Dr. Pane Answers The Cosmetic Surgery Question Of The Week

Can Smart Lipo Mess Up My Breast Augmentation?


This week’s Atlantic Coast Aesthetics Question of the Week was a particularly interesting one, because it touches on a concern many of our patients have about what appropriate spacing windows are between surgeries. The question was, “Can smart lipo mess up my breast augmentation?” The patient was six weeks post-op from a breast augmentation and scheduled for a smart lipo procedure, hence her concern. Dr. Thomas Pane, ACA’s Chief Medical Officer and founder, fielded this question during a recent Google Hangout to consider the potential risks and benefits involved.

Dr. Pane said that the primary concern was one of positioning. Although six weeks is generally considered far enough out that normal activities should have resumed after the procedure, the concern is that the area beneath the surface is likely still healing. Laying the patient flat on her stomach and breasts to perform smart lipo and any subcutaneous fat harvesting that may be desired in the back or buttock area can place added strain on the surgical site. Therefore, the problem is not whether smart lipo is safe to have done at this point, but how the patient will be positioned during the procedure.

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He also pointed out that this becomes a bigger consideration if there was a breast lift done at the same time as the breast augmentation procedure, because this is a more invasive procedure that causes far more tissue insult and therefore takes longer to heal. If this were the case, extra caution might be called for, ranging from a little extra padding to delaying the smart lipo by several more weeks in order to ensure the breast area was properly healed and capable of withstanding the stresses of lying in a prone position. As in this case the patient explained the situation as a straightforward breast augmentation without lift, Dr. Thomas Pane said there was no reason not to proceed, assuming the breast area had healed sufficiently.

Because of where liposuction is normally performed, usually on the sides, front of the abdomen, back and buttocks, typically there is no reason to be concerned that lipo will affect the outcome of a breast augmentation procedure. Of course, every patient’s body is just a little bit different, and this can influence healing time, recovery and scarring, among other things. It is not usual for lipo to be performed in an area where it should affect the mammary adipose, or fat, deposits or the underlying support structures of the breast. For this reason, unless something unusual was going on with the patient or another procedure that had not been mentioned was on the table, the outcome of the lipo should not influence the breast augmentation or vice versa.

Of more pressing concern than the liposuction itself or the method, such as “smart,” “tickle” or traditional lipo is how the breasts have healed from the initial procedure and what stresses they have been subjected to during the healing process. It is not uncommon for patients to start feeling great post-op and decide to push themselves and thus the surgical site harder than is wise, delaying healing or possibly causing further internal damage. Likewise, patients who are prone to habits such as drinking, smoking cigarettes or regular tanning may find that they do not heal as rapidly or quite as successfully. For this reason, these habits and environmental factors are typically discouraged, and regular checkups with the surgery provider are strongly recommended to track the healing process more effectively and help forestall any potential problems before they can get started.

It is also important to remember that without a direct physical examination or at least pictures and a medical chart to work from, it is very difficult to say with absolute certainty what may or may not be a problem for a given patient. While Dr. Pane would generally feel comfortable proceeding with lipo this far out from surgery, the patient-specific facts may very well tell a different story. There is no substitute for an in-person clinical consultation to discuss any concerns or issues concerning cosmetic procedures, scheduling or aftercare and postoperative recovery matters.


If you would like to ask Dr. Pane or the staff of Atlantic Coast Aesthetics a question relating to cosmetic or plastic surgery, we encourage you to call us at 561-422-4116, send us your question on Facebook or make contact through our website at http://acplasticsurg.com. Your question may be our next ACA Question of the Week, answered live and in person by Dr. Pane himself during an upcoming Google Hangout. Patient information is crucial, and the only bad question is the one you don’t ask!

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