Breasts change throughout our lives. Many women recall having perky boobs in their youth, only to have saggy breasts in their later years. The fancy medical term for “saggy breasts” is breast ptosis, and yes, it is completely normal as we age. A few contributing factors that can eventually lead to breast ptosis include rapid weight loss or weight gain, pregnancy, and aging. The good news is that if you’re insecure about your saggy breast appearance, you can potentially fix it. Below, we discuss the specifics of breast ptosis as well as how to fix saggy breasts.
If your breast appearance is causing your self-confidence to suffer, you may benefit from breast surgery. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Daneshmand has more than 30 years of experience in helping his patients feel beautiful and confident in their bodies. He can listen to your aesthetic concerns and help you determine if breast surgery is right for you. Call 949-359-8397 to schedule an appointment at Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute today.
What is Breast Ptosis?
Breast ptosis is the medical term that describes when the nipple position droops below the inframammary crease (AKA the breast crease). In simpler terms: if you have breast ptosis, that means you have sagging breasts.
Most women experience breast sagging throughout their life due to a variety of reasons. In fact, having sagging breasts is probably more normal than having perfect, perky breasts. Still, many women feel insecure about their breast shape and size, which is completely valid. Luckily, there are plenty of surgical and non-surgical solutions out there that can fix saggy breasts.
Grades of Breast Ptosis
There are three grades of breast ptosis that basically describe how low the breast sags.
- Grade 1 – Mild Ptosis: The first grade of ptosis means that the nipple sits in line with or slightly below the inframammary fold. If you can still see some breast skin below your nipple without moving the breasts up with your hands, then you may have mild ptosis.
- Grade 2 – Moderate Ptosis: The second grade of ptosis describes breasts that fall further below the breast crease than grade 1, but you’re still able to see some lower breast tissue below the nipple.
- Grade 3 – Advanced Ptosis: The third grade of ptosis describes breasts that fall well below the inframammary fold. There is usually no visible lower breast tissue under the nipple.
Common Causes of Saggy Breasts
There are many contributing factors that can cause breasts to sag, including:
- Aging, which causes us to lose elasticity in the skin everywhere, including the breast ligaments
- Having large breasts (a higher breast mass is more susceptible to the gravitational pull)
- Having one or multiple pregnancies
- Gaining or losing weight
- Excess sun exposure, which leads to a loss of collagen and skin elasticity
- Smoking, which basically accelerates the aging process
- Major hormonal changes such as menopause
- Having an estrogen or collagen deficiency
Most people believe that breastfeeding or not wearing a supportive bra every day will lead to saggy breasts, but this has long been debunked by medical professionals and various studies.
Breastfeeding is not what causes the change in breast firmness, shape, or size. Instead, it’s the changes in hormones, weight, and mammary glands that occur during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Not wearing a bra during normal daily activities won’t cause changes in breast size, shape, or sagginess either. Now, it’s important to note that not wearing a bra during intense exercise (such as running or jumping) can definitely lead to saggy breasts over time, especially if you have larger breasts. This is because there is nothing there to prevent excess gravitational pull during breast motion. Constant jumping or running without support can slowly damage the connective tissue and lead to significant sagging. That’s why it is important to wear a sports bra during exercise. But if you don’t want to wear a bra any other time, then don’t!
How to Fix Breast Ptosis
If you’re insecure about your saggy breasts, there is good news. There are ways to fix breasts that sag lower than you’d like. Below, we’ll discuss both surgical options and home remedies.
The best way to fix saggy breasts is through breast lift surgery. Breast lifts work by removing excess skin and reshaping the remaining breast tissue in an aesthetically pleasing way. This natural lift can include breast implants if you’d like, but many women enjoy the results of a breast lift without any breast implants at all.
Some women resort to breast augmentation surgery and breast lift surgery in order to fix their saggy breasts. That’s because not all saggy breasts are large. So the combination of these procedures would address breast size – with implants – and overall breast sagginess.
Lastly, some women may need breast reconstruction surgery if their breast ptosis is severe. During this surgery, the plastic surgeon would completely remove the breast tissue and create new breasts with implants. This surgical option is often not ideal due to aesthetic and circulatory problems that could happen to the nipples.
No matter what beauty companies and social media says, there really is no magic cream or device to fix sagging breasts. However, doing regular upper body exercise (with or without weights) might help strengthen the muscles underneath the breasts, which could improve the appearance of sagginess.
How to Prevent Saggy Breasts
Really the best “home remedy” for sagging breasts is prevention. Listed below are the best ways to potentially prevent sagging breasts and plastic surgery.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Rapid weight gain and weight loss are one of the most common causes of sagging breasts. The best way to look good and feel good is to maintain a healthy, consistent weight throughout your life. To do this, move your body regularly (and in a way that you enjoy) and eat a balanced diet.
If you do need to gain weight or lose weight throughout your life, doing it slowly is the best way, especially if we’re just talking about skin elasticity in the breasts.
Wear a Supportive Bra During Exercise
If you’re someone who likes going braless on a regular basis, more power to you. But be sure to wear a sports bra during intense exercise (e.g. running and jumping) in order to reduce breast motion – and therefore – breast stretching and sagging.
Carefully Consider Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a huge hormonal roller coaster that can lead to weight changes. The hormonal and weight changes can lead to a significant change in your breasts, whether that be changes in size, shape, or firmness. Carefully consider if you’re willing to give up the shape and size of your body in order to be a mother. Pregnancy and motherhood are not for everyone, and that’s okay.
Get Your Hormones Checked
Again – hormonal changes take a huge toll on your whole body and your skin. More specifically, an estrogen deficiency can lead to less collagen production, especially as you reach the middle of your life. If you’re experiencing symptoms like tender breasts, dry skin, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, hot flashes, irregular menstruation, vaginal dryness, and more, you may have an estrogen deficiency. In this case, you should get your hormones checked and consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT) if necessary.
If you want to stay young and healthy for as long as possible, stop smoking. We all know that smoking can lead to a wide variety of health complications, the most serious of which being lung cancer. But not many people realize that smoking significantly speeds up the aging process by reducing collagen production. Collagen is possibly the most important building block of all connective tissue, including our skin, muscles, tendons, bones, and ligaments.
So – if you want smooth, youthful skin and perky boobs, do yourself a favor and kick the cigarettes to the curb.
Call Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute Today
If you’re insecure about your sagging breasts, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Daneshmand at Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute can help. Dr. Daneshmand has more than 30 years of experience in helping his patients feel confident and beautiful in their breasts through procedures like a breast lift, a breast augmentation, a breast reconstruction, and more. He can do the same for you too. Call 949-359-8397 to schedule an appointment at Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute today.