Dr. Joseph A. Mele, a board-certified plastic surgeon in the Walnut Creek and San Francisco Bay Area, answers frequently asked questions about breast implants and breast lift surgery to help individuals learn more about breast enhancement procedures, the recovery process, and the potential results.
Walnut Creek, CA – Of the many different types of surgical aesthetic enhancement procedures performed annually, cosmetic breast surgeries remain some of the most popular year after year. In fact, recent statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reveal that breast augmentation was in the top spot of all cosmetic surgeries in 2019, with breast lift surgery not far behind. Board-certified Walnut Creek plastic surgeon Joseph A. Mele, MD says both of these procedures represent two of the most requested cosmetic enhancement options at his own practice, and there are some basic things that patients who are considering these treatments should be aware of in order to determine whether one or the other (or a combination of the two) may be more ideal for their individual needs and expectations.
Both breast augmentation and breast lift surgery are procedures designed to enhance the appearance of the breasts; however, they serve very different functions in terms of how they can accomplish those goals. Dr. Mele explains that breast augmentation primarily serves to add volume to the breasts while enhancing their shape, as well as improving the breasts’ aesthetic balance relative to the body’s overall proportions. This is achieved through the placement of breast implants, which come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and types (such as silicone or saline). Dr. Mele emphasizes that he only utilizes highly advanced types of breast implants that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are considered safe for breast augmentation procedures. During the initial patient consultation, Dr. Mele says a comprehensive examination is performed and all questions or concerns about breast implants and what to expect from the procedure are thoroughly discussed so that individuals receive an honest assessment. The patient is also encouraged to review various breast implants and even “try on” certain models using implant sizers to narrow down their choices. Ultimately, if the patient is an ideal candidate for breast augmentation, Dr. Mele says he makes the final recommendation based on her specific desires along with the breast implant models that have the greatest propensity to achieve the patient’s goals with natural-looking results.
Dr. Mele reveals that, in some cases, patients who are considering adding volume to their breasts ask whether breast implants can also resolve breast ptosis (sagging). He explains that, while breast augmentation can enhance the size and shape of the breasts with remarkable results, this particular procedure cannot improve the appearance of breasts affected by moderate to severe levels of loose, inelastic skin that gravity pulls in a downward trajectory. For patients who are experiencing breast ptosis, Dr. Mele typically recommends a breast lift. Medically referred to as mastopexy, breast lift surgery is designed to reduce excess, sagging skin and quite literally lift the breasts and nipples to a higher position on the chest, which can provide the breasts with smoother, firmer skin and a more youthful projection. Dr. Mele notes that, for women who are affected by both concerns—the lack of breast volume and breast ptosis—he may recommend a breast augmentation with lift procedure, which combines the two treatments. However, others may only require one or the other treatment option to fulfill their expectations. Dr. Mele says he advises patients completely on the basis of their specific needs and customizes all procedures in order to create outcomes that look as natural as possible.
The recovery process and the noticeability of residual scarring are two other aspects of breast augmentation and breast lift surgery for which Dr. Mele is often asked about. While the recovery period for both of these distinct procedures can be somewhat different for each patient, Dr. Mele says individuals should generally plan to rest at home for a minimum of one to two weeks depending on their unique needs, the procedure(s) they undergo, and other factors. He notes that detailed post-operative instructions are provided to each patient with guidelines on how to achieve a safe, efficient, and more comfortable healing process. When it comes to the scars resulting from these procedures, Dr. Mele explains that, for each treatment, whether performed alone or in combination, he utilizes incision and suturing techniques that can produce scars in rather inconspicuous areas. While scars from these procedures are unavoidable, Dr. Mele says the use of meticulous and precise techniques combined with the experience of performing these treatments for many years can help make residual scars as discreet as possible and enable them to be well-concealed under clothing or swimwear.
Dr. Mele says that women who are considering any type of cosmetic surgery should never feel hesitant to ask questions and should feel confident that their plastic surgeon is providing them with a thorough and honest discussion about their concerns. He also notes that individuals researching their options for breast augmentation, breast lift, or any other plastic surgery procedure should be sure to scrutinize the prospective surgeon’s credentials, experience, and qualifications in order to maximize the chances of safely and successfully achieving their goals while minimizing the potential for complications.
About Joseph A. Mele, MD, FACS
Dr. Joseph A. Mele is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Mele is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and other medical organizations. In addition to his private plastic surgery practice, which he began in 1997, Dr. Mele has contributed a variety of articles to plastic and reconstructive surgery journals and has delivered presentations of his research at plastic surgery conferences and symposia across the United States. Along with advanced breast enhancement surgery, Dr. Mele’s practice offers an extensive array of surgical and non-surgical procedures designed to renew and rejuvenate the body, face, and skin. Dr. Mele is available for an interview upon request.
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Joseph A. Mele, MD, FACS
130 La Casa Via - Building 2, Suite #206
Walnut Creek, CA 94598