Some women think that if they have a breast lift they will end up with not only higher, but smaller, breasts. This perception comes from the fact that a lift trims excess, sagging skin and that this could make the breasts smaller.
Is this true? Since breast lifts are popular with our patients at Elite, here’s some information from a recent study on breast lifts and breast size.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons commissioned the study on breast lifts and bra cup sizes. The report found that after having a breast lift women reported they were wearing a smaller bra, with an average decrease of one bra cup size. But this is where the study got interesting. It found that the difference reflects the changing profile of the breast rather than a true reduction in breast size.
The study was conducted at New York University, and the results were published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in July 2014. The sample size wasn’t huge, but the results were interesting.
Here’s what they did. Researchers performed a follow-up survey of 20 women who underwent a breast lift, clinically termed mastopexy, at an average age of 47. All of the patients only had a breast lift, without augmentation or reduction. The study queried these women five years after their surgeries, asking about their bra cup size before versus after breast lift surgery. Weight changes and other relevant factors were taken into consideration.
The women reported an average decrease of approximately one cup size, for instance going from a D to a C. All of the women were wearing the same brand of bra, so there were no variations based upon manufacturer sizing differences. So, at first glance, it appeared the thought that breast lift decrease breast size were true.
Not a decrease, but a truer fit?
The study sought to define why, if the breasts were only lifted and not reduced, was there a change in cup size? The authors of the study chalked this up to the correct bra fit and patient comfort. It said, “It is well known that most women do not wear the correct bra size.”
The authors then attributed the bra size issues to the difference in the shape of the breasts before and after a lift. Women opting for a breast lift have ptosis (sagging) of the breasts from pregnancy, breastfeeding, and normal aging. The study says, “It is our contention that the ptotic breast fills out a larger (than actual) brassiere cup size.” This is probably due to more of the breast mass sitting lower on the chest. A larger cup-size bra may be more comfortable in this situation. When the breasts are raised, more mass sits higher, so women opt to have a smaller cup size for reasons of comfort.
Bottom line? The study concludes that it’s not a matter of losing size, it’s a matter of raising the breast mass to a higher profile, which is exactly the reason a woman opts for a breast lift. As a final note, all of the 20 women in the study said they were satisfied with the results of their breast lift surgery.
If you’re not happy with the sagging in your breasts that is a natural byproduct of aging, call the team at Elite Plastic Surgery, 616-459-1907, and schedule a consultation for a breast lift.