Many women believe that if they have a breast lift, their breasts will end up being smaller than they were before the procedure. A two-year-old study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons actually backs up this thinking, but not for the reasons you would expect. It found that the difference reflects the changing profile of the breast rather than a true reduction in breast size.
The study was conducted by Dr. Katie Elizabeth Weichman and her colleagues at New York University, with their results published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in July 2014.
For the study, researchers followed up with 20 women who had undergone breast lift surgery at an average 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. To remove any unwanted variables, 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.
Size or fit?
The obvious question from their answers was “Why had their cup size decreased when they didn’t really have any reduction with the surgery?” 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.”
This finding relates to 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. Maybe most important, as a final note in the study all of the 20 women said they were satisfied with the results of their breast lift surgery.
Are you tired of the sagging in your breasts? Call Dr. Ip at his Newport Beach, Beverly Hills, or Manhattan offices and schedule a consultation for a breast lift.