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Saggy Breast: Definition, Causes, and How To Correct It?

Saggy Breast: Definition, Causes, and How To Correct It?

Breasts come in many sizes and shapes and undergo changes over time. But there are times when you start wondering what is causing your breasts to sag. Is it a health issue, or is it natural? Although there is nothing typically dangerous in having saggy breasts, they sometimes may affect individual self-confidence. 

If your breasts have lost their elasticity and have become saggy, you may be dealing with breast ptosis. There are many ways to prevent and improve saggy breasts, but sometimes, this isn’t in your hands. Keep reading to learn about the primary causes of saggy breasts and how to improve them. 

What Is A Saggy Breast?

The female breasts are made of fats, ligaments, and glandular tissues. Cooper’s ligaments are an intricate network of ligaments responsible for lifting up and supporting the breasts. When these fibrous connections start losing their elasticity over time, your breast tissue becomes saggy and droopy under its own weight. 

The sagging and drooping of breasts are known as breast ptosis, which is characterised by the hanging of breasts lower than their normal position with the nipples pointing downwards. Breast sagging contributes to the loss of breast volume, lack of Cooper’s ligaments, and skin laxity over age. 

The degree of breast sagging is determined by the ptosis grading system, which categorises saggy breasts into the following grades:

1. Grade I: The breast fold and nipple are at the same level. 

2. Grade II: The nipple points upward but falls below the breast fold. 

3. Grade III: The nipple points downward and falls below the breast fold. 

4. Pseudoptosis: The lower half of the breast sags while the nipple remains elevated. 

What Causes A Saggy Breast?

There are several factors that cause saggy breasts. Some are related to your genetics, while some contribute to your lifestyle. Let’s figure out some major causes of a saggy breasts:

1. Ageing:

Breast sagging and drooping is a natural part of the ageing process that happens to every woman. With ageing, the breast tissue and ligaments lose elasticity, which compromises breast fullness and causes saggy breasts. 

2. Collagen Deficiency.

Collagen plays a vital role in providing shape to breasts and holding them up. A loss of connective tissue collagen leads to saggy breasts and breast laxity. 

3. Gravity.

Gravity pulls your breasts downward, especially when you have large or heavy breasts. A larger breast size is more likely to cause sagging than a smaller breast size.

4. Menopause.

Estrogen is a female reproductive hormone that plays a pivotal role in maintaining the structural integrity of breasts. Menopause causes a natural decline in estrogen levels. This is why your breasts begin to sag during menopause. 

5. Pregnancy.

Multiple pregnancies can cause saggy breasts as the ligaments that support breasts might stretch as the milk glands grow. 

6. High Body Mass Index.

With a high body mass index, the weight of the fatty tissue within the breasts also increases and results in breast enlargement. This leads to increased tension on the connective tissues and ligaments. When breasts struggle to bear heavy weight, they begin to droop and sag. 

7. Rapid Weight Loss And Gain.

Rapidly losing or gaining weight can cause a shrink in the skin and ligaments surrounding your breasts, which results in saggy breasts. 

Is Saggy Breast Preventable?

Since there are many factors contributing to saggy breasts, there isn’t any way you can completely reverse them. But there are a few things you can do to prevent breast sagging for as long as you can:

1. Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle.

Making changes to your lifestyle, such as eating a balanced diet, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and practising good posture, can prevent breast sagging, 

2. Stay In Your Healthy Weight.

Keeping your weight at a healthy level and avoiding highly restrictive diets can prevent breast sagging and maintaining firm breasts.

3. Use A Comfortable, Well-Fitting Bra:

Wearing the wrong bra size or not wearing a bra at all can lead to breast stretching and sagging. A supportive and well-fitting bra maintains breast shape and firmness. Since breast motion from workouts also causes saggy breasts, a sports bra reduces breast sagging by reducing breast motion. 

4. Try A Pectoral Muscle Workout.

Your breasts do not contain any muscles, but you can build muscle underneath your breasts. These muscles are known as the pectoralis major muscles. Pectoral exercises target these muscles and give your breasts a natural lift. 

5. Stay Hydrated.

Staying hydrated preserves skin elasticity and improves the overall strength and firmness of the breast tissue. 

