Sagging breasts and droopy nipples are common after massive weight loss or multiple pregnancies. Many patients search Google for a ‘natural way to lift bust’, hoping to avoid a breast lift with implants. If you are among them, you might be excited to learn about a unique breast lifting procedure that isn’t discussed very often.
An auto-augmentation mastopexy is a natural bust lift that lifts and reshapes the breasts using your own tissues. This article explains how it is different from a traditional breast lift, why many women prefer auto augmentation over a breast lift with implants, and what exactly happens during the surgery.
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Types of breast lifts
There are several breast lift procedures you might consider to fix drooping breasts and nipples, including:
A traditional breast lift (without implants) removes the excess skin and tissue in the lower pole of the breast. There are many different techniques for a standard breast lift. These include the Benelli lift, vertical breast lift or a breast reduction (mammoplasty). A traditional breast lift makes breasts perkier, but it does have some limitations. For example, a traditional breast lift might not be the right choice if:
- You need more than a lift, you also need volume on the upper part of your breasts
- You don’t want to go down a cup size by having the saggy tissue removed
Breast lift with implants
A breast lift (with implants) allows you to lift and tighten your breasts without going down a cup size. Removing the saggy tissue helps to fix sagging and raise the breasts to a more youthful position. Next, an implant is added to restore upper pole fullness and enhance the breast shape. However, not everyone is a good candidate for an implant-based breast lift. For example:
- You may want to increase volume, but your breast tissue is too loose to support the implant
- You want better projection, shape and upper pole fullness, but don’t want the risks of an implant
- You would rather not have a breast implant replacement surgery someday
Auto augmentation breast lift
Auto augmentation is a natural alternative to a breast lift with implants. It is ideal for women who want an enhanced breast shape and restored upper breast volume without changing their bra cup size or relying on artificial implants. Like other breasting lifting procedures, it raises the breasts to a more youthful position and corrects downward nipples.
Like a breast lift with implants, the auto augmentation lift restores upper pole fullness. However, no underlying breast tissue is removed. An implant is not needed to restore upper pole fullness because this procedure uses your own natural breast tissue to reconstruct the breast mound and add volume up top. Dubbed the ‘natural breast lift’, auto augmentation is a more holistic alternative to breast lifting with implants.
Since you keep all your existing breast tissue, you won’t go down a cup size like you might after a traditional breast lift.
Who is a candidate for auto augmentation?
Auto augmentation may be suitable if you have:
- Deflated breasts
- Loss of volume in your upper breast pole
- Excess volume in your lower breast pole
- Downturned or sideways nipples
- No desire to go down a cup size after breast lifting
- Prefer a more natural alternative to breast lifting with implants
Why do women choose auto augmentation instead of implants?
There are many reasons women choose auto augmentation instead of having a breast lift with implants. For example:
- Not everyone is a good candidate for implants
- Many women prefer the look and feel of natural breasts
- Not all patients want to increase bust size
- Breast implants eventually need replacing
Can you have breast auto augmentation and then add an implant?
Yes. In fact, this is a great option for women who want to keep all their existing breast tissue and add even more volume with an implant. For women who want to increase bust size, but can’t support an implant due to breast laxity after weight loss, an auto augmentation breast lift with implants is an excellent choice.
Removing the loose skin and repositioning the tissues higher on the breast mound adds structural support to keep the implant in place, thus reducing the risk of implant shifting or displacement. Adding natural breast tissue to the upper portion of the breast also provides more coverage to hide the implant. That makes it less likely for the implant to appear visible below the skin. It can also hide problems such as implant rippling.
Operation Guide: Auto augmentation breast lift
Learn what happens as Doctor Bernard Beldholm performs his auto augmentation breast lift surgery.
Phase 1: Surgery Preparation
Doctor Bernard will meet you in the anaesthetic bay at the hospital to go over any last-minute questions and prepare you for surgery.
While you stand upright in the anaesthetic bay, he will draw markings on your skin to plan the incisions. The markings follow the Wise pattern method that is commonly used in breast reductions, although no underlying breast tissue will be removed in this procedure.
Body positioning on the operating table
You will lie flat on your back during the surgery.
Anaesthesia will be supplied through an IV. You will lose consciousness so you will have no pain, memory or sensation during your procedure. A licensed anaesthetist will oversee your vitals throughout the surgery. A tube will be placed in your airway to assist with breathing.
