Breast, which has been a symbol of femininity and fertility throughout history, also plays a key role in female beauty. The ideal breast is supposed to be full, fresh and upright. Whether small or large, sagging breasts are undesirable.
The most accurate way to be recovered from breast sagging is breast lift (mastopexy) surgery. It is not possible to erect the breast with sports. Because the breast muscle is not located inside the breast, but behind it. This muscle develops with sports. However, it is not possible for the mammary gland and fat tissue in the breast to be recovered that way.
Why do breasts sag?
Breast structure may change due to the effects of gravity, deformation caused by births and breastfeeding and the loss of elasticity of tissues over the years. Formerly erect, full, alive breasts may become emptied, loosened and sagged over time.
Breast consists of fat and mammary gland mainly. Weight gain increases fat tissue. Breast-feeding inflates the mammary gland and both of them enlarge the breast, causing cracks and sagging of the skin surrounding the breast.
Also with these effects, the nipple and surrounding brown area widens, distorting the visual perception. As you gain weight, the ligaments that hang the breast on the chest wall can no longer carry the breasts. The breast hangs towards the fold and then further below the fold. The nipple turns down, not facing forward.
Weight gain also contributes negatively to this process. The time spent with children at home after birth, changing habits of living and decreasing the exercise time also increase the problem of weight gain.
It is the “hanging ligaments” that hangs the breast on the chest wall and makes the breast stand upright. Once loosened and extended due to births, breastfeeding and weight gain, it is not possible for these hanging ligaments to return to their original state. What needs to be done is to reshape the breast and re-hang where it should be on the chest wall.
What other health problems does the enlargement and sagging of breast cause?
Breast sagging does not only lead to unaesthetic appearance. Over time, the breasts hanging on the chest wall begin to pull the torso forward. As the breasts grow, this effect increases and irrepressible lower back pain occurs. The bras put pressure on the shoulders, causing shoulder, neck and arm pain. There are many women who have been incorrectly treated for neck hernia due to these pains. This pain becomes worse because of bone density reduction after menopause.
Redness, rashes and fungi appear under the breast. Despondency, insecurity and depression begin in women who cannot exercise comfortably due to sagging and big breasts and who are unable to wear the clothes they like.
Can breast sagging be treated without surgery?
When you browse the internet, you will see thousands of alternative methods for breast lift, sagging and breast augmentation. Countless delusive and ineffective solutions have been proposed, such as vegetable oils, massages with herbal creams, devices and kits that are claimed to have been developed for these purposes.
Unfortunately, these methods cannot go beyond wasting money and time. Worse, these methods can even be harmful.
In short, it is not possible to prevent sagging and lifting breast by these non-surgical methods.
The most permanent and definite method against breast sagging is the breast lift operation performed in qualified hands.
Who can have breast lift?
Breast sagging is rated by Regnault.
Normally, the nipple faces forward, and the breast tissue is located on the inframammary fold.
In slight sagging (1st degree), the nipple is lowered to the level of inframammary fold but most of the breast tissue is above it. Solely breast prosthesis can provide sufficient solution for a period of time in suitable cases for lifting breasts of this degree. The breast prosthesis gives the desired effect both by plumping the breast and pushing it up a little. This ensures recovery without leaving any scars on the breast for a long time. However, as the aging continues, there may be a need for lifting after a while.
In moderate sagging (2nd degree), the nipple level is below the inframammary fold. Also, most of the breast tissue hangs below the inframammary fold.
In severe sagging (3rd degree), the breast is now completely sagged and emptied and the nipple faces down.
Breast lift surgery is a must for recovery in the 2nd and 3rd degrees.
Pseudoptosis is the condition where the breast tissue hangs down from the inframammary fold while the nipple is above the fold. Breast lift surgery is required for these breasts as well.
How is breast lift performed?
Prior to the procedure, a detailed interview between the patient and the physician is essential. The patient should tell his/her expectations and the physician should explain what they can do. The process can advance if the expectations and the physician’s capabilities are compatible.
How to decide breast lift surgery and method?
Breast sag 2 and 3. if the degree and volume is sufficient, the desired result is achieved by performing the breast lift procedure.
Before breast lift surgery, detailed examination is performed in standing position. The position of the nipple, the new place where it should be and the amount of mammary gland are measured.
If there is a 1st degree(slight) of breast sagging and loss of volume, long-term acceptable results may be achieved with silicone prosthesis.
