If, as part of your decision to get a breast augmentation, you discover that your plastic surgeon is recommending a breast lift try not to be disheartened.
Gravity isn't kind, and no matter your personal journey (pregnancy, weighloss, aging), sagging breasts are almost inevitable at some point.
Our breasts go on the decline as we age. They gradually change from being mostly breast tissue to having more fat. It's dense breast tissue that makes breasts look perky, so any loss of tissue can leave them with a deflated look.
Also, connective tissue (think of it as supportive - it holds our body together!) in the breasts helps them keep their shape. As we age this stretches out. And you can guess what that means... yep, stretched out (or sagging) breasts.
Just Breast Implants
Some breast sagging can be corrected with breast implants alone - but it would have to be very mild drooping (also called 'ptosis').
Only a Board Certified, highly experienced, plastic surgeon should decide whether you need a breast lift procedure but you can try a little 'at home' test.
Hold a pencil under your boob in the crease area... if your nipple is below the pencil expect your surgeon to recommend a lift.
Types Of Breast Lift
If you have anything more than mild sagging you probably already know you'll need a breast lift. Again, depending on the degree of ptosis your plastic surgeon could perform just a lift, or a lift with implants.
The purpose of a breast lift is to leave you with more youthful, better looking breasts. To do this, a surgeon has to remove the excess, stretched out skin, reshape the breast tissue and sometimes reshape or re-position the nipples.
The medical term for a breast lift is mastopexy
There are 4 main types of breast lift, and they're based on where the incisions are made:
Anchor - a slightly older technique, only used in extreme cases of sagging.
Lollipop (or vertical) - now the more common technique, it is used in moderate to severe cases of sagging.
Donut (or Benelli, or circumareolar) lift - is used in mild cases of sagging.
Crescent - is the least invasive breast lift and is generally used to improve nipple position.
There are many different types of breast lifts available. My list is definitely not exhaustive! Some plastic surgeons have created their own (and named them after themselves). In general, the more the incisions, the greater the lift that is possible in the breasts.
Perkiness vs Breast Lift Scars
One of the biggest worries for women needing a breast lift is scars.
Yes, there will be more scarring (and more chance of sensation changes) the more intensive the breast surgery, BUT don't compromise the look of your breasts for fear of scarring.
Scarring is becoming less of an issue thanks to newer surgical/stitching techniques and better post surgical scar treatments (like my awesome Scar Salve!)
Preventing Breast Sagging
Whatever makes the girls hang low hold on to the thought that there's not a lot you do can prevent sagging.
Bras themselves aren't the solution or the culprit of sagging... but all experts do agree that a sports bra is essential when you exercise. The pull of gravity, bouncing and movement during activity can stretch the breast tissue and lead to sagging over time... so a supportive bra is a must.
Breasts - 0, Gravity - 1
We'd all love to have perky breasts our whole lives, but sagging is just a natural part of life.
If your girls hang closer to your belly button than you're comfortable with, there's a chance your plastic surgeon will recommend a breast lift. If you opt to get breast implants and a lift be sure to pick the right surgeon for the job! :)
Thoughts from Dr. Jeremy PyleTo know if you need a lift, I recommend one simple test:
Stand in front of a mirror and raise your arm. Press your breast against your chest and you will see a round border at the top of the breast. Mark that with your index finger, keep it there, and then lower you arm. Mark the bottom of the breast with your thumb and look in the mirror.
The space between your index finger and your thumb is called you "Breast Footprint". It's where your breast comes out of your chest. That is where your implant will sit and can't be changed with just an implant.
If your breast tissue all or almost all sits between your index and thumb, you probably don't need a lift.
If it doesn't, using surgery and tolerating a little scarring to put that tissue in the place where the implant is going to sit can make a world of difference in your look after surgery and is probably worth considering.