Sagging breasts – also known as Breast ptosis or saggy breast syndrome – are a natural and inevitable part of the aging process. But that doesn’t make it any less distressing or uncomfortable for you. Many women equate their femininity and youth with the size, shape and look of their breasts. Some patients report that their sagging, drooping breasts make them feel unattractive and old.
But Why Do They Droop?
Involution is one of the most common causes for sagging breasts. This is the process where the milk-making system inside the breast shrinks because it is no longer required. Involution tends to occur after weaning or, in non-breastfeeding women, not long after pregnancy. Involution also tends to occur during menopause – but it isn’t uncommon for it to happen at younger ages!
The shrinking of the milk-making system in the breast makes your breasts appear saggy and empty. This is due to the fact that breasts do not have muscles in them. Instead they are made up of tissue and ligaments. As we age, gravity pulls down on our breasts, stretching the tissues and ligaments. If you have good genes, nutritional intake and environment, then your level of drooping may be less pronounced than others with less elasticity in their breast skin and ligaments.
Further, larger breasts have a greater tendency to sag and droop because there is more weight in them for gravity to act upon. But smaller will also begin to sag and droop if empty of tissue. Exercise, such as running and tennis, can also cause ligaments inside your breasts to stretch or tear. As the breast droops, so does the nipple which can begin to point downward or even fall below the fold of the breast.
Finally, weight loss can also cause your breasts to droop and sag. This is due to the fact that breasts have a high volume of fat to tissue. Tissue can atrophy with age and weight change. This means that losing weight means losing fat and volume in your breasts. This results in empty, droopy looking breasts. Unlike other areas of our body, the skin and ligaments in the breasts do not always react according to your weight loss and might not shrink.
What Can I Do?
There are some ways to help prevent premature sagging and drooping of your breasts. Always ensure that you wear protection during high impact sports. It is fundamental that you wear a supportive bra, daily, to help prevent premature drooping, especially for those with larger breasts. Avoiding smoking and a diet high in Vitamin C is also beneficial.
If your breasts have already begun to droop and you want to correct it, you might want to investigate a breast lift with, or without, implants. Breast lifts – also known as mastopexy – is one of the most commonly requested breast surgery procedures. It can be done with or without implants. A breast lift focuses on drawing the breast tissue and ligaments back into place on the chest wall. This will also generally involve nipple surgery to reposition the nipple in an aesthetically pleasing position.
In cases where there has been severe drooping of the breast and emptiness, you may need to investigate implants as part of your breast lift procedure – also known as a mastopexy with augmentation procedure. Silicone or saline implants in round or anatomical shapes can help fill out the empty areas of the breast. This will give you back the youthful silhouette and perkiness that you desire.
Whichever version of breast lift surgery you’d like to pursue, breast lifts can be life changing. Reclaim your confidence and femininity with a look, feel and silhouette you will love. Click here if you would like more information on our breast lift surgery or breast lift surgery with implants, or contact us today to book a consultation with Dr. Drielsma to discuss your options.