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Breast sagging. Grades of ptosis and methods of breast lift

One of the main feature of female beauty and sexuality is perky and firm bust. But only few females have their breast looking as good as when they were young. Due to the aging process breasts lose their youthful appearance because of skin stretching and sagging after pregnancy and breastfeed. Breast ptosis does not affect it's function and health, but many women begin to experience psychological discomfort.

Breast sagging or mastoptosis is a gradual sagging of breast with loss of volume and shape accompanied by skin stretching. Breastfeeding is one of the most important biological function of the breast. Unfortunately after this process the breast most often changes its shape and becomes saggy. There are several reasons for breast ptosis and each case can be discussed separately.

Why does breast become loose?

  • It's heredity. Some women have a genetical predisposition for breast ptosis. The main indicators are the elasticity of skin and muscle ligaments, as well as production of collagen and elastin, which is genetic.
  • Breast size. Unfortunately, though it sound strange, nobody cancels the force of gravity. It means, the larger the bust size the faster mammary glands' sagging will occur.
  • Hormones. Every month there is a hormonal change during menstrual period. As a result the female breast swells and gets bigger; then it comes back to normal. With time this change in the size of mammary glands effects breast skin, stretching it.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeed. Breast enlargement during pregnancy occurs due to hormonal change and weight gain. Lactation causes the breast to become bigger size, but later after cessation of lactation the breast gets smaller. Perhaps a single pregnancy will not greatly affect the appearance of the breast, but it will definitely have it's negative effect.
  • Weight change. Sudden weight change affects the skin all over the body. Weight gain makes the breast look better as some fat adds volume to it. But losing weight results in a quick loss of breast fat making it saggy.
  • Sport. Intense physical exercise such as running, jumping, aerobics, step, etc. will negatively effect the breast appearance if they do not wear supporting underwear.

Breast lift photos: before and after

Grades of breast ptosis

In medical terms, breast ptosis is determined by the location of the center of areola in relation to infra-mammary crease. In the absence of ptosis, the center of areola is above the natural infra-- mammary crease. Breast ptosis can be divided into 3 grades

First grade. The initial grade is the location of the nipple is at or up to 1cm below infra-mammary crease.

Second grade. The average grade of the breast ptosis determined when the center of areola is 1-3 cm below the infra-mammary crease, but still points upwards.

Third grade. With this type of breast ptosis, the nipples are pointed downwards and the center of areola is 3 or more centimeters below the infra-mammary crease.

There is also pseudo ptosis. With this type of breast sagging, the areola appears above the infra-mammary crease, but the breast itself sags over the crease. This type of ptosis can happen even at a young age and results in unattractive bust appearance, which makes the girl feel insecure.

Consequents of ptosis

Breast ptosis mainly refers to psychological aspect and cosmetic surgery. Having sagging breast after childbirth leads to insecurity, low self-esteem and creates problems to select open-breasted clothing. Sometimes women get very depressed and create problems of intimate nature. In advanced cases breast ptosis can cause:

  • Diaper rash
  • Inflammations of the skin and boils
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Poor lymph circulation
  • Formation of cysts and granulomas, which can become cancerous

How to lift sagging breast

If the breast tissue has already lost its elasticity and volume, and the breast looks soft and saggy, physical exercise will be of no help. Even if you go to gym and do exercises for your chest muscles it will never help. Only mastopexy will help to restore breast appearance. The surgical operation to correct ptosis and breast shape is performed under general anesthesia. This operation will help to remove excess skin and return the nipple to the right position. There are three ways to perform the operation:

A breast lift with an areola incision (areolar breast lift) is performed at the primary stage of breast ptosis. With this method, the incision is created around areola only. It helps to fix slight ptosis of the breast.

For sagging breast of the second grade there is a vertical mastopexy. Using this method they create the incision around the areola plus another one, which goes vertically downward to sub-mammary fold. Excess tissue is removed through this incision.

With greater degrees of sagging surgeons make an inverted T-shape incision. This method combines vertical and horizontal incisions, with the latter one along the sub-mammary fold. Such technique allows to lift and reshape the breast. Also in case of breast hypertrophy it allows not only to lift the breast but also reduce it's size.

There are other alternative enhancements of breast , which are appropriate only at the initial stages of breast ptosis. Lipofilling and thread lift can help to improve breast appearance.l

In lipofilling procedure for breast ptosis they use patient's own fat, which is purified and then injected into the breast. It's performed under general anesthesia. Such an operation helps in contouring the breast and also in making it bigger by 1-1.5 size. The maximum allowed amount of own fat injected should not exceed 250ml. This method is suitable for a slight sagging of the breast skin. Also the patient must have enough body fat for transplantation.

Thread lift is performed only in the primary stages of sagging breast. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and does not require to stay in the hospital. The threads are inserted into the skin for about 3mm depth and form a strengthening frame. The threads run below mammary gland and going up, exit near the collarbone. When they use absorbable threads the effect will last for about 3 years; with non- absorbable threads the effect will last for about 5 years.

I would like to mention that alternative methods of breast lift are suitable only for a slight stretching of skin and initial breast ptosis. For grades 2 and others these techniques will not be effective. That's why one needs to have a breast lift surgery if ptosis is severe. It will help to restore youthful appearance of the breast within a short period of time; and it will last for many years.