What happens to mastopexied breasts with weight fluctuations/pregnancy?

I'd like a breast lift (with minimal reduction). My boobs are very ptotic, I weigh 175lbs and have lost nearly 60lbs over several years. I would like to lose another 35-40, and plan to have it off before the end of the year. I'm 29, have no kids but want some, and would like to breastfeed. I SO want to have my breasts lifted, but wonder- what will they look like if I lose another 20 pounds post-surgery? And with pregnancy, what is the change in them and is it dramatic? Is breastfeeding possible?

Doctor Answers 7

Weight fluctuations and pregnancy can definitely impact mastopexy results

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Thank you for your important question.  Weight fluctuations and pregnancy have a dramatic impact on breast volume and size.  If these factors occur after a mastopexy there will be a change in breast shape and size.  Significant weight loss or pregnancy with volume change in the breast could cause recurrence sagging of the breast after a mastopexy.

Patients who have breasts or reductions can still breastfeed

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Please find an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and member of the Aesthetic Society using the Smart Beauty Guide.These Plastic Surgeons can guide you on all aspects of facial surgery, breast augmentation and body procedures including tummy tucks or mommy makeovers!

Change in breasts with weight change

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As your weight fluctuates, so will the size of your breasts.  This will have effect on the shape of your breasts and laxity of skin.  Weight loss patients in particular tend to have less elasticity of the skin and so with further weight loss you will likely develop mor sagginess.  This is a long-winded way of saying that you should achieve your optimal weight before having surgery.

What happens to mastoplexied breasts with weight fluctuations/pregnancy?

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There will always be changes to the breast size and shape with weight alterations and pregnancy. If you get the lift now, you will possibley need it redone after babies and/or further weight loss.

Weight loss and breast size

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You  have undergone a massive weight loss !   Terrific !. I would advise you to wait until you have achieved your TRUE target weight. An additioanl 35-40  lb weight loss may be too much. An additional 20 lb weight loss  following  surgery would probably result in sagging follwing  surgery  due to loss of  volume, Depending on the mastopexy  techniques, it is unlikely that you'll be able to nurse. A pregnancy could also stretch out  your  skin resulting in further  sagging.

Weight change and breasts

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Breasts that inflate (pregnancy/weight gain) and deflate repeatedly lead to loss of breast volume and excess skin causing stretch marks, loss of elasticity and droopiness.  Some droopiness occurs as women age regardless.  I would lose all the weight that you reasonably think you can and just realize that the above is true for pregnancy and will help you make your decision.

Samer W. Cabbabe, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon

Weight loss after mastopexy

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Some photos might help to offer more specific answers.
It is hard to predict for an individual how much will change in breast appearance with 20 or with 35-40 pounds of weight loss. General advice is to hold out until you are close to your desired weight. Although I wouldn't expect too much change with 20 pounds, you also mention 40 pounds planned loss, and I would not be so certain.

What we want to avoid is to have a nice early outcome, and then after more weight loss the need for another lift!
The sequellae of pregnancy are not predictable either.  Some women have normal looking breasts after nursing, some lose volume and consider implants and /or a lift.  Skin in woman who have lost lots of weight starts with poor elasticity, and they are more likely to have less than ideal breast recovery after pregnancy.

As to nursing, the lift is primary a skin tailoring operation. Most women can nurse successfully after a lift. 

Advice--consult with a plastic surgeon.  All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.