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Dear doctor, how can I restore my breasts to their pre-pregnancy shape?

09 January 2018

Q: My breasts have really lost their shape since having my children. What are my options for restoring them to how they used to look?

A: Childbirth and breastfeeding can take their toll. In addition, time and gravity wait for no one. Pregnancy can affect the breasts in many different ways, so it is important to understand what is required to restore the breast to a more aesthetically pleasing shape.

Is the volume of the breast perfectly fine, but the shape of the breast changed? Is the breast empty? Has the nipple dropped into a low position? Is the skin stretched and crepe-y?

Depending on the situation, the solution can be very different so this type of cosmetic breast surgery is very much tailored to the individual. For a breast that has lost shape, but not volume, then a mastopexy (or uplift) may be all that is required.

The technique used depends very much on the condition of the skin. If the skin has retained much of its elasticity then scarring may be limited to the boundary of the nipple/areola with or without a vertical scar leading down from the areola to the fold under the breast.

On the other hand, if the skin has stretch marks (a good sign that elasticity has been lost), then there may also need to be a scar within the breast crease.

While mastopexy is an excellent technique for lifting the nipple and improving the shape of the breast, it has little impact on the volume of the upper pole of the breast above the nipple. If volume is required here, then the only options are to use a breast implant or transfer fat into the area from another part of the body.

Whichever technique is required, it is essential to find a plastic surgeon who is experienced in all of these procedures so that you can be properly guided to make an informed decision that is best for you.

Mr Charles Durrant is a Consultant Plastic, Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgeon practising at Spire Portsmouth Hospital.

 

The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional.

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