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Plastic Surgery Blog

What is Animation Deformity?
15 June, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring

When looking into a breast reconstruction procedure, an important question to consider is in which position you would like your implants to be placed. If you choose a pre-pectoral positioning, your implant will be placed above your pectoralis muscle. On the other hand, if you choose a subpectoral positioning, your implant will be placed below your pectoralis muscle. There are pros … Read More »

Thinking About a Breast Lift?
23 May, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast Enhancement

During the normal course of aging, post pregnancy, or after massive weight loss, the tissues that make up the breast can become more lax. Dr. John Kim says that women who are a candidate for a breast lift are those who are happy with their breast volume but are unhappy with their sagging appearance. Breast tissue is located within the deep fatty layer immediately behind … Read More »

Things to Know Before Surgery
12 May, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast Enhancement

If you are thinking about having breast augmentation surgery there are some things to consider. It is important to take steps to be an educated consumer in order to take steps toward a successful procedure.
When you come in to have surgery with Dr. Kim he will ask that you:

Stop smoking (including ecigarettes)
According to the American College of Surgeons quitting smoking will … Read More »

Understanding Risk
5 May, 2017  |  No comments  |  Risk

When undergoing a surgical procedure, Dr. John Kim has an extensive conversation with his patients to ensure that there is a partnership when making choices about the type of procedure and to ensure that patient expectations can align with the realities of a procedure. In order to have these conversations,  Dr. Kim will cite recent studies that will offer information about … Read More »

Prentice Women’s Hospital
28 April, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring

Prentice Women’s Hospital is located on Northwestern University’s downtown campus near the Magnificent Mile. It was first opened in 1975 with a stark design by Bertrand Goldberg whose architecture is seen elsewhere throughout the city. In recent years the building has been remodeled and connected to the other buildings within the medical campus making your visit to Prentice easier and … Read More »

Breast Implant Associated ALCL
25 April, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring


Recently the New York Times published an article about a rare cancer that has been linked to breast implants, breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) a rare type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Reports were also published on the NPR website, Allure Magazine, Vogue Magazine, Medscape, USA Today and Fortune Magazine to name a few. The news is presented with a somewhat … Read More »

Greeley Lecture at the Chicago Surgical Society – Advances in Breast Reconstruction
18 April, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring

Last week Dr. Kim presented the Greeley Lecture at the Chicago Surgical Society; his talk was titled “Advances in Breast Reconstruction.” The Chicago Surgical Society was formed in the early 20th century to provide an outlet to help foster the development of surgery as a science. The objectives of the society and to cultivate and improve the science and art of surgery and … Read More »

University of Toronto Keynote Lecturer: Dr. John Kim
13 April, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring

Last week Dr. John Kim was the University of Toronto keynote lecturer at the 17th annual Toronto Breast Symposium. This internationally attended conference includes lectures, video presentations, open panel discussions, as well as question and answer sessions. The symposium included four major topics: refinements in breast augmentation, autogeneous breast reconstruction, alloplastic breast reconstruction, risk management and complications. Dr. Kim’s presentations were titled: “Risk and Breast … Read More »

Postoperative Care to Prevent the Risk of Capsular Contracture
4 April, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring

After having breast augmentation surgery with Dr. John Kim there will be a number of tips he will suggest to recover from surgery.
In particular, Dr. John Kim will recommend no heavy lifting or exercise for four to six weeks after surgery. The reason for this is to reduce the risk of the implant shifting as well as minimizing the risk of subclinical … Read More »

Reducing Scarring: Planning Incisions and Medical Tattooing
28 March, 2017  |  No comments  |  Plastic Surgery

In 2016 the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that there were 109, 256 breast reconstruction procedures performed. The act of surgery induces the body’s natural immune response to protect itself, which can involve the formation of a scar. Scars can leave a patient with a significant psychological, aesthetic, or functional burden. A plastic surgeon’s goal is to minimize scarring to … Read More »

Is there a difference between shaped and round implants
9 March, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast Enhancement

Dr. Kim will tell you at a breast augmentation surgery consult that choosing a breast implant is a very personal decision, and there are many things to consider including implant shape. Dr. Kim will also explain the risk and rewards of using one implant or another. This month the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal published a paper by Dr. Hidalgo and colleagues “Intraoperative Comparison … Read More »

Scarring Prevention and Treatment
24 February, 2017  |  No comments  |  Scars

After breast surgery some women are worried about scarring. Besides being visually unappealing some scars may form in problematic fashion causing pain, reducing function, and creating disfiguration [2]. There is not a consensus in the scientific literature to point to a treatment that universally can completely eliminate scarring. Dr. Kim recommends 4 weeks after breast surgery to begin gentle massage in order to care … Read More »

Measuring Breast Volume
22 February, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring


Dr. Kim feels that preoperative planning before undergoing breast surgery is crucial to reducing the need for reoperation later on. Reoperations can be costly and subject patients to additional risks. Measuring the breast volume before surgery will allow the surgeon to measure the exact size needed
for an implant; this is especially useful because it will account for any asymmetry. Although there are factors … Read More »

Dr. Kim’s Presents and Preforms Live Surgery in China
17 February, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

Dr. Kim has just returned from China after presenting and performing live surgery at the Second International Multi-disciplinary Breast Cancer Symposium in  Shenzhen China at the 2017 Guangdong Society of Chest Oncology Breast Cancer Committee Shenzhen Meeting. While in China Dr. Kim presented alongside other notable including Dr. Seema Khan faculty from Northwestern University, Dr. Stuart Schnitt from Harvard University, and Dr. Saraswati Sukumar from Johns … Read More »

