Sagging breast skin is an area of concern for numerous women, with pregnancy, weight fluctuations, and aging all contributing to the issue. Having heard about non-surgical treatment options for many other cosmetic concerns, some women are now wondering if there is a viable non-surgical alternative to breast lift surgery at our Washington, DC-area practice.
Considering the dramatic effect BOTOX®, fillers, and skin peels can have for tightening, lifting, and volumizing the face, it isn’t surprising that people are curious if similar treatments might do the same for breasts. Even though it is exciting to think about less invasive—and possibly less expensive—options, the jury is still out on non-surgical breast treatments.
If skin tightening works on your face, why not your décolletage?
Treatments such as Ultherapy® or laser skin resurfacing have been making waves for their ability to freshen the skin and give patients a more youthful appearance. Using a combination of ultrasound and the body’s natural healing process, Ultherapy lifts and tightens loose skin by stimulating the deep structural support layers of facial skin. Similarly, laser skin tightening uses infrared light to heat the collagen under the skin of target areas, causing the skin to shrink and tighten.
It might seem like these options would work just as well on breasts, but the sagging many women encounter is not just a result of changes in the skin. A combination of factors can contribute to sagging breasts, including reduced strength of supporting ligaments, diminished breast tissue, and stretched skin. The Cooper’s ligaments (connective structural tissue in the breasts) support the breast and can be weakened or stretched by shrinking milk glands post-breastfeeding, breast size growth and reduction during and after pregnancy, and by large weight fluctuations.
Final word: Treating the skin of the breasts doesn’t affect the Cooper’s ligaments or breast tissue, and so would not provide adequate lifting of the breasts.
What about BOTOX?
BOTOX works by paralyzing muscles temporarily, providing a successful short-term solution for shaving years off the face by lessening the appearance of wrinkles. Because BOTOX has quite a few medical uses, some people have wondered if it could be a viable breast lift alternative.
Off-label use of BOTOX for breast sagging involves injecting it into the pectoral muscles to relax them so the shoulders don’t slouch, thereby lifting the breasts. The problem? Posture isn’t the main issue for most women who have concerns about sagging breast tissue. Thus, most reputable doctors are opposed to using BOTOX to affect the appearance of the breasts.
There are other issues with the so-called “BOTOX Breast Lift.” Not only would any result be temporary—lasting just months—it would require many units of BOTOX to affect any recognizable change to these relatively large muscles, bringing that bill up higher than one might expect for a treatment that most likely will not work.
Final word: You can work on improving your posture for free, so there’s no need to waste money on this far-fetched idea.
Why a breast lift is your best bet.
If you’re looking to improve your breast profile, a traditional breast lift is still the best option. By raising the nipple and removing excess skin, the breast lift procedure makes an immediate difference in the appearance of sagging breasts. If you’re truly committed to avoiding surgery, your next best bet is having a professional bra fitting and purchasing well-constructed bras.
The good news about breast lifts is that there are a variety of options and the procedure can be tailored to address your degree of sagging, bringing your breasts back to a natural, youthful position. In the hands of a skilled surgeon, a surgical breast lift can provide satisfying and long-lasting results, including:
- Breasts that are noticeably lifted and nicely reshaped.
- Lessened sagging through removal of excess skin and tightening the remaining skin.
- More symmetrical breasts.
- Reduction of uncomfortable friction from the underside of breast rubbing chest skin.
- Can be performed with implants, so breast size can also be increased if desired.
If you are searching for a solution to correct sagging breasts, it’s important to discuss your options with a knowledgeable physician. Contact us today to set up your free consultation with one of our experienced surgeons.