Breast Lift Surgery
in Calgary AB
What Is A Breast Lift?
A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, is a surgical procedure performed to raise and reshape breasts that have sagged as a result of aging, pregnancy, weight loss, gravity, or other factors. By trimming excess skin and tightening supporting tissue, patients can achieve an uplifted, youthful breast contour. After surgery, the breasts are higher on the chest and firmer to the touch. The nipple and areola can also be repositioned or resized during this procedure to further enhance the appearance of the breast.
Since a breast lift in Calgary does not change the shape or fullness of the breasts, many patients choose to combine this procedure with a breast augmentation or reduction in order to achieve their desired results.
Candidates for Breast Lift Surgery
A breast lift in Calgary AB is a safe and effective procedure for many women seeking to enhance the appearance of their drooping breasts, although there are certain restrictions on eligibility. The ideal candidates for a breast lift are women with:
- Sagging breasts
- Breasts that have lost shape or volume
- Breasts that are flat or elongated
- Nipples or areolas pointing downward
- One breast lower than the other
In addition to sagging breasts, it is also important for women considering this procedure to be in good overall health, maintain a stable weight, and have realistic expectations for surgery. It is recommended that women still planning to have children postpone this procedure, as pregnancy and nursing can counteract the effects of a mastopexy.
Can I get a breast lift without surgery?
Contrary to what you may have heard or read, anything that lifts sagging, flattened breasts without surgery does so to a minimal degree and even these changes are only temporary. While you may have heard of things such as thread lifts, laser treatments, Vampire breast lifts (platelet-rich plasma), even dermal fillers being used to lift the breasts, none of these treatments offer anywhere remotely near the results of a surgical breast lift with Dr. Frank.
The main problem with sagging, flattened breasts is excess skin. Removing this excess skin is the core of a breast lift procedure. Obviously, without surgery, these other supposed miracle treatments can’t do a thing about that excess skin.
What are the different types of breast lift methods?
Dr. Frank uses three incision types for these surgeries, based on the patient’s unique sagging and other attributes. Dr. Frank treats every breast lift as a completely individual procedure, adapting techniques as needed. Every woman has different patterns of sagging in her breasts. This may be the result of pregnancy or simply the gain and loss of a large amount of weight. The larger the degree of sagging, the wider the base of the breasts becomes, and the more flattened the upper breasts appear. Dr. Frank uses any of the three incision placements for these procedures.
During your consultation, the two of you will discuss your situation, and Dr. Frank will detail the approach he feels best suits your needs. These are the incision descriptions:
Also called a small-incision mastopexy, a donut-shaped incision is made around the areola. This method creates minimal visible scarring but is only appropriate for women with minimal sagging who don’t need much excess skin removed.
This incision circles the areola and then drops straight down, ending at the breast crease. This method allows for moderate removal of excess skin and fat.
This method circles the areola, drops down to the breast crease and then extends outward in both directions, similar to the shape of an anchor. The anchor incision allows for the most skin removal and tissue adjustment, but it also creates the largest scar.
For each incision, Dr. Frank lifts and reshapes the breast tissue to compensate for sagging and stretching. The nipples and areolae are moved to a higher position to match the new profile of the breasts (not with the areola incision); extra skin can be removed around the areolae to make them smaller. The final step is to trim away excess sagging skin.
What do I need to do to prepare for breast lift surgery?
You’ll need to make the same preparation you would for any surgery: stopping any blood thinner medications, anti-inflammatory medications, various supplements, smoking, and the like.
Your main preparation should be in your recovery area. You’ll want to lay low for a few days, so make your space comfortable and ready for you. Have a good book and the remote handy. Get someone to help you around the house for a week or so. Remember, you’ll have to limit the amount you lift for a few weeks, so be cognizant of that.
The Breast Lift Procedure
The breast lift procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and usually takes one to three hours. Depending on the size and shape of the breasts, as well as the degree of sagging and amount of excess skin, your surgeon will determine an appropriate incision approach for the procedure, which may include:
- Two rings around the areola in a doughnut shape, which is ideal for women with small breasts and minimal scarring
- Around the areola and down to the breast crease in a lollipop shape
- A lollipop shape with an additional incision along the breast crease for an anchor shape, ideal for breasts with significant sagging
After the incisions are made, breast tissue is removed and reshaped to achieve the desired breast contour. The nipple and areola may be moved higher on the breast or resized as well. Finally, any excess skin is trimmed to create a tighter, more defined appearance. When the breast lift is complete, the incisions are closed with stitches and tend to heal well.
