Will Implants Lift Your Breasts?

What is the best procedure for sagging breasts? Our Vancouver area-based practice gets asked this question frequently by patients who want to address loose skin and restore a lifted appearance to the breasts. Pregnancy, weight fluctuations, and aging can cause the breasts to droop. As there are so many options available, it may sometimes be difficult to know which is best for you. Breast augmentation is one way of enhancing the appearance of the breasts, but this isn’t the only option for improving their shape. We can recommend the best option for you based on the condition of your breasts and your goals. In this post, we’ll explore some of the factors you will need to consider when choosing a breast surgery procedure to lift the breasts.

Although breast augmentation with implants can sometimes address cases of very mild sagging by restoring volume, in most cases implants won’t be enough to lift sagging breasts. Breast augmentation is focused on the size and shape of the breasts rather than their position on the chest.

If your primary goal is to restore a more youthful, perky, firmer, and aesthetically pleasing shape to your breasts, then you might want to consider a breast lift instead. This procedure does not involve the use of implants at all. The existing breast tissue is manipulated and reshaped as a way of lifting and tightening the breasts. A breast lift is ideal for addressing sagging, drooping, or asymmetry a patient may be experiencing because of pregnancy, aging, weight fluctuations, or other factors.

It’s important to remember that a breast lift does not involve adding volume, so it is a better option for someone who already has a sufficient amount of natural breast tissue. The results can often be more subtle for this surgery and natural looking compared to implants. If you are mostly happy with the size of your breasts but want to improve their tightness and position, then a breast lift may be what you need.  For many patients, combining a breast lift with a breast augmentation may mean the best of both worlds as volume is added while the tissues are reshaped to create a perkier appearance.

What is the best procedure for sagging breasts? Our Vancouver area-based team at the office of Dr. Owen Reid will explain more. Call us at 604-343-9309 or submit a contact form to schedule a consultation.

5 Myths About Breast Augmentation Debunked

Curious about what you should know before getting breast augmentation? Our Vancouver area-based team at the office of Dr. Owen Reid believes that there are some things patients should be aware of before they undergo this surgery. Although there’s so much information available about breast implants, there are still so many misconceptions about the procedure. In this post, we’ll debunk five of the most common myths and misconceptions about breast augmentation.

Myth 1: Implants Can Lift Sagging Breasts

The truth is that breast augmentation can’t lift sagging breasts and make them perkier, except in very mild cases of sagging. Patients may need to combine a breast augmentation with a breast lift or have a breast lift on its own if their goal is mainly to elevate and reshape the breasts.

Myth 2: Breast Implants Will Need to Be Replaced Frequently

Implants are designed to be very long-lasting, and, in many cases, patients have them for decades. Even after twenty years or more, they may still look very natural. There’s no need to have them replaced unless the patient is experiencing a complication such as rupture or capsular contracture. You should get regular MRIs, breast exams, or other reviews regularly so that any issues with the breast or implants can be identified.

Myth 3: Breast Implants Always Look and Feel Fake

There’s a common myth that breast implants always look fake or unnatural, but this is far from the case. Many patients believe that the best implants are the ones that look real and it’s entirely possible to achieve this. Techniques can be used to ensure that the breasts look as natural as possible. For example, an under the muscle placement can often create a more natural-looking curve for the breasts.

Myth 4: Breast Implants Prevent You from Breastfeeding

In most cases, it will still be possible to breastfeed when you have implants.

Myth 5: They’re Only for Younger Women

Although younger women often choose breast implants, women from other age groups may also be eligible for this surgery. There are many reasons why they might decide to undergo this surgery, such as wanting to restore more youthful breasts or address changes caused by pregnancy.

For more advice on what you should know before breast augmentation, contact Our Vancouver area-based team at the office of Dr. Owen Reid. Call us at 604-343-9309 or submit a contact form to schedule a consultation.

Who is an Ideal Tummy Tuck Candidate?

It can be frustrating when your body always seems to be fuller around the midsection, no matter how many workouts you put in. The belly area is one of the most challenging areas for many patients to tone up. Worse still, the sagging skin and fat can get in the way of your daily activities, making it difficult for you to exercise or find clothes that fit well. Even if they're slim, hormones, genetics, weight fluctuations, their natural body type, or the effects of pregnancy can leave some patients with some unwanted fat and skin - and even protruding stomach muscles. Patients who are bothered by these concerns could benefit from a tummy tuck from the Vancouver area cosmetic practice of Dr. Owen Reid.

