With age or following breast-feeding, the breast tends to atrophy and droop. The position of the nipple becomes lower and points downwards as the breast sags. For mild cases of breast atrophy with volume loss, the fullness and firmness of the breast can be restored with a breast implant as in breast augmentation. With the improvement in fat grafting technique, breasts with mild atrophy can be rejuvenated using fat grafting. Multiple procedures may be necessary to achieve better fat graft take.
Frequently the severity of breast droop is contributed by previously large and heavy breasts, which weighs down the breast, stretches the skin envelope, leading to nipple and areolar complex ptosis. The nipple-areolar complex can be elevated and repositioned by performing a mastopexy or breast lift procedure. An oval shaped or keyhole-shaped incision is made around the nipple areolar complex. Excess skin is removed and the skin flaps redraped and tightened to firm up the breast.
This procedure takes about 2-4 hours and requires hospitalization of 1-2 days. The recovery period is about 1-2 weeks.