BRAscore Revisited
13 February, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

Large datasets are crucial for helping surgeons use data to make decisions by offering insight into what the risk may be of a given complication based on a large population. These databases are invaluable because they give information about what percent of people who have a given procedure are at risk for a given complication, but they only offer one number that is … Read More »

Broadening Options for Better Outcomes
6 February, 2017  |  No comments  |  Plastic Surgery

Dr. Kim and colleagues recently published “Outcomes After Elevation of Serratus Anterior Fascia During  Prosthetic Breast Reconstruction” in the Annals of Plastic Surgery. Immediate prosthetic breast reconstruction is becoming increasingly popular; this approach often involves the placement of an implant below the pectoralis muscle1.  Although the inferolateral border of the prosthetic may not be covered which may cause rippling, contour deformities, migration etc2. To … Read More »

Fillers: Preventative Action Against Aging
27 January, 2017  |  No comments  |  Dermal Fillers

Health care professionals are trying to find means to engage in preventative treatments. In the field of plastic surgery facial fillers are used to reduce the signs of aging or illness before engaging in a more invasive procedure. The process of facial aging involves three crucial factors: overall volume loss, formation of wrinkles, and gravity-induced slackness 1. Since the early 20th century … Read More »

Mommy Makeover: Combined Breast and Abdominoplasty Procedure
25 January, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring

After pregnancy some women opt to have the mommy makeover procedure, which involves a combine breast and abdominoplasty procedure. Click here to see real patients who underwent this procedure with Dr. John Kim. After pregnancy some women find that their skin becomes lax and can cause some undesirable cosmetic results1,2. These women are great candidates for the mommy makeover procedure. Postpartum there are changes … Read More »

Implant Placement
13 January, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring

When deciding to have breast augmentation or reconstruction with Dr. John Kim at Northwestern Medical Group there are two positions where the implant can be placed that can accommodate your unique anatomy, lifestyle, cosmetic preferences, and implant type1. Implants can be placed over the pectoralis muscle (prepectoral) or beneath the muscle (subpectoral) as seen in Figure 1. Placement of the implant over the … Read More »

BREAST-Q: Measuring Patient Satisfaction
13 January, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring

If you are considering having plastic surgery at Northwestern Medical Group there a multitude of things to consider from the type of implant, risk of complication, incision type, and of course how satisfied you will be after surgery.  The aim of plastic surgery is to not only improve physical appearance but also body image, psychosocial function, and quality of life (Malay). To see photos of real patients before and after surgery click here. … Read More »

Facelift: an Exploration of the underlying structures of the face
9 January, 2017  |  No comments  |  Facial Implants

The aging face results in the increase in laxity of the skin and the supporting tissue beneath. To correct the effects of aging consult a plastic surgeon to determine if you are a candidate for a facelift. In order to determine if a facelift is right for you it is important to know what is involved in the procedure, to see … Read More »

Symmastia: a Rare Complication
9 January, 2017  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring

Breast augmentation is the most frequently performed cosmetic procedure in the United States according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Survey1. There are a number of reasons to undergo breast augmentation such as being unhappy with breast size and loss of fullness after weight loss or pregnancy to name a few. After breast augmentation, like any surgery, there is a risk … Read More »

Breast Reconstruction after Mastectomy
16 December, 2016  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

Many women are opting for breast reconstruction after mastectomy, following a cancer diagnosis or the discovery of a hereditary propensity for breast cancer. Many breast reconstruction patients have reported greater satisfaction with the cosmetic outcome and better psychological well-being compared to women who undergo mastectomy without breast reconstruction3. There are multiple ways to proceed with breast reconstruction click here to see Dr. John Kim speaking … Read More »

A Rise in Body Contouring
13 December, 2016  |  No comments  |  Abdominoplasty

According to the “2015 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report” published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons the total number of body contouring procedures after massive weight loss has increased 12% since last year1; this is almost double the increase in procedures seen from 2013 to 2014, which was only at 7%2. These body contouring procedures include: mastopexy, lower body lift, thigh lift, … Read More »

Breast Reconstruction and ADM
2 December, 2016  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

Acellular dermal matrices (ADM) were first used in 1994 to treat burns, and their usage has become more extensive including as a tool in breast reconstructions1,2. ADM is an acellular connective tissue graft that provides a scaffold for the patient’s own cells to grow3. Breast reconstruction supported with the use of ADM has been shown to improve aesthetic outcome and reduce complications4,5. … Read More »

Remodeling the Body
30 November, 2016  |  No comments  |  Abdominoplasty

The term autologous means derived from the same individual or involving a patient as both the donor and the recipient1. There are numerous ways that humans utilize their own tissues such as blood transfusion, transplanting one’s cells elsewhere in the body, and modeling the body’s tissues like clay to change appearance; for example in breast reconstruction. There are many tissues one can use to … Read More »

Recent Publication by Dr. John Kim’s Research Team
29 November, 2016  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring

In a 2016 journal article authored by members of Dr. John Kim’s research team, published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the issue of seroma in prosthetic breast reconstruction was evaluated. A seroma is a serous fluid pool that can form after surgery on the breast (2). Seroma is such a common  postoperative complication that it is considered a side effect of surgery versus … Read More »

The Modern Breast Implant
22 November, 2016  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring

The modern implant was invented by Drs. Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow1. From 1963 till the mid-nineties the implant went through five generations. The original Cronin-Gerow implant was tear drop shaped and it was attached within the implant pocket1-3. The second generation of implants were much thinner in the hopes of improving the functionality and aesthetic, but they were prone to rupture … Read More »

Mammogram After Reconstruction
4 November, 2016  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

