Over time, breasts lose their youthful pertness, elasticity and fullness, leaving many women feeling unhappy and discontent with the shape, size and position of their breasts. At some point in time, most women will ask themselves: should I think about getting a Breast Lift?
A new and exciting Breast Lift procedure expertly performed by Dr. Jugenburg at the Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute differs from a traditional Breast Lift, which simply elevates a sagging breast, and instead beautifully rebuilds the breast tissue on the inside. The improved outcome is a Breast Lift that has less scarring, sits more naturally, looks fuller and lasts longer, leaving you with a rejuvenated appearance and enhanced self-esteem.
What Is a Breast Lift?
A Breast Lift (otherwise known as a Mastopexy) is a surgical procedure that can be performed using a number of different techniques to correct sagging, deflated breasts (known as breast ptosis.) When performed by Dr. Jugenburg at the Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute, this is achieved by meticulously repositioning the nipple and/or breast tissue, and tightening the skin. Having performed numerous Breast Lift surgeries, Dr. Jugenburg is a highly experienced Cosmetic Breast Surgeon with the surgical skill and cosmetic artistry to beautifully restore the appearance of youthful breasts to your body.
Aesthetic Benefits of a Breast Lift
A Breast Lift is designed to leave your breasts firmer and uplifted, with the position of your areolae (the darker skin surrounding the nipples) and nipples enhanced. When performing Breast Lift surgery (with or without Breast Augmentation), Dr. Jugenburg understands the aesthetics of a beautiful, youthful breast and aims to carefully incorporate these features into your results.
The typical characteristics of youthful breasts are:
- The most attractive breasts, as studied by Plastic Surgeons, have the nipple approximately above this fold.
- The two nipples should form an equilateral triangle with the notch above the sternum (that is, the distances between the nipples and from each nipple to the notch should all be the same.)
- Breast size is proportionate to chest width, waist size and height.
- Breasts are pert rather than sagging.
- Breasts appear symmetrical (but are never perfectly symmetrical in any women.)
- Proper projection: on profile, the nipple should sit directly behind the part of the breast that projects the fullest.
The novel Vertical Sling Breast Lift performed by Dr. Jugenburg at the Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute not only elevates the breasts, but also reshapes them to give the following additional benefits:
- Enhanced pertness and fullness.
- More youthful appearance.
- Longer lasting lift.
- Lower risk of complications.
- No loss of volume, no decrease in cup size.
- Minimal scarring.
The result is an appearance that resembles that achieved with breast implants, even though only the patient’s own breast tissue is remolded.
Will a Breast Lift Work for Me?
Every woman will have her own unique goals and expectations for the outcome of a Breast Lift. Woman who typically seek a Breast Lift surgery are those whose breasts have lost volume and are sagging due to weight loss, pregnancy, breastfeeding (or nursing) and/or aging. The surgery elevates and improves the appearance of breasts that exhibit one or more of the following issues:
- A pendulous shape or sagging (while remaining proportionate with the body frame.)
- Loss of firmness and skin elasticity.
- A flat elongated shape when unsupported.
- Nipples that fall below the breast fold (infra-mammary fold.)
- Nipple/areola complexes that point downward.
- Stretched skin and enlarged areolae > Asymmetry between the two breasts and/or nipple/areola complexes.
If any of the above concerns affect you, you may be an ideal candidate for surgery at the Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute.
The Royal Treatment – Our Unique Approach
At the Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute, our unique approach to Breast Lift surgery will ensure that your whole experience, from the moment of your first consultation with Dr. Jugenburg, through to your recovery after surgery in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, is as positive and comfortable as it can be. Individualized planning, meticulous surgical technique, careful monitoring and post-surgical care all combine to ensure that we offer you the best possible long-term results for your Breast Lift.
Your Breast Lift Consultation
During an initial consultation with Dr. Jugenburg at our clinic, you will discuss your reasons for wanting a Breast Lift and will undergo a thorough medical check-up. If found to be a suitable candidate for surgery, Dr. Jugenburg will discuss with you all the possibilities that are appropriate for your body, and the risks and limitations of each approach. Dr. Jugenburg will then determine the best approach for your breasts and personal goals.You will also be given an opportunity to browse through our extensive photo gallery of Breast Lift results in previous patients, view our state-of-the-art facilities, and meet with our team of friendly and experienced staff.