Recovery from Breast Lift Surgery
After a breast lift in Calgary, patients will likely experience bruising, soreness, and swelling for a few days. The breasts will likely be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a surgical bra for about a week, followed by a support bra worn continuously for a month. Any stitches will be removed after one or two weeks. Most patients will be able to return to work within a week, although exercise and other strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month. Your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions for your individual mastopexy recovery.
Results of a Breast Lift
The results of a breast lift are visible immediately after surgery and will continue to improve as swelling subsides and scars fade. Most patients who maintain realistic expectations and thoroughly discussed their goals prior to surgery are satisfied with the look of their lifted breasts. While results are not permanent, they will allow patients to enjoy a younger-looking appearance for many years to come.
Will a breast lift increase the size of my breasts?
No. Breast lifts do not increase breast size; breast lifts simply bring the breasts back to a higher position on the chest, hence the “lift” moniker. Breast lifts bring more of the breast mass back to a higher position on the chest, more akin to where it was before sagging and flattening occurred. Breast lifts can actually make you decrease bra size by one cup. This isn’t because the breasts are smaller; it’s because the breast mass isn’t accumulating at the bottom of the cup.
If you want to increase the size of your breasts, in addition to elevating them, you need to have Dr. Frank place breast implants during your breast lift procedure. This adds volume, especially in the upper breasts. Adding implants during this procedure is actually quite easy, as Dr. Frank can use the incisions he has made for your breast lift to place the implants. Plus, you only have a single recovery period for what, in effect, are two procedures.
How soon after breast lift surgery can I resume my exercise routine?
The key to recovery after a breast lift is to keep any pressure off of your incisions and to minimize any movement of the breasts. This allows your incisions to heal the most cleanly, which will mean rapidly decreasing the visibility of your scars moving forward.
So, while you will be able to return to low or no impact activity, such as riding a stationary bike, in just a couple weeks, any strenuous exercise or any heavy lifting will need to wait for at least six weeks following your surgery. You don’t want to stress your incisions because this allows your scar tissue to reach its maximum strength.
How long will the results of my breast lift last?
These are permanent changes made by Dr. Frank. The excess skin he has removed is gone for good, and your breasts will never sag to the same degree again. Any fat he has removed is gone for good. Tissue he has repositioned will stay there. Sure, you will have some additional slackening of your chest skin and support tissues moving forward, but your lifted breasts will remain that way for the rest of your life. This isn’t a procedure such as a facelift that would merit a follow-up procedure a few years later.
Risks of Breast Lift Surgery
Although a breast lift is considered a safe procedure for ideal candidates, there are certain risks associated with any type of surgical procedure, which may include bleeding, infection, reaction to anesthesia, or permanent scarring. These risks can be reduced by choosing an experienced surgeon to perform your procedure and by following the surgeon’s instructions before and after treatment.
What can I expect from my breast lift consultation?
Dr. Frank views every consultation as a complete back and forth exchange of information between the two of you. First, he wants you to describe the issues you have with your breasts, what you’d like to change, and the results you hope to see in the end. Then, he’ll examine your breasts to get an idea of the degree of sagging, where areas of fatty tissue are accumulating, and how much loose skin needs to be removed.
At that point, he’ll discuss what he thinks would be the right incision option for your unique situation (areolar, lollipop, or anchor — see above). He’ll show you how these can change the position of your breasts. He’ll ask if you are considering adding implants during your breast lift to add volume in addition to bringing the breasts to a higher position on the chest.
Next, he’ll discuss the procedure in detail, along with the possible risks involved. Throughout the process, you are encouraged to ask any questions you have.
At the end of your consultation, the goal is for you to thoroughly understand the procedure, regardless of whether you go ahead with the surgery or not.
Schedule A Consultation
To learn more about mastopexy surgery or to schedule a breast lift consultation in Calgary, Cochrane, Airdrie, Chestermere, and Okotoks, AB, CA, call our office at (403) 245-1228.