Drooping or sagging breasts (known as breast ptosis) can occur with age, weight changes, pregnancy, or breast feeding. Breast Lift surgery (Mastopexy) is a popular option to correct this problem. Our plastic surgeon—Dr. Lawrence Tong—can help you decide if a Breast Lift is the right procedure for your goals. If you desire more fullness as well, Mastopexy may be simultaneously performed with Breast Augmentation.
What a Breast Lift Can Do For You
In addition to simply ‘lifting’ the breasts, a Mastopexy seeks to accomplish a number of other objectives to make the breasts look more attractive. The procedure is designed to make the breasts look rounder instead of the typical elongated appearance. The upper breast will look fuller as breast tissue is shifted to the upper pole. The nipples are re-positioned to the centre of the breast, and the areolas (darker skin around the nipple) are made smaller— this is especially important if they are stretched wide from drooping.
In summary, Dr. Tong’s technique in Mastopexy is designed to:
- Elevate the breast mound
- Build a rounder breast shape
- Raise the descended nipple-areolar complex
- Reduce the areolar size
Should I Consider a Breast Lift?
If you have any of the following concerns, you could benefit from Breast Lift:
- You are interested in correcting sagging or drooping breasts
- You don’t require larger breasts, just ‘perkier’ ones
- You have some drooping and want more fullness, particularly in the upper breast (but not a change in cup size)
- You have a ‘long’ breast shape and would prefer them to be ‘rounder’
- Your nipple position is low
Other Criteria for Candidates:
- Patients should be generally fit and relatively healthy— Dr. Tong always makes an assessment of your general health and suitability before undergoing any type of surgery.
- Smokers should quit smoking at least 2 weeks prior to surgery
- Patients who are breast feeding / pregnant should wait 4-8 weeks after finishing breast feeding before having surgery so that the true breast size can be determined
- A patient should have realistic expectations about what can be accomplished though Mastopexy
Methods of Breast Lift and Their Incisions
Any surgical procedure will leave some type of scar. A plastic surgeon specializes in obtaining the least visible scars and putting them in the least visible places.
There are three types of Breast Lift incisions that correspond to three techniques of Breast Lift.
|Location of Incisions||Technique|
around the areola (periareolar)
Periareolar Breast Lift
around the areola plus a vertical incision below the areola
Short scar Breast Lift
incision for a short scar Mastopexy plus a horizontal incision in the breast fold
Traditional Breast Lift
A short description of the scars associated with various types of Breast Lift:
- The peri-areolar scar is placed along the areola, at the border between darker and lighter skin. It tends to hide quite well when nude.
- The breast fold scar is placed in the breast fold, in a naturally concealed area. It is also hidden by the breast.
- The vertical incision starts at the bottom of the areola and extends to the breast fold. In the nude, the vertical incision scar tends to be more visible than the others.
Which Type of Mastopexy Do I Need?
The method of Breast Lift for an individual depends on the amount of ptosis (drooping) they have. In general, less drooping requires fewer incisions and more drooping require more incisions. Wearing any type of clothing will cover all of these scars, regardless of which method is performed. Dr. Tong will inform you which method is recommended for your particular anatomy.
Details of the Breast Lift Procedure
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. You will be totally unaware of your surroundings during the procedure. The surgery is performed at 199 Avenue Road, within Dr. Tong’s private practice facility in downtown Yorkville, Toronto.
Dr. Tong carries out the Breast Lift procedure (Mastopexy) by first removing the excess breast skin (stretched from drooping). Next, he re-shapes the breast mound so that it is rounder and fuller by elevating and repositioning the internal breast tissues. The nipple position is raised to a higher level, but remains attached to the breast tissue so that sensation may be preserved. Additionally, the areola is reduced to be more proportional in size to the breast mound.
After lifting and shaping the breast, you are sat upright by positioning the operating table. This allows Dr. Tong to judge the breast shape and symmetry in the most accurate manner. Dr. Tong will fine-tune the appearance as needed to obtain the optimal result for you. Finally, he meticulously sews the incisions together using plastic surgery techniques. You are placed in a surgical bra and then gently awakened from anesthesia.
Recovery from Breast Lift
Immediately following your Breast Lift procedure, we transfer you to the post- anesthesia recovery area, where our registered nurses monitor you waking up. When the major effects of anesthesia have worn off, Dr, Tong will allow you to go home, accompanied by your friend or family member.
We recommend once at home, you get plenty of rest. You may do non-strenuous activities such as watching television or reading, but nothing more strenuous. Expect to feel sore in the chest for 3-7 days; your pain medication will help with the discomfort during this time. Surprisingly, the discomfort is fairly mild. Most patients return to (non-strenuous) employment at 4-7 days.
One week after surgery, Dr. Tong will see you to remove stitches and assess your progress. Dr. Tong will inform you of activity restrictions; patients are usually allowed to start light exercise (e.g. walking) at 1-2 weeks after surgery. Strenuous activity (weight lifting, aerobics, jogging, yoga, pilates, martial arts) may generally be started at 4-6 weeks after surgery.
Your breast will look slightly swollen and may have bruising during the first 1-2 weeks. The breasts may have a slightly unnatural shape to them. This is entirely normal, and it takes between 1-3 months for them to fully settle. As the settling occurs, you will notice that the breasts take on a much more natural look and shape. After your initial postoperative visit, you will see Dr. Tong at 6 weeks and 6 months after surgery as well. Post-op photos are taken to document your progress at certain visits.
Risks and Complications of Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
As with any surgery, there are risks involved with having Mastopexy. Although the procedure has a low risk profile, Dr. Tong will make sure to go through the pertinent potential problems associated with Breast Lift at the time of your consultation.
Get Educated about Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
There is considerable information to digest during your Breast Lift consultation and Dr. Tong will make sure that you understand all of the important aspects. You will never be rushed, and all of your questions will be answered. We feel that a better educated patient will make better decisions about their surgery and their surgeon.
To learn more about how Toronto Breast Lift surgeon Dr. Lawrence Tong can help you with your Breast Lift goals, set up a consultation with Dr. Tong by giving us a call at (416) 972-0999. Or let us give you a call; just fill out our contact form and we will contact you on the same or the next business day. No physician referral is needed.
See Dr. Tong’s work in our Breast Lift before and after photos.
Breast Lift (Mastopexy) at a Glance
- nipples placed too high
- not re-arranging the tissue to improve fullness and longevity