It is natural for breasts to droop with age, particularly in women with large breasts who have had several pregnancies.
Treatments That Do Not Work
Breasts do not contain any muscle, so there is no exercise that will improve matters. Cosmetic companies and private clinics offer expensive interventions that have little evidence of working – for example the ‘non-surgical breast lifts’ using electrical (galvanic) stimulation to ‘tone and lift the breast’.
Many ‘firming’ gels and lotions are available; these simply tighten the skin and so give a temporary sensation of breast firmness. Some claim that they contain elastin or collagen, the body’s structural proteins. In fact, elastin or collagen applied to the surface of the skin will not be absorbed through it.
Very droopy breasts can be lifted up by surgery. This is called a mastopexy. The surgeon removes a wedge of skin and tissue from the loose, sagging upper part of the breast. The nipple and the breast tissue underneath are moved so that the nipple is positioned in the skin further up than it was. There will be a scar around the nipple area, a scar running from the nipple to the crease line underneath the breast, and sometimes a small scar in the crease line.
The breasts end up the same size as before, but higher on the chest area. If the nipple area has become stretched, the surgeon can make it smaller. As with all cosmetic breast surgery, it is important to choose a reputable surgeon (see choosing a cosmetic surgeon). For more detailed information about mastopexy, look at the website of the British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons.
First published on: embarrassingproblems.com
Reviewed and edited by: Dr Victoria Harmer
Last updated: October 2020