Auto-Augmentation Breast Lift
After having children or losing a substantial amount of weight, many women notice that their breasts have a drooping or sagging appearance. The only way to improve this condition, known as ptosis, is to surgically elevate and reshape the breast, in a procedure commonly known as a breast lift.
In some cases, such as when there is substantial breast asymmetry or a woman wants smaller breasts after surgery, a traditional breast lift is the best option. However, because excess skin and tissue are removed as part of a traditional breast lift, the end result is that the breasts will be somewhat smaller after surgery, and many women would prefer an increased breast size instead.
For women who want a lift and augmentation result, there are two options. For substantial augmentation, a breast lift can be combined with breast implants. For a subtler augmentation that retains prior breast volume and size, Dr. Richard Rand performs a specialized “auto-augmentation” breast lift technique.
How Auto-Augmentation Breast Lifting Works
The auto-augmentation breast lift technique involves Dr. Rand preparing a flap of excess skin that is usually removed as part of a traditional breast lift. Instead of being discarded, this flap of skin is specially prepared and then tucked back into the breast, thereby helping a patient to maintain the breast size she had prior to surgery.
The flap of skin can also help to support the position of the breasts over time. The skin that is tucked into the breast can’t be felt by the patient or others, and it does not interfere with breast implants, if you want to increase your breast volume even more.
Women can expect long-lasting results after auto-augmentation breast lift surgery. Poor skin elasticity and lack of firmness can cause the breasts to sag and droop again over time. Dr. Rand carefully plans each surgery for long-lasting, beautiful results. The end result is not merely a perkier breast appearance, but also a larger one that takes advantage of the lift provided by the internal support structure.
Candidates for Auto-Augmentation Breast Lifts
Most women who are candidates for traditional breast lift surgery are great candidates for the auto-augmentation breast lift technique. Age is not a factor, though candidates must be able to safely undergo anesthesia and be in general good health.
If you have breast sagging and also want to more dramatically increase your breast size, a combination lift/augmentation procedure can help. When it comes to breast implants, there are a number of options to consider. Dr. Rand will help you decide on the perfect implant during your hour-long initial consultation. Both silicone and saline breast implants can work with the auto-augmentation breast lift technique, but each has their own unique traits that may make them right for you. For more info on breast implants, here is our in-depth look at breast implants, how they work, and what you should be looking for when it comes to breast augmentation.
What to Expect after an Auto-Augmentation Breast Lift
Most women are sore and tired for a few days after the procedure, though around 2 days afterwards you should be feeling pretty good. Most of our patients are recovered enough to return to work in about a week, but even if it is safe to return to work, this does not mean that everything has totally healed. It may take 2 to 3 weeks before you’re completely back up to speed, while aggressive physical exercise that could impact the chest area may be on hold for a few months. We provide special instruction in regards to exercise throughout the recovery process.
If you have implants as part of your breast lift procedure, expect to be wearing a surgical bra for several months to make sure the implants settle in the correct position. This will help prevent any need for Dr. Rand to do revision surgery.
All stitches will dissolve over time and you can expect minor swelling for around 8 to 12 weeks. Initially, the surgery scars will be pink and firm for a few weeks, but they should continue to flatten and fade over the course of the next year or so. These scars will never completely go away, but we do prescribe scar treatments starting a week after surgery.
Many of our patients tell us that they expected their recovery to be much more difficult than it was. One of our goals is to help you look better, feel better, and enjoy the results of your auto-augmentation breast lift to their fullest. We are here to help you feel confident about your cosmetic surgery choices.
Auto-Augmentation Breast Lift FAQs
Will I have visible scars?
Any incision in the skin will leave a scar, but some will be more visible than others. All scars will be very visible immediately following surgery, often appearing firm and pink, but over time they will flatten out and fade. We begin to prescribe scar treatments around a week after surgery to aid in scar reduction.
Will the auto-augmentation breast lift procedure need to be repeated?
In most cases, women only need to have an auto-augmentation breast lift once. If you have implants as part of your procedure and decide to remove or replace them in the future, that will require a follow-up surgery. Also, significant gains or losses of weight may also affect the need for additional breast lifts or even breast reductions.
Does the auto-augmentation breast lift procedure need more recovery time than a normal breast lift?
The auto-augmentation breast lift technique does not affect the recovery time needed for the procedure. It will still take about a week for a woman who has undergone the procedure to return to work, with normal physical activity requiring around 3 weeks and more intense exercise involving impact to the chest not being added back in for 2 to 3 months.
Is this outpatient surgery or do I need to stay in a hospital?