Mammography is the most common radiographic tool used to identify lesions that may indicate breast cancer. In a comprehensive report by the United States Preventative Services Task Force they found a reduced breast cancer mortality in women who underwent regular mammography screenings1. Mammograms have found to be effective at detecting breast cancer before it can be felt while it is still easy to … Read More »

Mastectomy from Carving to Craft
28 October, 2016  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring

heartTreatment of breast cancer has evolved dramatically from the late 19th century with the scarred and deformed breasts iconic of the Halstedian radical mastectomy1. His technique, Figure 1, involved not only removing the breast tissue, but also the axillary lymph nodes, pectoralis major and minor, latissimus dorsi, serratus, subscapularis, and teres minor1. The results of this surgery often left women with sunken chests, medially rotated shoulders, and general weakness from the removal of … Read More »

Fat Grafting to Rejuvenate the Structure and Function of Aging Skin
24 October, 2016  |  No comments  |  Skin

In the natural process of aging, skin begins to wrinkle, thin, and facial features become more severe. As we age, degenerative processes affect our skin and the deep structures beneath. Intrinsic aging of human skin, leading to wrinkles and loss of elasticity, is a result of the passage of time not due to exposure to sunlight or toxins6. Skin can be understood … Read More »

Overview of Mohs Micrographic Surgery for the Treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma
20 October, 2016  |  No comments  |  Skin

In the United States, skin cancer predominates as the most common form of cancer 3,6. In fact, the rates of skin cancer have doubled from 1982 to 2011 and are projected to continue increasing 3. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation the majority of new skin cancers in 2016 will be basal cell carcinomas (BCC)6. The most superficial layer of skin, the … Read More »

Using Round vs. Shaped Implants in Breast Reconstruction

dr-kim-asps-imageFrom September 23rd to the 27th, plastic surgeons from 50 countries met in Los Angeles to take part in “Plastic Surgery the Meeting” sponsored by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Plastic Surgery Foundation, and the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons. Dr. Kim attended the meeting to present on the use of shaped and round implants and a discussion on when an aesthetic … Read More »

Breast Surgery Body Contouring Symposium
19 August, 2016  |  No comments  |  Breast & Body Contouring

Santa Fe ASPSNext week in Santa Fe, plastic surgeons from around the world will gather for the 31st annual American Society of Plastic Surgeons Breast Surgery and Body Contouring Symposium. During this event plastic surgeons will learn new surgical techniques to advance patient care, how to assess strategies for aesthetic and reconstructive breast procedures, and novel technologies and skills that can be instantaneously translated into practice.
Dr. John Kim, the co-chair of this … Read More »

Surgical and Non-Surgical Options for Looking and Feeling Your Best
10 August, 2016  |  No comments  |  Breast Enhancement

Summer is the season of showing off skin, for better or for worse. If you’ve been avoiding beach parties, family gatherings or barbecues because you’re unhappy with a certain body feature, Dr. John Kim of Northwestern Plastic
Surgery is here to help. Dr. Kim is the preferred choice for individuals who seek beautiful, successful plastic surgery results through both surgical and … Read More »

Three Dimensional Images as a Means to Increase Patient Satisfaction
1 July, 2016  |  No comments  |  3D Imaging for Plastic Surgery

3d ImageSurgery is an ancient craft, which has been practiced for millennia.  In many cases the surgeon informs the patient how they will use their expertise to manipulate or investigate a disease or injury to help improve function. However, in plastic surgery the patient has control over what procedure they will have and what results they would like. The plastic surgeon and the patient work together in tandem to carry out the patient’s … Read More »

Breast Lift after Pregnancy
6 June, 2016  |  No comments  |  Breast Lift

MomPregnancy and breastfeeding oftentimes bring about drastic changes to a woman’s breast tissue. Although breast changes during pregnancy and lactation are highly variable between women, much of the time breasts swell, stretching the skin and changing the shape of the breasts. After pregnancy and lactation are complete, breasts deflate and leave excess, saggy skin behind. Many women are now choosing to take control … Read More »

This Spring, Get the Body You’ve Always Wanted
20 May, 2016  |  No comments  |  Mommy Makeover

BeautyWhether it’s a little extra roll here or not enough curves there, we all have things we’d like to change about our bodies. If you can relate, why wait any longer?
Let May be the month where you make your dream body come true, and let experienced plastic surgeon Dr. John Kim of Northwestern Plastic Surgery get you to your goal. Read on to … Read More »

A Huge Win for Breast Cancer Rights
20 January, 2016  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

Breast Reconstruction Education ActA long-time champion for the rights of breast cancer patients, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has been praised for its efforts in pushing Congress to enact the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act (BCPEA) this past December. An impactful piece of legislation, this act seeks to fill a large gap in patient knowledge regarding post-mastectomy breast reconstruction options.
Since the Women’s Health Care and Cancer Rights Act passed in 1998, … Read More »

How Much is Too Much When it Comes to Liposuction?
15 December, 2015  |  No comments  |  Liposuction

Safety of Liposuction Fat RemovalIn recent years, the abundance of celebrity headlines and TV shows involving plastic surgery has made certain procedures, like breast augmentation and liposuction, appear commonplace and harmless. While this is almost always true of procedures performed by board-certified plastic surgeons such as Dr. John Kim, certain guidelines must be followed to assure the safety of each patient regardless of how trivial a procedure may seem.
For liposuction … Read More »

Dr. Kim at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Conference
14 December, 2015  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