If the sagging is at 2nd or 3rd degrees and the volume is sufficient, the desired result is obtained by performing the breast lift procedure.
If the sagging in the breast is excessive and the breast volume is insufficient, it is necessary to lift the breast and to increase the volume by placing a silicone prosthesis during this process. This process is called augmentation mastopexy, which is the most difficult and proficiency-required breast surgery. Because, an amount of tissue is removed from the breast during the lifting while some volume is added with the prosthesis. In other words, performing two opposing procedures at the same time and achieving a good result can only be performed by plastic surgeons with sufficient experience in this procedure. However, it is stated in the world literature that the augmentation mastopexy is the surgery where the breast needs revision and correction the most.
It is also possible to perform this procedure in two sessions for candidates with high revision risk. In the first operation the breast is erected and in the second, the volume is restored with the prosthesis.
Things to consider before the process
Before each procedure to be performed on the breast, the appropriate breast imaging method (ultrasound, mammography, MR) should be used to determine that the breast tissue is healthy.
Duration of surgery
Breast lift operations usually last for 2 to 4 hours. Depending on the technique to be used, the duration of surgery may vary.
Breast lift operations are performed under general anesthesia by aesthetic plastic surgery physicians in the operating room conditions.
Sagging breast tissue is reshaped during mastopexy. Excess skin should be removed and the nipple should be brought to where it should be.
The most important factors for the success of the surgery are to give the breasts an appearance proportional to the body, to create symmetry in both breasts and to make the scars as vague and faint as possible.
The technique we apply in breast lift surgery varies according to the patient's condition. For very slight saggings, if the volume of the breast tissue is sufficient, proper lifting can be achieved with silicone prosthesis while it will not be possible to recover the breast only with prosthetics in cases where the chest wall goes down. In such excessive sagging cases, taking the breast upwards is needed.
If the breast size is disproportionate to the body, some of the breast tissue is removed. However, it is necessary to fill the breast by placing the silicone prosthesis into it while lifting if the breast is small and emptied.
The healing process after breast lift surgery
- After the procedure, you will wake up in your room with your breasts taped.
- After 3-4 hours you can start taking liquid foods. You can walk around your room.
- The first night is easily controlled with painkillers, even if there is slight pain.
- Pain relief, serum and antibiotic treatment will be planned accordingly during the hospital stay.
- Most patients are checked again the next day, their drains are removed and discharged (Rarely, we can keep the drains for 1-2 days for the patient's safety).
- When you go home, we recommend that you eat liquid food, use the recommended antibiotics and painkillers properly and wear your bra tightly without removing it.
- In the first days, staying away from activities that you use your arms and not making the moves that cause you pain will accelerate your recovery.
- You can take a bath 3-4 days after the procedure and return to your normal life in 5-7 days.
Questions from you about breast lift
Can I breastfeed after breast lift?
For breastfeeding, it is necessary to maintain and keep intact the connection between nipple, milk channels and mammary gland. Breastfeeding will be possible if the chosen operation techniques don’t harm this connection.
Could there be sag again after breast lift surgery?
Aging is a dynamic and progressive process. As you get older, the strength of the ligaments carrying and supporting the breast will gradually decrease and the skin will become more relaxed.
In addition, if the person who has had breast lift surgery gets pregnant, breast-feeds or gains significant weight, there will be some changes in the breast.
In short, changes should be expected depending on aging and gravity. But patients who lead a healthy life and keep their weight can increase the persistence of the surgery.
Does breast lift remove all the cracks in the breast?
Breast lift surgery does not make the cracks on and right next to the nipple disappear. Because the skin can be removed only from the lower part.
Is it possible to erect breasts by doing sports?
The breasts are attached to the rib cage with hanging ligaments. Chest muscle exercises just give fullness to the upper part of the rib cage. It is not possible to erect sagged and deflated breasts.
What about scars?
- The most commonly discussed topic before breast surgery is scars. Every patient repeatedly expresses hesitation about them. In fact, most people even postpone the procedure for years because of scar concerns.
- Interestingly, after the procedure no one focuses on the scars on breast. No patient mentions scars because the breast is far more beautiful.
- The scars from breast reduction or lift surgery appear red first, then purple and pink, and fade completely within 6 months-1 year. It usually becomes vague, barely visible. Actually, no woman who likes her new breast shape complains about these scars.
- Hypertrophic scarring and keloid formation are related to genetic predisposition and people whose wounds heal with excessive scars should warn their physicians about this. Thus, different procedures will be planned to reduce these scars after surgery.