It can happen to any woman sooner or later – once-perky breasts begin to droop and sag because of weight loss, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or advancing age. As we become older, connective tissue in the breasts known as the Cooper’s ligaments begin to stretch out, and the breasts may begin to sag and lose their firm, rounded shape. Small breasts tend to sag less than larger breasts (because there is less downward pull) but time and gravity can take their toll on even small breasts eventually.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Sagging Breasts
Breasts become engorged during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and droop when they become significantly smaller afterwards. Skin and breast support structures stretch with significant weight gain. If there is not enough elasticity to retain the shape, breasts may sag after the weight is lost.
Maintaining a consistent healthy weight, proper nutrition, and exercise to tone the underlying muscles may help delay or minimize breast sagging. If the condition has deteriorated too far, however, Tracy Pfeifer, MD, a leading cosmetic surgeon performs breast lift surgery in New York City to restore the breasts to a more youthful position. Our offices are located on Park Ave. in Manhattan, and the Hamptons.
Breast lift surgery can make the breasts higher and firmer. Many women feel younger looking and more feminine after this procedure. It is not meant to enhance the breasts or restore fullness, unless combined with breast augmentation. A breast lift does not increase the size of your breasts, although they may appear larger when they are firmer and lifted.
How Much Do Your Breasts Sag?
There are different degrees of breast ptosis (sagging) – mild, moderate, and severe. To measure the degree of ptosis in your breasts, stand bare-chested in front of a mirror and place a ruler in the crease under your breasts against the junction of the breasts and the ribcage:
- Normal Breasts: The nipple sits above the top edge of the ruler.
- Mild (Grade 1) Ptosis: The nipple is directly on top of or slightly above the ruler.
- Moderate (Grade 2) Ptosis: The central point of the nipple is 1 to 3 cm below the top of the ruler.
- Severe: The central point of the nipple and areola is more than 3 cm below the breast crease.
A breast lift may be sufficient for women with mild or moderate sagging. For others with more severe ptosis, a combination of breast lift and breast augmentation may get the best results.
Breast Lift with Augmentation
To correct sagging and increase the size of the breasts in a single surgical procedure, Dr. Pfeifer can perform an augmentation mastopexy – or breast lift with augmentation. This procedure involves:
- Placing silicone or saline implants under the muscle or under the breasts; and
- Breast-lift surgery with incisions around the nipple and/or vertical incisions.
New York Cosmetic Breast Lift Surgeon
Tracy Pfeifer, MD is a New York City surgeon who has performed cosmetic breast surgery for many satisfied patients. Our practice is focused on breast surgery. We provide personalized, state-of-the-art care in a comfortable, pleasant, environment for our patients. If you are searching for a surgical solution for sagging, drooping breasts, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pfeifer.