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A Newbie’s Guide to Breast Lift

smiling woman wearing a bra

When we think of improving the look, shape, and feel of our breasts, we naturally think implants and breast augmentation. Makes sense: a breast augmentation surgery will certainly achieve those results. But there’s a general misconception that more beautiful, shapely and perky breasts can only be achieved with implants and an increase in size, whether large or small.

But what if you fit in a different category? You may be reading this and thinking that you want perkier breasts but you’re not interested in increasing their size, or you may not want implants, or you may be someone who is looking for an increase in size although implants alone might not address your droopy or sagging breasts. If this sounds like you then you might be a perfect candidate for a breast lift.

You may have already heard of the breast lift, which is also known as a mastopexy, or you may have searched around and come across it when researching breast augmentation, but given the plethora of information about everything out there these days we thought a nice simple breakdown would make your life just that little bit easier.

What is a Breast Lift?

Time is a funny thing, we often want it to move along faster, but it also brings about changes in our bodies may be unexpected and not so desired. Whether the root cause is pregnancy, genetics, or aging that brings about a lack of elasticity, many of us find ourselves looking at deflated, saggy or droopy breasts. In some cases if you have bigger breasts, the weight of them pulling down can even cause you discomfort or pain or affect other parts of your body like your back.

The breast lift procedure works to raise, reshape, and improve the look and volume in breasts that have lost some of that youthful perkiness. A highly experienced and skilled plastic surgeon can actually reshape and create a more proportional breast using innovative approaches and techniques that are specifically tailored to meet your individual needs.

Typically, a breast lift procedure will involve the removal of unwanted and superfluous skin from the breast tissue as well as a repositioning of the nipple so that your breasts can sit higher on your chest with a perkier appearance. The beauty of the breast lift or mastopexy procedure is that because your surgeon is really only working with your own breasts, the result is always absolutely natural.

How do I know if a Breast Lift is what I need?

Well the number one way to find out whether you need a breast lift or any surgical procedure is always by booking an in person consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.

There are so many factors that need to be taken into account when deciding on any type of breast procedure, such as your anatomy, your current breast size, shape and positioning, your medical history, but also your goals and desires, the look you want to achieve, whether or not it is attainable and how. All of these very important issues are best discussed in person with a surgeon that you trust and feel comfortable with.

That said, you might be a candidate for a mastopexy procedure if you’re noticing any of these issues with your breasts: nipples that point downwards as opposed to being straight or facing forward; nipples that sit below the crease just under your breast, otherwise known as the inframammary fold; breasts that have an unusual shape or are not symmetrical; or if you’re simply not happy with the way your breasts look.

Types of Breast Lift Procedures

If you’ve been researching this procedure on your own, this is where things might have gotten a little muddled. There are actually four different types of breast lift procedures that address different degrees of sagging and varying needs of reshaping.

Crescent Lift

This technique is probably the least commonly used approach in a breast lift procedure and is only ever used if a patient is also undergoing a breast augmentation. It involves a very small crescent moon type of incision around the top half of the areola, and is used in order to correct very minimal sagging.

Peri-Areolar or “Donut” Lift

The Peri-Areolar or more popularly known “Donut” Lift is also usually only used in cases where a patient is also getting a breast augmentation but wants to correct some mild sagging. In some cases, this procedure can also reduce the size of the areola for women who are looking to minimize its appearance. There is only one incision, but in this case it follows the edge of the areola full circle, hence the fun “donut” name.

Vertical or “Lollipop” Lift

This is the most common breast lift procedure and here is a very cool fact that we are super proud of here at The Plastic Surgery Clinic. Our awesome surgeons actually pioneered this technique in order to minimize scarring for their patients.

In the past, breast lift surgery was performed by making an anchor-shaped incision, which would ultimately leave a long scar in the crease below the breast (usually where your bra sits just below the breast), which wasn’t always ideal for patients. Our very own surgeons eliminated the need for this incision when they came up with the “lollipop” technique.

Instead of making the so-called long bra crease incision, the lollipop technique is used in order to make two small incisions: one around the areola and another extending vertically between the bottom of the nipple to the bottom of the breast. This technique not only reduces the scars associated with this operation but also results in a better shape to the breast.

So if you decide to come to The Plastic Surgery Clinic for your breast lift procedure you will truly be in some of the best surgical hands in the world.

Inverted T or “Anchor” Lift

The Inverted T or “Anchor” Lift is generally used if your breasts present extensive sagging and heaviness and may also need quite a bit of reshaping. It’s also sometimes used for women undergoing a breast reduction surgery. And although it sounds like there are a lot of incisions (because it does have the most–3 total), in expert surgical hands and by carefully following post-op recovery guidelines and caring for your scars, these will fade and can be strategically hidden with the right kind of bra or bikini top.

Breast Lift Surgery and Recovery

Ok, so you have all your info, you’re the right candidate for the procedure, you’ve decided to go for it…so what’s next?

Here’s what to expect in a nutshell:

Surgery: depending on the extent of your procedure the surgery will take about 2 hours and you’ll have to take about a week off from work. You might feel a bit nervous on the big day, and that’s totally normal. Surgery is a big deal! We are your teammates in this experience, so we’ll be with you every step of the way and will do everything we can to put you at ease.

You’ll need someone to take you home and stay with you for 24 hours as you’re going to need a little help taking care of yourself on surgery day. Your job is to rest, relax and recover.

Days 1 and 2: you’ll likely be sore, you’ll have some bruising and swelling, but the discomfort won’t be unbearable and pain medication will really help. You’ll also have a Pain Relief Pump™ to deliver a long-acting local anaesthetic to the surgical site to help you feel comfortable.

Days 3-4: you’ll be given a support bra, which will replace your bandages and surgical bra, and you’ll have to wear your soft support bra over a layer of gauze all the time for about 3-4 weeks (super important!!).

Week 1-2: you’ll have your stitches removed (yay!).

After 2 weeks: you’ll get the green light to start exercising gently, but absolutely no high impact workouts (running, upper body weight training) for at least one month.

6 weeks and onwards: any numbness or loss of feeling you may have experienced in the nipples or breasts post-op should start to fade, but for some patients this can last longer. If you have concerns about this or anything else, you can get in touch with us anytime. Our surgeons and nurses are here to help! During this time, scars can look unattractive, but they eventually do fade to thin white lines (we promise), and can be strategically covered up. We’ll also give you tips to follow to help improve the look of them as they heal.

Most patients start to feel great and totally like themselves again at the 4 week mark and truly happy with their results. It’s a big deal to embark on a surgical procedure and we’re really proud of all our patients who have made this big decision and who have come through their journey feeling more confident, loving their bodies and themselves as they deserve to be loved. We love being a part of this life-changing process and are so excited to cheer you on as you go.

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Did we answer all your questions? Our goal is to ensure you have the best information possible to make your decision. If you still have questions, we’re here to help.

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