Dr. Kim- American Society of Plastic Surgeons PresentationIn October, Dr. John Kim traveled to Boston, MA for American Society of Plastic Surgeons The Meeting, an annual conference where plastic surgeons from around the globe convene to learn from the brightest minds in their field. Currently serving as Chair of the ASPS Breast Subcommittee, Dr. Kim had the privilege of sharing his breast reconstruction expertise in a variety of settings throughout … Read More »

2-in-1 “Mommy Makeover” Confirmed Safe by Dr. John Kim- Northwestern Plastic Surgery
25 November, 2015  |  No comments  |  Mommy Makeover

Mommy Makeover SafetyOne of Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. John Kim’s most requested procedures is the “Mommy Makeover,” in which he performs both a breast lift and tummy tuck in the same surgery. A convenient and cost-effective approach to restoring a woman’s shape and confidence, the Chicago Mommy Makeover is an attractive option for many women. As such, Dr. Kim sought to validate the safety of combining the two … Read More »

Breast Augmentation and Reconstruction: What You Should Know
2 November, 2015  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

As with any surgery, breast augmentation and reconstruction are not without their own sets of risks. Silicone gel breast implants are the most popular choice because of the natural feel and softness of the implants. For many patients, the ability to have the feel and appearance of a natural breast is an important element of breast augmentation. However, silicone implants — like saline implants — can rupture, and … Read More »

Breast Reconstruction with Fat Grafting Procedure & Expectations
9 October, 2015  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

post weight lossOftentimes the final step in a woman’s breast reconstruction journey, autologous fat grafting is used to smooth and shape reconstructed breasts with the patient’s own fat cells. During mastectomy, the oncologic surgeon removes all breast tissue, which extends much further up the chest wall than many realize. This may leave the upper portion of the reconstructed breast looking less full than it once was, … Read More »

Trends in Plastic Surgery: Post-Weight Loss Surgery
26 September, 2015  |  No comments  |  Mommy Makeover

post weight lossThe American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) recently released their 2014 Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Statistics, and the results are in for the fastest-growing surgeries of the year. It may come as a surprise that 2014 saw a significant rise in surgeries associated with weight-loss surgery, especially abdominoplasty (or “tummy tuck” – up 9%), thigh lift, and other surgeries to remove excess tissues that remain after … Read More »

The Angelina Jolie Procedure
22 September, 2015  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

Angelina Jolie breast surgeryIn 2013, Angelina Jolie made headlines not for her latest Hollywood blockbuster but, rather, for a much more personal matter – her BRCA1 mutation and subsequent decision to undergo bilateral prophylactic mastectomies. As chronicled in her New York Times op-ed, Jolie’s surgical plan was slightly different from the most commonly practiced method, with an additional pre-mastectomy surgery. Here, Chicago plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. John … Read More »

Is Eyelid Surgery Right for You?
16 September, 2015  |  No comments  |  Eyelid Surgery

eyelid surgeryDo your eyelids sag, causing you to look tired even after your morning coffee? You’re not alone! Read on as Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. John Kim explains how blepharoplasty, commonly called “eyelid surgery,” could be right for you.
As we age, skin all over the body begins to lose elasticity and stretch, and, often, one of the first areas that we notice this change is our eyelids. … Read More »

All About Botox
6 September, 2015  |  No comments  |  Botox

iStock_000000540369SmallWith over ten years of experience with Botox®, Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. John Kim is an expert in the use of this amazing cosmetic tool. Here he discusses various uses for Botox and its ever-increasing popularity in the United States.
In 2014, 6.7 million Botox procedures were performed in the U.S. alone. Up 6% from 2013, it’s clear that Botox is here to stay! While part of this growth is … Read More »

Plastic Surgery: Cover Story of June’s TIME Magazine
27 August, 2015  |  No comments  |  Plastic Surgery

time magPlastic surgery is a hot topic in the news this summer, gracing the June cover of TIME Magazine as well as appearing on Good Morning America. With over 15 million Americans undergoing some form of cosmetic procedure in 2014, author Joel Stein states that “plastic surgery is the new makeup.” Having spent over a year researching trends in plastic surgery around the world, Stein … Read More »

Summertime Means Sunscreen!
17 August, 2015  |  No comments  |  Plastic Surgery

sunscreenIt’s summertime in Chicago and more important than ever to slather on the SPF! According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 90% of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure, so every precaution must be made when enjoying summertime celebrations.
Although skin cancer is preventable with proper application (and re-application) of sunscreen, 1 in every 5 Americans will still develop skin cancer in their lifetime. In cases such as those … Read More »

Male Cosmetic Procedures: On the Rise
15 June, 2015  |  No comments  |  Male Plastic Surgery

mpsAccording to statistics from The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, male cosmetic procedures have risen 43 percent over the last five years. It is becoming increasingly clear that aesthetic surgery is not the exclusive domain of women. There exist a multitude of reasons why more and more men are electing to have cosmetic procedures done, many stating that a youthful and vibrant appearance is necessary for success in … Read More »

When is best to see a breast reconstruction surgeon?
12 June, 2015  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

When to see a breast reconstruction surgeon Over the past decade, Chicago reconstructive surgeon Dr. John Kim has helped countless women look and feel their best after breast cancer diagnosis and mastectomy. Here, he blogs about the importance of early conversation when considering breast reconstruction:
Although the time following breast cancer diagnosis may be understandably trying, it is important that a patient learn about all her … Read More »

Managing Breast Implant Rupture
26 March, 2015  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

Whether you have breast implants from breast augmentation or breast cancer reconstruction surgery, it is possible that your implants may rupture. Dr. John Kim of Northwestern Plastic Surgery in downtown Chicago has extensive experience performing secondary breast surgery, also known as revision breast surgery, during which he can remove your compromised implant and replace it with a new one. Your implant may break or burst due to physical trauma such as a fall, a surgical error, or even the pressure … Read More »

