We start our weight loss journey with a dream in our eyes of achieving the healthiest body. But when we reach our goal of shedding the additional pounds successfully, we find ourselves left with a pair of loose, sagging, and badly hanging breasts. In addition, the appearance of our breasts also gets negatively affected when we lose a considerable amount of weight due to bariatric surgery. Breast lift after weight loss is the right solution to fight such conditions effectively. Check out essential things you should know about the procedure and how it can quickly give you a pair of supple, uplifted, and beautiful breasts.
Causes of Saggy Breasts?
Being composed of fat tissue mostly, breasts tend to droop or sag easily after losing weight, thereby making us highly disappointed and ruining our satisfaction of success. In addition to rapid weight loss, there could be multiple reasons for saggy breasts, including aging, smoking, pregnancy, weight fluctuations, gravity, vitamin of collagen and estrogen, menopause, bigger breast size, overweight, breast cancer, and tuberculosis (1).
Saggy breast is not triggered by breastfeeding, wearing a bra, or wrong sized bra.
What Is ‘Breast Lift’?
‘Breast Lift’ or ‘Mastopexy’ is a cosmetic surgery widely performed to reshape and raise droopy and saggy breasts without altering their volume (2). However, when the appearance of the bust line gets affected due to specific reasons, only this option is known to work. This surgical procedure restores the earlier condition of our breasts and creates a well-proportioned and perfectly balanced look by rectifying the positions of the tissue and the nipple line. As a result, our precious organs become healthier and perkier.
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Why Opt For ‘Breast Lift’ After Weight Loss?
Your hard work to look healthier and thinner by losing extra weight has paid off, which is something to celebrate. But are you still lacking the self-confidence to look into the mirror due to that loose skin on your breasts? Well, opting for the breast lift after a massive weight loss can help you get rid of that stretched extra skin surrounding your breasts. Excess tissue and skin make the breasts look deflated, which is frustrating for any woman even after reaching her ideal body weight. Breast lift after weight loss turns your assets firmer and improves your entire body contour, thereby giving a significant boost to your self-esteem. It is also a good choice for women who cannot opt for breast implants.
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How Does The ‘Breast Lift Surgery” Work?
Breast lift surgery can be performed alone or combined with other surgeries, such as breast augmentation or breast reduction. However, each patient is different, and hence, each breast lift surgery after weight loss is customized as per the requirements and desires of the patient to ensure the very best result.
In most cases, the excess skin around the breasts, especially surrounding the brown areola, is eliminated to prevent sagging. The areola is repositioned, the tissue is altered, and the nipple is raised to create a well-proportioned, supple, and attractive appearance.
For a minor weight loss, women can go for a less-invasive method in which only a small incision is created around the areola to lift the breast. But those, who have experienced a dramatic weight loss, may have to undergo a major surgery, which comprises a vertical scar or an upturned T-shaped scar between the breast fold and the areola.
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Types Of Breast Lift Surgeries
Generally, three distinct breast lift surgeries are intended for patients undergoing major weight loss (3). Here is the brief:
1. Donut / Circle Breast Lift
It is the minor type in which the areolar complex is lifted to eliminate extra skin. As a result, the patient gets only a circular scar surrounding the areola, which becomes invisible over time.
2. Lollipop Breast Lift
This surgery creates a ‘lollipop’-like scar on the lower section of the breast. It lifts the nipple to a higher position by removing some more skin, resulting in one scar along the edge of the areola and another between the areola and the breast.
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3. Full Anchor Breast Lift
It is the most significant type of breast lift intended for women with huge, sagging breasts. The scars developed during this major surgery are more or less like the ‘lollipop’ one. In addition, however, there is another scar that goes along the lower segment of the breast.
Pros And Cons Of The Procedure
The biggest advantage of undergoing breast lift after weight loss is that you get firm, toned, and proportionate breasts by getting rid of that unnecessary loose skin and repositioning the nipples correctly. The results are permanent, and there is no need to spend a huge amount of money on an implant. But the procedure comes with considerable scars, which fade away over time instead of getting vanished.
Breast Lift Or Breast Augmentation?
