procedure types performed at the same time. Because both procedures involve similar techniques and utilize the same set of incisions, combining a breast lift and breast implant procedure is a highly practical solution to cosmetic goals that require both. This type of surgery involves the use of sedation or general anesthesia and is done while the patient is comfortably sedated or sleeping. A breast lift with implants typically takes 2-3 hours to complete, after which the patient is sent home for recovery. A breast lift with implants involves:
- A set of incisions made at predetermined sites based on your breast condition, goals and recommended course of treatment
- Removal of excess skin tissue which was causing sagging, loss of firmness, volume and elasticity
- Modifications made to breast tissue for purposes of improving their appearance, shape and position
- Modifications to and repositioning of nipples and areolas, if required
- Implantation of saline or silicone breast implant products, as per your recommended treatment plan and preference
- Sealing of incisions
- At-home recovery
A breast lift with implants is performed in the following steps:
For your safety and comfort, you will receive a sedative medicine or general anesthesia going into surgery. The administered sedative or anesthesia will be selected based on your medical history with the goal of ensuring a safe and successful procedure.
Several surgical incisions will be made at target locations with techniques best suited to your skin tissue condition, elasticity and texture. The type of incision will also factor into the breast shape, size and appearance with the goal of achieving minimal scarring and optimal cosmetic results. You and your doctor will discuss the different types of incision techniques available and make a selection designed to minimize scarring and match your body type and cosmetic goals. All incision types are expertly-performed to be as small as possible in order to reduce postoperative scarring. A breast lift with implants may be performed with the following incision types:
- Periareolar Incision: made partway around the edge of the areola to achieve a minor amount of lift. Ideal for patients with slight sagging or drooping.
- Lollipop Incision: creates a “lollipop” shaped incision around the circumference of the areola and downward to the breast crease. Ideal for patients with moderate sagging or drooping.
- Anchor Incision: includes a lollipop incision coupled with an incision along the breast crease. Ideal for patients with a substantial amount of sagging or drooping.
Depending on your surgical plan, Dr. Horn may remove excess skin tissue and excess breast tissue while making tissue modifications designed to elevate your breasts and achieve symmetry, shape, definition, alignment and features in line with your cosmetic goals. Saline or silicone breast implant products that have been selected prior to surgery will be implanted into a pocket created within your breast tissue during this step of the procedure. The placement of the breast implant will be based on your treatment plan and will either be on top of or underneath the pectoral muscle.
Once your breast lift is complete and the breast implants have been inserted, the incisions are secured and sealed closed with medical equipment that may include stitches, surgical tape or adhesives to assist in the healing process and help minimize scarring while achieving high-quality cosmetic results.
What Should I Expect During My Consultation Visit?
A consultation visit is a great way to learn all about a breast lift with breast implants and if this procedure is right for you. This step will allow you to determine if you are an ideal candidate for surgery and help you understand and visualize what it can achieve.
It is important to discuss your feelings and expectations openly with Dr. Horn so that he can have a clear idea of your cosmetic goals and help you fulfill them. It is a good idea to bring a checklist of questions to review, as well as any reference materials such as pictures of breast implant surgery results that match your aesthetic goals. During your consultation visit, Dr. Horn will perform a detailed examination of your breasts to determine how to safely and effectively achieve the improvements and modifications you desire in accordance with your medical history, body type and tissue condition. You will also have an opportunity to visualize the outcome of a breast lift with implants using a 3D-rendered simulation of the results based on adjusted volume, profile, filling type and shape.
During your consultation visit, the following will be discussed and performed:
- A detailed review of your medical history and past surgeries
- Allergies, pre-existing medical conditions, and past or current medications
- Herbal or mineral supplements
- Your health and lifestyle, as well as any alcohol, tobacco or drug use
- Recent mammogram results
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Family history of breast cancer
- Potential risks, complications or side-effects
- Your cosmetic goals and best expectations
- An evaluation of your breasts’ size, shape and condition
- An evaluation of your nipple size and position
- Photographs of your breasts for medical records and post-operative reference, which will not be disclosed to anyone
It is also important to discuss with Dr. Horn any plans you may have of getting pregnant or losing weight. For optimal long-term results, a breast lift with implants should be performed during a period of relative weight stability. Once your consultation is complete, your surgeon will refer you to a patient coordinator who will assist you with preparing for surgery and choosing a breast implant size, shape and material in line with your cosmetic goals through personalized testing of weight, projection and comfort levels.
Which Type of Breast Implant Should I Choose?
