It’s normal for your breasts to begin to sag a little as a result of multiple pregnancies and age. But that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with a bosom that is hurting your self-confidence. A breast lift can perk up sagging breasts, restoring the youthful, shapely silhouette you once had. And if the overall size of your breasts is also bothering you, we may be able to augment your volume by incorporating an implant into your breast lift. At Metairie Plastic Surgeons in Metairie, LA, we’ve helped patients throughout the New Orleans area enhance the shape and profile of their breasts.
What Causes Sagging Breasts
The breasts–like the rest of the body–go through a lot of changes when you’re in your thirties and forties as a result of pregnancies, breastfeeding, and the onset of middle age. You may notice some early drooping in your thirties as pregnancies and the associated weight fluctuations stretch the breasts.
During your forties, when estrogen levels start to decline, the breasts may also become softer and less elastic. All of these factors, combined with the constant pull of gravity on the body as well as the impact of genetics, can lead to the gradual onset of breast ptosis: the medical term for sagging breasts.
There’s not a lot a woman can do to prevent sagging breasts, although refraining from smoking and maintaining a healthy weight can help. Women with larger cup sizes are also sometimes predisposed to sagging.
When a Lift Can Help
Because almost every woman experiences some degree of sagging, patients sometimes want to know when droopiness is enough to merit intervention. There are several signals that your drooping is significant enough to seek out a breast lift.
The pencil test is one of the easiest at-home ways to measure the severity of your sagging. If a pencil placed in the fold beneath your breasts stays in place without being held, you may have enough sagging to merit a breast lift.
If the pigmented skin around the nipple has become stretched out, that’s another sign of significant drooping. If one of your breasts is drooping more than the other, or if your nipples have taken on a downward direction or now rest naturally below the fold beneath your breasts, those are other signs that you may have enough sagging to consider a breast lift.
The Breast Lift Process
A breast lift, which is referred to in medical terms as a mastopexy, is a treatment that restores a youthful shape to breasts that have begun to appear saggy, soft, and deflated. It also can be used to raise breasts that have begun to sink lower on the chest. The treatment involves the removal of excess skin that may be causing droopiness as well as the reshaping of the breast tissue for better definition. In some cases, the nipple may also be repositioned for a more youthful look.
A breast lift differs from an implant or augmentation procedure in that it doesn’t focus on increasing the size of the breast. Instead, it addresses the shape and firmness of the breasts while raising their position and profile. In some patients, however, reshaping the breasts can give the appearance of more volume. And for patients who want to tighten up sagging while also increasing the volume of their breasts by a cup size or more, an implant can be done in combination with the lift.
Although the bulk of breast lifts are done for cosmetic reasons to address age-related sagging, the reshaping aspect of a lift also makes this treatment an option for patients who have undergone a mastectomy or who are looking for some degree of reconstruction after a traumatic injury.
What Treatment Is Like
A breast lift is a surgical procedure that is usually performed under general anesthesia. On the day of your treatment, we will first mark the breasts so that we have a guideline to follow. Once the surgery begins, we will make incisions to remove excess skin and gain access to the breast tissue so that we can reposition and reshape it.
Great care will be taken with the incisions to conceal them. We’ll talk with you before your treatment date about your particular situation and what approach to incisions will best meet your needs. The most common approach to this treatment involves making an incision around the nipple area, down the breast, and then along the horizontal fold beneath the breast. This type of incision makes it possible to significantly tighten sagging.
In some cases, the incision along the horizontal fold is not needed, and in still other more moderate cases the incision is limited to the one around the nipple. Any incisions that are made will be closed with deeply embedded sutures. In some cases, the pigmented area of skin around the nipple will also be reduced in size for a more natural and youthful look.
What Type of Recovery Is Involved?
You’ll want to plan on resting for a few days after your treatment, but most patients are able to return to work in a week or so, and rigorous exercise can resume in about two weeks. Recovery varies for each patient depending on how significant a correction was made to the breasts.
Maintaining Your Results
Because a breast lift represents a permanent reshaping of your breast tissue, you won’t have to go to a lot of effort to maintain your results. Your body will, however, continue to age, so you won’t be completely immune to the effects of gravity.
