Breast Augmentation or Lift? Sometimes Both are Needed

A woman poses on the beach after getting a breast lift and breast augmentation.

One of the most common questions asked by women considering cosmetic breast surgery is whether they can get the results they want with breast implants or if they need a breast lift. In many cases, the answer is that both can create beautiful results.

Many women say they want to avoid having a breast lift because the procedure often—but not always—requires the surgeon to make incisions on the breast. This is why the plastic surgeon you choose must be honest about what technique will create a desirable outcome. One of the reasons breast lift and breast augmentation patients travel from Maui and other outer islands to my Honolulu practice is because I’ve established a reputation for providing patients honest assessments.

That’s important because breast lifts are not a one-size-fits-all procedure. I always recommend the least invasive technique as long as I’m confident the results will meet and even exceed the expectations of the patient.

Most breast lift surgeries are combined with augmentation, so in addition to deciding on the mastopexy technique, I can also help patients choose the implants that are best suited for their body type and cosmetic goals. So, what are the different types of breast lifts? I’ll describe them in a little more detail below.

‘No-Scar’ Lift

Sound too good to be true? For patients with minimal breast drooping, I recommend this approach that involves making an incision in the area of the underarm (called a transaxillary incision). I can insert implants through these incisions in addition to improving the shape of the breasts, so they regain the perkiness associated with youthful breasts. Again, this technique isn’t for everyone because moderate to severe sagging requires more support.

‘Donut’ Lift

As suggested by the name, this technique involves making incisions along the edge of the darker skin surrounding the nipples. This technique—called a periareolar incision—is also best for women with small to medium-sized breasts that have only mild sagging. This type of incision is also used in some breast augmentation procedures that don’t involve a lift, with implants inserted directly into a pocket created during the surgery.

‘Lollipop’ Lift

Adding a vertical incision down the underside of the breast to the incision around the areola—the shape of a lollipop—provides a surgeon with more access to breast tissue and provides more support to breasts with moderate sagging. For breasts that are moderately sized, a lollipop lift can work quite well. During the procedure, the tissue is reshaped and excess skin is removed. This method gives the breasts a lifted appearance and repositions the nipple to a more youthful level.

Anchor Lift

This technique adds a horizontal incision at the base of the breast. For women with larger breasts and moderate to severe sagging, this technique provides greater support than the lollipop lift. The procedure is similar to a lollipop breast lift, and a surgeon can also reduce the size of overly large areolae if the patient desires.

As you can see in this Instagram post, even in an anchor lift, the scarring is barely visible.

The results of a breast lift combined with augmentation can also be enhanced with fat grafting, a procedure that involves taking fat from another area of the patient’s body, purifying it, and transferring it to the breast. The fat softens the feel of implants and camouflages the implants’ edges.

If you’re considering a breast lift and augmentation in Hawaii and want to schedule a consultation with me, you can contact us using the online form or call us at (808) 585-8855 to schedule an appointment. Women who live on the outer islands can schedule a complimentary virtual consultation.

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