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sagging breasts

Sagging Breast

The ideal size and shape of the human breast is a matter of personal and cultural preference. It also varies with the dictates of fashion.

Premature sagging occurs as a result of stretching the Cooper's ligaments that help suspend and support the breast. Breast ptosis (drooping breasts) can result from a loosening of the skin and suspensory ligaments. Gravity and weight of breasts take their toll over time. Ptosis can also come from a reduction in the volume of breast tissue. This can occur after pregnancy and weight loss.

Although good breast care primarily means keeping your breasts healthy, for some women it also means keeping your breasts smooth and firm. There are two reasons for breast to sag: large breasts and age. Somewhere between the age of 30 and 40, the elastic tissue in the breast begins to degenerate. The breast fibres, which act like rubber bands and provide that resilient bounce as you walk, will still stretch, but they don't snap back quite as well. The result is saggy breasts. Adding to the problem, hormonal changes - both during pregnancy and as you reach menopause - make breasts sag even more.

Three types of aesthetic procedures are commonly performed on the breast as under:

Breast augmentation (making the breast larger)
Mastopexy (lifting up the sagging breast)
Breast reduction

Mammaplasty (Breast augmentation)

Breast augmentation (also called mammaplasty) is a surgery to contour and enlarge breasts using implants. Many women choose the procedure because they feel their breasts are too small for their body. Some women lose breast size after childbirth or breastfeeding. For others, nature was not overly generous to begin with. And there are other women who are bothered by uneven breasts and would like a more naturally balanced look.

It is done by placing an implant (also called a prosthesis), either directly behind the tissue of the breast gland or underneath the pectoral muscles as well as the breast. Many designs of implant are used. They all consist of a silicone bag containing a fluid. The outside of the silicone bag or envelope is sometimes textured. The first fluid used to fill implants was silicone gel, followed by saline (salt water).

The breast implant is inserted through either an incision around the lower border of the nipple (at the edge of the areola or pigmented area), an incision in the skin fold below the breast or an incision in the armpit. Choice of incision and breast size is largely a matter of preference of the patient and plastic surgeon.

Mastopexy (Breast Lift)

Breast lift (or mastopexy) is a surgical procedure to reshape and raise sagging breasts. The surgeon removes excess, stretched skin, which has allowed the breasts to droop, and lifts the nipples to a higher, more pert position. If desired, the size of the areola can be reduced as part of the procedure as well. In some cases, breast implants are inserted at the same time to round and shape the breasts for a fuller, more natural appearance. A breast lift is similar to breast reduction mammaplasty - both procedures remodel the breast. The breast lift reshapes the breast by the removal of stretched and sagging skin; the breast reduction removes fat and breast tissue as well.

There are several techniques for a breast lift that the cosmetic plastic surgeon can consider depending upon the degree of droopiness (ptosis) of the breast. In a youthful breast, the nipple lies above the inframammary fold on the mound of the breast. The surgeon will examine your breast, decide on the degree of ptosis, and then determine the surgical treatment best for you.

Breast reduction
Reduction mammaplasty (breast reduction) is the surgical reduction of the breast tissue, and re-tailoring of the overlying skin. This operation involve cutting around the nipple, leaving it attached to the chest wall by a stalk of breast tissue, removing excess skin (and glandular tissue in a reduction) and closing the re-shaped breast.

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