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What Are the Effects of Weight Loss on the Breasts, and Why Do They Occur?

Although weight loss is a common goal for many people, and there are many positive effects on your appearance and general health, there are also common downsides, often cosmetic, such as sagging of skin and tissue.  

The breasts are an area which is often significantly impacted by weight loss due to them containing a high level of fat. Other common areas include the stomach, leg and buttock area.

Some common changes to the breasts that occur with weight loss are:

  • Size – the breasts become smaller with weight loss. 
  • Skin – the skin around your breasts is especially prone to stretching and can lose its youthful elasticity after weight loss.
  • Shape – as the amount of fat in the breasts decreases, the remaining fat may change the shape of the breasts. 
  • Position – it is very normal for the breasts to sag and hang lower on your chest following weight loss. 
  • The breasts appear unsymmetrical – changes to the position, shape and size of the breasts, may not be the same on each side. This can result in the breasts looking uneven.

Losing weight causes the fatty deposits in the breasts to be reduced. The skin that overlays the layer of fat may not be able to rebound into its original shape and position, depending on how much fat has been lost.  

The ligaments that support the muscle behind the breasts may also be overstretched and unable to return to their previous position. This leads to changes in the breasts – such as a deflated appearance and feeling.

Although weight loss may result in an overall increase in confidence and self-esteem, many women find they feel self-conscious about the appearance of their breasts following losing weight. This may lead to them feeling uncomfortable about wearing certain clothing, such as swimwear or taking part in activities such as sports.  


Can I Lose Weight Without My Breasts Sagging?

In cases of dramatic weight loss, it is very hard to fully prevent sagging due to the extensive stretching of the skin, combined with large amounts of fat being lost.  

However, there are some preventative steps which may help to limit the amount of sagging you experience:

  • Gradual weight loss – by losing weight at a steady pace, the skin will have more time to adjust and form itself to the reduced amount of fat in the breasts. 
  • Strength training – Exercises which strengthen the muscles in the chest, such as push-ups, bench presses, chest presses and chest pullovers, will help to build the muscles which support the breasts. 
  • Moisturisation – Keeping the skin moisturised and hydrated will encourage it to be more supple and bounce back to its original position more easily. 
  • Wearing a well-fitting bra – Wearing the right size of bra will ensure your breasts have the correct support and will prevent sagging.

These steps are not cure-alls, and won’t stop all chances of saggy breasts, however they may help to support and strengthen your breasts to impede the worst sagging. 


How Can I Fix Saggy Breasts After Weight Loss?

Surgery is by far the best way to fix sagging breasts following dramatic weight loss.

We offer three different breast surgeries here at the Cadogan Clinic, which will help to restore volume and contours following dramatic weight loss: 

Breast Lift (Mastopexy) 

This is a surgical procedure performed under general anaesthetic. The excess skin resulting from weight loss is removed, and the breast and nipple are repositioned into a flattering and lifted position. This is most suited to patients who are happy with their smaller breast size after weight loss, as there is no extra size achieved. Mastopexy surgery takes 2-4 hours to complete. 

Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation, also known as Breast Enlargement, or a Boob Job, is a surgical procedure which increases the size of the breasts and enhances their shape using breast implants. The breast implants fill the space in the breast left by the excess skin, caused by weight loss, resulting in a smoother, firmer appearance. Breast Augmentation usually takes 1-3 hours to complete. 

Natural Breast Augmentation (Fat Transfer to Breast)

For patients who do not wish to use breast implants to increase the size and enhance the tone of their breasts, Fat Transfer to Breast is a popular alternative that uses the body’s own fat, extracted with Liposuction, to fill the space within the breast pocket. It is not usually possible to gain the same size increase as breast implants can provide, but for patients looking for a natural and subtle result, Natural Breast Augmentation is a good option. Fat Transfer to Breasts is a surgical procedure carried out under general anaesthetic and usually takes 2-3 hours to complete.

Augmented Mastopexy

Patients who are looking for the lift of a Mastopexy and the added volume of a Breast Augmentation can consider an Augmented Mastopexy (also known as a Breast Lift with Implants). This surgical procedure involves the implants being placed into your breasts before your surgeon removes the excess skin and repositions the breast and the implant into the most flattering position. This procedure usually takes 3-4 hours and is carried out under general anaesthetic. 

All these surgical breast procedures have recovery periods of 6-8 weeks. You will have to wear a surgical bra for this recovery time to support your breasts, prevent swelling and maintain your surgical result. Following your surgeon’s aftercare and recovery instructions is key to preventing complications and ensuring you achieve the desired results you are looking for. 

Your surgeon will be able to explain the best options for you during your consultation and how each of these will help get your breasts back after weight loss.  

They will also be able to show you a range of weight loss before and after photos from other patients who have had surgery to correct their breasts following weight loss. 


Can I Fix Sagging Breasts Without Surgery?

Surgery is the most effective and permanent method to correct saggy breasts caused by weight loss. However, some non-surgical approaches and lifestyle changes may make some small differences to saggy breasts. Options to consider are:

  • Maintaining a stable weight – Fluctuating weight is more likely to cause the skin and ligaments around the breasts to permanently stretch. A constant weight is more likely to allow your breasts to stay in a consistent position. 
  • A good posture – Although keeping a good posture won’t fully correct sagging breasts, it will make your breasts appear to be more lifted. Avoid slouching and sit with your shoulders back and your back straight.

It is important to remember that non-surgical and lifestyle options may not provide the same dramatic effects as surgery. If you are concerned about significant sagging that is affecting your confidence and self-esteem, speak to a specialist consultant plastic surgeon who will be able to provide the most effective solutions to your concerns. 


Do Your Breasts Get Smaller When You Lose Weight?

Whilst breasts can get smaller after you lose weight, breasts do not always get smaller after you lose weight. Size changes may be common, but it depends person to person.


How To Stop Breasts From Sagging When Losing Weight?

There is no single way to stop breasts from sagging when losing weight, and preventative action is difficult.  

One strong recommendation, however, is to always avoid rapid weight gain or weight loss and aim instead for a more gradual weight loss process to allow your skin to adapt slowly to changes. 


Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

In my long career as a plastic surgeon, I've witnessed the transformative impact of addressing sagging breasts post-weight loss countless times. Weight loss inevitable leads to changes in the body shape, and sagging breasts are a common concern. This can be hugely frustrating and disheartening for patients who have worked hard to reach their challenging weight goals.   The positive outcomes I've observed through surgical breast interventions are profound though, and I have been lucky enough to witness these first hand. Patients consistently express satisfaction with their rejuvenated physical appearance and sense of wellbeing. These positive life changes showcase what safe and effective surgical intervention is all about.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

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