Breast implants can help plump up and bolster sagging breasts, especially if they're combined with a breast lift surgery. In fact, breast implants are often used during plastic surgery to improve the overall look of sagging breasts.
But, unfortunately, even breast implants can't defy gravity forever — and the weight of implants may help exacerbate a woman's tendency to develop sagging breasts. Various factors may affect the speed with which your breasts sag, including:
- The number of children you have. A 2007 study found that having several pregnancies can increase the likelihood of sagging breasts. While some people believe breast-feeding comes into play, the study found that breast feeding had absolutely no correlation with sagging breasts. (So go ahead and breastfeed your little one!)
- Your genetics. If your mother and grandmother had sagging breasts, you are far more likely to develop them yourself.
- Your smoking habit. Add sagging breasts to the laundry list of nasty side effects of a cigarette smoking habit.
- Weak connective tissues in the breast. If the elastin in the skin on your breast breaks down, you'll develop sagging breasts.
- The weight of your breasts. Heavier breasts, whether natural or via breast implants, are more prone to sagging, thanks to the wonders of gravity.
- Weight gain and loss. Significant weight loss can lead to sagging breasts, as weight loss comes from everywhere — including your chest.
- The location of your breast implant. Breast implants can be placed in three different locations: subglandular (right behind the mammary gland), subpectoral (behind the pectoral muscle) or submuscular (behind the whole chest muscle). Breast sagging may continue to be a problem if you choose either subglandular or subpectoral breast implants, as the weight of the implant may continue to cause sagging — and may even lead to a "double-bubble" look, where the implant may separate from the rest of the breast and become a second lump within the breast.
If your breasts have sagged after placement of breast implants, you may want to consider having your implants replaced and a breast lift done at about 10 to 15 years after your first surgery, to keep your bustline looking firm and youthful.