Even if you are happy with the physical size of your breasts, you may not be as content with their positioning, which forces you to shy away from low-cut tops and deep necklines. “Some women just want their breasts put back to a higher position, like where they used to be,” says Kirkland, WA, plastic surgeon Sarah McMillan, MD. But, when there’s a loss of volume, especially in the upper part of the breasts, and some sagging, the breasts might need a bit more help. Here, four plastic surgeons share their advice for lifting them back up.
“If you have any amount of breast tissue, wearing a supportive bra is a good idea, especially if you run. A bra could potentially help gravity from stretching your breast tissue and skin throughout your life.
Also, a non-surgical breast lift can be achieved with absorbable barbed threads to re-suspend the gland superiorly. However, these threads are not FDA approved and cannot lift heavy ptotic breasts. Radiofrequency microneedling or micro-focused ultrasound may also be used to stimulate collagen to tighten the upper pole skin of the breast. These devices are off-label in this area.
The absolute best option for a truly saggy breast is still a surgical breast lift with an implant for upper pole fullness. Fat can be used to inflate and elevate a ptotic breast but will not give a convex upper pole like a breast implant.”
—Duxbury, MA plastic surgeon Christine Hamori, MD
“A mild degree of breast sagging—otherwise known as ptosis—can be corrected with a dual plane breast augmentation, where the implant is positioned mostly under the muscle but not entirely. If ptosis is more advanced, a formal breast lift can be performed. I utilize different techniques depending on the degree of nipple ptosis and breast skin laxity. This can range from a ‘scarless’ technique, where the scar is hidden around the areola, to a lollipop technique, when an incision is made around the areola and down the center of the lower breast, to an anchor technique, which involves three smaller incisions.”
—Newport Beach, CA plastic surgeon Sanjay Grover, MD
“The gold standard for lifting the breasts is a mastopexy [or breast lift]. There are several different techniques and sometimes an implant is used to restore volume at the same time.”
——Reno, NV, plastic surgeon Tiffany D. McCormack, MD
“The trends that I have been seeing is a movement toward either smaller implants or no implants at all. The traditional surgery for a lift to reposition the nipples is at the cost of scars, which many people are concerned about.
We have been playing with some nonsurgical skin tightening devices, like Morpheus8, BodyTite and Ultherapy, for modest skin tightening and therefore lifting without the scars of a surgical lift.”
—Pasadena, CA plastic surgeon Lily Lee, MD
“Depending upon the degree of ptosis, I have used various lifting techniques that may involve periareolar, two scar, or three scar incisions. I use an implant if more upper chest fullness is needed and if more size is needed. There are no exercises that can reduce loose skin. Likewise, noninvasive techniques for skin tightening of the breast have minimal efficacy due to the weight of the breast.”
—Richmond, VA plastic surgeon Ruth Hillelson, MD