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After having children or losing a substantial amount of weight, many women notice that their breasts have a drooping or sagging appearance. The only way to improve this condition, known as “breast ptosis,” is to surgically elevate and reshape the breast, in a procedure commonly known as a breast lift, or mastopexy.


What is an auto-augmentation breast lift?

Our auto-augmentation breast lift technique involves Dr. Rand shaping the excess skin that is usually removed as part of a traditional breast lift. Instead of being discarded, this skin is specially prepared and then tucked back into the breast, thereby helping a patient to maintain the breast size she had prior to surgery.

The skin retains the patient’s size and adds projection and shape and tone to the breast. It can also help to support the position of the breasts over time. The skin that is tucked into the breast can’t be felt by the patient or others, and it does not interfere with mammograms. You can also have breast implants later if you want to increase your breast volume even more.

Do I need a breast lift?

In some cases, such as when there is substantial breast asymmetry or a woman wants smaller breasts after surgery, a traditional breast lift is the best option. However, because excess skin and tissue are removed as part of a traditional breast lift, the end result is that the breasts will be somewhat smaller after surgery. However, many women would prefer not to lose any of their breast size, and for that reason, Dr. Rand invented and perfected the auto-augmentation breast lift. He is the only surgeon who performs this operation.

You can tell if you need a breast lift by placing a card in the crease under the breast. If the nipple sits at the top edge of the card or is below that line or is pointing down, a breast lift is indicated. Ideally, the nipple should be located well above the crease, pointing forward on a firm, cone shaped breast mound. Restoring and creating that shape is the goal of breast lift surgery.

Breast Lift Bellevue

Augmentation with lift: New options

A breast augmentation with implants makes a person a larger version of who they already are while a breast lift elevates a droopy nipple, and tightens and reshapes the loose lower pole breast tissue. For women who want a lift and augmentation result, there are two options. For substantial augmentation, a breast lift can be combined with breast implants. This combination is often done, but the implants carry small but lifetime risks that the breast lift alone does not. Consequently, for a subtler upper pole augmentation that retains prior breast volume and size and does not carry long term risks, Dr. Richard Rand performs his specialized “auto-augmentation” breast lift technique.

Candidates for an auto-augmentation breast lift?

Most women who are candidates for traditional Bellevue breast lift surgery are great candidates for the auto-augmentation breast lift technique. Generally, patients are either done having children or are not planning to have children for several years into the future. There is nothing about the anatomy of the breast that is altered in the auto-augmentation to prevent the possibility of breast feeding after this surgery if that were a patient’s desire. Candidates must be able to safely undergo anesthesia and be in good health and not use nicotine products.

If you have breast sagging and also want to more dramatically increase your breast size, a combination lift/augmentation procedure can help. When it comes to breast implants, there are a number of options to consider. Dr. Rand will help you decide on the perfect implant during your hour-long initial consultation. Both silicone and saline breast implants can work with the auto-augmentation breast lift technique, but each has their own unique traits that may make them right for you.

Before & After

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Recovery time after auto-augmentation breast lift surgery

Patients are mildly sore for a few days after the procedure. Most of our patients are recovered enough to return to work in a week, but even if it is safe to return to work, this does not mean that everything has totally healed. All stitches are dissolvable and Dr. Rand does not use drain tubes in the auto-augmentation lift patients. Scar treatment begins at one week and is provided by Dr. Rand. Patients are able to return to exercise at 3 weeks and wear a sports bra provided by Dr. Rand for 3 months until final healing occurs.

Breast Lift Bellevue

How long before I am fully recovered?

All stitches will dissolve over time and you can expect minor swelling for around twelve weeks. Initially, the surgery scars will be pink and firm for a few weeks, but they should continue to flatten and fade over the course of the next year or so. These scars will never completely go away, but we do prescribe scar treatments starting a week after surgery.


A surprisingly easy recovery.

Many of our patients tell us that they expected their recovery to be much more difficult than it was. They typically manage their pain with Tylenol 24 hours after surgery and don’t require narcotic medications. Our goal is to help you look better, feel better, and enjoy the results of your Bellevue auto-augmentation breast lift to their fullest. We are here to help you feel confident about your cosmetic surgery choices.

Auto-Augmentation FAQ's

Will I have scars?

Any incision in the skin will leave a scar, but some will be more visible than others. The auto-augmentation uses the anchor or T-shaped scar but it usually has very thin lines and patients will willingly trade this scar for the excellent shape and lift they receive from Dr. Rand’s technique. All scars will be very visible immediately following surgery, often appearing firm and pink, but over time they will flatten out and fade. We begin to prescribe scar treatments around a week after surgery to aid in scar reduction.

