Breast lift works to restore youthful contours.
Drooping and sagging of the breasts often result from diminished breast elasticity with pregnancy, advanced age, or weight loss. This is medically known as breast ptosis. The objective of this webpage is to provide insight into the severity of droopy breasts and surgical procedures to correct them.
Breast lift surgery to restore feminine, firm, and youthful-looking breasts is also referred to as mastopexy. The severity of breast ptosis often influences the type of breast lift performed. A simple classification to define the severity of breast ptosis is described below.
Breast Ptosis Classification
How do you know you have breast ptosis?
Sagging of the breast can be easily seen while standing bare-chested in front of a mirror. Breast ptosis is best visualized by the placement of a standard ruler or measuring tape under the breasts. The top edge of the ruler should be positioned to make contact with the crease that is formed where the breast meets the chest. Any breast positioned below the inframammary crease is classified as ptosis. The nipple position relative to the inframammary crease is used to grade the severity of breast ptosis.
Grading the Severity: Nipple Position
If your nipple, not the colored skin around the nipple (known as areola), is above the top of the ruler—congratulations, you are not considered to have breast ptosis. However, you may have what is known as pseudoptosis if the lower part of your breast gland hangs down too far.
The ruler method is an approximation and Dr. Chen Lee may describe the sagging of your breasts differently.
Treatment of Breast Sag
The medical term, mastopexy is known as a breast lift surgery, and it can correct the appearance of drooping and/or sagging breasts. There are many reasons a women’s breast loses shape such as growing older, pregnancy, and weight loss. Breast sagging’s technical term is ptosis, in which a breast lift procedure is a great option to restore firm and youthful-looking breasts.
A role for breast implants?
Breast augmentation without using breast lift techniques can be effective with mild glandular ptosis and grade 1 breast sag. In more severe cases of breast ptosis, breast lift surgery techniques are essential to reposition the nipple and reduce the external volume of the breast. Breast implants are often used to accentuate the upper chest as part of lifting procedures for more severe cases of breast sag.
To reduce the need for multiple operations, breast augmentation is often performed in conjunction with breast lift surgery to obtain fuller, firmer, and perkier breasts.
Breast Lift Scars
Incision location determines the location of the final scar. Surgical planning is important to position scars at natural anatomical transition points. Most breast lift designs aim to excise excess skin adjacent to the areola and at the inframammary crease. The vertical mastopexy procedure uses a keyhole incision and the looking of a “lollipop” scar. The full mastopexy incision follows an “anchor” shaped scar. The resulting scars can be hidden by bathing suits, bras, and even low-cut tops. However, some women consider the scarring from a breast lift to be a serious drawback to the procedure.
Are you a candidate for breast lift surgery?
Occasionally, a breast may sag without the descent of the nipple and the condition is known as pseudoptosis or glandular ptosis. Dr. Chen Lee’s experience has led to favor breast augmentation to treat pseudoptosis. Nevertheless, true ptosis will require a breast lift procedure. A breast lift may be performed by itself or in conjunction with breast augmentation. To truly determine whether you need a breast lift and/or breast augmentation, it can only be through a medical examination. Dr. Chen Lee will take specific measurements to determine where the nipple and areola are placed relative to the breast crease (inframammary fold). The measurements will be used to determine if fullness can be restored with breast implants alone or if a breast lift to help restore a youthful look.
To learn more about a procedure or book a consultation