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Why Liposuction Is Often Combined with Mastopexy

breast lift before and after karen horton md

Liposuction performed at the same time as a mastopexy (breast lift) will reduce fat in the axillary roll (armpit area) and provide a nice definition to the sides of the breasts, reducing the “back fat bra roll”!


Frequently, I will recommend liposuction of the sides of the breasts and the upper armpit fat region, known as the “axillary rolls,” together with a breast lift.

Liposuction done at the same time as a breast lift helps to de-bulk and de-fat the sides of the breasts, create a nice definition of the side boundary of the breast, and reduce upper back fat. Who can argue with that? Adding liposuction to a breast lift does not increase its risks or the complexity of surgery – it will, however, create somewhat more bruising and swelling at the sides of the breasts and the upper arm area, but these temporary effects are typically worth the improved results!

Can a breast lift be part of a Mommy Makeover? 

Yes!  A breast lift with or without implants is often the foundation of a “Mommy Makeover,” which is a term used to typically describe surgery of the breasts and the body (tummy, thighs, hips, labia area, etc.) in a woman who has had children and is looking to improve her body form after pregnancy. It is generally safe and reasonable to perform surgery on more than one area of the body at the same time, particularly in complementary regions such as the breasts and the abdomen or hips/thighs. Combining several procedures at one time means a woman only has a single anesthetic, one surgery, a single recovery time, and improvement of several areas of her body at the same time!

How long does a breast lift take?

A mastopexy with or without implants is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, taking around three hours. If liposuction of other areas is added, an additional hour or two is often required, but the patient can still usually go home the same day. If a tummy tuck is also performed, an overnight stay at the hospital is required, and the total procedure time is around five hours. I do not schedule elective surgery longer than eight hours as a general rule.

IWoman in Nude Bras it safe to combine multiple procedures at one time?

It is safe to be under general anesthesia for this long, and a Board Certified Anesthesiologist is present every second of the surgery. SAFETY is my number one concern for all my patients, and this is why I bring each patient who is having a major procedure to the hospital for their surgery, as opposed to a surgery center. I want everyone (my patients themselves, their spouses, family members, and loved ones) to feel secure that should any complication arise – for instance, an allergic reaction to a medication – my patient is in the setting where safety and the ability to handle any emergency situation is a priority.

How do you determine which procedures are most appropriate?

Ultimately, whether or not liposuction (or another procedure) is performed in combination with breast lift surgery will depend on each patient’s unique needs and goals. For this reason, it is important that you seek the expertise of a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who can help determine which combination of treatments may be best for your specific desires.

Karen Horton, MD

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If you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Horton, please feel free to call 415-923-3067 or contact our office online today.

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Dr. Karen M. Horton, M.D. - Plastic Surgery, Physicians & Surgeons - Medical-M.D., San Francisco, CA