Dr. Kim’s Research: Abdominoplasty Risk Calculator
10 March, 2015  |  No comments  |  Abdominoplasty

Dr. Kim and his team of Northwestern University medical students recently finished development of an Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) Risk Calculator, which can be found at Similar to the breast reduction risk calculator, this tool allows men and women (as well as their surgeons) to input their demographic factors and receive their individualized expected risk of post-operative complications. For instance, a male who is 5’9”, weighs 185 lbs., and is 40 years old who does not have diabetes but is … Read More »

Dr. Kim’s Research: Breast Reduction Risk Calculator
10 March, 2015  |  No comments  |  Breast Reduction

A surgical risk calculator is a tool that predicts a given person’s likelihood of having an unfavorable outcome, or complication, after surgery. Typically available via online interface on a website, risk calculators allow patients and health care providers alike to assess a person’s individualized risk going into surgery. The goal is for the information gleaned from the risk calculator to better inform patients and clinicians whether or not it is safe for a patient to undergo the surgery at hand. … Read More »

Want a Better Bikini Body for Summer?
10 March, 2015  |  No comments  |  Abdominoplasty

Even though the weather is dreary and the calendar is set to March, it is not too early to start dreaming about the warmer and sunnier summer months. In fact, if you want to confidently rock a bikini on vacation or at the pool this summer, now is the perfect time to start planning.
Some individuals are able to achieve their ideal physiques with strict dieting and regular … Read More »

Breast Augmentation
5 March, 2015  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

Breast augmentation is a cosmetic procedure for women who want to have breast implants put in place so their breasts are bigger and fuller. There are two types of breast implants: silicone and saline. Silicone refers to silicone shells filled with silicone gel. Saline refers to silicone shells filled with saline, or sterile salt water. Because women’s breasts can still be developing into their late teens or early twenties, the FDA stipulates that women must be 18 years of age … Read More »

Nipple Sparing Mastectomy (NSM)
25 February, 2015  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

Mastectomy refers to removal of the whole breast. It may also include lymph node removal in the armpit area to determine whether the cancer has spread from the breast to your body’s lymphatic system. There are five different types of mastectomy: Simple (also known as Total), Modified Radical, Radical, Partial, and Nipple-Sparing (also known as Subcutaneous). During Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy (NSM), all of the breast tissue is removed, but the breast skin envelope is preserved and the nipple is left alone. … Read More »

Study: Women with Autologous Breast Reconstruction Are Happier
24 February, 2015  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

Breast reconstruction is a highly personalized procedure. What works for one woman won’t necessarily work for another. (Some women decide against reconstruction altogether.) With that in mind, a study found that breast reconstruction patients that replaced implants with their own tissue were happier.
The study, titled “Patient-Reported Satisfaction and Health Related-Quality of Life in Patients Converting from Prosthetic to Autologous Breast Reconstruction,” was discussed at the annual meeting of … Read More »

Dr. Kim’s Clinical Research: A Summary
19 February, 2015  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

As an Associate Professor of Surgery for the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Kim is very academically active. He serves at the Principal Investigator (PI) for numerous clinical studies. One of his primary studies, the Mastectomy Reconstruction Outcomes Consortium (MROC), is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and prospectively examines patient-reported outcomes of the various methods of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction for women with a cancer diagnosis or genetic mutation/strong family history. The study brings together 11 … Read More »

Celebrities that Have Bounced Back after Having Children
10 February, 2015  |  No comments  |  Celebrity Plastic Surgery

It seems that almost every week, another tabloid is announcing a celebrity’s incredible transformation after having a baby. And it truly is unbelievable how these celebs are able to walk down a runway or wear a bikini mere months after giving birth. Here, Chicago plastic surgeon John Kim blogs about a few well-known celebrities that have bounced back quickly after having children.
Jessica Simpson
Jessica … Read More »

Spoil Your Sweetie with Cosmetic Treatment
27 January, 2015  |  No comments  |  Holiday Procedures

Last month, plastic surgeon John Kim blogged about the rise in plastic surgery “gifting” around the holidays. He shared that it is becoming more popular to purchase vouchers for spouses, parents, siblings and friends to undergo the procedure of their choice (e.g., facial rejuvenation, breast implants, rhinoplasty). If the intended recipient has been vocal for some time about desiring cosmetic enhancement, the … Read More »

Retirees Splurging on Plastic Surgery
6 January, 2015  |  No comments  |  Plastic Surgery

In the past year or so, a new trend has sprung up among retirees. According to plastic surgeons around the country, more candidates ages 55 and over are filling their offices, seeking cosmetic treatment. Cosmetic surgery has become the newest retirement splurge.
In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that last year, a quarter of all cosmetic surgery patients were ages 55 and older. … Read More »

Setting Beauty Resolutions for 2015
16 December, 2014  |  No comments  |  Holiday Procedures

The end of the year is a prime time for setting goals and resolutions for the upcoming year. At the practice of Chicago plastic surgeon John Kim, it’s common for our patients to set some health and beauty-related resolutions to look and feel better. Some resolutions even turn into life-long habits.
If you’re seeking some inspiration for beauty resolutions, here are a few ideas:
Drink More Water
Let’s start with the … Read More »

Plastic Surgery “Gifts” Becoming More Common
3 December, 2014  |  No comments  |  Holiday Procedures

Multiple news sources have reported on the growing trend of gifting plastic surgery to loved ones. According to sources including Time, ABC News and Elle, cosmetic surgery gifting was up almost 35 percent last year, depending on the practice and procedure. The most commonly gifted procedures included rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery and breast augmentation.
Here, Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. John Kim examines the trend in more detail. He also offers suggestions … Read More »

