“Which procedure is right for me?” is a common question asked of female plastic surgeon Dr. Lavinia K. Chong. Women from across the country, interested in improving their silhouette with breast surgery, seek out her expertise for advisement. “Do I need a breast lift?” and “Which implant should I choose?” are also frequently asked questions. Women seek Dr. Chong’s clinical advice because she is a woman with a personal understanding of a woman’s silhouette and desire for symmetry. She is also a highly-skilled, board-certified plastic surgeon who has counseled and performed breast surgery on hundreds of women who have had the same questions and concerns.
Many of these women are Orange County moms who have experienced a change in cup size during lactation, who may have had multiple pregnancies, or have had weight fluctuations which have left them with deflated, sagging breasts. These moms desire a return to their pre-pregnancy bodies (or at least some version reminiscent to). So they are often left wondering which procedure would best suit them—a breast lift (mastopexy) or a breast augmentation with breast implants. The answer to this question all depends on you, the patient.
What is your goal? Are you looking to increase the size of your breasts? Are you looking to maintain your current sizing, but want a perkier breast with more cleavage? Are you content with the shape and direction of your breasts, and the position and size of your nipple-areolar complex (NAC)? Or are you simply looking to achieve improved breast symmetry? These are the questions that help to determine which surgical plan may help you best achieve your goal.
Breast consultations are complimentary, as Dr. Chong wants you to have the opportunity to meet her and discuss your goals openly without feeling pressured. She recommends scheduling an initial virtual consultation to discuss the benefits of each breast surgery and how they may be effective in helping you to achieve your overall goals. Your virtual consultation allows you to log in from your office, car, or the comfort and convenience of home. Our HIPAA-compliant platform allows you to have a real-time experience as though you are in Dr. Chong’s Newport Beach private surgical suite.
Prospective patients are encouraged to research photos. While it is important to look for photos of looks you like, it is equally as important that you also find photos of patients who look similar to you in their pre-surgery photos (similar in breast size, height, weight, and age). By bringing in visuals of what you hope to achieve, Dr. Chong is able to accurately address your goals and concerns. During your breast consultation, she will explain each procedure while discussing both risks and benefits of each so that you are better able to make an informed decision and move forward with your surgical plan while having a realistic expectation.
Prior to your consultation, Dr. Chong’s patient concierge will email new patients forms documenting your health history and a breast measurement worksheet with instructions on how to measure the critical points of the breast. If you encounter difficulties with measuring, not to worry, Dr. Chong can walk you through the process. If you are unable to be in a private area for your consultation with Dr. Chong, we may ask that you send a set of photos of your breasts at different angles for review prior to your consultation.
Now, back to how a breast lift and a breast augmentation differ, and why sometimes it’s not an either/or situation.
Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
Newport Beach plastic surgeon Dr. Lavinia K. Chong often suggests the breast lift procedure for women who suffer from breast ptosis (breast sagging). This surgery is ideal for women who would like to have their breasts raised to a perkier position. While it is true that breast sagging often occurs in women who have experienced childbirth and who have breastfed, there are several other factors that can contribute to this condition, including fluctuations in weight, age, and genetics.
During the breast lift procedure, Dr. Chong will work to:
- Reshape the breast mound
- Reposition the nipple to a more natural and symmetrical position
The type of lift and resulting incision line is entirely dependent on the location and amount of tissue being “lifted” and repositioned. The majority of breast lift patients are looking to correct either an extremely settled breast or a pendulous breast where the nipples are pointing downward. In this case, the patient would likely have a scar resembling an anchor as the incision lines would be along the inframammary crease, from the crease to the areola, and around the areola. This combination of incisions allows Dr. Chong to address sagging skin from a variety of angles allowing for optimal breast reshaping.
Another type of lift can be seen in patients with minimal sag, who are also in need of nipple repositioning. In this case, the patient’s resulting incision lines would resemble that of a lollipop, with a vertical incision line from the crease to the areola, and around the areola. For patients who are only in need of nipple repositioning, or a reduction of the nipple-areola complex, the incision line will look similar to a donut or crescent, running along the edges of the areola.
