A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, is a cosmetic surgery that elevates the breasts by trimming excess skin and tightening the tissues that surround them to enhance their shape and contour.
What are the options for incisions?
Dr. Jonathan Lee—our board certified plastic surgeon in Calgary—uses one of the following five types of breast lift surgery incision techniques. The method selected is based on the degree of lifting necessary, as well as your unique skin stretch qualities.
This uses an incision similar to the lollipop lift, but with an added crescent-shaped incision along the crease of the breast, forming a shape of an anchor. This is the most invasive of all types, but is very effective for patients with advanced drooping of the breasts.
This is also called as Vertical Breast Lift. It uses a doughnut-shaped incision around the areola combined with a vertical incision that goes down to the crease of the breast. Excess skin is trimmed from the sides of the vertical incision and the incision around the areola allows repositioning. Women who have larger breasts can benefit from this type of breast lift surgery.
This is also known as the Peri-Areolar or Benelli lift where an incision is made around the perimeter of the areola. This is best for women with only a mild-to-moderate degree of breast sagging.
Involves an incision placed just along the upper half of the areola. It is occasionally performed with breast augmentation in women with very mild droop. It cannot achieve the same lifting ability as the other techniques.
Why consider a Breast Lift
- Sagging breast shape as a result of pregnancy, nursing, weight fluctuation, or genetics
- Breasts that lack firmness
- Drooped (downward pointing) nipple position and lax surrounding skin
- Breasts that are asymmetrical
- Most women will have completed childbearing and breast feeding prior to undergoing this surgery as pregnancy frequently stretches out the tissues.
What are the benefits?
- Improved breast shape, symmetry, and projection
- Recreates a more youthful appearing breast and lifts drooping nipples
- Improved appearance in and out of clothes
Dr. Jonathan Lee (MD, FRCSC) is an experienced, Canadian and New York fellowship-trained Plastic Surgeon based in Calgary. Well-established, he is board certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and specializes in both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.
How is the surgery performed?
A breast lift is usually performed under general anesthesia. It is occasionally performed with breast augmentation either at the same time or staged.
- Excess breast skin is removed and the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position.
- The areola diameter is often reduced at the same time as needed
- The breast tissue is next lifted and internally supported by deep stitches
- The skin is then closed with dissolvable stitches, tightening the breast
Before the Surgery
During your initial consultation, Dr. Lee will perform a thorough evaluation of your breasts, nipple position, and body shape. He will determine if you are a good candidate for a breast lift and make a recommendation tailored to your specific goals. He may also advise combining your breast lift with an augmentation should you want extra breast volume in addition to the lift. Pre-treatment photos will be taken and any potential risks and complications will also be discussed.
Dr. Lee always encourages his patients to bring in photos of breast shapes and sizes that they find attractive. This often helps in the discussion and visualization of the target goals.
After the Surgery
A breast lift is performed under a general anaesthetic and will take approximately 2.5 hours to complete. Most patients are able to return home two hours following the surgery.
Patients may experience some pain along the breasts and chest wall that usually settles within a few days. Dr. Lee will prescribe you a pain reliever. After the first week, Tylenol is usually sufficient for any discomfort and most patients are able to resume regular activities after 2 weeks.
Following the surgery, you will have some mild bruising and swelling of the breasts. Most bruising will resolve in two weeks but swelling can persist for several months. The scars will also mature and fade with time and are generally hidden by wearing a bra.
During the first 2 weeks after the surgery, you should avoid any strenuous activities. A supportive bra should also be worn during this time. For the first 6 weeks, sleeping on the stomach or sides should also be avoided.
Dr. Lee will typically see you within one week after the surgery. At this time he will also provide you with detailed scar care instructions. The next visits will be after 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 1 year.