When choosing a breast implant type, you will be able to select between saline and silicone materials for increased breast size, fullness and projection. Each material type offers a variety of volumes, textures, profiles, shapes and fills in accommodation of your anatomy and cosmetic goals. Dr. Horn will be providing a professional recommendation based on his evaluation of both personal and physical factors that include your:
- Anatomy and body type
- Medical history
- Skin tissue elasticity
- Breast tissue condition
- Size preferences
- Cosmetic goals
This type of breast implant is composed of sterile saline water secured in a silicone-based shell. Saline implants are praised for their safety features, as saline water is not harmful in the case of leakage. This type of implant is filled during surgery in accordance with the treatment plan to achieve precise implant qualities, minimal scarring and optimal results.
This type of breast implant is composed of a soft, elastic gel secured in a silicone-based shell. Silicone implants are designed to emulate real breast tissue in appearance, shape and feel. A highly popular type of silicone implant is the cohesive ‘form-stable’ gel, sometimes called a ‘gummy bear’ implant, which feels thicker and firmer than regular silicone implants. Because they are designed to hold their shape, cohesive gel implants can be modified to the patient’s body type and cosmetic goals. They may also help prevent rippling, folding or wrinkling, which is a side effect that sometimes occurs in the case of saline implants.
Breast Lift with Implants FAQs
All the steps you’ll need to take in preparation of your breast lift with augmentation surgery will be discussed during your consultation visit and follow-up visits with your patient coordinator. You may be asked to:
- Get a mammogram, MRI or ultrasound of your breasts to assist with understanding the procedure’s effects on your breast tissue
- Get a medical evaluation and preoperative physical for health and safety purposes, which may include:
- Medical clearance for breast lift with implant surgery and general anesthesia or sedation
- CBC, PT and PTT lab tests
- EKG and cardiac evaluation for patients over 50 or with a cardiac history
- Stop smoking for a minimum of 6 weeks to avoid decreased blood flow during surgery and ensure optimal healing and results
- Avoid certain medications and supplements before surgery, such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory medicines (a full list of medications to avoid will be provided) and herbal supplements for safety purposes and optimal healing
- Make changes to your medication regimen in the case of your doctor’s recommendation
- Take specific medications in preparation of surgery
- Make arrangements for a ride home after surgery (personal contacts only) and assistance during recovery
- Make arrangements for a recovery period that does not require heavy lifting or physically strenuous tasks
- Lose weight in the case you have recently gained weight and for purposes of high-quality and lasting results
As with any type of surgery, a breast lift with implants poses a small degree of risk to the patient. Side-effects and complications are typically rare, but must be considered against the cosmetic benefits you seek to achieve. Any risk of side-effects and complications will be discussed openly, along with any precautions you can take to minimize risk and have a rewarding outcome. Patients will be required to sign a consent form stating that they understand and accept the risks involved with breast lift and breast implant surgery prior to the procedure. Potential risks, complications and side-effects may include:
- Anesthesia complications
- Hematoma or swelling
- Pain or discomfort
- Temporary or permanent change or loss of sensation
- Improper healing
- Sensation of tightness
- Skin elasticity issues
- Fluid accumulation (seroma)
- Partial or complete loss of areola or nipple tissue
- Cardiac or pulmonary complications
- Issues with breast feeding or milk production
- Required follow-up surgery
- Changes or damage to implants due to injury or time
Following your procedure, the incision sites will be dressed and bandaged to prevent infection and promote rapid healing of treatment areas. Your breasts will likely be swollen and bruised for several days following surgery, which may take up to 2 weeks to fully heal. Some patients may experience pain or soreness after surgery, as well as a numbing or tingling sensation around the incision areas. It is common to feel tired after surgery for several days. You may notice some discoloration and feel tightness or sensitivity of the breasts, which typically goes away after several days to 2 weeks. During your preoperative visits, you will be instructed on how to achieve a full and healthy recovery after surgery, which may include:
- Postoperative breast care and management of incision sites
- Postoperative medication (oral medication for pain management and topical medication for infection prevention and healing)
- Assistance with removing your bandages during a follow-up appointment
- How to massage treatment areas to improve coloration and minimize scarring
- How to bathe without affecting incision sites
- Garment instructions (wearing and sleeping with a sports bra for up to 6 weeks after surgery is advised)
- Recommended sleeping positions during the recovery period
- Health and lifestyle adjustments for optimum recovery, healing and results
You will be scheduled for a postoperative appointment that will take place 1-3 days following the procedure, at which time Dr. Horn will remove the bandages and examine the results to make sure everything is going smoothly. Immediately following surgery and for a prescribed amount of time, you will be advised to:
- Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for up to 6 weeks
- Avoid high-impact exercise for up to 6 weeks
- Avoid housework and physical chores for 1 week
- Be prepared to have assistance around the house, with family and with physically-oriented responsibilities that include laundry, cleaning, driving, kids, pets, traveling, etc.
