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Breast Ptosis, or sagging breasts is a medical term for the drooping or sagging of the breast. Some women have this condition naturally whereas many won't experience it at all, until after pregnancy or weight gain and loss. Age and size is also a factor in breast ptosis as many women with large breasts have some degree of ptosis as they get older.
Degree of Ptosis
Ptosis is categorized by the relationship that the nipple has to the inframammary crease (the crease at the bottom part of the breast). Depending on where the nipple relates to this crease is how the severity of the ptosis (droopiness) is categorized.
- Grade 1 Ptosis is when the nipple is directly infront of the crease.
- Grade 2 Ptosis is when the nipple falls one to two centimeters below the breast crease.
- Grade 3 Ptosis is when the nipple is pointing straight down.
Pseudoptosis is when the nipple is at the level of the crease but the breast seems to have great deal of sagginess in the lower part of the gland. If the nipple is above the inframammary crease but the breast appears droopy due to the presence of a significant lower breast lobe then this is pseudoptosis.
As women age and their skin elasticity diminishes, their breasts tend to sag and lose their shape, resulting in drooping breasts. Breast lift, also called mastopexy, is a plastic surgery procedure that can restore firmness as well as shape to the breasts. Depending on the severity of the ptosis, is what will determine what surgical procedure is needed.
- Grade 1 Ptosis a simple breast implant will do or a partial Mastopexy.
- Grade 2 and Grade 3 Ptosis the sagginess is more severe and will need a full Mastopexy.
In pseudoptosis the procedure selection will depend on the size of the breast, and the amount of droopiness. More than likely it will require some partial excision or removal of the inferior part of the gland since this is were the problems lies.
Ptosis correction can be done with or without implants, if the patient desires larger breasts then an implant will be needed. If sagging is present and the woman opts not to have a lift, implants are typically placed above the muscle to fill out the breast skin and tissue. Submuscular placement could result in a snoopy deformity effect. In these cases, the implant appears to be high on the chest, whereas the natural breast tissue hanging down over the implant giving it the appearance or having a separate breast.