The development of breast ptosis (sagginess) is very common. In fact, this particular concern is one reason why breast enhancement procedures are some of the most frequently performed treatments in the field of aesthetic plastic surgery—many women simply want an effective way to renew the youthful projection and firmness of their breasts once breast ptosis begins to create self-consciousness about their appearance.
Sagging or “drooping” breasts can be caused by a genetic predisposition to breast ptosis, weight fluctuations, pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, the use of tobacco products, and environmental factors. In many cases, breast ptosis can simply be the result of the loss of tissue elasticity and buildup of excess skin that comes with the natural aging process. Over time, the skin begins to gradually lose some of its elastin, collagen, and volume, leading the breasts to descend to a lower level on the chest. Exercise cannot resolve the effects of excess, inelastic skin that may be pulling the breasts down and affecting their appearance; however, there are some ways to help minimize the potential effects of breast ptosis—or at least slow its progression—before it becomes excessively prominent. For patients who are already experiencing breast ptosis, surgical treatment can often be an effective remedy.
While individuals cannot control certain factors that lead to breast ptosis, there are steps that can be taken to possibly mitigate the effects of others. The regular use of a supportive bra to keep the breasts in a forward projection as much as possible is one example. Others include ensuring the breasts are well-protected from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, refraining from smoking, avoiding tanning beds, and maintaining a good diet and exercise routine to minimize fluctuations in weight.
If the breasts have already taken on a sagging appearance, breast lift surgery is typically the recommended treatment option. This procedure literally lifts the breasts to a new position while eliminating excess, inelastic skin. The remaining skin is smoothed and tightened for a firmer aesthetic. In cases where women would like to address breast ptosis and enhance volume, a breast lift with augmentation may be an ideal solution. For individuals who are primarily considering breast reduction, some degree of “lifting” can also be achieved with that procedure.
The bottom-line is, those who are concerned about breast sagginess should know that this condition is extremely common and affects most women at some point over the course of their lives. A few extra precautions may be able to limit the effects, and advanced treatment options can often resolve the concern.
For more information, or if you would like to consult with one of our plastic surgeons to talk about your needs and goals, please contact Florida Plastic Surgery.