Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Breast lift, otherwise known by its official title of mastopexy, is a surgical procedure that repositions the nipple higher on the chest wall to create more pleasing contours. For many women, their breasts begin to sag with age while others have always been plagued by breasts that appear droopy and sit lower on the chest wall. A breast lift surgery can correct this and restore the breasts to a more youthful position.

Who is a good candidate for this surgery?

Candidates for breast lift surgery must be non-smokers who are in general good health. If you are a smoker, your doctor will ask that you cease smoking at least two weeks prior to your procedure. Since smoking can greatly disrupt the body’s natural healing process, you will also need to remain smoke free in the weeks that follow your surgery to ensure that you’re able to heal properly.

Those who have breasts that sag, have lost volume or have nipples that have shifted or stretched, are ideal candidates for a breast lift. However, for optimal results you must have some minor skin elasticity in the area otherwise your newly lifted breasts will not appear natural. You must also be at a stable weight and not suffer from blood or autoimmune disorders. Finally, your surgeon will evaluate your medical history, skin and tissues in the area to determine if you are the right candidate for a breast lift.

What does the recovery from this procedure involve?

Some swelling and slight bruising is likely to occur after a breast lift procedure. This will clear up in time and shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Your doctor will prescribe painkillers and antibiotics (if applicable). You must only take medications that are okayed by your doctor and take a few days to rest after your breast lift. Most people are able to return to work after 4-5 days and can do some light lower body exercises after a week or two. Wait at least six weeks before returning to your regular full body exercise routine.

In terms of sleeping, you may find it uncomfortable to sleep on your side or stomach. You should sleep on your back or in a sitting/reclined position propped up on pillows until the post-breast lift swelling/bruising subsides. Additionally, you may have trouble lifting your arms without pain in the days following your procedure making activities like hair washing difficult.

What to look for in a breast lift surgeon

The Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (CSAPS) is the only recognized body of surgeons in the country. Your surgeon must be board-certified and recognized by CSAPS and adhere to their ethical and professional standards. Along with their certification, you must find a surgeon that you trust. It’s important that you feel comfortable with your surgeon and allow them to take the time to explain the breast lift procedure to you in detail. The level of expertise is also an important factor in finding the right surgeon.

Here are three questions you can ask potential surgeons to determine how much experience they have performing breast lifts:

How long and where did you do your surgical training?

How many breast lifts have you done?

How long have you been a practicing surgeon?

How is the surgery performed?

During a breast lift procedure you will be put under general anesthesia to ensure that you are comfortable and do not feel a thing. Next, your surgeon will create small incisions in your breast. Then your surgeon will remove any excess skin or tissue. Liposuction may also be done to remove extra fat pockets from the area. Finally, the nipples will be repositioned and excess skin will be taken away from the outside of the areolas if needed.

What are the types of breast lift procedures available?

Typically, there are four breast lift procedures available.

Anchor lift: This type of breast lift involves three incisions, one that circles the areola, one that extends from the areola to the crease and one that runs along the crease itself (making an anchor shape).

Crescent lift: This type of breast lift involves removing a piece of tissue in the shape of a crescent from the area that sits just above the areola.This technique is most effective for women who are seeking only a small lift.

Lollipop lift: This type of breast lift involves one incision that circles the areola and one that runs down to the breast crease. This technique is most often done when only a small amount of tissue reduction is necessary.

Benelli lift: This type of breast lift involves a single incision made around the areola. This technique is only done on women who have small breasts and are looking for a slight lift.

The short answer is yes. Many women choose to have their breasts lifted and augmented concurrently. Your surgeon will determine if your chest can accommodate both procedures at once. The recovery time period may change due to the addition of breast implants. However, this is not to say that you will be out of commission for months; you will probably only be sore for a few extra days.

After about eight weeks following a breast lift surgery, you can wear a bra with underwire again. Do not attempt to wear anything but a sports bra or compression garment in the first weeks following your surgery. You doctor should include information about the type of sports bra or garment you should be wearing and how often it should be worn.

If you remain in good health and do not gain a significant amount of weight, the effects of your breast lift will not dissipate. Your breasts will remain in their higher, more aesthetically pleasing position for the remainder of your life. The only way they would require a touch-up would be if gravity and our body’s natural aging process causes your breasts to droop greatly. However, most women report that their lifted breasts are able to handle the effects of aging and gravity well into their golden years.