Between pregnancy, childbirth, and aging, the breasts eventually lose their shape and appearance.
Women in their 30s and 40s may notice their breasts look deflated and sag, which often happens after bearing children and breastfeeding. When the breasts fall lower on the chest, it can make you look older and lose self-confidence.
A breast lift – also called mastopexy – is a plastic surgery procedure that enhances the shape and appearance of the breasts. For example, the surgeon removes extra skin and tissue and may move the nipple higher to give the breasts a perkier appearance.
A breast lift doesn’t change the size, but it can be paired with breast augmentation with implants or fat transfer to make them larger. A tummy tuck also can trim the belly and accentuate the appearance of the chest.
If you are thinking about a breast lift, learn more below, including how effective breast lifts are after 40.
Why Have A Breast Lift?
The breasts change as the years pass and life happens. However, the most common reasons for breast sagging are:
- Pregnancy: When you are pregnant, hormone changes increase the size of the breasts to feed the baby. The skin and ligament usually stretch. These changes can lead to sagging after the baby is born.
- Breastfeeding: The breasts may increase two or more sizes during pregnancy, and breastfeeding can lead to the breasts deflating and sagging. Your skin may not be elastic enough to bounce back after breastfeeding is over.
- Weight changes: Significant weight fluctuations can make the breasts lose volume and sag.
- Gravity: Over many years, the breasts may sag as skin and ligaments feel the effects of gravity.
Some of the signs you could need a breast lift include:
- Breasts sag or are longer and flatter
- Nipples are below the breast creases
- Nipples and areolae point ‘south’
- Areolae are large and stretched
- One breast is lower than the other
A breast lift can make a dramatic difference, but it’s not for everyone. If you plan to get pregnant, it’s best to wait until several months after your last pregnancy.
Breast Lift Procedure
There are several ways the surgeon can raise the breasts by removing tissue and reshaping what is left. Some of the most common procedures are:
- An incision around the areolae
- An incision from the areolae to breast creases
- An incision perpendicular to breast creases
The surgeon may place sutures deep in the breast tissue to hold the breasts in place and reduce the size of the nipples and areolae. The procedure takes roughly two hours, and most patients can return home the same day.
If you have a breast augmentation, too, the surgeon usually places implants through an incision in the breast crease.
Breast Lifts After 40
Many patients wait to have a breast lift until after their last pregnancy, and this could be in the 30s or 40s. However, patients who have a breast lift in their 40s can enjoy excellent results.
However, there is a generally higher risk of complications with any surgery in older people. Therefore, it’s essential to be in good health, close to your goal weight, and be a non-smoker to minimize the chances of complications from a breast lift.
Breast lift results usually last many years, as long as you don’t get pregnant or have major weight fluctuations.
Some of the things you can do to make your breast lift after 40 last as long as possible are:
- Care for the skin: Skin elasticity is primarily determined by genes. However, you can enhance skin elasticity by avoiding the sun as much as possible. Sun damage is one of the most significant factors in sagging and wrinkled skin.
- Keep a steady weight: Fast weight gain and loss will affect the breast lift’s results. Eat a healthy diet and exercise to keep your weight the same after the procedure.
- Take it easy after the procedure: It’s important to rest after the breast lift to let the body heal. Don’t engage in vigorous activities for at least a month, but it’s fine to go for a short walk daily to enhance blood circulation.
- Don’t get pregnant: While you can get pregnant after a breast lift, it’s best to complete building your family before the procedure. Pregnancy and breastfeeding undo the results, and a follow-up procedure will be required.
- Wear a good bra: Spend time and money to find a good bra to support your uplifted breasts. This is even more critical if you have breast augmentation.
Your plastic surgeon will offer detailed instructions to maintain your breast lift results after 40, 50, and beyond. Make sure you pay attention to their instructions to maximize your breast lift results.
Breast Lift Recovery
After the lift, the breasts will be covered with bandages for a few days. They will be bruised and swollen for about 14 days, and three will be swelling and pain where the incisions are. Your doctor will provide prescription pain medication to manage the worst of the discomfort.
Don’t bend or lift for a few weeks, and sleep on your back. Most patients see almost immediate results, but it will take a few months for all the swelling to go down.
A breast lift will give the breasts a perkier and lifted appearance that can make you look years younger. While you’ll probably have some minor scarring, they will fade after one year. Find out more about breast lifts after 40 by talking to your plastic surgeon.
Request A Breast Lift Consultation
Considering a breast lift in New Jersey? Dr. Smita. R. Ramanadham can help you obtain the results you want. Dr. Ramanadham will go over your options and goals to determine if a breast lift will meet your aesthetic goals.
How Long Do Breast Lift Results Last? (2020). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/how-long-do-breast-lift-results-last
Breast Lift Overview. (2021). Accessed at https://www.healthline.com/health/mastopexy
About Breast Lifts. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/breast-lift/about/pac-20393218
Breast Lift Overview. (2021). Accessed at https://www.smartbeautyguide.com/procedures/breast/breast-lift/