Sagging Breasts or in medical terms what is known as breast ptosis is a common concern among women. And the reality is that it can affect women of any age. The breasts undergo changes with time and there can be a striking difference in the size, shape and firmness. Gravity and aging are two main reasons for sagging breasts. And no one can escape these two factors and hope to have a firm breast. Women with larger breasts are more susceptible to developing sagging breasts, especially because the breasts are pulled down due to gravity. While in women with smaller sized breasts, the impact might not be as severe. The elasticity of the breast tissue also decreases with age, leading to the condition. Other factors such as hormonal changes, breastfeeding, weight loss and menopause can also cause sagging of the breasts. One does not have to be under confident or suffer if they are unhappy with the appearance of the breasts. Sagging breasts treatments are very commonly performed and can help correct droopy breasts. Breast Lift or Mastopexy is a cosmetic procedure to reposition the nipples and improve the firmness of the breasts.
What is Breast lift?
Let’s get a detailed picture of what the procedure is, who can consider it, the treatment costs, recovery time and more with this read. A breast lift procedure is a surgical cosmetic treatment where the surgeon removes excess skin around the breasts and moves the nipples upward to give a round and firm appearance of the breasts. The plastic surgeon will discuss with the patient to understand what is the most desirable shape and appearance that the patient would like to attain. Based on this, the doctor will restructure and resize the breasts. The surgeon will mark where the nipple should appear after the procedure. Usually, a cut is made around the areola of the breasts and goes downwards towards the crease. Once excess skin is removed and the nipple is moved to the desired position, the cut is sutured or covered with skin adhesive or surgical tapes.
Depending on the nature and extent of breast sagging, the doctor will choose the best breast lift option. There are various types of Sagging Breast Treatment such as:
1. Crescent Breast Lift – this technique is used when the breast sagging is minimal. There will be only one incision of the areola of the breast. Once excess skin is removed and the areola positioned, it is stitched back. There will be no scar from this procedure, since the scar will be hidden from the darker shade of the areola.
2. Periareolar Breast Lift – this technique is again done on women with moderate sagging and is also known as donut lift. The incision is usually done around the areolar region and once restructured, the cut is sutured. There will be no scarring from this procedure as well.
3. Vertical Breast Lift – Also known as lollipop lift, there will be two incisions in this procedure. One that will be around the areola and then goes downwards the natural crease.
4. Anchor Breast Lift – there will be three incisions from this procedure. One around the areola which goes downwards to the crease and a ‘T’ shaped incision near the crease. This procedure is opted when drastic lift and reshaping is required. Breast lift scars in the vertical and anchor type of Sagging Breast Treatment are usually hidden along the breast creases.
Apart from surgical procedures for sagging breast, there can be non-surgical techniques as well. One such non-surgical breast lift can be achieved by the Vampire breast lift technique. In this procedure, a PRP or Platelet-rich Plasma injections are used to enhance the appearance of the breasts and improve sagging. The PRP injections make the breast appear fuller and one cup-size increased. This procedure can be helpful for individuals who want to improve their breast size without surgery and for those who are looking at augmenting the size of the breast.
A mastopexy procedure whether surgical or a vampire breast lift, is complicated and must be performed by only experienced care providers. Some individuals would prefer a breast lift procedure with implants. In this case, 2 surgeries are usually combined. One is the breast lift procedure and the other is breast augmentation with implants. It must be discussed with the doctor whether both the procedures can be combined or not. On an average, a Mastopexy procedure is said to alst 10 to 15 years. The doctor would examine the breasts and determine the health condition of the individual to understand if both procedures can be done together. Breast lift procedure without breast implants is what is commonly advised to improve the chances of long-lasting results from the procedure.
Who is an ideal candidate for Breast Lift?
- A healthy woman without conditions such as heart, blood or blood pressure disorders can consider the procedure
- If there has been a history of breast cancers in the family, it is best to avoid the procedure especially breast implants
- One must avoid the procedure if pregnant or if the individual is into smoking
Smoking can impact the results that the person can obtain from the procedure. It is always advised that the patient should completely stop smoking at least 4 weeks before the treatment.