Will the auto-augmentation breast lift procedure need to be repeated?

In Dr. Rand’s experience, women only need to have an auto-augmentation breast lift once. If you have implants as part of your procedure and decide to remove or replace them in the future, that will require a follow-up surgery. Also, significant gains or losses of weight and pregnancy may also affect the need for additional surgery.

Does the auto-augmentation breast lift procedure need more recovery time than a normal breast lift?

The auto-augmentation breast lift technique does not affect the recovery time needed for the procedure. The recovery is easier than for breast implants. It will still take about a week for a woman who has undergone the procedure to return to work, with normal physical activity starting again around 3 weeks. Running and more intense exercise involving impact to the chest are permitted at 3 months.

Is this outpatient surgery or do I need to stay in a hospital?

The auto-augmentation breast performed at Northwest Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Bellevue is an outpatient procedure Dr. Rand performs in our private clinic. Dr. Rand is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and performs all surgeries in his AAAASF fully-accredited and state licensed surgical facility. All of his staff members are committed to the highest standards of health and safety.

Questions to ask at your consultation

Are you board-certified?

Board certification is one of the most important things to know about your plastic surgeon. The American Board of Plastic Surgery only provides certification to surgeons who have extensive qualifications in the field and are committed to the highest standards in health and safety. Board certification by the ABPS is not a requirement for performing cosmetic surgery procedures, but ABPS certification does let you know that your doctor is being held to the highest standards of education, training, practice, and continuing professional development.


How many breast lift procedures have you performed?

Dr. Rand invented and performs a specialized breast lift technique called the auto-augmentation breast lift in Bellevue. In his career, Dr. Rand has done many thousands of breast lift surgeries and is considered an artist at this operation. If you are looking to achieve a lift while still retaining as much of your existing breast tissue and size as possible, you need to look for a surgeon offering this specialized technique and only Dr. Rand does this auto-augmentation surgery.


Can I see actual before and after photos of your patients?

When it comes to cosmetic surgery, a picture says a thousand words. You likely already have an idea of what you want your end result to be but seeing images of real women that your surgeon has worked with can help you get an even clearer picture. We offer an online photo gallery (link to gallery) where you can see women who have had auto-augmentation breast lifts and other breast surgery procedures from Dr. Rand. During your hour long in-person consultation, Dr. Rand will also review a large number of before and after photos most relevant to your specific starting point and goals.


Am I a good candidate for the procedure?

Your suitability will be assessed at your consultation. As a general rule, candidates for the auto-augmentation breast lift procedure are in good overall physical and mental health as well as have realistic expectations about the results of their cosmetic surgery.


What questions should I ask?

At the initial consultation, you need to be ready to discuss important factors that can affect your candidacy including:

  • Any medication that you are taking. You may be asked to stop taking certain ones before surgery, like blood thinners.
  • If you do smoke or use any nicotine products, plan to quit at least six weeks prior to your surgery and not start again for at least six weeks afterward.

Should I wait until after I have children to have an auto-augmentation breast lift?

Pregnancy and childbirth can change the appearance of your breasts and most women considering a breast lift have already had at least one child. However, other women may choose to have the auto-augmentation breast lift procedure before having children, depending on their existing breast anatomy. This is ultimately a personal decision.

If you do decide to undergo the procedure before you have children, the result may change from pregnancy. If so, a revision surgery could be performed in the future to tighten the breasts again and add implants if you choose to go larger. Some women opt to undergo a mommy makeover after they are done having children to revitalize their figure and these usually include a tummy tuck and some form of breast enhancement such as an auto-augmentation lift.


What type of anesthesia will be used and how is it administered?

Knowing what kind of anesthesia is being used before the date of the procedure will allow you to make any relevant arrangements. The auto-augmentation breast lift procedure is performed using general anesthesia. You need to tell Dr. Rand if you have issues with or are allergic to any kind of anesthetic. Dr. Rand only uses board-certified physician anesthesiologists, who will remain with you throughout the procedure and the recovery period immediately following surgery so that your safety is ensured.


What if I’m not happy with my breast lift results?

This can be a hard question to ask during a consult, but it is important to know how your surgeon handles any issues that could arise. Every surgeon has a different policy on revision procedures. You will want to know in advance if there could be any additional costs and what they might be. Also, and maybe more importantly, your surgeon’s responses should help you feel more comfortable about the surgeon and their practice moving forward.

Breast Lift Bellevue

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