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Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

All women’s breasts change over time. Aging, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations and other factors result in loss of youthful contour and firmness. Eventually, the breasts ‘sag.’ This is referred to as ptosis (pronounced ‘toe-sis’), and has multiple levels of severity. A breast lift, also known as a maxopexy, can help rejuvenate your figure with a more youthful, uplifted breast profile.

Is A Breast Lift Right for Me?

Not all women with ptosis require a breast lift. In milder cases, ptosis can be corrected with augmentation alone. During your initial consultation, Dr. Dawes will perform a thorough evaluation of your breasts, nipple position, and body shape. He will determine if you are a good candidate for a breast lift and make a recommendation tailored to your specific goals. He may also advise combining your breast lift with an augmentation should you want extra breast volume in addition to the lift.

A breast lift may be right for you if:

  • You are concerned that your breasts sag (have a flatter or elongated shape), or have lost volume
  • Your nipples point downwards or fall below your breast crease
  • You have stretched skin or enlarged areolas
  • One breast is noticeably lower than the other

Good candidates for breast lift surgery are individuals who:

  • Are healthy and maintain a stable weight
  • Are non-smokers
  • Have realistic expectations for breast lift improvement

How Breast Lift Surgery is Performed

This procedure raises, firms and re-contours the breast through removal of excess skin and tightening of the surrounding breast tissue. Excess breast skin is removed and the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position. The areola diameter is often reduced at the same time as needed. The breast tissue is next lifted and internally supported by deep stitches. The skin is then closed with dissolvable stitches, tightening the breast.

Recovery Expectations

Recovery is about two to four weeks. Final results are long lasting, but will take a few months to appear as your breast shape and position continue to settle. Incision lines will be visible, but will fade over time. Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle will help maintain and prolong your results, though your breasts will still be affected by the natural aging process.

Breast Lift (Mastopexy) FAQs

Will a breast lift increase the size of my breasts?
Breast lift surgery will lift what tissue you have, but it will not significantly change the size of your breast, or re-establish a rounded contour in the upper part of your breasts. Women with significant ptosis who also want more volume may consider a mastopexy-augmentation, which combines a breast lift with a breast augmentation. Women with significant ptosis wanting smaller breasts may consider a breast reduction.
What kind of pain will I experience post procedure?
Patients may experience some pain along the breasts and chest wall that usually settles within a few days. Dr. Dawes will prescribe you a pain reliever.
When will I be able to return to regular activity?
During the first 2 weeks after the surgery, you should avoid any strenuous activities. A supportive bra should also be worn during this time. For the first 6 weeks, sleeping on the stomach or sides should also be avoided.
What kind of swelling can I expect?
Following the surgery, you will have some mild bruising and swelling of the breasts. Most bruising will resolve in two weeks but swelling can persist for several months. The scars will also mature and fade with time and are generally hidden by wearing a bra.
What kind of bra should I wear post procedure?
Your post-surgical bra will be put on you prior to your leaving the surgical centre. You must wear the post-surgical support bra day and night for 3 weeks.  After 3 weeks you can then begin to wear a sports bra, then at 6 weeks you can begin with an underwire bra if you wish.

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“My role, in part, is to assist patients through the process of determining which surgical or non-surgical options would help them meet their aesthetic goals and realistic expectations”

Jeffrey C. Dawes MD, FRSC

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Calgary, AB T2X 3V4

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