Makeover Your Breasts After Baby

According to Spartanburg, SC, plastic surgeon Michael J. Orseck, MD, the breasts are one of the most complained about areas of the body post-pregnancy. “There are so many changes to the breasts that occur from pregnancy including sagginess, unevenness, stretched areolas, pigmentation changes, droopy nipples and a loss of volume at the top part of the breasts.” When you want results that last longer than what a bra can provide, the only viable option to choose is breast surgery.

The problem: Flat breasts

Why they happen: “During pregnancy much of the fullness is around the areola and the upper breast,” explains Las Vegas plastic surgeon Mary C. Herte, MD. “When the breasts deflate after pregnancy and nursing, that upper fullness is lost and the skin of the breast is empty and collapsed because the skin does not always shrink with the breast tissue. The three-dimensional shape of the breast still shows in the skin, but flattens like an empty paper bag.”

Fix them with: Breast augmentation with implants

The details: Breast augmentation surgery can restore the shape of the breasts for those who have a good position of the nipple (it doesn’t point downward but rather forward), good elastic skin and simply a loss of fullness. “Round, smooth saline or silicone implants placed under the muscle, in my opinion, give the best look with the least amount of potential for problems,” says Dallas plastic surgeon Rod J. Rohrich, MD.


The problem: Shrinking breasts

Why they happen: At one point of your pregnancy your breasts may have been the largest they’ve ever been. But after you’ve delivered it’s normal for them to dwindle in size—possibly even becoming smaller than before you were pregnant as your hormones, tissue and ducts return to normal.

Fix them with: Breast augmentation with implants

The details: Placing implants into breasts that are small gives them a permanent increase in size and shape. “Since there is an overall loss of volume that affects the entire breasts, not just one part of the breast, it’s important that an implant that gives a good amount of fullness is used,” says Dr. Rohrich.


The problem: Saggy breasts

Why they happen: When an abundance of weight is gained in the breasts, they can quickly increase in size. “It’s this engorging and enlarging that happens with pregnancy and later when breasts shrink that causes sagginess to occur,” says Dr. Rohrich. It’s not uncommon for the breasts to appear long, wide and flattened out.

Fix them with: A breast lift

The details: Breast lift surgery, also known as a mastopexy, permanently eliminates extra skin on the breasts to reduce the look of sagging—it forces the breast volume to be distributed more evenly, erasing the look of flatness in the upper part of the breasts. Oftentimes, a breast lift is performed along with an augmentation when there is not enough natural volume in the breasts. “Most women need the combination of the lift with an implant to get the right amount of volume in the right area and for breasts to sit in the proper place,” says Chicago plastic surgeon Peter D. Geldner, MD.

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3 Comments
  • Posted on

    It is possible to correct the volume loss and improve the overall breast shape with a combined procedure of augmentation and mastopexy. Most of the time I use a modified lift, one which uses an incision around the areola and then straight down to the fold beneath the breast. This results in a scar that it shaped like a lollipop. Rarely is an incision needed that runs horizontally under the breast. At surgery, the implant is first placed in a pocket created under the muscle and then the lift is tailored to the new, larger breast volume. Pre-operative markings determine the level of the nipple. With this method, it is rare to need a secondary revision. Most patients are thrilled with their improved shape and volume and pleased with the ultimate fading of the incisions.

  • Robert M. Tornambe MD
    Posted on

    Pregnancy and nursing can wreak havoc on a woman's breast. The most common complaint is loss of volume, especially the upper pole of the breasts, followed by breast sagging. If possible, the best overall solution is breast augmentation with implants. I like to minimize scars on the breasts. Implants under the muscle when there is little or no sagging, can be very effective. Silicone implants over the muscle provides more lift for those patients with increased sagging. If sagging is significant, then breast lift, or mastopexy, with or without implants, is the best option, but the tradeoff is larger, perkier breasts with more scars.

  • Posted on

    Combination Lift with implants is a complicated procedure and has a higher chance of revisions. Many doctors stage this procedure and do a lift first, and then add an implant. Doing the procedures together is more convenient but the patients need to understand the risks.

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