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Augmentation VS Mastopexy

Author: Dr Isolde Hertess 2-minute read
Augmentation VS Mastopexy

With breast surgery being one of the most highly sought after procedures among women in Australia, it’s important to understand that there can be more than one procedure to get the look you desire. Along with a breast augmentation, in some cases, you may consider a breast lift to achieve the most optimal results, alternatively, a lift may be sufficient on its own. Let’s look into the key differences between a breast augmentation and a breast lift, and why you may consider having both. 

Breast Augmentation: 

A breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a type of plastic surgery designed to increase the size of the breasts. Some women desire a larger bust and are wanting an increase in size to fill out a dress and have more cleavage. 

A breast augmentation can:

  • Enlarge small breasts
  • Restore breast volume after weight reduction or pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Even up asymmetric breasts
  • Reconstruct a breast after mastectomy or injury

Breast augmentation could be suitable for you if you’re noticing a deflating or flattening of breasts, uneven or asymmetrical breasts, a lack of cleavage or even pointy shaped or ‘tuberous’ breasts. 

There are multiple options with breast augmentation surgery in terms of the size of the implant, implant type and shape, and also the placement of the implant. When choosing an implant, this will be determined by working together with your surgeon by understanding your individual aesthetic goals and desired outcomes. Dr Hertess uses all brands of TGA-approved breast implants with the most commonly used brands being Mentor, Nagor and Motiva implants.

Implant positioning at the time of surgery can affect the look and feel of the breasts, and how your implants are placed will be determined by your individual augmentation goals and biological factors. The three different types of positioning are; under the muscle (submuscular), over the muscle (subglandular) or in a dual-plane (partial submuscular). The implant type and size or whether the implant is placed behind the breast tissue or beneath the chest muscle depends on factors such as how much bigger you want your breasts to be, your breast anatomy, skin thickness and elasticity, and your body.

Implant shapes are something to consider. A round implant will give more volume and fullness around the upper breast, they will also produce more cleavage, height and projection distributed evenly across the breast. A teardrop implant on the other hand is more oval shaped, with more volume and projection at the bottom of the implant and less volume at the top. Teardrop implants are sometimes known to give more of a ‘natural’ look and can sometimes create the illusion of a subtle lift as the lower projection can cause the nipple to evert upwards ever so slightly. 

While breast augmentation will increase breast size, it cannot do what a breast lift (mastopexy) surgery does. Some patients who are borderline requiring breast lift surgery may be able to opt for breast augmentation alone to increase breast size and temporarily mask the appearance of a drooping breast, as it may be desirable to delay a mastopexy and the more invasive scars that come with it, until for example they have completed their family and are not anticipating to have any more children. 

Breast AugmentationBreast Lift: 

A breast lift, also known as mastopexy is a procedure that lifts the breast tissue and repositions the areola to a higher position to create a more youthful and perkier bust line. Over the course of a woman’s life her breasts will begin to sag, and this can be exacerbated by motherhood and breastfeeding, significant weight loss, the natural ageing process and genetics. The breasts will begin to lose volume, particularly at the top, and the nipples will gradually start to point downwards rather than forwards. 

A mastopexy or breast lift can:

  • Change the shape of your breasts.
  • Lift or change the position of the nipple 
  • Lift the breast higher
  • Make the breast perkier or rounder
  • Reduce areola size

Mastopexy surgery essentially lifts the breast back onto the chest wall by repositioning the areolas and reshaping the breast to a rounder, more lifted, more youthful shape with the nipple also moved to a new higher position. An areola reduction can easily be performed at the same time if desired, to reduce the size of the areola for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance and improved symmetry. 

Even though breast tissue is rearranged, the breast will assume a normal appearance where the upper pole of the breast or top part of the breast (above the nipple) is sloped slightly towards the lower pole below the nipple. 

There is no change in the size of the breasts when a mastopexy is performed on its own as it works with the existing breast tissue only. Mastopexy alone will not increase the size of the breast, nor will it restore upper pole fullness. 

This procedure will reposition the nipples and breasts, while tightening sagging skin, but without removing breast tissue or volume. If removing volume is also desired, the appropriate surgery would be breast reduction. However, if an increase in size and fuller upper pole is desired along with a lift, then the appropriate surgery is augmentation mastopexy.


Breast Augmentation + Lift: 

In some cases a patient may need or want the effects of both implants and a breast lift. Mastopexy augmentation, also known as breast lift with implants, is a combination procedure, where the breast augmentation and breast lift are done in conjunction with each other, allowing for outstanding aesthetic results. The augmentation will increase the breast size in both the lower and upper poles, while the lift will reshape the existing breast tissue and reposition the nipple to its new, higher position.

A mastopexy augmentation is great for the woman who is wanting to increase the size of her breasts in addition to raising their position. Your experience is customisable and your surgeon will help you understand what procedures are right for you and why. These two procedures can be very beneficial in improving the overall bust area and creating an overall more youthful appearance. 

Combining a breast augmentation with a breast lift also means that a patient will only need to go through one surgery and one recovery period. Breast Lift with implants is one of Dr Hertess’s most sought-after procedures and a crowd-favourite amongst patients. Some other surgeons only perform this procedure as a dual-stage procedure and this may come down to a lack of surgical qualifications or experience. Dr Hertess routinely performs Breast Augmentation and Lift as a single-stage procedure so that only one surgery and one recovery are required. As these procedures are highly customisable and tailored to you, your body is always your choice and procedures can be separated by 3 months if desired.

During your consultation with Dr Hertess, you will be taken through all of your options as well as the potential complications and risks of the surgery/surgeries discussed. Choose a surgeon that is highly experienced and is a qualified plastic and reconstructive surgeon (not just a ‘cosmetic surgeon’) , and who will be honest with you even if it isn’t quite what you want to hear. Dr Hertess Plastic Surgery will ensure that your consultation experience is both personal and educational.


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Dr Isolde Hertess

Dr Isolde Hertess