How much does a Breast Lift Procedure Cost?
A breast lift procedure can take anywhere between 1 to 3 hours for completion and would be done as an outpatient procedure or might need a hospital stay of 1 day. In India, the cost of a breast lift procedure in tier 1 cities can cost between INR 50k to 1 lakhs depending on the extent of breast lift needed and the technique chosen. In Chennai, breast lift procedures without implants can cost INR 75k to 1.3 lakhs. If a breast augmentation (use of implants) procedure is done along with Sagging Breast Treatment, it can cost INR 2 lakhs and above. The exact Sagging Breast Treatment costs will depend on the city, the clinic, the facilities and the expertise of the doctor.
Breast Lift Recovery and Results
Patients might need one to two weeks for complete recovery. In the first two days after the procedure, patients will experience moderate pain. The doctor might prescribe medications alleviating the pain and also recommend compression garments to help with wound healing. The breasts will be covered with medical dressing to help with stitches or medical / skin adhesives used. At times, a small tube might be placed along with the dressing to collect any fluids. In one week’s time, the doctor would evaluate the healing and recovery and decide on removal of the dressings. Swelling and slight pain would be evident for two weeks which will subside on its own.
To help with recovery, patients must follow post procedural care. Some of which include:
1. Arrange for a driver or cab for returning home post surgery
2. Get help for the 2 to 3 days after procedure since pain and uneasiness is evident during this period
3. Get plenty of rest, nutritious food and ample water
4. One must take a protein and fibre rich meal to prevent constipation
5. Strenuous exercise or activities must be avoided to ensure there will be no bleeding or bruising of the wound.
6. One can bath as usual after the medical dressings are removed
7. Patients must have the care provider’s number for medical emergencies and to plan follow-up visits.
The results of a Mastopexy not only lasts for more than a decade but it improves the self-confidence and social life of the patients tremendously. How to choose the right doctor for the best results is the most important question. Patients must ensure that they are getting treated by board-certified doctors who have experience in breast lift procedures for the best results. It is also important to ensure that the clinic or hospital has the required facilities to handle any emergencies. Breast lift procedures can come with the risk of bleeding, reaction to anesthesia, numbness, infection and scarring and hence it is important to have the procedure conducted by an experienced surgeon.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How long does breast lift last?
Breast lift results can last 10 to 15 years. However, this might differ from one individual to another. For some, there might be a need for revisions / correction treatments after a few years.
- How painful is a breast lift?
Most patients do not know any pain during the procedure because of the effect of anesthesia. However, there will be moderate pain after the procedure. The pain is high for a few days after the procedure and usually subsides there after.
- Do you lose a cup size with breast lift?
Yes, most patients lose a cup size after the breast lift procedure. This is because of the removal of excess skin and tissues.
- Can I go without a bra after breast lift?
It is recommended that patients wear a bra, preferably a sports bra to support the breasts. After about 6 weeks and complete recovery, one could go out without a bra.
- Will I lose sensation in my nipples after a breast lift?
Patients must feel numbness near the nipples but the sensation would restore in 6 to 8 weeks time. The feeling of numbness is mainly as a side-effect to the surgery and heal with time.
- When can I take a bath after breast lift?
Showers are recommended within a couple of days after treatment. However, saunas or swimming pools must be avoided for 6 to 8 weeks.
- What is the difference between a breast lift and breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation is different from a breast lift since it’s a treatment for increasing the breast size while also improving the firmness. Usually a breast implant is used to increase the size.
- How much does vampire breast lift cost?
A vampire breast lift can cost INR 50 to 1.3 lakhs in India.
- How can I lift my breasts naturally?
Sagging of the breasts cannot be reversed unless with medical/cosmetic treatments. However, exercises such as push-ups, bench-press, planks and others can tone the muscles on the arms and chest region. This in turn can improve the firmness around the breasts improving its overall appearance.