The auto-augmentation breast lift is an outpatient procedure Dr. Rand performs in our clinic. Dr. Rand is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and performs all surgeries in an accredited surgical facility. All of his staff members are committed to the highest standards of health and safety.
What kind of implant should I select for my auto-augmentation breast lift?
The kind of breast implant that would be best for you will depend on your goals and your body. Many women select silicone gel implants for their natural feel, but others feel safer with a saline implant. There are many other factors involved as well. Dr. Rand spends a full hour with all breast surgery candidates to help them understand which options will work best for them.
Can I go back to my normal routine after the recovery period without any issues?
You will not have long-term activity limitations after surgery. Within a few weeks, all stitches will be gone and you can perform all your normal activities without issue (and look good doing it). Key to this is following the proper recovery procedures, including wearing your surgical bra as instructed. We are with you every step of the way.
Questions to Ask at Your Consultation
- Are you board certified?
Board certification is one of the most important things to know about your plastic surgeon. The American Board of Plastic Surgery only provides certification to surgeons who have extensive qualifications in the field and are committed to the highest standards in health and safety. Board certification by the ABPS is not a requirement for performing cosmetic surgery procedures, but ABPS certification does let you know that your doctor is being held to the highest standards of education, training, practice, and continuing professional development.
- How many breast lift procedures have you performed?
Dr. Rand performs a specialized breast lift technique called the auto-augmentation breast lift. Very few other surgeons nationwide perform this technique. A surgeon may have performed hundreds of breast lifts, but if you are looking to achieve a lift while still retaining as much of your existing breast tissue as possible, you need to look for a surgeon offering this specialized technique.
- Can I see actual before and after photos of your patients?
When it comes to cosmetic surgery, a picture says a thousand words. You likely already have an idea of what you want your end result to be, but seeing images of real women that your surgeon has worked with can help you get an even clearer picture. We offer an online photo gallery where you can see women who have had auto-augmentation breast lifts and other breast surgery procedures from Dr. Rand.
- Am I a good candidate for the procedure?
Your suitability will be assessed at your consultation. As a general rule, candidates for the auto-augmentation breast lift procedure are in good overall physical and mental health as well as have realistic expectations about the results of their cosmetic surgery.
At the initial consultation, you need to be ready to discuss important factors that can affect your candidacy including:
- Any medication that you are taking. You may be asked to stop taking certain ones before surgery, like blood thinners.
- If you smoke. If you do smoke, plan to quit at least six weeks prior to your surgery and not start again for at least six weeks afterward.
- Why you want to undergo the auto-augmentation breast lift procedure. You need to make sure you’re getting breast implants and breast lifts for the right reasons, rather than just feeling as if you’re being pressured into them or trying to please anyone else.
- Should I wait until after I have children to have an auto-augmentation breast lift?
Pregnancy and childbirth can change the appearance of your breasts and most women considering a breast lift have already had at least one child. However, other women may choose to have the auto-augmentation breast lift procedure before having children, depending on their existing breast anatomy. This is ultimately a personal decision.
If you do decide to undergo the procedure before you have children, a revision surgery can be performed in the future to lift the breasts again and add implants if you choose. Some women opt to undergo a mommy makeover after they are done having children to revitalize their figure and these usually include a form of breast enhancement.
- What type of anesthesia will be used and how is it administered?
Knowing what kind of anesthesia is being used before the date of the procedure will allow you to make any relevant arrangements. The auto-augmentation breast lift procedure is performed using general anesthesia. You need to tell Dr. Rand if you have issues with or are allergic to any kind of anesthetic. Dr. Rand only uses board-certified anesthesiologists, who will remain with you throughout the procedure and the recovery period immediately following surgery so that your safety is ensured.
- What if I’m not happy with my breast lift results?
This can be a hard question to ask during a consult, but it is important to know how your surgeon handles any issues that could arise. Every surgeon has a different policy on revision procedures. You will want to know in advance if there could be any additional costs and what they might be. Also, and maybe more importantly, your surgeon’s responses should help you feel more comfortable about them and their practice moving forward.
Dr. Rand is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 30 years of experience performing breast lifts for women in the greater Seattle and Bellevue area. Together with his expert staff at the Northwest Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Dr. Rand ensures that you feel confident and informed before moving forward with breast surgery. Patient comfort, care, and happiness are what motivates us and we ensure that everything is up to the highest standard of safety and quality from step one.
We’ve helped many women reach their goals with this technique. Contact our office in Bellevue, Washington today to learn more about auto-augmentation breast lift surgery.