The term “Mommy Makeover” has received a significant amount of press in the past few years. Plastic surgeons have used this term to market surgeries that re-established the youthful contours and lifted loose skin following pregnancy when getting your body back in shape can be a frustrating endeavor. Surgical body contour improvements can be used as an addition to your exercise and health regime to help get back to what feels good or “normal” for you. After all, in addition to all the wonderful experiences of motherhood, there are many ancillary issues like sleep deprivation, hormonal changes and the overwhelming responsibility of parenthood that you’re dealing with at the same time.
What is Body Contouring?There are two categories of body contour improvement usually recommended following pregnancy. In most cases it’s best to wait until childbearing years are over as this allows for the results to be more long lasting. Body contouring can be surgical or use non-invasive techniques, but for post-pregnancy contouring, where a significant amount of weight is in question, surgical options give better results.
Abdominal ContouringThe first category relates to the abdomen. A pregnancy can stretch out the muscles that are typically tight and firm before having children. In addition, depending on genetics, loose abdominal skin can be impossible to tighten after surgery despite the best efforts of patients who are good shape, watch their diet and work out regularly. In these cases, liposuction or a tummy tuck will often bring back a youthful, contoured body appearance. Each individual is different and in some cases a small amount of skin removal and liposuction may be sufficient. In other cases tightening abdominal muscles and a full tummy tuck will be necessary to achieve a smooth, flat, tight abdominal contour. “One size (does not) fit all” when it comes to body contouring. A consultation to evaluate each individual’s goals and expectations is the best way to learn about your options.
Breast ContouringThe second category of improvement is typically related to the breasts.Pregnancy and breastfeeding can lead to contour changes in the breasts such as drooping and loss of fullness or volume in the upper portion of the breasts. These issues can be addressed quite simply with either a breast implant alone or breast implant and a lift. In some cases the breast volume is adequate and only a lift is necessary. A consultation will determine the best option to reach the patients goals.
In most cases, breast surgery is recommended after childbearing. Breastfeeding is likely following breast implant surgery, however the technique and the placement of the implant are related to the continued ability to breastfeed.
While the “Mommy Makeover” sounds great it really comes down to communication between a patient and surgeon. Determining the correct surgical option is most important and luckily, current advanced cosmetic surgery techniques allow patients to return to their normal “motherly” duties with less downtime than ever before.