By Sherri Roberts
It’s a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure that provides the ultimate feminine makeover for women who desire fuller, perkier breasts, but one which historically has been challenging for plastic surgeons to successfully combine: breast augmentation and breast lift surgery. However, at the recent Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons‘ 2012 annual meeting in San Antonio, Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Chris Patronella presented a novel technique that’s proven to significantly improve the success of combining the popular procedures in a single surgery.
Because of the wound-healing issues that traditionally have been associated with combining breast augmentation and breast lift surgery, many plastic surgeons prefer to perform them as two separate operations. However, Patronella and his colleagues at the Houston-based Aesthetic Center for Plastic Surgery developed a creative solution to avoid the majority of these problems through an innovative “Delay Fill Technique.”
With this method, the breasts are lifted, and saline implants are placed in pockets that the surgeon forms under the chest muscle. However, rather than fully inflating the implants to the desired size as they typically are at the time of surgery, the implants are filled only partially with sterile saline water. The full inflation of the implants takes place two weeks later in a 10- minute office visit that requires the use of local anesthesia only.
Describing the science behind the method’s success, Patronella explained, “Partially deflating the implants allows for improved blood flow by reducing compression upon the soft tissues. The two-week delay between surgery and their full inflation allows the breast tissues to adjust to the surgical manipulation that is required to both lift and add volume to the breasts and also enhances blood circulation within the tissues. These factors ultimately translate to better wound healing.”
For women whose breasts have lost both volume and firmness over time—a not uncommon occurrence, particularly among those who’ve experienced pregnancy and/or weight loss—the Delay Fill technique allows surgeons to achieve “the best of both worlds, providing the breasts with a fuller, lifted contour,” said Patronella.
The procedure highlights the differing goals that plastic surgeons must balance in order to achieve a patient’s aesthetic desires in accordance with the physician’s goal to minimize potential complications from occurring.
Having performed more than 300 cases utilizing the approach, Patronella commented, “The Delay Fill technique is the perfect marriage of accommodating the patient’s desire to have breasts that are perky, round, and full, while also addressing my concerns as a surgeon to achieve complication-free wound healing and a good long-term result.”
If you are interested in learning more about surgical options to attain a more shapely breast appearance, we invite you to call our office at 713.799.9999 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Patronella.