Breast lift and implants - one operation or two?

Breast Augmentation / Breast Lift

16 Mar 2021

Breast lift and implants - one operation or two?

A breast lift with implants can be a great way to achieve fuller, lifted bust in women who have had children or experienced weight loss (or both in many cases).

But do you wonder, “can I have a breast lift and implants at the same operation or should it be done in 2 stages?”.

In this article I discuss what I look for in deciding which path to recommend for my patients.

I have included before and after photos below of both one and two stage procedures.


One stage vs two stage lift and implants

While a one stage procedure seems more appealing because you’re effectively hitting two birds with one stone, a two stage procedure may be recommended.

And here’s why. When we look at what happens during a breast lift and implant procedure, the operations are trying to achieve almost opposite objectives. A lift is done to reduce the breast skin and tissue to lift the nipple higher on the chest wall. While implants are placed to stretch out the breast skin and add extra volume.

Sometimes when combining these two procedures, it results in the scars being too stretched where the incisions were made around the nipples and up the middle of the breast. This is due to the internal force and weight from the implants. That pressure on the suture lines can also cause healing difficulties. And in some cases wound break-downs and infection.

Combining the procedures can also affect the final lifting and shaping effect. So they don’t end up as lifted or perky as the patient might have hoped.

So I find that performing the lift first, allowing the scars to fully heal and start to fade, before introducing an implant leads to smaller scars and overall better implant placement in many women. I generally stage these operations 9-12 months apart.


When will you recommend a one stage vs two stage?

A quick rule of thumb is that in women with healthy skin, who haven’t experienced significant weight changes which has led to considerable sagging and who are only after a modest implant size, it may be appropriate to perform a lift and implant at the same time.

In many other cases in my practice however, I see women with more significant laxity, skin damage (such as excessive stretch marks) and who want a larger implant, so I often recommend a two stage approach.


One stage vs two stage costs

  • One stage breast lift with implants: the total fee is $19,000 – $20,000
  • Two stage breast lift with implants: the total fee increases up to $25,000

These costs include the surgeon’s fee, anaesthetist’s fee, hospital stay and garment.


Can I claim a Medicare rebate?

Generally for this kind of procedure there is no Medicare rebate as the procedures are regarded as cosmetic. For two staged procedures with a substantial lift in the first stage, a Medicare item number may apply for that first surgery only. My team can discuss this in further detail with you.

Try before you buy with a Vectra surgery simulation

A great way to ‘Try before you buy’ is to come in and have a $100 Vectra 3D photo simulation with my Practice Manager Jessica.

Many patients love this service because it gives them a much better idea of sizing and placement than simply putting sizing implants in a bra can! And the $100 cost is rebated against your consultation with me if you decide to continue exploring if the surgery is right for you.


More information or to book a consultation

Discover more about breast lift with implants including information on hospital arrangements, recovery and a 3D animation explaining the procedure by visiting our breast lift with implants page.

To contact our team to make an appointment with me, please call 4920 7700 or send us a message via the form below.

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Blog Author:

Dr Nicholas Moncrieff, Specialist Plastic Surgeon

About Dr Moncrieff

Dr Moncrieff focuses exclusively on breast reductions, breast lifts, breast augmentation, tummy tucks and body lifts.

He is one of only a handful of Plastic Surgeons across Australia with this sole breast and body focus.

Dr Moncrieff has performed thousands of surgical procedures over more than two decades in medicine. Over 20,000 of these procedures have been in Newcastle.

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