Breast lifts have a little mystery surrounding them. The goal of a breast lift is to raise the breasts back to a position higher on the chest, the position formerly held before sagging took over. But because a breast lift usually involves removing some of that sagging skin, there is a perception that the procedure will make the patient’s breasts smaller.
Since breast lifts are a popular procedure with Dr. Smith’s patients, we found a study that addresses the very issue of breast lifts and breast size.
The study was initiated by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Its purpose was to see if there was a correlation between breast lifts and decreasing bra cup sizes. The report found that following 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 Dr. Katie Elizabeth Weichman and her team at New York University. The study results were published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The sample size is far from dramatic, but the results are interesting.
Researchers performed a follow-up survey of 20 women who underwent a breast lift 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.
Not a decrease, but a truer fit?
So, that seems to answer the question, right? A breast lift led to smaller cup size.
But the researchers wanted to know why this was the case. They didn’t expect a lift without any reduction to reduce cup size. Once they looked at the data, the study’s authors attributed this phenomenon to a case of incorrect bra fitting/sizing. It said, “It is well known that most women do not wear the correct bra size.”
The authors pointed 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.
So, 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.
Could your breasts use a little pick-me-up? Call Dr. Smith at 843-705-8940 and schedule a consultation for a breast lift.