Sagging Breasts: How to Fix Sagging Breasts?
Time has a way of changing our bodies, and for many women, sagging breasts are an undesirable change. A sagging or drooping breast, medically known as breast ptosis, is a common condition after pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight changes or aging.
Over time, breasts may seem to sit lower on the chest, with a down pointing nipple, and a decrease of breast volume noted at the top of the breast. While there is no significant medical concern with sagging breasts, some women experience diminished self-confidence or embarrassment about the look of their breasts. In some cases, skin chafing, or irritation can occur due to increased skin friction.
How to Measure if Your Breasts are Sagging
Some women use the “pencil test” to measure if their breasts are sagging. The test involves placing a pencil underneath the breasts where the bottom of the breast meets the chest wall. If the pencil falls, the breasts are considered perky. If the pencil sits in place, some degree of sagging is likely.
What is Considered Sagging Breasts?
Breasts are considered sagging breasts when the nipple is at or below the level of the inframammary fold, or the crease beneath the breast. In general, the degree of breast ptosis varies based on the level of the nipple in relation to the inframammary fold. Grade I ptosis is considered mild, while Grade II is moderate with a nipple pointing slightly down. Correspondingly, Grade III is the considered signficant ptosis with the nipple pointing down.
What Causes Saggy Breasts?
There are many factors that contribute to the development of breast sagging. In fact, our skin and ligaments lose elasticity as we age, and this combined with the toll of gravity over time can cause breasts to sag significantly. Additionally, certain habits like smoking or sun exposure can alter the elasticity of the skin and contribute to increased breast sag. Finally, weight fluctuations, including the weight changes associated with childbirth, can stretch skin and breast tissue.
Some women worry that breastfeeding can cause sagging breasts, however, it is more likely that the associated changes in breast size contribute to the condition rather than the breastfeeding itself.
Can I Do Exercises to Lift Sagging Breasts?
Some women want to try exercise to improve the look of their breasts, but the fact is that breast tissue is non-muscular, therefore not changed by exercise. Exercise can, however, improve the chest wall musculature (pectorals) and may result in a slightly lifted or toned appearance to the body. Additionally, certain back and shoulder exercises may improve posture and again, may give the appearance of a more upturned chest. For the most part, however, the breasts themselves will remain unchanged from exercise.
How to Fix Sagging Breasts in Scottsdale
Ultimately surgical intervention is the best way to fix sagging breasts. Because drooping breasts often have associated loose skin, many women choose to undergo a breast lift procedure that removes excess skin, and elevates the breasts to a more youthful, perky appearance. Breast lift, also known as mastopexy, can be quite effective at correcting sagging breasts and restoring their appearance by repositioning the breast tissue.
In other cases, breast augmentation accomplishes the goal of returning the breast to a more youthful contour, with specific implants chosen with ideal aesthetics in mind. Oftentimes, a breast lift combined with breast augmentation corrects the sagging breast and increases the breast’s volume.
Some women choose to undergo an auto-augmentation fat transfer procedure which involves adding volume to a specific area of the breast, creating a higher appearance. Not every patient is a candidate for this procedure, but when performed, uses a woman’s own fat to reshape or re-size the breasts. Patients who desire a modest increase in breast size are better candidates for this option.
Ultimately, each case is unique. In effect, there are a few different approaches to correct sagging breasts and depending on the patient’s specific goals, several options may work.
Sagging Breast Revision Specialist Scottsdale Arizona
Dr. Ashley Howarth is a leading female plastic surgeon in Scottsdale with experience in procedures to correct sagging breasts. Having trained at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Howarth can make top tier recommendations for your specific case, to attain your personal goals for your breasts. Patients recognize Dr. Howarth for her superb surgical skills and unparalleled compassion.
If you are concerned about the appearance of your sagging breasts, the first step is to make an appointment at our Scottsdale plastic surgery office. Dr. Howarth will perform a thorough evaluation, and answer any questions you may have, outlining your best options for rejuvenating your breasts’ appearance.
Call our office for an initial appointment, as you take the first steps towards more self-confidence and towards your beautiful, natural looking results.