Your breasts have supportive structures holding them up and when these structures repeatedly stretch, your skin loses elasticity and begins to sag. This can cause changes that bring significant discomfort and diminish confidence you have about your body. A breast lift, or mastopexy, can help patients firm and shape the breasts by reshaping these structures and/or removing the excess skin that causes your breasts to sag (ptosis). During a breast lift, Dr. Granzow may:
- Tighten the structures that support your breasts.
- Remove excess skin that causes ptosis (sagging).
- Raise and reposition your breasts to make them firmer and shapelier.
While a breast lift will not aim to take volume from your breast, some skin and a small amount of tissue may need to be removed to tighten underlying shape.
What Causes Breasts to Sag?
Throughout different stages of your life, the appearance of your breasts will change shape and they will begin to lose firmness. The main factors that determine your breasts’ size, shape, and firmness are age, breastfeeding, and overall genetic makeup. Your genes influence hormone levels that cause your breasts grow, develop, adjust to pregnancy and breastfeeding, and how they will look as your age. In general, factors that affect your breast shape and firmness are:
- Pregnancy and childbirth. Hormones may signal your breasts to grow larger for milk production during pregnancy and breastfeeding. After weaning your child your breasts may shrink in size, leaving excess skin and increased sagging.
- Weight loss. Losing a significant amount of weight will cause your breast size to decrease and may also result in more sagging skin.
- Aging. Inevitably, all women’s breasts will begin to sag due to gravity and your milk glands atrophying. The severity and degree vary, but every woman will experience drooping as she grows older.
- Larger breasts. Women who have very large breasts have more weight pulling their breasts down. This can cause sagging at an earlier age and can be corrected with a combined breast reduction and lift.
While chest presses and other exercises can slightly tighten your breasts, there is no non-surgical way to reverse breast ptosis (sagging).