Plastic Surgery Procedures to Correct Sagging Breasts
It is a completely normal part of life to see our bodies change as we get older. For women, one of the major sources of dissatisfaction for their aging bodies tends to be sagging breasts. As time passes and gravity does its work, breast skin stretches and loses elasticity. The result? Dropping or downfacing breasts that no amount of exercise will lift. Since breasts do not have muscles, the only way to fix that unsightly sag is through preventative measures and corrective surgery.
A breast lift surgery from a board-certified plastic surgeon is one way to fix sagging breasts and restore the confidence you had in your body before those undesirable gravitational effects took place.
What Causes Breasts to Sag?
Sagging breasts, scientifically known as breast ptosis, can occur in all shapes and sizes of breasts. Breast tissue is made up of fat and ligaments that, over time and with some lifestyle and genetic factors, lose elasticity and lead to the drooping, deflated appearance associated with sagging.
The Cooper’s Ligaments are the bands of connective tissue responsible for supporting the breasts. These fibrous bands are located beneath the skin of the breasts and on top of the pectoral muscles. When Cooper’s ligaments lose elasticity, the result is the loss of perky, lifted breasts.
So what exactly causes the structural integrity of these ligaments to deteriorate? It can differ from person to person and be the result of a combination of reasons, but here are the common factors associated with sagging breasts:
- Gravitational pull
- Weight loss
- Sun exposure
How Do I Know if My Breasts Are Sagging?
How many times have you looked at yourself in the mirror and wondered, “are my breasts starting to sag?” While all bodies are beautiful, it’s completely normal to notice and question the changes that take place on your body over time.
The Pencil Test
Some women use what’s called the “pencil test” to determine if their breasts are sagging- this includes taking a pencil and placing it along the wall of the chest underneath one of your breasts. If the pencil falls, your breasts are perky, but if it stays put, being held underneath your breast, there is likely some sagging taking place. While this “test” is not a scientific measure of breast ptosis, it can give you some insight into changes happening in your own body.
What Do Sagging Breasts Look Like?
When the nipple of the breast sits below the inframammary fold, or crease of the underneath of the breast that meets the wall of the chest, there is some sagging taking place. If the nipple is above the inframammary fold, your breasts are perky, and not sagging. Sagging breasts have different levels or grades of ptosis that range from mild to severe.
To determine where your breasts fall in terms of sagging, we can break it down into the following categories:
- Perky, non-sagging breasts: the nipple sits above the inframammary fold.
- Grade 1 ptosis: mild sagging where the nipple sits at level with the inframammary fold.
- Grade 2 ptosis: moderate sagging where the nipple sits below the inframammary fold.
- Grade 3 ptosis: significant sagging where the nipple is the lowest point of the breast and facing downward.
- Pseudoptosis: the nipple is level with the inframammary fold, but the lower part of the breast sags or pulls downward.
How Can I Fix My Sagging Breasts?
Now that we covered what causes a woman’s breasts to sag, we have to cover the most important part of the solution to breast sagging: how you can fix your sagging breasts. Unfortunately, once the breast tissue loses elasticity, it cannot be worked out and restored like a muscle can be. Even though the pectoral muscles are located near the breasts, they do not affect sagging. While it’s true that working your pecs out at the gym can help maintain some of the lift to your breasts, it will not restore lost tissue laxity.
The only way to fix breasts with loosened ligaments is through a surgical procedure. You may wonder which is a better surgical approach for your sagging breasts: a breast lift or breast augmentation?
We will discuss the benefits of each type of breast surgery on sagging breasts.
Breast Lift Surgery
The most effective way to combat sagging breasts, a mastopexy, known more commonly as a breast lift, removes excess skin, tightens the skin, and lifts the breast to the desired placement. This creates a more youthful, perky appearance to the breasts.
Your surgeon works with you to determine your goals and then reshapes the breast to level out and lift the nipple above the inframammary fold. After breast lift surgery women with previously sagging breasts can enjoy the self-confidence associated with having firm breasts again.
Breast Lift with Augmentation Surgery
A mastopexy with augmentation is a combination breast lift with breast augmentation surgery. The loss of volume in the breasts has contributed to the drooping of the breast tissue, and gives the look of downturned or deflated breasts.
This could have been caused by breastfeeding, weight loss, or just the factor of time, but you do not need to live with sagging breasts forever. Having your surgeon perform a breast lift with the addition of breast implants enables you to have your sagging breasts rejuvenated and reshaped, and achieve the desired attractive look to your chest.
Breast Reduction Surgery
Although most women seek breast reduction surgery because of back pain due to the heaviness of their breasts, this surgery can also help aid in restructuring the breast in a way that diminishes sagging tissue. During a breast reduction, tissue and skin are removed in order to make the breasts smaller, tightening them and ultimately providing more uplifted, firm, attractive-looking breasts that do not sag.
Schedule a Consultation to Fix Your Sagging Breasts
Are you insecure about your sagging breasts? There’s no reason you should live day-to-day unhappy with your body. In order to determine the best course of action to achieve youthful, firm, and desirable breasts, you can discuss your goals with a Raleigh board-certified plastic surgeon.
At North Raleigh Plastic Surgery, Dr. Ortiz has helped numerous women regain confidence and self-esteem in their bodies by performing procedures that fix saggy breasts. Call us today at 919-532-2270 for a consultation or fill out the form below to get started.