Saggy Breasts With “Ptosis”
The medical term for breast sagging is “ptosis.” This means falling down, drooping, or downward displacement. It will occur in almost all natural breasts except for the very smallest. Ptosis makes the appearance of the breast “sad,” or “deflated.” There is a loss of superior breast fullness and breast projection. The nipple sits low on the face of the breast and can point to the floor. These are all characteristics of matronly, non-youthful, non-perky breasts.
Breast sagging is related to gravity and the tendency for all objects to fall toward the floor. Significant weight fluctuations, pregnancy, lack of bra use, and poor genetics are all related to breast ptosis. After a breast augmentation, the breast tissue can slide off the breast implant, making the breast unattractive.
The treatment for breast ptosis depends on the cause. A low implant may be moved higher. Loose, hanging breast tissue can be lifted and shaped into a more youthful position (breast lift).
How can I prevent breast sagging?
Always wear a supportive bra, day and night, that works to keep your breasts “up and in.”
Will my breasts sag after pregnancy if I have breast implants?
Breasts will sag after pregnancy, for sure. Breast implants don’t prevent sagging. Wearing a supportive bra during and after pregnancy will help you minimize breast sagging. Adjust the size of your bra as your breasts enlarge and then shrink.
My doctor told me she can lift my breasts with an implant and not a breast lift. Is this possible?
Be careful here. A breast implant can certainly improve the appearance of a breast with minor sagging, but you certainly can’t lift a saggy breast with a large implant. This is usually a recipe for very large, matronly breasts and a not-so-satisfied patient. I would advise patients that in the vast majority of cases it is far better to lift the breast rather than over-augment.
What is the best lifting procedure?
There are three main lifting options. The first leaves a scar only around the areola, the second is a vertical lift with the final scar shaped like a lollipop, and the third is an “inverted T” technique with both vertical and horizontal scars. There is no “one size fits all” procedure. It is up to you and your surgeon to come up with a plan that works best for you and your anatomy. Personally, my vertical lifting procedure works beautifully in most cases, but I perform all techniques depending on the situation.
Is a breast lift with a breast implant complicated?
Yes. This is different from a “simple” breast augmentation. Your surgeon needs to be good. One must exercise care when performing a breast lift and breast augmentation at the same time.
How do I know if I need a breast lift?
There is no exact test to determine whether you need a lift. It is all based on what your personal goals are in terms of the shape of your breasts, and your surgeon’s experience.
Can I have my breasts lifted several times?
Yes, you can. But you are at risk for some complications if it is done inexpertly. It is important that you provide your surgeon with your operative records so that she knows what your previous surgeon has done.
I know I need a breast lift, but I don’t want the scars. What should I do?
Talk helps here. Consulting with a reputable plastic surgeon will help you get over your fear of a breast lift. You can also choose a non-lifting option (if you are a suitable candidate), and if you are not completely satisfied you can have a lift done as a secondary procedure.
What are the most common causes of breast sagging?
The seven most common causes of breast sagging after breast enhancement are:
- Advancing age
- Large weight changes
- Infrequent/incorrect bra use
- Needing a lift at the time of your original augmentation
- A failed previous breast lift