Body Contouring-Plastic Surgery Procedures

Realself Q&A: Will Pregnancy Ruin my Breast Implants?


Dr. Rajagopal's Answer on RealSelf:

When you become pregnant, your breasts go through changes due to the hormonal fluxes in your body—they enlarge, and sometimes change shape. In some rare cases, these changes are permanent, and pregnancy can actually leave you with fuller breasts. Generally, however, these changes are temporary, and last only until you have stopped breast-feeding your baby, after which point your breasts will go back to a smaller size. When this occurs—especially if your breasts changed size significantly during your pregnancy—you may develop stretch marks or lose breast tissue and experience sagging when your breasts return to their former size.

While such changes are obviously not very appealing, breast implants do not really have any bearing on the extent to which sagging or stretch marks will occur. Such side effects can manifest whether or not you have had breast surgery—across the board, plastic surgeons agree that implants do not tend to cause complications or exacerbate the aftereffects of pregnancy upon your breasts. Stretchmarks, for instance, are genetically linked, so implants will not increase your chances of getting them unless you are already prone to developing them. Furthermore, breast implants should not impair your ability to breast-feed: augmentation surgery can be done without affecting how your milk ducts or nipples function.

The effect that pregnancy has upon the breasts varies from woman to woman, making it difficult to predict exactly how your breasts will look afterward. A number of factors—including your age, your inherent skin quality, whether or not you’re a smoker, and the extent of your breast tissue enlargement—play a part in determining the end results of pregnancy in an individual; you won’t really know what’s going to happen until you are no longer lactating. Keep in mind, however, that what kind of implants you have makes a difference. Subpectoral implants—implants that are underneath the muscle in your chest—are supported and buffered by the muscles surrounding them, so the changes to your breast tissue do not affect them. Subglandular implants, however—implants placed above the muscle in the breasts—rely on the breast tissue itself for support, and so are more likely to fall after pregnancy. On a more positive note, if you are someone who has a particularly tight skin envelope before your pregnancy, the stretching that you’ll experience when your breast size increases may actually be beneficial—it can actually make your breasts look more natural afterward.

If you haven't gotten your breast implants yet and plan to have a baby soon, your doctor may advise you to wait until after your pregnancy to have surgery done, since it’s impossible to know exactly how your breasts will respond to pregnancy until you’re going through it. Also, if you experience extreme changes in breast size during pregnancy and while breast-feeding, you may want to consider getting some work done post-pregnancy if your breasts don’t return to a size and shape you’re happy with. If this occurs, consult with your doctor three to six months after you stop lactating to find out if this is a step you should take.

Dr. Rajagopal is a RealSelf Top Doctor

The RealSelf Top Doctor (TOP) is a recognition awarded to less than 10% of doctors on RealSelf. This status is earned by achieving high patient satisfaction (as reported in RealSelf reviews), getting favorable feedback on their expert answers, and after investing significant time in Q&A and other doctor activity.

Brazilian Lift for Natural Butt Augmentation

Brazilian Lift for Natural Butt AugmentationFrom the San Francisco Plastic Surgery & Laser Center

If you’ve been thinking of getting a butt augmentation, you’ve probably heard of a Brazilian Butt Lift. Not only has this procedure been hugely popular with celebrities, such as Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian, but with thousands of less famous individuals across America as well.  In fact, requests for this cosmetic surgery increased by close to 30% from 2014 to 2015.

Patients wanting to augment and lift their buttocks can do so in either of two ways; implants or fat transfer (also called a Brazilian Butt Lift). The major difference between the two is in the material used to enhance the buttocks.

In a butt augmentation with implants, the buttocks is enhanced, shaped, and lifted by use of specially formed solid silicone. During a Brazilian Butt Lift the patient’s own fat is used to build and shape the butt.

The Brazilian Butt Lift offers the most natural look and feel. Here’s why:

The term Brazilian Butt Lift describes a surgical procedure technically called an “autologous fat transfer”. During this cosmetic surgery, fat is removed from parts of the body such as the belly, “love handles”, and hips with liposuction.  The fat is then purified and specially prepared for re-injection into the gluteus (butt) area.  The plastic surgeon positions this fat in a way that lifts and enlarges the butt and enhances its overall contours.

Since it’s the patients own fat that’s used in the procedure, the buttocks with look and feel natural and normal after healing.

Brazilian Butt Lift Procedure

A Brazilian Butt Lift can be done under general anesthesia or with a local anesthetic. If a local anesthetic is used, the doctor may recommend intravenous sedation or “twilight sleep” to help the patient stay relaxed and calm for the length of the surgery. Our plastic surgeon will discuss these options with the patient during consultation.

Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the plastic surgeon gently liposuctions fat from the lower back, abdominal area, thighs, or “love handles” with a device designed to remove and protect the live cells. These cells are then purified in a special machine designed for this purpose.  After the fat is correctly purified and prepared, the plastic surgeon injects it back into the muscle layers through very small incisions in the buttocks.  The surgery takes about 2 to 3 hours.

Who is a Good Candidate for a Brazilian Butt Lift?

A good candidate for a Brazilian Butt Lift is a healthy individual who wants to enhance the contours of their posterior. He or she should have deposits of excess fat elsewhere on their body.

Patients who are quite thin may not have enough fat to transplant. If a patient is close to having enough excess fat, they may be able to gain enough weight to make a Brazilian lift possible.  Patients who don’t have enough excess fat can always get the new shapely and enhanced look for their buttocks by opting for a traditional butt lift using silicone implants.  This is a personal and technical decision that is best made in consultation with the plastic surgeon.

Results of a Brazilian Butt Lift

A Brazilian Butt Lift gives the patient a fuller, shapelier, lifted buttocks. Contours will be seen to be firmer and more rounded with an overall younger and sexier look.  Patients also love bonus factor of having less fat and a more slender look in the areas where the fat for the transfer was removed.  The overall change is both gorgeous and dramatic.

We frequently get asked if the results of a Brazilian Butt Lift are permanent. The short answer is, yes.

Some of the fat does get reabsorbed into the body. The amount that gets reabsorbed varies from person to person. Knowing that this phenomenon does occur, the plastic surgeon takes this into account. Any reabsorbing of fat cells the body is going to do will be over in three months.  After that, the new shape is permanent.

If you’re thinking about enhancing the contours of your butt, give a call and schedule your consultation. We can go over the possibilities and discover if a Brazilian Butt Lift is right for you.