This surgery creates a dramatic improvement and leaves you with flatter, firmer stomach to make it easier for you to sculpt your abs. Here's what patients should consider if they're curious about whether they'd make a good candidate for a tummy tuck.

State of Health

Plastic surgeons prefer patients to be in excellent physical and mental health before having an operation. If you have serious health concerns that might make surgery unsafe for you, the plastic surgeon will not perform or may choose to delay the tummy tuck. The doctor will go over your medical history beforehand and you may have to do a physical test. Chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, or mental health issues like depression make surgery riskier.

Lifestyle Factors

If you're a smoker this can delay the healing process or put you at risk of complications. Taking blood thinners in the weeks prior to surgery is also ill-advised.


A tummy tuck won't allow you to lose a significant amount of weight or improve your overall health, so it isn't a solution for overweight or obesity. In fact, doctors usually prefer to perform this surgery on patients who are already at a stable, ideal weight. Patients who have a high BMI (Body Mass Index) have a higher risk of complications.

If you're unhappy about the appearance of your stomach because of sagging skin or excess, resistant fat, contact Dr. Owen Reid by calling 604-343-9309 to request a consultation or fill out a contact form to learn more about what's involved before and after a tummy tuck in the Vancouver area.

Lower Body Lift Recovery: What to Expect

Even after losing weight or maintaining a stable weight for most of your life, it can be difficult to firm up and reposition resistant areas of the body to attain the body shape you want. This is especially true for those who have lost a significant amount of weight and are left with excess sagging fat, uneven or dimpled areas, and heavy folds of skin. Pregnancy, natural aging, and sun damage also take a toll on our skin and tissues. Having a lower body lift in the Vancouver area from plastic surgeon Dr. Owen Reid will help you tone up and reshape your physique by removing this redundant skin and fat to leave you with firmer, shapelier contours.

This can improve mobility and may make patients feel more motivated to keep active. However, as surgery is involved, it does require a recovery and healing period

The lower body lift consists of a combination of different procedures for enhancing the abdomen, lateral thighs, and butt. Recovery can take at least two weeks, by which time it may be safe to return to a sedentary desk job, but your activity will be restricted for around six to eight weeks in total.

The length can vary depending on the patient and what types of treatments are performed. It also depends on how extensive the surgery is and how much skin or tissue is removed. The recovery phase for a lower body lift is comparable to that of a standard tummy tuck

Some level of discomfort is normal during the first few weeks, but this gradually lessens. Your surgeon will also advise you on taking oral medications for pain management and to accelerate healing. Patients are asked to wear compression garments as they help to decrease pain and swelling, improve circulation, and maintain the shape of the skin and tissues in the right position so that you can achieve the most aesthetically pleasing results.After eight weeks have passed it will usually be safe for you to resume exercise

Interested in learning more about what's involved in a lower body lift in the Vancouver area? Get in touch withour team at the office of Dr. Owen Reid by calling 604-343-9309 to request a consultation or fill out a contact form to start planning your procedure

The Importance of Protein Supplementation for MWL patients undergoing body contouring

In a recent study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, a simple regimen of protein supplementation was found to reduce the incidence of post-operative wound healing issues. I decided to summarize parts of the paper here in this month's blog because it has the potential to enhance the recovery for all of our massive weight loss patients who are undergoing body contouring procedures.
This study was published by a group working out of Mississauga, lead by Dr. Jamil Ahmad and Dr. Frank Lista. They recognized that for massive weight loss patients there are more wound healing issues following body contouring surgery in comparison to other body contouring patients. It's well known that post-bariatric patients experience higher rates of protein calorie insufficiency and the authors hypothesized that protein supplementation would help to reduce the number of post-operative wound healing complications.
Two groups of 23 massive weight loss (MWL) patients undergoing abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) were selected. The two groups were similar with regards to age, gender, BMI and other characteristics. Patients in the treatment group were asked to supplement their diet with 80 grams of whey-isolate protein powder for 4 weeks before surgery and 4 weeks after surgery. This was the only difference between the two groups.
The treatment group had a significantly lower rate of wound healing issues (0% vs 21.7%).
Protein calorie insufficiency is common amongst post-bariatric patients. In addition, protein requirements are increased during the healing phase following body contouring surgery. It's not unexpected then that the authors were able to demonstrate improved healing and recovery in the group who received protein supplementation.
"Based on this article, I would encourage all of my MWL patients to incorporate some protein supplementation in to their pre- and post-surgery diets."
Article reference:
Austin, Ryan et al. The Impact of Protein Nutritional Supplementation for Massive Weight Loss Patients undergoing Abdominoplasty. Aesthetic Surgery Journal; 2015, 1-7.

