Expert Body & Facial Plastic Surgeon

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Breast Lift Surgery

Breast Lift SurgeryThere are two basic techniques to lift a sagging, pendulous breast. The cosmetic surgery technique best for you will depend mostly on the characteristics of your current breast in terms of size and extent of pendulousness (also referred to as ptosis).

A simple method to lift a breast is through the insertion of a breast implant. The implant volume serves as a substitute for firm breast tissue and essentially fills out the loose, hanging skin of the breast. The implant basically props the breast up to a more youthful and perky position on the chest. The advantage of this technique is that scarring is very minimal. The disadvantage of this technique is that the amount of lift gained through the procedure is directly proportional to the size of the implant used, ie small implant, minor lift:; large implant, significant lift. This means the procedure may not be appropriate for a woman who is opposed to having her breasts enlarged.

The second technique, often called a mastopexy, basically tailors the breast into a more lifted, perky form. This means tissue is removed and adjusted so as to rebuild a more youthful breast form. The advantage of this technique is that implants are avoided for women who are not looking for any enlargement. The disadvantage is that scarring is more significant than when implants are used alone.

Preparation for Breast Lift Surgery

Preparing for breast lift surgery involves mental preparation, a review of your current medications and vitamins, and following standard pre-operative instructions.

Mental preparation for breast lift surgery is key to a pleasant post-operative recovery. It is important to understand that you are undertaking a very commonly performed procedure and that Dr. Backstein will have screened you pre-operatively to ensure you are a safe candidate for the procedure. Furthermore, breast lift surgery by its nature is a safe procedure since the surgical work is carried out in a superficial plane of the body well away from large blood vessels or major organs. The chest cavity is never entered and bleeding is minimal and easy to control.

It is equally important to understand that immediately post-operatively your breasts will look somewhat larger and less natural than they will several weeks post-op. Make sure you review any medications and vitamins at least two weeks prior to your surgical date. Medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, blood thinners/anticoagulants and vitamin E products should be discontinued completely for at least two weeks prior to breast lift surgery in order to minimize the risk of extra bleeding during or after surgery. Multi-vitamins may contain vitamin E and should be stopped if vitamin E is present. Finally, be sure not to eat or drink anything at all from midnight of the day before your breast lift surgery so as to enter the operating room with an empty stomach.

Breast Lifts & Breast Reductions - What's The Difference?

Breast Lift surgery and breast reduction surgery are often confused. In both procedures, the breast is "tailored" to create a lifted, more youthful and perky form. In the case of breast reduction, however, a substantial portion of the deeper breast tissues (breast and fatty tissue) are removed in the process whereas with a breast lift, it is generally only parts the superficial skin layer that is removed in order to create the new breast form. As such, a breast reduction significantly reduces the size of the breast while lifting it while a breast lift lifts the breast with only very minimal size reduction. Confusion arises because in many instances of breast lifts (especially in women who have a fairly large and sagging breast), the final scar pattern of the breast lift surgery will look just like the scar pattern of the breast reduction surgery. Again, what differs is that with the breast lift volume is maintained while with the breast reduction, volume and bra size is significantly reduced. Breast reduction surgery is considered a "functional" surgery and is generally OHIP covered (an application to the Ministry of Health to secure coverage is required) because it is intended to relieve back pain, shoulder pain, bra strap grooving, neck pain, rashing etc. Breast lift surgery is cosmetic and not covered by OHIP in any case. For women looking to have their breast lifted without reducing the size dramatically, a breast lift must be chosen so as not to make the breasts smaller than desired. It should be noted that the lift achieved with a breast lift will greatly reduce if not eliminate pain, rashing etc. even though the size of the breasts is not significantly reduced. This is because the lifting takes the weight and tension of the neck and upper back area even without making the breasts smaller.

Breast Lift Post-Op Care

  • 1

    Leave your dressings on and dry until your first follow up appointment

  • 2

    Expect swelling - especially at the upper part of your breasts

  • 3

    If you feel that one breast has suddenly become significantly more swollen, painful, hard and tender compared with the other, contact Dr. Backstein

  • 4

    Bring a bra to your first check-up (one without an underwire such as a sports bra)

  • 5

    Contact Dr. Backstein at if you have significant concerns

  • 6

    Do not smoke at all! Smoking even a single puff could cause extreme complications

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