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Breast lift surgery – Objective

Patients who are satisfied with the size of their breasts but wish to restore a more youthful contour may be candidates for a breast lift. Dr. Nicolaidis stopped using breast implants in May 2021 and is now the leading explant (removal of breast implants and their surrounding capsule) surgeon in Canada. Having performed just shy of 1000 explant cases by the end of 2023, 95% of which require simultaneous breast lifts, Dr. Nicolaidis has acquired a massive experience doing breast lifts. “At least once an office day, a patient will tell me that they wanted a breast lift years earlier but their Plastic Surgeon convinced them to get implants instead… Even worse, I’ve met patients who had plenty of breast tissue but a Plastic Surgeon removed that tissue and put breast implants. Some of these patients go on to develop breast implant illness, requiring removal of their implants. But their Plastic Surgeon removed their tissue!” If you have sagging breasts, do NOT get lulled into getting breast implants. The implants would have to be huge in order to help with the sagging, gravity will cause your breasts to drop even further over time, the weight of the implants may lead to neck-shoulder-back pain and revision surgery will be required every 10 years (according to current Canadian-American recommendations).

While a breast lift can be performed at any age, it is recommended that the procedure be undertaken only when breast development has stopped. Childbirth and breast-feeding can have a significant effect on the size and shape of breasts. Though some women decide to have their breast lift or breast reduction before having children, such plans should be discussed with Dr. Nicolaidis.

The goal of breast reduction, on the other hand, is to remove excess weight from the breasts, thereby relieving neck, back and/or shoulder pain.

During consultation, Dr. Nicolaidis will carefully check the size and shape of the breasts, skin quality and the placement of the nipples. Overweight patients may be asked to stabilize their weight before having a breast lift surgery.

Anesthesia for breast lift

Smaller breast lift corrections may be done under local anesthesia with or without sedation, but most corrections require general anesthesia.

Surgical Technique for breast lift

There are variations to the incisions used for breast lifting. The traditional method of the breast lift uses 3 incisions : one around the nipple, the second vertically from the bottom edge of the nipple to the crease under the breast and the third along the natural curve of the breast crease. An alternative approach used by Dr. Nicolaidis for breast lift involves an incision around the nipple only. The advantages and disadvantages of the various methods will be discussed during your breast lift consultation with Dr. Nicolaidis.

After excess skin is removed above, the nipple is moved to a higher position. Skin that was located above the nipple pre-surgery is pulled down. Together these two maneuvers give a new shape to the breast. Liposuction may also be used to improve the contour under the arm during a breast lift.

Breast reduction, on the other hand, removes not only skin but breast tissue as well. A minimum of 250 grams must be removed from each breast in order for the the surgery to be covered by the « Regie de l’assurance maladie du Quebec ».

Recovery after breast lift

Several days after a breast lift, patients are able to move about comfortably. Patients may be instructed to wear a support bra for a few weeks, until the swelling and discoloration of the breasts diminishes. After a breast lift, incisions will be red at first and normally stay this way for several months following surgery.

Return to work after breast lift surgery

After breast lift or reduction surgery, it is usually possible to return to work within 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the extent of surgery and type of work.

Possible complications after breast lift surgery

Because the nipples and areolas remain attached to the breast tissue, sensation in this area is preserved most of the time, but numbness does occur occasionally. There are normally few complications from breast lift surgery. However, some of the possible complications include bleeding, infection and reactions to anesthesia. The breasts may not be exactly the same and nipple height may vary after surgery. On the other hand, the combination of breast lift and augmentation at the same time has a much higher complication rate, given the opposing objectives and forces.

For further information about breast lift, please click here : American Society of Plastic Surgeons