A breast lift also known as Mastopexy is a procedure aimed at improving a condition known as breast ptosis (sagging breast). Yearly, thousands of women under this procedure due to different conditions with a common goal at heart – to restore the shape and volume of their breast.
Breast lift gives the breast a youthful contour which is one of the reasons people opt for it. To get a desirable result, a breast lift is often combined with other procedures like breast reduction or breast augmentation, tummy tuck, or liposuction.
Sagging Breasts – An Overview
Sagging breast (Ptosis) is a condition that comes with age for some people. Although, other factors can lead to sagging breasts. Sadly, a saggy breast can occur at any stage in a woman’s life after hitting puberty. Also, not every woman will have a drooping breast. A woman in her twenties might have a droopy breast, while a woman in her forties can still have perky breasts. It all boils down to the hormone, and as we all know our body works differently.
Nature cannot be cheated, so, if you’ve managed to escape droopy breasts in your 30s/40s, you might start preparing your mind for some changes. With menopause comes a change in the hormone, and you might start to notice some loss in the elasticity and fullness of your breast.
Causes of Sagging Breasts
Ligaments in the breasts (Cooper’s ligaments) are what lift the breast and gives it support. Once these ligaments start to stretch out, it can cause the breast to sag. Some factors can make the breast lose its perkiness and fullness. And the impact of these factors can affect the extent of drooping that can occur. Some of the cause of droopy breast include:
- High body mass index (BMI)
- Weight changes
- Exercising without support
- Hormonal changes
Breast Lift Surgery – Is it for Right for You?
As with every other surgical procedure, you must meet certain criteria before you’d be deemed fit to go through a breast lift surgery. To be considered suitable for breast lift, you must meet the following criteria:
- Have an overall good health
- Must have reached their weight goal
- No major medical problems
- Have drooping breasts
- Knowledgeable to an extent about breast lift procedure
- Have nipples and areola that are pointing downward
If you’re unsure where you stand, you can do a little self-examination by placing a pen in the crease beneath your breast. If the sagging tissue holds the pen firmly without using your hand to support, you might need a breast lift surgery.
As with all pros, there are cons, breast lift surgery might not be suitable for you if you fall under the following category:
- If you have any health challenges
- Emotionally unstable
- Unsure of the procedure
- Pregnant, breastfeeding or have plans to fall pregnant in the future
Breast Lift Surgery – The Procedure
Breast lift surgeries are easily done these days. Generally, it takes an average of one-three hours to carry out a breast lift procedure. Although in some cases, where maybe implants are to be inserted, it takes longer.
There are several incisions and approaches to carry out a breast lift procedure. All these will be communicated with you during a consultation with your plastic surgeon. Your medical history will be taken, and a proper examination of the breast will be documented. The surgeon will then recommend the best incision/approach suitable for your body shape, degree of ptosis, and preference.
Several factors would be taken into consideration by your surgeon to guarantee a desirable result. Note that the bigger the breast, major sagging, and larger amount of excess skin, the more extensive surgical techniques will be required.
Below are some of the steps taken during a breast lift procedure:
- Administration of general anesthesia.
- Incisions would be made.
Bear in mind that all incisions to be made are based on the degree of sagging, the amount of excess skin available, and the general size of the breasts. The incisions would be made to align with the contour of the breast. So, the scarring is hidden and minimal, nothing to worry about.
- Removal of excess skin.
- Repositioning of the nipple and areola.
- The skin around the areola is brought down and joined to reshape the breast.
- All incisions are then closed.
Cost of Getting a Breast Lift in Canada
The cost of getting a breast lift in Canada depends on your provincial healthcare provider. This is because health insurance does not cover the cost of breast lift surgery. Although to ease the financial burden on intending patients, some surgeons offer monthly payment plans. You can ask your surgeon if there are any payment plan suitable for you.
Some factors determine the cost of breast lift surgery, some of them include:
- Consultation fee – if there’s any
- Surgeon’s fee
- Anesthesia fees
- Hospital/surgical facility costs
- Medical tests
- Post-surgery garments
- Prescription medications
Generally, you can estimate the average cost of getting a breast lift in Canada to be around CA$7,500 – CA$10,000. You’ll get a quote from your health provider, ensure all the expenses are included in the cost.