Your Breast Lift Surgery
All Breast Lift procedures involve the placement of incisions on the breasts using one of a number of different techniques. Dr. Jugenburg predominantly uses the Peri-Areolar and Vertical Sling techniques to perform Breast Lift surgeries, due to the enhanced results and minimal scarring he achieves with these methods. The technique that is chosen for your surgery will depend on:
- Your existing breast anatomy.
- Personal goals.
- The amount of breast elevation (ptosis correction) needed.
- The elasticity of your skin.
A general anesthetic will be administered to you during your Breast Lift surgery, so that you will be asleep and comfortable throughout the procedure. The procedure will be performed in the Operating Room under absolute sterile conditions to minimize the risk of infection. After the incisions on your breasts have been made, Dr. Jugenburg will meticulously reposition the breast tissue to give an uplifted appearance and fuller projection. When your surgery is completed, you will be taken into the Recovery Room where you will be closely monitored. Once our experienced nurses determine that you are safe to be released, you will either be able to go home under the supervision of an accompanying adult (you will not be able to drive yourself) or may choose to stay in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel for the first night after surgery. The new look to your breasts will take time to settle due to the swelling that occurs with surgery, but once the breasts are fully healed, the optimal result will be seen.
The Peri-Areolar Technique
- The Peri-Areolar Breast Lift (also known as the Benelli or Doughnut Breast Lift) is a technique that re-positions the nipple and minimizes scarring by limiting it to the areola only.
- This procedure is the primary method used by Dr. Jugenburg for women whose breasts have very mild sagging and require only 1 – 2 cm of elevation.
- During the procedure a doughnut shaped piece of skin is removed from around the areola border. The areola/nipple complex, surrounding skin and breast tissue are re-positioned and sutured in place to give an uplifted and fuller appearance.
- An Areola Reduction can be performed by making the inner incision within the areolar border.
- The resulting scar is partially disguised by the uneven surface of the areolar border and the colour contrast between the dark areola and lighter breast skin.
- Additional skin can also be removed from above the areola (a Crescent Breast Lift) to create a further lifting effect for the breast tissue and/or nipple.
The Vertical Sling Technique – A New and Advanced Procedure
- The Vertical Sling technique is the latest and most advanced Breast Lift procedure. It is variation of a Vertical Breast Lift (also known as a Keyhole Breast Lift), which elevates and reshapes the entire breast, and can therefore be considered a full Breast Lift.
- In the Vertical Sling approach, the chest muscle (pectoralis major) is used to support part of the breast tissue by forming a Chest Muscle Sling, thereby giving an enhanced and longer-lasting Breast Lift.
- This is a much more extensive procedure than a Peri-Areolar Breast Lift and is used by Dr. Jugenburg only in women whose sagging breasts (breast ptosis) require more than 2 cm of elevation (i.e., for moderate to severe ptosis.)
- During the procedure, a doughnut shaped piece of skin is removed following the Peri-Areolar method above, but with additional skin removed by also placing a straight incision directly from under the areola to the breast fold (infra-mammary fold.) The chest muscle (pectoralis major) is then dissected from the chest wall and part of the breast tissue is folded under and sutured to the muscle. The surrounding skin is pulled upward and/or inward towards the areola and sutured in place.
- Dr. Jugenburg’s advanced and meticulous wound closure techniques minimize the appearance of the scars on the breast.
Recovery After Breast Lift Surgery
Following your Breast Lift surgery, the recovery period is a crucial time during which your body heals, and the final, optimal appearance of your breasts is achieved. Immediately after surgery you may feel a little tired from the effects of the anesthetic, and will initially experience some discomfort, swelling of your breasts, and bruising. All of our patients are therefore offered the convenience and comfort of one of the luxurious hotel rooms inside the Fairmont Royal York Hotel to spend their first night after surgery. You will then return to see us in the clinic the following morning and again two weeks later to have your sutures removed. Further follow-up visits at the clinic will be arranged for you to allow us to continue to monitor the progress of your augmentation as your new implants settle into place.
