Sagging breasts are common in the majority of women. At some point in their lives, most women will notice some degree of breast sagging. As we age, the skin and the elasticity of the breast tissues loosen up and with a combination of gravity and weight, the breasts start to sag.
Besides aging, other factors which influence sagging of the breast include:
- breast feeding
- excess weight gain
Sagging of the breasts is despised by most women and most women wish they could do something about it. Surgery to restore the youthful look of sagging breasts is known as a breast lift or a mastopexy. Frequently most women combine a breast lift with a breast implant to get the maximum benefit.
Breast lift surgery is usually done as an outpatient and requires either local or general anesthesia. The surgery may vary anywhere from 2-3 hours. With mild to moderate cases of breast sagging, the surgery can be quickly perfomed. However, in severe cases, the surgery can be prolonged, requiring removal of excess skin and reshaping the breast.
When the breast lift is done for mild cases of sagging, the procedure may be done under local anesthesia. However, most women prefer to have the surgery done under general anesthesia.
The majority of women who develop sagging have large protruberant breasts which requires a fair amount of surgery.
In some cases, the surgery may be extensive and even require hospital admission for at least 24- 48 hours
Mastopexy can be performed by three basic surgical techniques.
Concentric Mastopexy. This technique involves making a circular incision around the areola. Through this small circular incision, the excess skin is excised and the nipple and areola are replaced. The lower part of the breast can be tightened by tacking the skin to the areola. The procedure only allows for removal of small amounts of skin. The technique is best suited for women with smaller breasts and mild sagging.
Vertical Mastopexy: In this scenario, a circular incision is made in the areola but the incision is extended to the base of the breast crease. With this method, more skin can be removed and the breast can be tightened a lot more. The degree of correction is far superior to that achieved by the concentric mastopexy. It is an excellent method to treat sagging in women with large breasts.
Anchor-Shaped Mastopexy: This technique involves repositioning of the nipples and a much larger skin incision. The amount of skin excised is much larger and the procedure is also much more extensive. The technique is best suited for women who have large pendulous breasts with excess skin .
The best procedure for you can only be determined by a consultation with a plastic surgeon. One should get to know the procedure, the risks and potential complications before undergoing any breast lift surgery. The procedure is strictly elective and one should never be rushed into it.