Unusual Plastic Surgery Procedures
19 November, 2014  |  No comments  |  Plastic Surgery

You are probably familiar with popular plastic surgery procedures such as breast augmentation, liposuction and tummy tuck. Other procedures, like otoplasty (ear surgery) or thigh lift, may seem less familiar to you. But, we would be willing to bet that you’ve never heard of some of these unusual plastic surgery procedures, many of which are popular in other parts of the world.
Permanent Smile Lift
The corners of the mouth can … Read More »

“Tech Neck” Leads to Rise in Neck Lift Popularity
6 November, 2014  |  No comments  |  Holiday Procedures

Everywhere you turn — whether it be waiting in line at the grocery store, sitting down to eat at a restaurant, or walking down a busy sidewalk — people are peering down at their smartphones. The common pose of craning the neck down and tucking the chin into the chest to gaze into a digital screen could be considered this generation’s version of Rodin’s famous “Thinker” … Read More »

Northwestern Plastic Surgery Hosts “BRA Day 2014”
29 October, 2014  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Northwestern Plastic Surgery hosted “BRA Day”, or Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, on October 9, 2014. Post-mastectomy breast reconstruction represents one of the final stages in breast cancer treatment for women, and so it is referred to as “closing the loop on breast cancer”. To celebrate closing the loop, Dr. Kim and his partners at Northwestern Plastics hosted an educational seminar, physician Q&A, and cocktail reception for the office staff and patients. It was … Read More »

Does Botox Affect Your Mental Health?
29 October, 2014  |  No comments  |  Plastic Surgery

Botox is a well-known injectable that smoothes wrinkles by paralyzing the underlying muscles that cause them. Millions of people undergo routine Botox treatments to look younger and more attractive.
If you are one of them, you might be interested to learn that psychologists have discovered an unintended effect of Botox. In addition to changing the way we look, Botox might also change the way we think and feel.
Dr. … Read More »

Study: Eyelid Surgery Alleviates Migraines
23 October, 2014  |  No comments  |  Facial Plastic Surgery

Migraines affect more than 17 percent of women and 5 percent of men in this country. If you are one of them, you are familiar with the throbbing pain, sensitivity to light/sounds, nausea and other unpleasant symptoms.
There is good news for you on the horizon: physicians are looking at a new migraine treatment that, so far, is showing great success. Surprisingly, the treatment is a commonly performed … Read More »

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) Reports on Cosmetic Procedures in the US in 2013
19 August, 2014  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

Dr. Kim is an active member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, who in March released their 17th annual report on cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures performed in the US in 2013. Board-certified plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and otolaryngologists performed over 11 million aesthetic procedures, for a total of over $12 billion. $7 billion was spent on cosmetic surgeries, while $5 billion was spent on non-surgical procedures. Over 90% of all aesthetic procedures were performed on women. The top … Read More »

How to Choose Your Breast Implants
6 August, 2014  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

Breast Implant TypesAt Northwestern Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. John Kim realizes that choosing to undergo breast augmentation surgery with him is only the first step in the process. Next, you must choose the type of breast implants you would like, as well as the size. To help you make an informed decision, here is some preliminary information about how to choose your breast implants.
Choosing a Type … Read More »

Mommy Makeover vs. “Daddy Do-Over”
23 July, 2014  |  No comments  |  Male Plastic Surgery

Daddy Do-Over SurgeryPerhaps you have heard of mommy makeover cosmetic surgery, a set of cosmetic surgery procedures designed to address the common aesthetic concerns that many mothers share after pregnancy and breastfeeding. For example, mommy makeovers typically include breast augmentation and / or breast lift surgery to restore more voluminous, perkier breasts as well as tummy tuck surgery to remove loose excess … Read More »

How to Prepare for Plastic Surgery
15 July, 2014  |  No comments  |  Plastic Surgery

How to prepare for plastic surgeryUndergoing plastic surgery is a positive, life-changing event. However, any surgical procedure is a significant undertaking, one that requires proper preparation. With this in mind, Dr. John Kim offers the following tips about how to prepare for plastic surgery.
Make Necessary Arrangements
Most plastic surgery procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. However, you will need to arrange for someone to drop you off and pick you … Read More »

Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer
2 July, 2014  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation testingIn 2013, actress Angelina Jolie made headlines for her decision to undergo a double mastectomy as a preemptive measure to help prevent the onset of breast cancer. Here’s a look into what persuaded her to undergo a preventative double mastectomy and the positive effects her brave decision has had on other women in similar situations.
What Does Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer Entail?
Genetic testing for breast … Read More »

Plastic Surgery Myths
30 June, 2014  |  No comments  |  Plastic Surgery

Myths About Plastic SurgeryAt Northwestern Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Chicago, Dr. John Kim hears many myths about plastic surgery. Here, he shares some of the most common plastic surgery myths he hears, as well as the truth of the matter.
Myth #1: All Cosmetic Surgeons Are Board-Certified in Plastic Surgery
Unfortunately, not every surgeon who performs cosmetic surgery is board certified in plastic surgery. For instance, some physicians who are board … Read More »

The Latest Plastic Surgery Advances
23 June, 2014  |  No comments  |  Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery Technology
A recognized authority in plastic surgery, Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. John Kim is always at the forefront of innovations in the industry. The following are some of the latest plastic surgery advances that he is proud to offer his patients at Northwestern Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
VECTRA 3D Imaging Technology
Although Dr. Kim has offered three-dimensional (3D) imaging technology since 2012, the ability to create a 3D digital image of … Read More »

