Dr. Nancy Van Laeken M.D., F.R.C.S.C.




Mastopexy is the medical term for a breast lift. This procedure is performed on patients who have lost weight, had multiple pregnancies, or had the development of droopy breasts since puberty. The procedure is associated with scarring. It takes approximately one and a half hours. It is done under a general anesthetic. The recovery time until the patient is able to function for normal day-to-day activities is approximately one week. To full exercise recovery it is approximately two to three weeks. There are many different styles of a breast lift, but the procedure is very effective in reducing the affects of gravity and pregnancy.

Breast lift (mastopexy) surgery is designed to uplift and improve the shape of breasts. The natural shape of breasts may gradually change with time. Breasts can lose elasticity with age, pregnancy, or fluctuating weight. This may leave some women dissatisfied with the shape of their breasts and wishing to restore their youthful look.

Who Is A Candidate?

Candidates for mastopexy are women whose breasts have lost tone and volume due to aging, pregnancy or weight loss. If the areola (pigmented skin around the nipple) is stretched or enlarged, a breast lift will reshape and reposition the nipple to a more youthful size and position.

Preparation For Surgery

It is very important that Dr. Van Laeken is aware of the state of your general health prior to surgery. Please let her know of any allergies you have, medications, herbal supplements, or vitamins you are taking as well as the reasons for taking them. It is also important that you inform Dr. Van Laeken if you have a tendency for keloid scarring (thick, wide, or raised scars).If you are a smoker we encourage you to quit prior to proceeding with surgery. Smoking can interfere with the blood flow to the skin, and will inhibit the healing of the incisions.

Depending on your age as well as your general health pre-operative tests may be ordered, such as blood tests, or an ECG.

It is important that you avoid taking vitamin E, anti-inflammatories or aspirin products for 2 weeks prior to surgery. These products are anti coagulants, and could lead to hematoma formation and bleeding during the surgery.


Dr. Van Laeken operates at several different hospitals, but generally performs mastopexy surgeries at False Creek Surgical Centre or the Cambie Surgery Centre. These are both state of the art, fully accredited private surgical facilities.

The operation is usually carried out as a day care procedure under a general anaesthetic.

Mastopexy surgery does not remove any breast tissue, but may involve the removal of skin to re-position the nipple and lift the glandular tissue on the chest wall. In some instances, patients request having their breasts augmented as well as uplifted. There are many variations on the mastopexy procedure. The time required for the surgery varies from one to two hours, depending upon the extent of surgery required and whether or not an implant is placed. The cost will also vary depending upon the nature of the procedure. Each case is taken on an individual basis. Patients are examined and recommendations are made based on the patient’s breast shape, size, skin tone, age and cosmetic desires. If the patient chooses to have breast implants placed at the time of the lift, then information regarding breast augmentation will be given to the patient at the same time. For more information visit the Natrelle website.

Each of these techniques involved some degree of scarring. These scars will be covered by your brassiere and should diminish with time.

Procedure Videos

Breast Lift
Breast Lift With Implants


Following your surgery your breasts will be swollen. This swelling will last approximately 2-4 weeks. You will be given a prescription for pain relievers, take as directed. Immediately post-operatively you will be placed in a compression bandage, which is not to be disturbed until you are seen in the office 5-7 days after surgery. When you arrive home after surgery Dr. Van Laeken recommends that you rest in bed. Placing ice packs on your chest will help reduce bruising, swelling, and help keep you comfortable.

Most patients who have sedentary jobs plan to take 2 weeks off work. If your job involves a great deal of physical activity Dr. Van Laeken can advise you as to how much time you should take off.

The first follow-up appointment is in the office 5-7 days after surgery. The dressing is removed at this visit. You may notice some numbness around the breast once the dressing is removed. This is normal.

Bring a jog bra or aerobics top to the first post-op visit. You will wear this after the dressing is removed. You will wear this day and night for 3 weeks. In the third week, just wear the bra during the day and not at night. After 1 month a tightly fitted underwire bra is recommended.

The second follow-up visit is at 10-14 days post op. Sutures will be removed at this time. If an implant has been placed then instructions on how to perform breast massage will be taught by either Dr. Van Laeken or her nurse. This technique should be performed 1-2 times per day to help prevent capsular contracture.

Your next follow-up appointment is in another 6 weeks, then at 6 months and 1 year after surgery.

Potential Complications

The overall complication rate is low. Some complications are serious; most are not. Some complications interfere with the final desired result and others have no effect on the final outcome.

  • Hematoma
  • Nipple Loss
  • Skin Slough
  • Death of Fatty Tissue Under the Skin
  • Infection
  • Nipple Retraction
  • Wrong Position of Nipple
  • Scars
  • Cysts
  • Sensory Loss

Read definitions for potential complications.


View before and after photos

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Email: info@vanlaeken.com