How to help sagging breasts?

A breast lift can rejuvenate a patient’s figure with a breast profile that is more youthful and uplifted. These changes and loss of skin elasticity can result from pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations, aging, exercising without support and gravity.

Breast lift surgery does not significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast. If you want your breasts to look fuller, consider breast lift and breast augmentation surgery.

Are You A Good Candidate?

You may be a candidate for breast lift surgery if you are physically healthy and maintain a stable weight, you do not smoke, you are bothered by the feeling that your breasts sag or have lost shape and volume, your breasts have a flatter, elongated shape or are pendulous, when unsupported, your nipples fall below the breast crease, your nipples and areolas point downward, you have stretched skin and enlarged areolas, and one breast is lower than the other. Some patients may consider the placement of a breast implants in addition to the breast lift. An implant can provide improved upper breast fullness or cleavage and can be placed at the same time or as a second procedure, depending on the patient's starting point and goals.

Where will the incisions be?

Breast lifting procedures can be achieved through a variety of incision patterns and techniques. The appropriate technique for each patient will be determined based on breast size and shape, the size and position of your areolas, degree of breast sagging, the patient’s skin quality and elasticity, as well as the amount of extra skin. There are three common incision patterns for a breast lift.

  1. Benelli or “Donut”: Patients who experience only mild sagging, but will benefit from a benelli breast lift. This type of lift involves only a single circular incision running along the edge of the areola. This can also help when reducing the size of the areola.
  2. Vertical or “Lollipop: Around the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease. This begins to help remove excess skin and begin reshaping the entire breast. This provides more correction of moderate sagging and extensive reshaping than a circular lift.
  3. Inverted-T or “Anchor”: This type of lift goes around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease. This provides dramatic reshaping and corrects extensive sagging, as a surgeon is able to remove significant amounts of skin and sagging tissue.

After making the incisions, the underlying breast tissue is lifted and reshaped to improve breast contour and firmness. The nipple and areola are repositioned to a natural, more youthful height, and if necessary, enlarged areolas are reduced by excising skin at the perimeter. Excess breast skin is removed to compensate for a loss of elasticity. Some incision lines from breast lift are concealed in the natural breast contours, others are visible on the breast surface. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and improve over time. 

What are the risks?

Breast lift results might not be permanent. As you age, your skin will naturally become less elastic, and some sagging might occur. Maintaining a stable, healthy weight can help you retain your results. Breast lifting is an extremely individualized procedure, and each patient’s results and risk/ complications are different.

Tom Pousti MD

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