The best approach is to work on maintaining a healthy weight, because a notable drop in your weight could encourage more sagging. Similarly, a notable increase in your weight may put additional stress on the breast tissue, weakening it and causing it to droop.
The Advantages Associated With a Breast Lift
Breast lifts are not as well known as implants, but they offer a number of benefits to patients, including a more youthful silhouette and reduced chafing.
A More Youthful Silhouette
One of the most notable advantages of a breast lift, and the reason most patients seek this treatment out, is that it can restore the shape and position of aging breasts that have started to take on a tubular, sagging look. This treatment can give you back the perky, youthful breasts you once had.
Your bosom will be more cosmetically pleasing, and it will fill out your figure in the way that it’s supposed to, improving the overall look of your silhouette. Your body will appear sleeker, smoother, curvier, and better proportioned.
Proper Nipple Placement
It happens gradually, but one of the issues that can develop as the breasts age and sag is that the nipple area stretches out of proportion to the rest of the breast. The nipples can also sink on the breasts, falling to an unnaturally low position.
It’s amazing how much of an impact this change can have on the look of the bosom. By bringing the nipple back to its proper place, while getting rid of some of the extra, stretched out skin in the areolae, your breasts will look more balanced and attractive.
No More Chafing
Once the droopiness in the breast area has been restored and the excess skin contributing to the sagging is gone, chafing and irritation will be less of a problem. This is a side benefit that patients who undergo breast lifts often weren’t expecting. Many of our patients have told us that they’ve been surprised at how much more comfortable they are after a lift treatment.
Getting Dressed Is Fun Again
Does your wardrobe rely heavily on push-up bras and baggy shirts? Do you look for clothes and other ways to hide your figure because you’re so embarrassed about a sagging bosom? That can be difficult to do in the hot, muggy climate of New Orleans.
A breast lift will help you put those concerns behind you. Getting dressed will be fun again because you’ll be free to wear the clothes you really like rather than just the clothes that will cover up your problem. You’ll also feel more comfortable in your bathing suit.
Easier to Be More Active
It’s hard to exercise when you have a sagging bosom that needs support. Even the most supportive undergarments don’t help when your bosom is badly drooping and out of position. Bringing the breasts up and into better shape will help supportive undergarments better do their job.
Being active on any level–whether running a marathon or taking a leisurely walk around your neighborhood–will be easier and more enjoyable. Once your bosom is no longer sagging, you’ll feel like you have your body and your life back.
Another surprising benefit that patients who have undergone a breast lift report is a surge in self-confidence. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’re embarrassed about sagging breasts, which can have a big impact on your overall look. Once your breasts have been reshaped and lifted, you’ll have nothing to be embarrassed about. You’ll look and feel more attractive and youthful, and you’ll develop more self-confidence.
Is a Breast Lift for Me?
Scheduling a consultation with our New Orleans area office is the best way to find out if you’re a candidate for this treatment. Dr. Trey Sands, who is trained in all areas of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, will review your medical history, talk with you about your cosmetic concerns, and help determine if this treatment is for you.
Dr. Sands earned his medical degree at Louisiana State University in New Orleans. He trained in general surgery at The University of Texas and in facilities in that state. Dr. Sands completed his Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery training at Tulane University in New Orleans.
There are several general signs you may be a good candidate for a breast lift:
You Have No Major Health Problems
iI helps if you’re a healthy non-smoker who doesn’t have uncontrolled diabetes, breast cancer, or other major health conditions.
You Have Fully Developed Breasts
Any type of cosmetic breast surgery or breast augmentation should not be performed until the breasts have fully developed, which usually happens sometime around or after the age of 18.
Don’t Suffer Any Longer
We understand the frustration and embarrassment that can go along with sagging breasts. Droopiness and sagging can take a major toll on a woman’s self-confidence while also making it difficult to exercise and perform everyday activities.
For many New Orleans women, a breast lift is the solution. This treatment can restore your breasts to their natural position, leaving them perkier and more shapely. You don’t have to put up with sagging breasts any longer. Call Metairie Plastic Surgeons in Metairie, LA and schedule a breast lift consultation.