The length of time it may take for you to recover from your Breast Lift surgery will depend on several factors and varies between women. Our unique and meticulous approach enables most women to resume regular activities the day after their Breast Lift with minimal discomfort. To allow proper healing and to achieve optimal cosmetic results, however, it is essential that you follow the post-operative care guidelines that will be given and explained to you before and after your surgery. These include certain restrictions, such as sleeping on your back only during the recovery period and wearing a surgical support bra at all times for 6 weeks after surgery. Thereafter, in order to maintain the new, beautiful appearance of your breasts, long-term proper bra support is also important.
Breast Lift Scars
Breast Lift surgery leaves scars on the breasts that are permanent and cannot be avoided. In most patients they are minimal and will fade noticeably over time. The incisions are also placed in locations that are easily concealed by clothing; even tops and dresses with plunging necklines. Furthermore, while a traditional Breast Lift procedure typically involves the placement of an inverted T-shaped scar (the Standard of Full-Anchor Breast Lift), Dr. Jugenburg specializes in the Peri-Areolar and Vertical Sling Breast Lift techniques, both of which leave minimal scarring. At the Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute, the Breast Lift incisions are therefore limited to the areola, and if a significant lift is required, an additional vertical incision only. The large incision usually placed within, or directly above, the breast fold (infra-mammary fold) is thereby completely avoided unless absolutely necessary in extreme cases. For further information on Breast Lift scars and incisions, please refer here.
How Long Does a Breast Lift Last For?
Traditional Breast Lifts do not last forever, as the effects of gravity on the body eventually take their toll. While breasts of any size can be lifted, the results may not last as long in women who have a large, heavy breast size. Other factors such as genetics, age, weight fluctuations, pregnancy and breastfeeding, excessive sun exposure, and a history of smoking can reduce the lifetime of the cosmetic benefits from your Breast Lift. However, a new suturing technique used by Dr. Jugenburg may be suitable for you. It involves the use of permanent Gore-Tex sutures to support the re-positioned breast tissue and has the possibility of greatly extending the life of your Breast Lift. In particular, it has the potential to maintain the shape of your newly enhanced and positioned areola/nipple complexes.
Breast Lift with Implants (Augmentation Mastopexy)
Augmentation Mastopexy (or Augmentation Breast Lift) is the ultimate procedure to transform the appearance of deflated, shapeless and sagging breasts and restore timeless beauty to a woman’s figure. The procedure is a combination of a Breast Augmentation and a Breast Lift and can benefit women, who in addition to being suitable candidates for a Breast Lift, also have:
- Deflated breasts that require an increase in volume.
- A natural breast volume that is smaller than desired.
- Pronounced volume and/or shape asymmetry between the two breasts.
With these combined procedures, your breasts will not only be restored to a youthful position, pertness and fullness, but will also be enlarged in volume, leaving your figure balanced and your femininity enhanced. Breast implants are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, profiles and textures to perfectly match the individual body type and goals of each woman. You can also choose to have your implants filled with a saline solution or a silicone gel formulation, both of which have been extensively safety tested and are Health Canada approved. Furthermore, with the advanced surgical techniques ably employed by Dr. Jugenburg, your recovery and healing will be straightforward.
Breast Lift Complications and Risks
Although the risk of complications are to be expected with any surgery, the more complex the procedure, the greater the risk. General risks and complications that apply to any surgery include adverse effects of anesthetic, bleeding and infection. At the Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute, our expert team of support staff, Dr. Jugenburg’s meticulous surgical technique, and the use of a carefully controlled sterile environment during surgery mean that such complications are unlikely.
- Infection – If an infection occurs, the symptoms usually become apparent 3 days after surgery. Signs of infection may include redness, severe swelling, wound discharge, an unpleasant smell, a burning sensation, discomfort or pain, and/or fever. To minimize the risk of infection you will be given antibiotics before and after surgery, and continue to take antibiotic medication for a few days afterwards.
- Blood Loss – In the unlikely event that post-operative bleeding occurs, it may require surgical intervention. For several weeks prior to surgery, all patients are instructed not to take any anti-coagulant medications or supplements (e.g., aspirin-containing medications or vitamin E and garlic supplements).
- Hematoma and Seroma – These are collections of fluid or clotted blood within a body cavity (or space) that can cause pain, scar tissue and infection, and may require surgical intervention. A patient should immediately report any sudden changes in the contour or color of their skin to the clinic.