- Take medications as prescribed by Dr. Horn
- Consult with us before taking new medications or supplements
- Avoid tanning for up to 2 weeks
- Avoid sleeping with pets or letting them in the bed for up to 2 weeks (pet dander creates a risk of infection)
- Avoid sexual activity for up to 2 weeks
- Follow therapies and instructions designed to aid healing, which will be provided by your surgeon
- Schedule a 6-week postoperative appointment
The results of a breast lift with implants surgery will be immediately visible but typically require several weeks of healing and natural adjustment to your anatomy for optimal results to be revealed. Healing time may depend on the patient and takes about 6 weeks on average for final results. By this point, swelling will subside, your breast implants will settle into place, tissue sensation will become normal, scars will fade and you should become comfortable with the appearance and feeling of your breast implants supported by a restorative breast lift.
A breast lift with implants involves a series of incisions that will initially result in visible scars. However, these scars will fade over time until they are hardly visible or imperceptible altogether. Dr. Horn utilizes expert treatment techniques designed to minimize scarring while fulfilling your best expectations. Following surgery, you will also be provided with complete instructions on how to promote rapid healing and the fading of scars along with complete postoperative care.
A breast lift with implants is designed to produce long-lasting results and your breasts become bigger, fuller, tighter and shapelier than before. However, skin and breast tissue is naturally susceptible to the effects of aging and gravity on tissue elasticity, firmness and other qualities. Lifestyle and natural changes are also associated with the longevity of this procedure, which may be impacted by factors that include:
- Lifestyle and health
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
Because this procedure also involves breast implants, results may be affected by factors that include:
- Breast implant material
- Breast implant size
- Patient’s anatomy and settling of breast implants
- Patient’s skin tissue
It is important to keep in mind that breast implants are not a lifelong product, and changing implants around every 10 years to avoid complications resulting from eventual wear is advised. Some breast implants may need to be replaced sooner in the case they become deflated (saline) or have internal disruption (silicone), while others may offer a lifespan that extends beyond 10 years. Patients will be advised to receive an evaluation of their breast implants every several years to ensure their quality and find out if it’s time for new implants. Your surgeon will advise you on lifestyle and skincare tips that may help extend the longevity of your breast implants and the results.
Pregnancy can have a major impact on the results of this procedure due to natural changes of the body that can affect breast size, shape and anatomy. It is important to discuss any pregnancy goals openly during your consultation visit with Dr. Horn to ensure that the treatment meets your best expectations and does not interfere with your life goals.
You may be the ideal candidate for a breast lift with implants if you are physically healthy, have a stable weight, and:
- You are not happy with your breast size, shape, profile or appearance
- You want to have enhanced breast shape, size, contour and volume
- Your breasts sag or droop as a result of aging, pregnancy, weight fluctuations or heredity
- Your breasts have lost elasticity, firmness or volume
- Your breasts have asymmetrical or misaligned features
- You have enlarged or stretched areolas
- Your nipples and areolas are pointing downward or are located at or below the breast crease
- You do not smoke
The average cost of a breast lift with implants in Chicago is $8,950. The price range can vary from $4,400 up to $13,400. Most patients undergo implant-based mastopexy for cosmetic reasons. Therefore, it is highly unlikely for insurance to cover it. Factors that affect pricing include the type of implant and the specific mastopexy surgery needed to achieve your desired result. The surgeon’s expertise also impacts pricing. While price is an important consideration, the truth is a highly qualified breast lift surgeon in Chicago is likely to cost more than an inexperienced one. Dr. Michael Horn offers his patients a unique advantage as he specializes in breast augmentation procedures and has more than two decades of cosmetic surgical experience. To determine how much a breast lift costs and receive a personalized treatment plan, contact The Michael Horn Center for Plastic Surgery for a consultation.
Schedule a Consultation
If you live in or near Chicago and have questions about breast augmentation with lift surgery, click here to request a consultation online at our downtown Chicago plastic surgery office. Alternatively, you can Call our practice at (312) 202-9000 and one of our helpful staff members will schedule your appointment.