16 June, 2014  |  No comments  |  Botox

Dr. Kim often recommends treatment plans for his patients that involve injectables rather than surgery. Botox® is an injectable treatment that has become an increasingly common component of many beauty routines. It can delay the need for cosmetic surgery and requires minimal maintenance when it comes to follow-up sessions. If you’re just beginning to notice fine lines and wrinkles, you could achieve a more youthful appearance with BOTOX®. This product works by blocking the nerve impulses that cause certain muscles … Read More »

Eyelid Surgery
3 June, 2014  |  No comments  |  Facial Plastic Surgery

Elective eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is for patients whose sagging eyelids feel quite heavy and cause them to look older. Eyelid changes are common as we age. In our late 30s or early 40s, eyelid skin begins to lose its elasticity, so it stretches which leads to excess skin folds. Also, our eye muscles grow weaker and fat protrudes through, causing bags (especially in the lower lids) and drooping. Fine wrinkles and creases appear in this delicate skin area as … Read More »

Breast Augmentation: Things to Consider
29 May, 2014  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

Implant Type: Patients have numerous implant options that are approved for safety and efficacy. The majority of patients choose silicone over saline (72% in 2013). Silicone implants offer a softer, more natural feel as well as less rippling and a lower deflation rate. The latest advancement in silicone implant technology is the cohesive gel or “gummy bear” implant. For those who desire a slightly smaller incision and a less costly option, saline implants are a wonderful alternative.
Incision: Patients have concerns … Read More »

Injectable Dermal Fillers
8 May, 2014  |  No comments  |  Botox

Injectable dermal fillers restore youthfulness to the face. These minimally invasive procedures can remove wrinkles, improve scar appearance, soften facial creases, plump lips or cheeks, and enhance shallow contours.
Dermal fillers are a good option for patients who are physically healthy, have mild or moderate degrees of facial aging, and have specific but realistic goals in mind for improving their appearance.
Dermal fillers are an excellent alternative to surgery and have been called “liquid facelifts”. They can provide immediate results at a lower … Read More »

What is a “Mommy Makeover”?
3 March, 2014  |  No comments  |  Abdominoplasty

Following pregnancy, despite regular diet and exercise, many women are unhappy with the amount of excess skin in their lower abdomen, and with the fact that their breasts have lost volume and seem to “sag”. A mommy makeover describes surgical procedures to correct these natural body changes. Typically, a mommy makeover includes an abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”), liposuction, and either a breast lift, breast reduction, or breast augmentation. For these body contouring procedures to last, women should be at their goal … Read More »

Breast Reduction: An Overview
3 March, 2014  |  No comments  |  Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery, also known as Reduction Mammaplasty, is a procedure to remove excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts. Patients often choose breast reduction surgery to alleviate discomfort associated with their overly large breasts or to achieve a breast size proportionate to their body. The medical term for large breasts is macromastia, and many women suffer from symptoms such as chronic neck/back/shoulder pain, chest wall pain, headaches, poor posture, numbness and tingling of the hands, etc. Unfortunately, treatments … Read More »

Breast Augmentation: The Basics
7 January, 2014  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

Also known as Augmentation Mammaplasty, breast augmentation is the surgical placement of breast implants in order to increase the size, change the shape, or alter the texture of a woman’s breasts. The goal is to improve symmetry and increase fullness of the breasts, or to restore breast volume lost after pregnancy or weight loss. The implant can be filled with saline solution or silicone gel, both of which are safe and effective options. Dr. Kim is an expert in augmentation … Read More »

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery: Men vs. Women
12 December, 2013  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), women underwent more than 9.1 million cosmetic procedures in 2012. Men underwent about 1 million cosmetic procedures. So, about 90% of cosmetic plastic surgery is done on women, versus about 10% on men. Here are the top 5 surgical procedures for both sexes:
Females: breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck, eyelid surgery, and breast lift
Males: liposuction, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, breast reduction to treat enlarged male breast, and ear shaping.
For more on cosmetic plastic … Read More »

2012’s Most Popular Cosmetic Surgery Procedures
12 December, 2013  |  No comments  |  Abdominoplasty

Americans are investing in cosmetic plastic surgery like never before—to the tune of almost $11 billion! The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), of which Dr. Kim is a proud member, recently released their procedural statistics for 2012. Last year alone, more than 10 million cosmetic procedures (both surgical and nonsurgical) were performed in the U.S. by board-certified physicians. About 1.7 million were surgical, representing an increase of more than 3% since 2011. For surgical procedures, here are the … Read More »

Capsular Contracture: A Leading Cause of Revision Breast Surgery
20 November, 2013  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

Capsular contracture is the term for the formation of scar tissue around a breast implant. This is your body’s natural immune response to segment off a foreign object, in this case your implant. In almost all breast implant patients, (whether saline or silicone) a thin layer of scar tissue will form. When that layer gets thick and firm however, patients find themselves with displeasing shape changes and excessively firm breasts. Another possible symptom is physical discomfort. Capsular contracture can be … Read More »

Dr. Kim Speaks At Reconstructive Surgery Symposium
5 November, 2013  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

At the QMP 7th Annual Reconstructive Surgery Symposium in Chicago this past weekend, Dr. Kim had the privilege of giving two important talks as well as moderating a panel discussion. In his presentation entitled “To Use or Not to Use ADM—An Algorithmic Approach to Prosthetic Breast Reconstruction”, Dr. Kim discussed strategies for lending additional internal support to the tissue expander in prosthetic breast reconstruction procedures. In his “Versatility of the Latissimus Flap in Primary and Salvage Breast Reconstruction” presentation, he … Read More »

Dr. Kim Attends ASPS National Meeting
5 November, 2013  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