- Temporary Loss of Sensitivity or Numbness – Sensation changes in the breast area are common, but normally resolve within the first few months after surgery. Permanent sensation loss in the areola (nipple) or breasts can occur, but is extremely rare.
- Scarring Irregularities – With any surgery there is a risk of hypertrophic scarring (red, raised scars), keloids (an overgrowth of scar tissue around the original incision), or inner scar tissue. Smoking or a history of abnormal scar (or collagen) formation will increase the risk of irregular scarring. A regimen of Steri-Strips directly after surgery, followed by silicone gels and sheets after suture removal, may be helpful in correcting or avoiding this problem.
- Wound Separation (Dehiscence) – Women who smoke or are diabetic may be at an increased risk of their wound edges separating post-operatively. If this occurs, the wound area must be kept extremely clean. Revision surgeries are usually not necessary, but the healing process will take longer in a patient with wound separation than in a patient with normal wound healing.
- Breast Asymmetry – In very rare cases, complications can lead to an asymmetrical appearance of the breasts. If appropriate, revision surgery will be required for an optimal result.
- Hyperpigmentations or Permanent Bruising – Dark spots from bruising can occur, but normally fade in a matter of weeks after surgery. In rare cases,a dark spot may take longer to disappear, or even be permanent and require treatment. The simple application of warm compresses after all healing is complete can assist in the reabsorption of the blood in a dark spot; if unsuccessful, Intense Pulsed Light treatment can be used.
- Fat and Tissue Necrosis – Necrosis (death of living cells) of breast fat, tissue or skin through a lack of blood supply is very rare. If an area of tissue becomes necrotic, immediate treatment is necessary to remove the affected tissue before it spreads and develops a serious infection. Patients who have a compromised wound healing ability, a history of smoking, circulatory problems, diabetes, and/or who have received radioactive/chemotherapy treatment, have an increased risk of necrosis developing.
In all cases, if you suspect you may be experiencing one of the above complications, please contact the clinic immediately on 416-834-6640. A nurse will speak with you over the phone to determine if you need to be seen urgently or not.
Breast Lift General FAQs
The following questions and answers will give you an insight into the most common concerns among prospective Breast Lift patients. For further information on Breast Lift scars, please see this page. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us. For the safest, most aesthetically pleasing results, cosmetic surgery treatments must be tailored specifically to each individual patient. To receive personalized advice for your breasts, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Jugenburg.
The best candidates are women who have all the information, fully understand what the surgery involves and its limitations, and who have a realistic expectation. Besides fundamentally improving confidence, self-esteem and body image, common reasons for a Breast Lift alone are:
- Breasts that are pendulous, but of satisfactory size
- Breasts that lack substance or firmness
- Nipple/areola complexes that point downward (especially if they are positioned below the breast fold)
- Asymmetry between the two breasts and/or nipple/areola complexes
You are never too old for a Breast Lift. Age is not a deciding factor, your overall health is. Any woman, regardless of her age, may be a good candidate for a Breast Lift providing she is healthy, in good physical shape, and understands the risks associated with a Breast Lift
During pregnancy, a woman’s breasts will develop and enlarge in preparation for breastfeeding. These changes occur as a result of hormone surges, and the extent by which the breast volume increases varies between women. By about 6 months after a woman has stopped breastfeeding (or, if not breastfeeding, after childbirth) the breasts will most likely return to their pre-pregnancy appearance. Some women are, however, left with a significant loss of shape and/or volume, and sagging (breast ptosis). These effects can be addressed by a Breast Lift procedure, or in combination with a Breast Augmentation.
After pregnancy and breastfeeding, your breasts will either revert to their pre-pregnancy state or possibly leave you with a deflated and sagging appearance. It normally takes about 3 months for these changes to happen, and for that reason you should wait and not rush into surgery too early. Dr. Jugenburg recommends that you wait until your breasts have stabilized (until they are not changing any longer) before planning your surgery. If you were to otherwise have your breast surgery earlier, it would be like trying to hit a moving target.
Breast Lift (Mastopexy) surgery can be performed by either simply lifting the nipple (the Peri-Areolar technique) or reshaping and lifting the entire breast (the Vertical Sling technique). In both cases, incisions will be made on the breasts to remove excess skin and reshape and/or raise the breast tissue where necessary. Permanent scars will be left where each incision was made, but in most women these will be minimal.
