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A question I hear frequently from women interested in lifting their breasts to restore a perkier, more youthful appearance is whether or not there are certain exercises that they can do to in order to help them avoid the need for breast lift surgery (mastopexy). It would be great if this relatively easy, non-invasive approach provided a fully effective solution.

So, is the answer a yes?

Unfortunately, such is not the case.

Exercises such as push-ups, bench presses and pectoral flyes can help to strengthen chest wall musculature and reduce fatty tissue beneath and/or around the breasts. Though these can lead to a more desirable and sculpted appearance, neither the improved muscle tone nor diminished fat will physically raise the breasts to an elevated, more natural position on the chest.

On the other hand, a mastopexy is designed to reshape breast tissue, tighten lax skin, resize and reposition the nipple-areolar complexes and lift the breasts to a higher, more youthful position on the chest wall. The end result can be perkier, rejuvenated breasts with an improved shape and overall appearance.

Ultimately, this is not to say that you shouldn’t bother with chest exercises and exercising in general. Incorporating a well balanced exercise and workout regimen into your everyday life can go a long way towards looking and feeling your best. However, just realize that no matter how many hours you put in at the gym, breast lift surgery will generally be the definitive solution for eliminating the excess skin and tissue responsible for moderate to significant breast drooping.

Dr. Steven H. Turkeltaub, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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