Dr. Kim has been active in academic plastic surgery and the associated national organizations. At the Annual Meeting for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) last month in San Diego, Dr. Kim gave an instructional course to his plastic surgeon colleagues from all around the country. The course was entitled “Two-Stage Prosthetic Breast Reconstruction”, and Dr. Kim was chosen to speak because of his particular expertise in this area. Dr. Kim was also selected as Panel Moderator for a … Read More »

Breast Revision or Secondary Breast Surgery: Part I
3 September, 2013  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

It is not unusual after breast surgery to have subtle—or major—shifts in shape or scarring. Capsular contracture is a term used to describe internal scarring of the breast that can create asymmetry. Such scarring can affect breast implant surgery for cosmetic or for reconstructive purposes. The problem can be alleviated through breast revision, also known as secondary breast surgery. The process may be as simple as a release of internal scar and possible exchange of implants, or it may entail … Read More »

Upper Arm Lift Surgery Skyrockets
29 August, 2013  |  No comments  |  Liposuction

In 2000, about 300 women underwent upper arm lift procedures–in 2012, that number jumped to more than 15,000. An upper arm lift can be performed via liposuction or a surgery know as brachioplasty. During this procedure, loose skin from the back of the arms (your tricep area) is removed. Perhaps the rise in popularity of upper arm lifts can be attributed to an increase in sleeveless fashions, or perhaps the toned arms of celebrities. Regardless, women are giving their arms … Read More »

What do I ask my doctor? Tips for your breast reconstruction consult
22 August, 2013  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

You have just received your breast cancer diagnosis, and surgery is in your future…now what? There are certainly a plethora of treatment options to consider, so in order to amply prepare for consultations with your breast surgeon and plastic surgeon, you should create a list of your goals and questions. You want to leave the office feeling as informed and empowered as possible, as opposed to overwhelmed with treatment possibilities, your mind swimming in unanswered questions. The “best” surgeon will … Read More »

Minimally Invasive Techniques to Combat Aging
9 November, 2012  |  No comments  |  Botox

Aging comes with loss of elasticity and fullness of the face, resulting in areas of fine lines and wrinkles we wish we could change…to avoid going under the knife, tons of patients are electing a less invasive method of decreasing the signs of aging–injectable fillers. The use of injectable fillers by plastic surgeons has spiked in the past year, and the interest patients have in this simple method of facial rejuvenation continues to grow. Interested in the different types of … Read More »

Chicago Breast Augmentation: Incision Choice
9 October, 2012  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

Considering breast implants? It’s important to consider the incision choice:
There are 3 main incisions through which breast augmentation can be performed.
1: Around the nipple
2: Under the breast in the inframammary fold
3: Through the armpit
There are pros and cons to all three incision choices. The incision around the nipple leaves a well hidden scar but there can be heightened nipple problems, the inframammary incision is simple and safe but a scar is present when the patient is unclothed, and the incision … Read More »

New Innovations: 3D Camera Technology
29 August, 2012  |  No comments  |  Breast Augmentation Chicago

If you have ever considered having a plastic surgery procedure but remain hesitant because you can’t exactly imagine how it would change your appearance, you are not alone. For many individuals, being able to actually see how the results of a surgery, such as a breast augmentation or rhinoplasty, may look on your own body may a deciding factor in choosing whether or not to have a procedure. Not being able to picture these outcomes may be one of the … Read More »

20 August, 2012  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, it may be the scariest moment of her life. It may seem that the world has turned upside down in a single second, and your mind is flooded with new concerns and worries about health, family and loved ones, and finances. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, many women may feel completely overwhelmed with all the decisions they need to make, including choosing to have a mastectomy.
While this process is a lot … Read More »

Chicago Mommy Makeover
20 August, 2012  |  No comments  |  Abdominoplasty

Recently liposuction surpassed breast augmentation as the most common plastic surgery procedure performed in the United States and this might be why; more and more mothers are choosing to undergo the Mommy Makeover.
Post childbirth, many mothers experience loose skin, excess fat, and a body they feel less than comfortable in. When diet and exercise won’t beat the bulge, many mothers are turning to their plastic surgeons for a little help. The Mommy Makeover removes excess fat and skin, improves … Read More »

Networks of Support
2 August, 2012  |  No comments  |  Breast Reconstruction Chicago

One of the most cathartic ways to cope with your breast cancer or breast cancer in a loved one is to become involved in organizations dedicated to finding a cure and empowering survivors and individuals living with breast cancer. In the Chicago area, there are tons of various ways to become involved in these foundations and meet other survivors and supporters to surround yourself with a strong network of individuals experiencing the effects of breast cancer.
A few resources … Read More »

2 August, 2012  |  No comments  |  Plastic Surgery

BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene one) and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene two) are the two abnormal genes associated with inherited cases of breast cancer. These genes are “tumor suppressor” genes, and work to ensure normal growth and development within the breasts. An abnormality or mutation in one of these genes may potentially increase the likelihood of tumor development and breast cancer. Mutated copies of these genes may be inherited, and women with these abnormal genes are about five times more likely … Read More »

How long will we live?
1 August, 2012  |  No comments  |  Plastic Surgery

We know that small fast moving things tend to live less (hummingbirds) and big slow moving things live longer (whales elephants). Turns out that whether small or large there may be a common predictor of life: the number of heartbeats… In essence approximately one billion for most creatures… Exercise works by temporarily increasing heart rate but giving you a slower heart rate when you achieve fitness… Stress in contrast will increase heart rate without this fitness benefit… Eating more calories … Read More »

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John Kim, MD
675 North Saint Clair St. #19 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 695-3615
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