What to expect during your consultation

Here's a blog post that is perhaps applicable to everybody. Most blog topics are particular to a specific procedure or treatment and, therefore, only relevant to a small subset of patients. As an alternative, I will lay out a framework for the consultation process and a scaffold for the information that needs to be delivered during any consultation. My hope is that this will reduce the number of unknowns, improve the quality of the discussion and promote better, more informative consultations.
Almost all consultations follow a set structure that is designed to meet the needs of our patients. To begin with, we will ask you for some basic information so that a chart can be developed within our electronic medical record. Following that, you will be provided with some written material that is specific to your area of interest (e.g. breast augmentation). In a private consult room, our patient coordinator will review your treatment goals and provide you with some preliminary information.
The substance of the consultation really begins at this point. Dr. Reid will record the relevant aspects of your medical history. He will also provide some background information on the topic and his approach to treatment (e.g. how to select implant type, size, etc.). The discussion that follows, with Dr. Reid, helps to ensure a mutual understanding of your goals, expectations and concerns. A directed physical examination provides the remaining information required for Dr. Reid to prepare a personalized treatment recommendation.
There is a lot of information during this last phase of the consultation and it's most easily remembered if you break it down into the following categories.
  1. Your diagnosis and recommended treatment plan
  2. Alternatives to the recommended treatment
  3. Technical details about the procedure itself
  4. The expected outcome
  5. The recovery process
  6. The potential risks
  7. The fees and the booking process
For most cosmetic procedures, we prefer to arrange a second office visit approximately 4 weeks prior to the scheduled procedure. This 'pre-operative' visit provides another opportunity to clarify your goals, the treatment plan and your plan for recovery.  If there are questions that need answering prior to the pre-operative visit, we can always be reached by telephone or email.
We aim to create a consultation experience that is comfortable, thorough and informative. If you have any questions or comments about our consultations, or if you would like to arrange a consultation with Dr. Reid please contact our patient coordinator at jean@drreidplasticsurgery.ca

Breast Reduction Techniques

If you said that there was a different breast reduction technique for every practicing plastic surgeon you wouldn't be far from the truth. Although it's common for each surgeon to have their own innovative surgical tips, the vast majority of surgeons are using a personalized variation of a common technique.

Breast reduction techniques are most commonly classified by their scar pattern, and the two most common patterns are the Vertical Scar Technique and the Inverted "T" or Anchor Technique. However, this is only half the story. Arguably, the more important part of a successful breast reduction is what goes on under the skin, within the breast tissue itself, and the scar pattern doesn't tell us anything about how the surgeon handles this part of the operation. For example, Dr. Reid has to make decisions about which parts of the breast will be preserved, which parts will be resected and how to re-configure the breast to achieve the best possible shape. These variables are all independent of the  scar pattern.

What technique does Dr. Reid use?

Dr. Reid uses the technique that best suits the patient; there is no one best technique nor would it be appropriate to use the same technique for each patient. Breast shape is highly variable and so a surgeon requires expertise with more than one technique and should also be able to adapt these techniques as needed to breasts with varying characteristics.

So will I get the Vertical Scar or the Inverted "T" Scar pattern?

In breast and body contouring surgery, a plastic surgeon chooses to place a scar or lengthen a scar in order to achieve better contour and shape. This holds true for breast reduction surgery. Dr. Reid uses both patterns and although it's always nice to limit scar length, he finds the Inverted "T" scar pattern to be very helpful for those patients who have significant breast ptosis (droop) and skin laxity. In this situation, the 'additional' scar, concealed along the infra-mammary fold, allows Dr. Reid more control over breast size, shape and position. In contrast, those patients who have large breasts without significant ptosis are typically good candidates for the vertical scar technique.

Dr. Owen Reid commonly performs breast reduction surgeries in Vancouver, Richmond and Delta. For more information or to book a consultation, please contact our office at 604-273-1034.