If a breast reduction or augmentation is recommended by your surgeon, these should be well budgeted for as they are additional costs. The average cost of a breast augmentation procedure is around CA$5,000 – CA$10,000. In a case where you’d be having a combined procedure, they will be carried out at a discounted rate.
Bear in mind that the more experienced the plastic surgeon, the more expensive the surgery could be, be prepared. Below is the average cost of getting a breast lift in some province in Canada:
Toronto – Ontario
7000 – 12000
Ottawa - Ontario
6000 – 9500
Montreal - Quebec
6500 – 95000
Edmonton – Alberta
5000 – 8000
Calgary - Alberta
6000 – 9500
Vancouver – British Columbia
7000 – 10,000
Type of Breast Lift Incision
There are several types of incisions when it comes to undergoing a breast lift procedure. The type that’ll be carried out on you will be based on the recommendation of your surgeon. Some of the breast lift incisions include:
- Anchor Incision
This involves making three incisions in general. The first incision is around the areola, another incision along the breast crease parallelly, and the last incision that joins them. This incision is recommended in the case of extreme sagging. Also, if a breast reduction procedure would be done afterward. Sadly, this procedure is the most invasive as it leaves noticeable scars afterward.
- Lollipop Incision
This procedure involves making two incisions to lift the breast. The first incision is made around the areola and the second is made to extend steeply to the crease of the breast to resemble a lollipop. This incision is mostly recommended for women with moderate breast sagging.
- Crescent Incision
Recommended for women with minimal sagging. This incision is done on the upper half of the areola to restore the perkiness of the breast.
- Scarless Breast lift
This approach involves using tiny incisions that allow a cannula (a thin tube) to be inserted to dissolve fat cells in the breast. Note that this procedure does not address sagging breast, it only lifts and tightens the breast.
- Doughnut Incision
Just one incision is made around the area. It is generally for those with moderate – mild breast sagging.
Complication/Risk Attached with Breast Lift Procedure
Like all surgeries, breast lift surgeries also have potential risks attached to it. Some of the complications that may occur after breast lift surgery include:
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Nerve damage
So, it is advisable to research and get an experienced surgeon to perform your surgery.
After your procedure, the shape, height, and balance of your breast will improve significantly. Over time, the incision scars will fade and the one job you have during your recovery period is to ensure the incision(s) are free from infections.
Note that there is no one way to recovery, as our body responds differently. There are some things you should expect during your healing process.
- Take a week or two off work to prepare for your surgery.
- Pain relief medications/antibiotics will be provided by your doctor.
- Swelling and bruising will appear three days after the surgery.
- Any swelling/bruising will gradually subside, leaving swelling that may last for some months.
- Exercises should be avoided for at least 4 weeks post-surgery.
- Post-surgery garments should be worn for at least 6 weeks before going back to wearing normal bras.
- Over time, the scars will fade.
- It is advisable to avoid sun exposure as it can darken the scars permanently.
- Ensure to stick with the instructions given after your surgery.
Some primary results will be visible immediately. The best time to see the perfect result is when the swellings are gone. The swelling will go down gradually in the subsequent weeks after the surgery. It might take 3-6 months to fully see and appreciate the result of your breast lift surgery.
There are several steps you can take to increase the longevity of your breast lift, they include:
- Wearing a supportive bra
- Eating healthy
- Maintain a stable weight
- Avoid smoking
- Sleep on your back
- Exercise regularly
Worthy of Note
- Sagging breasts are normal
- Having several procedures done at the same time will save you money and help your body heal at once than doing them individually.
- Pregnancy can change everything. So, it is advisable to undergo this surgery with your family is complete
- Breast lift is majorly to restore the breast to its youthful shape and position. So, don’t expect it to change the size.
- Any weight gain/loss can undo the result.
- Breast lift surgery comes with a scar. But don’t freight, these scars disappear after a year or two except in rare cases of poor healing.