Women generally choose to undergo breast augmentation when they feel that their breasts lack the volume they desire. Implants are often used to enhance breasts, but they can also improve the shape and appearance of breasts following pregnancy, weight loss, or aging. Younger women who wish to enlarge their breasts typically have firm breasts with good elasticity. Women begin to develop some breast sagging following pregnancy or as they age, which can affect the quality of their breast augmentation.
Breast sagging, also known as breast ptosis, occurs in different levels of severity, ranging from mild to severe. The grade of ptosis at the time of your breast augmentation will determine if you may also require a breast lift.
Grade I – The breast tissue sits at or above the inframammary line, and the nipples have good projection.
Grade II – A small amount of breast tissue has accumulated below the inframammary line, and the nipples have good projection.
Grade III – A moderate amount of breast tissue has accumulated below the inframammary line, and the nipples point downward.
Grade IV – A significant amount of breast tissue sits below the inframammary line, and the nipples point down toward the floor.
Breast Lift to Correct Ptosis
Some women with Grade II ptosis and most women with Grade III or IV ptosis should consider combining a breast lift with their breast augmentation. Implants do very little to lift sagging breast tissue and may exacerbate the issue. The breast lift procedure removes excess breast tissue and skin, lifting the remaining tissue on the chest. Internal sutures are used to provide additional support to weak breast tissue. The breasts are shaped for a natural and youthful appearance.
Once the breast tissue has been lifted and reinforced, implants can be placed in the breast pocket. The suturing technique will provide extra support for the implant to help maintain a realistic breast appearance.
Why You Should Correct Ptosis
It is important to address ptosis prior to or at the same time as your breast augmentation because if you don’t, it can have negative effects on your breast appearance in the future. Since breast sagging is caused by weakened support within the breast and skin with poor elasticity, untreated ptosis may be worsened by implants alone. Complications can develop such as double-bubble deformity or implants bottoming out. These complications may require additional procedures to correct them, necessitating added cost and a secondary procedure and recovery.
If you are considering breast augmentation, schedule your consultation with Dr. Austin today. Your breast augmentation will include an evaluation for ptosis, and Dr. Austin will recommend a combination surgery if needed. Please contact our office at 503.561.7000 or fill out our online contact form for additional information.