Contrary to popular belief, undergoing a breast augmentation and a breast lift simultaneously in a single procedure is safe and holds many advantages. Breast augmentation and breast lift surgeries are among the most common plastic surgery procedures performed to enhance the appearance of a patient’s breasts, but they are typically performed separately in staged procedures. A report in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), upends this common practice and asserts that breast lift surgery and breast augmentation with implants can safely be performed in a single procedure.
Though the study’s authors acknowledge that performing the two procedures in a single surgery may pose additional procedural challenges to the plastic surgeon, they also found that the risks did not appear any higher than those of the two procedures performed separately. “With appropriate patient selection and a carefully planned operative approach, our data demonstrates a one-stage procedure can be safely performed with acceptable complication and reoperation rates,” concludes the study by ASPS Member Surgeon Michael Bradley Calobrace, MD, of Louisville, Ky., and colleagues.
Comparing the complication rate for women undergoing combined, simultaneous breast lift/augmentation procedures with women undergoing separate, staged procedures, the study found essentially the same acceptable complication rate among both groups leading the study’s authors to conclude from their experience that there is no increase in complications with simultaneous versus staged procedures.
Why perform both procedures in a single operation? The two often reported advantages to performing the breast lift and breast augmentation with implants in a single operation are less cost and only one recovery period. Patients seemed to also overwhelmingly prefer to have both performed concurrently.
For board-certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Shahram Salemy, the issue isn’t so much whether a combined approach is safe (as both procedures are deemed safe) but rather whether a patient can achieve the same good results with one procedure as they would two separate procedures. In his Seattle and Richland, WA practice, Dr. Salemy performs a combined breast lift and augmentation operation approximately 70% of the time; Most women are very good candidates for a single stage approach. However, some are not, and for Dr. Salemy it is often based on their anatomy and which approach (staged or combined) he believes will achieve the most optimal results. It’s critical then, he advises, that all potential patients have a very open and honest discussion with their surgeon about the surgeon’s comfort level with the patient’s anatomy and goals. Sometimes one stage is best, and sometimes the patient can best be taken care of with 2 separate procedures. For those that require 2 procedures, typically (but not always) the breast lift is performed first – where there will be sufficient loose skin and during which breasts get into the right shape – and after, in another procedure, implants will be added. Learn more about Dr. Salemy’s Breast Lift and Breast Augmentation procedures.
Would you prefer to undergo breast lift and augmentation procedures separately, or simultaneously?