What If Your Saggy Breast Persists Despite Your Efforts to Prevent It?

Breast sagging and drooping can affect a woman’s confidence and body image. If you have tried the tips mentioned earlier to reduce breast sagging and are still unable to prevent it, you may consider seeking cosmetic treatment, such as a breast lift (mastopexy). 

The following are some cosmetic procedures to fix saggy breasts and restore natural breast lift:

1. Breast Implants:

Breast implants are a part of the breast augmentation process for providing a uniform shape and contour to breasts. Breast implants are prostheses placed within the breast tissue through surgery to augment breasts’ appearance and give them a fuller and more contoured look. The most common breast implants used in breast augmentation are silicone breast implants and saline breast implants.

2. Breast lift with fat grafting:

Breast lift with fat grafting is a breast enhancement procedure that involves two cosmetic techniques combined in one operation. The first step involves liposuction of different body areas (abdomen, flanks, and thighs) to remove excess fat. In the second step, the removed fat is then purified and re-injected into the breasts. This provides a subtle increase in breast volume and improves the shape and aesthetics of breasts. 

What To Expect After Getting Breast Augmentation to fix Saggy Breast?

For the first 2 to 3 days after a breast augmentation, the patient is required to wear a surgical bra or an elastic bandage over gauze dressings. The patient will likely experience swelling, bruising, and light to moderate pain. The pain and discomfort can be managed with painkiller medications prescribed by the surgeon. 

You can also expect a loss of sensation in your breast skin and nipples due to swelling in the treated area. This numbness usually fades away within a few weeks after the swelling subsides. 

A significant reduction in pain levels and discomfort is seen within a few days. You can return to work and perform daily activities, like walking. 

Am I A Suitable Candidate For Breast Lift Procedure?

Generally a good candidate for breast augmentation if: 

  • You have significant breast sagging.
  • Your breasts have lost their volume and perkiness.
  • Your areolar area and nipples point downward and sit below the breast crease.
  • Your areolas have stretched out of breast proportion and become enlarged. 
  • Your one breast falls lower than the other.
  • You have good health and maintain a stable weight.

Always Consult A Certified Surgeon for Breast Lift Procedure:

It is essential to consult a certified and experienced plastic surgeon. During your consultation, you should discuss the following:

  • Previous surgeries
  • Your surgical goals
  • If you’ve any medical conditions, like medical treatments and drug allergies.
  • If you have any family history of breast cancer.
  • If you have any recent biopsies and mammograms. 

Your plastic surgeon will:

  • Discuss your surgical breast lift options.
  • Recommend a course of treatment.
  • Evaluate your general health status.
  • Discuss the outcomes, risks, and complications of breast lift procedure. 

Final Thoughts:

As you age, your breasts begin to lose their perkiness and firmness, leading to breast sagging and drooping. A number of factors like age, pregnancy, breastfeeding, high body mass index, and menopause cause saggy breasts. When breast sagging persists after your efforts to prevent it, you can opt for a breast lift surgery. A saggy breast treatment like breast lift (mastopexy) can potentially rejuvenate the appearance of saggy breasts and restore a more contoured and fuller breast appearance. However, there are many risks associated with the surgical fix. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult a certified and experienced plastic surgeon to discuss your saggy breast treatment goals and risks & benefits before you decide.

FAQs:

1. Can sagging breasts be firm again?

Sagging breasts can be lifted and made firmer with cosmetic surgery, such as a breast lift or augmentation. Non-surgical treatments, such as exercises to strengthen the chest and back muscles, can also improve the appearance of breasts. It is recommended to consult with a plastic surgeon to determine the best course of action for your individual needs and goals.

2. What causes a saggy breast?

Several factors can cause breasts to sag, including age, genetics, pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight changes, smoking, gravity, and wearing ill-fitting bras.

3. Is it normal to have sagging breasts?

Yes, it is normal for breasts to sag to some extent as a person ages or experiences changes in their body. Sagging breasts are a natural part of the ageing process and are not a cause for concern from a health perspective. However, if a person is unhappy with the appearance of their breasts, they may consider cosmetic treatments, such as a breast lift or breast augmentation.