As women age, pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight changes, and gravity can impact the appearance of their breasts. It’s common for breasts to lose volume and firmness over time, resulting in sagging, deflated-looking breasts. If your breasts have lost perkiness and fullness, you may be wondering whether you should get breast implants or a breast lift surgery to restore a more youthful breast contour. Read our article to understand which surgical option may be suitable for your needs.
What Causes Breast Sagging?
- As breasts undergo the natural ageing process, the stretching of ligaments and diminished skin elasticity contribute to sagging.
- During pregnancy, hormonal changes occur to prepare the breasts for milk production. After breastfeeding, the glandular tissue reduces in size, but the skin may not fully regain its former tightness.
- Substantial weight loss can lead to a deflated and saggy appearance as the breasts lose support from both fat and glandular tissues.
- Even in cases where breasts have always been small, they can exhibit a drooping effect over time due to the impact of gravity on unsupported breast tissue.
Am I a Better Candidate for Augmentation or Lift?
If your breasts have lost volume but don’t sag too much yet, you’re probably a better candidate for implants alone. Adding implants restores fullness to the top of the breasts, fills out stretched skin for a perkier look, and provides internal support to prevent further sagging.
Women with very saggy, flat breasts are better candidates for a breast lift. During mastopexy or breast lift surgery, excess stretched out skin is removed. The nipple and areola are shifted to a more youthful position higher on the chest. Underlying breast tissues are reshaped and supported with internal stitches to lift the breasts. A lift creates perkier, more projected breasts.
For women with significant sagging as well as volume loss, combining a lift and augmentation may produce the most optimal, long lasting results. The implant fills out deflated breast tissue, while the lift addresses lax skin. When procedures are combined, implants are typically placed after lifting tissues to the ideal position so maximal filling effects can be attained.
Which Procedure Is More Complex?
Breast augmentation surgery is less complex and has a shorter recovery on average. Incisions are relatively small – usually less than an inch – to accommodate the implant placement. Unless you opt for fat transfer breast augmentation using your body fat, there’s no lifting or cutting away of breast tissue involved. Pain, swelling, and soreness are usually manageable with medication during the first week of recovery. You might return to non-strenuous work within 7- 8 days.
A mastopexy or breast lift is a more involved surgery because sagging tissues must be surgically tightened, trimmed and reshaped. Common incision patterns include a doughnut pattern around the areola, vertical incisions from the nipple down to the crease under the breast, anchor pattern incisions adding a horizontal incision in the crease. This allows more extensive skin removal and internal suturing to lift breast tissues into a supple cone shape against the chest wall.
Recovery after a lift also tends to involve more significant pain, swelling, surgical drainage tubes to prevent fluid buildup, and activity restrictions for 3-4 weeks. Patients usually need at least 2 weeks off work.
Which is Right for Me?
The optimal procedure for you depends on your aesthetic goals, anatomy, health history and the surgeon’s recommendations. During consultations, your doctor will evaluate factors, including:
– The amount of breast sagging present
– Quality of your skin tone and elasticity
– Volume of existing breast tissue
– Placement of nipple/areola
– Body type and weight fluctuations
– Personal goals for size and shape
– Health considerations and risk factors
Be prepared to discuss all these things as your surgeon formulates a customised surgical plan for you. Effectively addressing breast sag requires a thoughtful combination of techniques and skills.