In rare cases, patients may have breast tissue which has become compromised, weakened. In these instances, when tissue is weakened and needs reinforcement, a biologically derived surgical scaffold, such as GalaFORM® may be placed during breast lift surgery. This additional reinforcement assists with maintaining breast shape and positioning, serving as an internal bra.
Orange County women looking to increase the overall size and fullness of their breasts seek the expertise of Newport Beach plastic surgeon Dr. Lavinia K. Chong. Her experience working with breast cancer patients during their reconstruction journey, moms looking to restore their physique post-pregnancy, women battling the effects of menopause and weight fluctuations, and young woman looking to enhance deficient or asymmetrical breast volume lends itself to a comprehensive breast evaluation. When discussing breast augmentation with Dr. Chong, you will be discussing:
- Implant type (Saline, Silicone Gel, Cohesive Gummy Bear)
- Implant shape (round or anatomically-shaped)
- Implant size (desired proportions in relation to the rest of your body)
- Profile type (projection for cleavage and upper pole fullness)
Dr. Chong will be advising you on all aspects of breast augmentation and the varying options of styles, profiles, and implant fills. Your specific goals, your breast measurements, your chest wall measurements, your height, weight, and frame size all play a role in implant selection. It is this comprehensive approach that makes Dr. Chong an Orange County favorite, and why she has time and time again been recognized by the LA Times as being among the best surgeons Orange County has to offer.
Can I Have a Breast Augmentation with Lift?
Breast augmentation surgery addresses breast size. For some patients, a lift may be the finishing touch, helping the patient achieve more natural nipple positioning and improve breast symmetry. In cases with deflated breasts, downward-pointing nipples, and sagging or stretched out breast tissue, an implant alone would likely not be enough to achieve the patient’s goal, making a lift likely necessary. During your consultation, after reviewing your goals, Dr. Chong will address whether a lift would be suggested as part of your surgical plan.
How Much Does a Breast Lift Cost, and Do Saline Breast Implants Cost Less Than Silicone Gel or Gummy Bear Implants?
The costs related to your breast surgery will depend on the details of your surgical plan. After your initial virtual consultation with Dr. Chong, our patient coordinator will provide you with a rough estimate of procedural costs based upon the surgical plan you discussed with Dr. Chong. Variables in the costs involved with your breast surgery would include whether you are having one procedure (breast lift or breast augmentation) or two procedures (breast augmentation with a lift). And if having a breast augmentation, pricing varies depending on the type of implant fill (Saline, Silicone, or Cohesive Gummy Bear). Once you have come in for your follow-up breast augmentation consult, you will have an opportunity to be sized in-office and decide on a style and fill of breast implant. At this point, our patient coordinator will be able to provide you with a custom quote, as well as financing options.
If your surgical plan includes a breast augmentation and a breast lift, another variable on cost is that it is not entirely uncommon for patients to stage their procedures (having each procedure on a different surgery date, having two surgeries instead of one). In this case, a woman would have her primary breast augmentation surgery with breast implants. Once the implants have had ample time to settle into place, the patient decides whether a lift would be beneficial in helping them achieve their goal. They could decide to move forward into the second stage of breast surgery, lifting the breast, repositioning the nipple, and possibly even reducing the nipple-areolar complex. For women who are candidates for both procedures, the greatest benefit to having both procedures performed during one visit is two-fold: one anesthesia fee (saves money), and only one surgical recovery period instead of two (saving time).
Call Dr. Lavinia K. Chong in Newport Beach Today!
Whether you think you’d like to have a breast lift (mastopexy) or a breast augmentation with breast implants—or a combination of the two—Dr. Chong can help! As a board-certified female plastic surgeon, she can truly understand the issues you have with your problem areas and can help you achieve results that will leave you feeling more comfortable, confident, and empowered! Enhance the size of your breasts; improve the shape of your breasts. With a bit of repositioning, you can achieve a more natural, symmetrical appearance.
Call Dr. Chong’s office today at (949) 644-1400 to schedule your initial virtual consultation and learn more about breast lift and breast augmentation surgery.