Dr. Jugenburg will do his best to minimize scarring. You can learn more about incisions and scars related to breast lift surgery here.
The Peri-Areolar technique is a surgical Breast Lift procedure designed to raise the nipple and minimize scarring by limiting it to the areola only. This procedure is ideal for women whose breasts have very mild sagging (breast ptosis) and where only 1 – 2 cm of lift is required.
Vertical Breast Lift surgery is a full Breast Lift procedure where the entire breast is reshaped and lifted. This is a more extensive procedure than a Peri-Areolar Breast Lift and is used in women who require more than 2 cm of lift to correct their sagging breasts (breast ptosis).
The new Vertical Sling technique is the latest and most advanced variation of a Breast Lift. In this approach, the breast tissue is reconstructed on the inside, thereby creating a perkier, fuller look (similar to that achieved with breast implants) and longer-lasting results.
Yes, improvements to breast asymmetry are always addressed during Breast Lift surgery, but perfect symmetry can never be achieved and nor is it naturally present in any woman. In more pronounced cases of breast volume and shape asymmetry, breast implants may be required to modify the profile and/or size of one or both breasts to adjust for this asymmetry.
For further information on correcting breast asymmetry with breast implants, please refer here.
Women who are 40 years-old or above, or those with a strong family history of breast cancer, should be screened. It is important to determine that the breasts are free from any disease prior to cosmetic breast surgery. Dr. Jugenburg will assess you during your consultation and determine what investigations are required prior to your surgery. If you have any concerns regarding breast cancer (such as a strong family history of breast cancer or lumps in your breasts), please make sure to mention these during your consultation.
You will be given thorough instructions on how best to prepare for your surgery. Important preparation for your recovery after surgery include:
- Organize your affairs and schedule, so that you can completely relax and rest after surgery.
- Make sure you arrange for someone to bring you to the clinic and to collect you after the surgery (if you choose not to stay in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel for the first night after surgery) - you will not be allowed to leave by yourself.
- Make sure you have someone who can spend the first 24 hours after the surgery with you, to ensure your safety - you must not be left alone.
The procedure is typically 1 - 1.5 hours, but will vary between patients depending on the extent of work required and the desired outcome.
As soon as you are fully awake after surgery and are able to leave the Recovery Room, you will be encouraged to get out of bed (or up from a lying position) for short periods of time. The following day you should be able to move about more comfortably. Straining, bending and lifting must be avoided, however, since these activities might cause increased swelling or even bleeding.
For at least 4 weeks after surgery, you will be required to sleep on your back to avoid pressure on your breasts. You will need to wear a surgical support bra at all times (except brief periods when washing) for 6 weeks in order to maintain the shape and position of your breasts, and to allow proper healing. Sutures and staples are removed during your post-surgical visits. Non-permanent sutures that are left deep inside are absorbable and will dissolve on their own. You may notice that you feel less sensation in the nipple and areola areas. This is usually temporary, but it may take weeks, months or even more than a year before your sensation returns to normal. Your breasts may also require some time to assume a more natural shape as the swelling subsides. Incisions will initially be red or pink in color. They will remain this way for many months following surgery, but will gradually fade in most patients until they blend in better with the surrounding skin.
Until your wounds have properly healed after surgery, you should not run, jump or perform any other vigorous physical activity that will raise your blood pressure, make your breasts bounce, and/or potentially break open your wounds (this includes participating in sexual activities). You should also avoid lifting your arms above shoulder height, or perform any other movements, particularly sudden movements, that will stretch the skin around your wounds.
You will be able to take a shower a few days after surgery, but must make sure to thoroughly dry your wounds and dressings. Most women can return to office type work during the first week after surgery. If your work involves being active, you must either arrange to undertake non-active tasks for a period of 2 weeks, if possible, or to take this time off work. You should be able to resume most of your normal activities after 2 weeks, including some form of mild exercise, but should resume these activities gradually. After that, for a further period of 2 – 4 weeks, care must be taken to be extremely gentle with your breasts, and you must wear your surgical support bra at all times. You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort during this time, but such feelings are normal. Severe pain should be immediately reported to Dr. Jugenburg, or if out of office hours, your nearest physician.