Vivienne (name changed for privacy) had 335cc Opticon style polyurethane breast implants (wide, tear-drop high profile implants), which were placed under Vivienne’s muscles. She went from a B cup to a DD cup.
We hear a lot about weight loss. From television commercials to magazine advertisements, sometimes it seems like there’s always someone trying to get you to lose the extra pounds. While you might want to lose weight, what no one seems to discuss is the less than desirable effects that weight loss can sometimes have on your body.
Breasts are one of the areas of a woman’s body most affected by weight loss. In fact, breast size can change dramatically when weight fluctuates, oftentimes leading to stretch marks, excess skin, and saggy breasts. Unfortunately, the breasts are often one of the first places from which fat disappears, even when it stubbornly remains in areas like the stomach, thighs, and buttocks.
Vivienne ame changed for privacy was all too familiar with the effects weight loss can have on breasts. When Vivienne lost weight, her breasts seemed to disappear right along with the rest of the fat on her body. For years, she felt unhappy with her saggy breasts.
Luckily, Specialist Cosmetic Surgery was there to help Vivienne regain the perkiness and volume her breasts had lost. If, like Vivienne, you’ve also experienced weight fluctuations and your breasts have been affected as a result, Dr. Bernard Beldholm and his team might be able to help you, too!
Why Breasts Sag Following Weight Loss
Breast size can vary a lot from woman to woman. Some women seem to be naturally endowed, while others hardly fill an A cup. What might surprise you, though, is that these differences are not due to differing breast duct sizes, but rather to varying amounts of fatty tissue.
This is why some women can have markedly small breasts but are still able to breastfeed successfully; smaller breasted women’s ducts do not actually hold less volume than a larger chested woman – they just have less fat in their breasts. Contrary to popular belief, this is also why breastfeeding does not actually cause a woman’s breasts to sag or shrink (pregnancy is another story, but we’ll get to that in a bit).
All people have special fat-storing cells in their bodies called “adipocytes.” Larger breasts are comprised primarily of visceral adipocytes. When you lose weight, you are altering the amount of visceral fat stored inside these cells. Because breasts contain so many adipocytes, they will tend to shrink when fat is lost from the body. In fact, breasts don’t even contain any muscles at all! Instead, they are attached to your body by what are known as Cooper’s ligaments.
When the adipocytes are no longer stuffed with fat, the breasts shrink and frequently sag. Moreover, weight loss also alters the elasticity of the skin, because when breasts change shape, they also lose collagen and elastin. If you regain weight again, the fat will then return quickly to your breasts.
Dieting is Not the Only Cause of Breast Tissue Loss
If your breasts are sagging because you’ve lost weight, that doesn’t mean that you are to blame. It would be ridiculous to blame yourself, simply because there are so many factors – many beyond your control – that contribute to weight loss fluctuations across a woman’s life span.
All of the following can contribute to weight loss and thus affect your breasts, too:
- Childbirth – You may have heard celebrity Jenny McCarthy famously refer to her breasts as “pancakes” after she gave birth. Because she was unhappy with the appearance of her breasts following pregnancy, she made the decision to have a breast augmentation.Famous or not, most women’s breasts change shape after childbirth. The hormones involved in pregnancy cause rapid growth in the breasts, particularly during the first trimester. The growth will also cause the Cooper’s ligaments to stretch, such that the breasts are no longer as supported on the body. Because women lose weight after they deliver their babies, their breasts will inevitably lose fatty tissue, too – often leading to saggier breasts as a result.
- Menstrual cycles – If you’re a woman, you’ve probably noticed monthly fluctuations in the size of your breasts. Specifically, your body is particularly low in estrogen during the follicular phase occurring a few days after your period. Due to this estrogen loss, the breasts will contain less fat – making them less voluminous as a result.Over time, the repeated hormonal changes causing the breasts to grow and shrink can also lead to some sagging. A normal part of aging, the effect can nonetheless be less full, less perky, and less visually appealing breasts.
- Menopause – During menopause, women experience a drop in estrogen. Because estrogen helps keep skin moist, the resulting dehydration can also affect the elasticity of skin and ligaments, ultimately leading to saggier breasts.However, the breast morphology occurring during menopause results from more than just skin changes. The estrogen drop also causes fat cells to lose their moisture, too, leading to less volume in the breasts. Furthermore, you may also notice an increased gap between your breasts, cause you to also lose perkiness and cleavage.
- Medications – Unfortunately, sometimes the treatments we require for certain health conditions can affect our appearance – and the breasts are no exception to this undesirable side effect.We’ve already discussed how sensitive breasts are to hormonal changes, and hormonal contraceptives certainly affect our hormones, too. Women take birth control for a number of reasons. Some are trying to prevent pregnancy, while others require the pill or shot for medical conditions like endometriosis, amenorrhea, or polycystic ovarian syndrome.Like any medication, birth control pills affect women in different ways. Some experience no breast changes. Others get bigger breasts, which then shrink after they stop taking the pill. Still others experience breast loss while taking the pill. The results will vary from woman and to woman — and from pill to pill.
- Previous implants – If you’ve had implants before, they unfortunately can later cause breast shrinkage. Specifically, if you had saline-based implants, they can deflate suddenly when a tear occurs. Sometimes, the deflation is dramatic and immediately noticeable, or sometimes the breast can shrink gradually over several days.However the tear occurs, when implants deflate, the result is not pretty. Fortunately, Dr. Bernard Beldholm uses only polyurethane implants, widely considered one of the most effective and safest implants available today.
Vivienne was unsure of what shape breast she wanted. Dr. Beldholm worked with her at her consultation and spent a lot of time discussing her concerns and answering her questions. Together, they determined that wider, teardrop-shaped implants were ideal for Vivienne, as they would result in more cleavage and a lower risk of complications.*