Down with the Droop

Perky breasts shout ‘youth’; as a woman ages, her breasts gradually hang lower. The larger they are, the heavier they are, and the more they are inclined to droop. The medical term for drooping breasts is Ptosis. Doctors consider it a normal aging process.

You can tell if you have Ptosis by examining your profile in the mirror. Normally, your nipple will be on a level with the fold under your breast – about halfway between your elbow and your shoulder. If your nipple is significantly lower, it’s official: you have Ptosis.

For many women, drooping breasts are a constant reminder of their lost youth. Only in the last decade have the main causes of sagging breasts come to be understood. Apart from age, they are: cigarette smoking, body mass index, the number of pregnancies a woman has had, and the original breast size before pregnancy. A woman’s genes can also influence the degree of droop. Genetic makeup influences a woman’s breast size, the elasticity of her skin and the proportion of fat (which is lighter) to glandular tissue (which is heavier).

Not Just About Appearance

Ptosis isn’t just about looks. Drooping breasts can be very uncomfortable. Even if you have a well-fitted bra, the breasts can drag on your shoulders until deep grooves appear along your shoulder muscles. For some women, this is very unpleasant.

Research indicates that lifelong wearing of support bras does nothing to prevent sagging. Exercise cannot tone breasts, because they have no muscle; muscle is the only body structure that can be toned by exercise. In fact, vigorous exercise may even contribute to sagging in women with large breasts.

Studies have shown that an ‘encapsulation-type’ sports bra (where each breast is encased in a separately molded cup) is more effective in supporting the breasts than a ‘compression-type’ sports bra (which tends simply to ‘squash’ the breasts against the rib cage).

Help is at Hand

For women with significant Breast Ptosis, surgery can help restore a youthful shape and size. The cosmetic surgery procedure is called ‘Mastopexy’ or ‘Breast Lift’. It works by moving the nipple and areola closer to their original position and tightening the skin and breast tissue to improve the shape of the breasts.

There are a number of ways a surgeon can go about this, depending on the particular shape and size of a woman’s breasts. Sometimes, but not always, implants might be used as well; this happens in a different procedure approximately twelve weeks later. Implants may be needed if a woman has lost all fullness in her breasts.

Because the surgery changes the shape of the breasts and repositions the nipple and areola, there will be scars, either partly or completely around the nipple, and also possibly from the central point of the areola to the fold beneath the breast. There might also be a scar in the fold beneath the breast.

Scars gradually fade with time. Everyone is different, so it’s impossible to predict exactly how a person will react. It is true, however, that post-operative care, attention to healthy living including refraining from smoking, will give your healing process a head-start.

Is a Breast Lift for You?

It’s sometimes fashionable to criticise cosmetic surgery and to encourage people to be happy with their body’s shape. But this is unfair. Having a breast lift, Breast Implants or any other cosmetic surgery is similar to exercising to keep your body in good shape, or eating wisely to stay slim: it is simply using all the resources available today to enhance your life.

Breasts that sag unduly are not just less attractive. They can also be uncomfortable. Restoring youthful shape to this important area of the body can actually motivate a woman to care for her health and well being because she feels better about herself. It can be a case of Perky Breasts equals a Perky You!

For more information on Breast Lifts, click here.