Mom with a child in her hands

Pregnancy 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 and rejuvenate the appearance of their breasts by undergoing a breast lift, also known as a mastopexy.


In general terms, the mastopexy procedure lifts the breasts to reduce the sagging appearance that is so common after pregnancy. The procedure may also change the shape and size of the breasts, depending on the patient’s specific anatomy and desires. Some women may have enough tissue to be happy with only lifting the breasts, but an implant is also often used to replace upper-pole fullness that may have been lost after pregnancy and nursing. According to patient preference, a mastopexy may also involve repositioning and/or resizing the areola of the breast.

The patient may also choose where she would like her incisions to be and, accordingly, where her scars will eventually reside. Classically, the incision circumscribes the areola and vertically down, creating a keyhole shape. On a patient by patient basis, Dr. Kim may also recommend a “periareolar” incision that just goes around the areola or the Weiss “Anchor” incision, which involves a vertical incision and additional incision along the inframammary fold below the breast. Dr. Kim will work with each individual patient to achieve the best outcome for her anatomy and personal preference.


The most long-lasting results will be obtained by waiting until after completing planned pregnancies before undergoing any surgery to the breasts. If a mastopexy is done between pregnancies, it will not prevent the natural changes from occurring once more. This may leave the breasts with excess skin and sagging that may warrant a “touch up” procedure. Additionally, any surgery to the breasts may affect the patient’s ability to breastfeed. After pregnancy, it is recommended to wait approximately six months after giving birth or six months after the completion of nursing. This time will allow the breasts to return to their “new normal” and allow the board-certified plastic surgeon to help you achieve your most long-lasting result.


A mastopexy and/or augmentation may be combined with a tummy tuck in a set of procedures fondly referred to as the “Mommy Makeover.” In addition to deflated breasts, many women have trouble tightening their lower body post-pregnancy, no matter how much they diet and exercise. For women who want an efficient way to get their “pre-baby” body back, the Mommy Makeover is a wonderful option. To learn more about this procedure that can restore the you

To find out if a breast lift or Mommy Makeover is right for you, schedule an appointment with Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. John Kim today!