Can childhood anorexia be a factor in the development in ptosis?

Hi, when I was in middle school I suffered from a very serious eating disorder. At my lowest weight I was 89 pounds, naturally I was around 130 pounds. I overcame my eating disorder by the time I entered highschool. I am 22 now, my breasts are DD and I can never remember a time when they didn't sag. I always wonder if my medical history could be a factor in my problem with ptosis. I would not have surgery though until after kids,so im only curious. Thank you for your time and attention! A

Doctor Answers 3


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I'm sorry to hear that you had an eating disorder.

Dramatic weight fluctuations can certainly contribute to sagging tissues, and a larger size can accelerate the rate of sagging. However, this may also be genetic as well.

Breast Ptosis is Very Common

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Breast ptosis is a common problem. Over 250,000 women had some sort of breast lift last year. The main culprit: gravity. It is a weak force, but persistent.

There is no reason get overly creative about why breasts sag. If you live long enough, it is almost guaranteed, even with small breasts.  For women with DD's, it is rare not to sag, even at 22 years old.

The size and shape of breast is determined by genetics (programming for size, firmness and elasticity of skin), and can be further affected by the environment (gravity, changes in weight, pregnancy, not wearing a bra...). It is unlikely that your history of anorexia is contributing significantly to your breast ptosis.

A link is provided for more information about breast lifts. If you breast enlarge with pregnancy, a breast reduction may be a better choice (it comes with a lift). If breast volume is lost after childbirth, breast augmentation, or breast augmentation with a lift are worth considering. 

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Not aware that anorexia contributes to ptosis.

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Breast development is for the most part genetically determined. I am unaware that an eating disorder would affect the structural support of the breast.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.