As you know everything about breast lift after weight loss, it is essential to differentiate it from breast augmentation. This will help you decide whether the breast lift alone is perfect for you or need it combined with breast augmentation. While a breast lift is enough to elevate your droopy breasts to a higher position on the chest, it cannot rectify the flatter top sections. On the other hand, breast augmentation can look fuller and naturally contoured while adding beautiful cleavage. So, discuss it with your surgeon, and he/she will be able to guide you through the most suitable options depending on your needs.
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Cost of Breast Lift Surgery
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of breast lift surgery is $4,693 (4). However, this may vary depending on the surgeon’s experience, the location of the procedure, and the type of procedure.
How long does a breast lift last?
Breast lift surgery results depend on the patient’s age, the procedure involved, overall health, lifestyles, etc. However, one may get long-lasting results provided a healthy weight and lifestyle are maintained. Alternatively, one can undergo revision surgery after few years if needed.
At-home test to find the Best Procedure
You can even try an at-home test to determine whether you should go only for the breast lift or choose both. First, stand straight and raise both of your arms over your head gradually. Now, look at your nipples. If they do not elevate to higher positions on the breasts and do not look like they used to look before sagging, you probably need a breast lift. The position of your areola in relation to the breast crease will help surgeons determine if you need breast augmentation or not. He/she will also assess your breast tissue and the condition of the skin (elasticity, stretch, etc.) surrounding the organs to figure out what will work the best for you.
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How To Prevent Breast Sagging
While sagging of the breast is a normal phenomenon, especially after rapid weight loss, this can be prevented by making few changes to your lifestyle. Some of the changes that can prevent include (5) –
- Avoid Smoking – When you smoke, toxins present in tobacco inhibit the production of collagen and elastin. This results in the sagging of skin and breasts.
- Maintain a good posture – Maintaining a good posture and keeping your back straight can help distribute body weight optimally and prevent sagging.
- Exercise – Do regular exercises like pushups to maintain a firm breast. Instead of doing only chest exercise, focus on doing exercise for the whole body.
- Proper support – Choose the correct type of bra depending on the activity you do to provide the necessary support to your breasts.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Always try to maintain a healthy weight and indulge in a good work-life balance.
- Massage well – A topical massage can strengthen tissues and improve blood flow and thus prevent sagging.
- Avoid Rapid Weight loss or gain – Avoid losing or gaining weight too fast; it can stretch the skin.
Sagging of breasts is a natural process caused by rapid weight loss, aging, smoking, pregnancy, weight fluctuations, gravity, deficiency of collagen and estrogen, menopause, bigger breast size, overweight, breast cancer, and tuberculosis. Breast Lift surgery is most commonly used alone or combined with other surgeries to treat saggy and droopy breasts. Sagging of breasts is not associated with any medical risk although it can lead to low self-esteem and undergoing breast lift surgery is completely optional. If you don’t want to undergo a surgical procedure, there are other natural options to treat saggy breasts. Avoiding smoking, maintain a good posture, Exercising, wearing the right type of bra, maintaining a healthy weight can prevent breast sagging.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I go without a bra after a breast lift?
You need to wear a sports bra for at least 6 weeks. Please make sure the bra should be free from any underwire.
When can I lift my arms after a breast lift?
Post breast lift surgery, you are not supposed to raise your arm above your breast level or pull heavy items at least for 10 days.
How long after a breast lift can I sleep on my side?
Avoid side sleeping after a breast lift surgery. Side sleeping may put pressure on the incision or implant side. Consult your cosmetic surgeon for details.
What are the side effects of breast lift surgery?
Common side effects include scarring, nipple sensation, soreness, and swelling.
What is the downtime for a breast lift?
One usually should avoid lifting arms above breast level and pulling heavy objects for at least 2 weeks. After that, however, one can return to work and engage in light daily activities.
- “Breast lift” -mayoclinic.org
- “Breast Reshaping after Massive Weight Loss” – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Breast Lift Guide” – americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org
- “Breast Lift” – plasticsurgery.org
- “Treating Saggy Breasts” – healthline.com