Phase 2: Auto Augmentation Breast Lifting
Doctor Bernard will perform auto augmentation to lift your breasts off your abdomen and raise nipples that point downward.
Incision and dissection
After making the incisions, Doctor Bernard will remove the excess skin immediately surrounding the areola. Then, he will elevate the remaining skin so he can access your underlying breast tissue.
Doctor Bernard will move the excessive lower pole tissue higher on your breast mound, up toward your collage bone. This reduces widening of the breast base and restores volume to the upper part of your breasts. He will secure the tissues in place by suturing the central breast pedicle to your second rib. As this takes place, your areola will be raised to a more central position with forward projection.
After one breast has been lifted to a more perky position, he will redrape the skin and close the incisions with dissolvable sutures.
Repeats all steps on the other breast
Doctor Bernard will then repeat this process on your other breast. He strives to make the breasts as symmetrical as possible. He will perform a symmetry check by sitting you upright on the operating table. The surgery takes approximately one to two hours to complete.
Phase 3: Finalising the Surgery
Once your breasts are lifted off your abdomen and reshaped, it is time to finalise your surgery.
Sterile bandages will be applied to prevent contamination and support the wound as it heals.
Compression garments may be worn to reduce inflammation and help your breasts conform to the new shape. You may be asked to wear the garment for several weeks per the aftercare instructions Doctor Bernard will provide to you. An overnight hospital stay is usually not required.
Surgery scars cannot be avoided. To initiate scar fading, Doctor Bernard will provide you with scar care instructions. For example, silicone scar strips and scar gel keep the skin hydrated to facilitate wound healing. Do not begin scar therapy until you are instructed to do so.
It can take a year or more for scars to fade. It is possible to lighten scars with Laser Genesis. While surgical scars generally lighten over time, they may never fully disappear. If you have a history of poor scarring such as keloids or hypertrophic scars, let Doctor Bernard know during your consultation.
The before and after auto augmentation breast lift results show a marked improvement in drooping breasts and nipple ptosis. Your breasts should appear lifted off your abdomen and take on a perky shape with improved projection and upper pole fullness. Bra cup size generally remains the same, although you may find that your bra fits better after the surgery.
Nearly 20 to 30 percent of patients will need a minor revision surgery six to 12 months after auto augmentation. This is usually done to revise the scar or tidy up the areola. If you are not comfortable with the fact that you might have to come in for a revision surgery, then auto augmentation breast lifting may not be the right fit for your needs.
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Auto Augmentation FAQs
Find answers to some of the most commonly asked auto augmentation breast lift questions.
What risks and complications are possible?
Auto augmentation is generally safe for healthy nonsmokers who qualify for the procedure. All surgery carries a degree of risk, and this is true even when all safety measures are followed. Potential risks may include:
- Fluid buildup
- Wound dehiscence
- Poor scarring
- Nerve damage
- Breast asymmetry
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Need for revision surgery in the future
- Blood clots
- Pulmonary embolism which can be fatal
Can auto augmentation be combined with other procedures?
Yes, it is possible to combine certain cosmetic procedures. Auto augmentation can be done with or without implants to increase breast size. Related procedures such as an arm lift, VASER liposuction or tummy tuck surgery may also be done at the same time. To learn more about your options, book a private consultation with Dr Bernard Beldholm.
What does the auto augmentation scar look like?
Different surgeons use different incisions. Dr Beldholm prefers a Wise pattern incision, which allows for horizontal and vertical excess skin removal around the areola for the maximal lifting effect.
The resulting scar looks similar to an anchor breast lift scar. There is a round scar around the nipple, a vertical scar down the lower breast pole and a horizontal incision that follows the curve of the breast fold. The scars are hidden in most bra styles and clothing, so no one will see them unless you are topless.
Many women are interested in auto augmentation since it is a more natural alternative to breast lifts with implants. Your breasts will remain the same size, however lifting them off the abdomen and moving the excess tissue higher on the breast mound can dramatically improve breast shape and projection, giving the appearance of more fullness than before.
To qualify for auto augmentation breast lifting, you must have enough native tissue to reconstruct the upper portion of the breast. If not, you can always have a traditional breast lift (mastopexy) with or without the addition of implants.