Mommy Makeover

Most women, today, take pride in their appearance. They work hard to maintain a proper lifestyle by eating mostly healthy foods, exercising, and keeping fit. When motherhood occurs, however, everything changes. Pregnancy, childbirth, and breast feeding all take their toll on every part of the body. Before a woman knows it, a lifetime of her efforts have been undone.

During the nine months of pregnancy, with an average weight gain of 25 pounds, the young mother begins to see the early changes in her body. As the baby begins to grow and the uterus enlarges, the skin begins to show visible stretch marks and the abdominal muscles lose their tone and often separate. After the baby is delivered, skin rolls may develop. Breast-feeding, though nourishing for the baby, has a negative effect for the breasts. As breasts enlarge during pregnancy, it engorges and increases during the postpartum nursing. Stretch marks often begin to appear and the breast shape changes. As depletion of the mother’s milk, the breast volume diminishes, leaving a smaller breast size with some degree of sagging. The firmness and perkiness before pregnancy is gone. Subsequent pregnancies compound the unwanted changes in both the breasts and body.

After breast-feeding is completed, most women begin an exercise and dieting program to help return to their pre-pregnant state. However, they soon learn that dieting and exercising may improve their overall health and weight, but neither can reverse the effect of pregnancy on the abdominal skin or the size and sagging of the breasts. Correcting such unwanted effects of pregnancy will require surgical intervention. The plastic surgeons of Aesthetic Surgical Images have combined a series of operations into one program – the mommy make-over – which allows correction of the postpartum changes in the breasts and abdomen to be corrected at one time. The program is extremely popular with our patients, since it not only saves time, but is also affordable.

Before any surgical program can be recommended, a patient is evaluated by one of the board-certified plastic surgeons of ASI. Once the patient’s goals are articulated and the problems are identified, the solutions can be recommended. Pregnancy, with or without breast-feeding, may have different effects on the breasts for each patient. Usually the breasts are smaller after pregnancy, but occasionally they may be larger. Various degrees of sagging may also occur. Surgical options include breast lift, augmentation with or without breast lift, or breast reduction.

• Breast Augmentation. Subpectoral placement of either saline or gel implants will help restore, or even enlarge, the pre-pregnancy breast volume. It will help restore the contour and shape of the breasts.

Breast Lift. A sagging breast occurs when the skin tone and elasticity are lost as a result of either pregnancy or breast-feeding. A breast lift will help decrease the “stretched skin” envelope and return the breast to its normal position on the chest. It is often combined with a breast augmentation.

• Breast Reduction. Postpartum breast enlargement causes pain in the back, neck, and shoulders, tension headaches, and submammary rashes. A breast reduction will alleviate these symptoms and improve the patient’s ability to participate in many activities. It also gives the breasts a lift at the same time.

Pregnancy also causes body contouring abnormalities in the abdomen, hips, and thighs. Multiple stretch marks cause loose abdominal skin, with the resulting development of “stomach rolls.” Pants no longer fit well, due to the formation of “saddlebags.” Exercise and dieting cannot reverse these changes. Computer imaging helps the patient understand the potential improvement that may occur with surgical intervention.

• Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck). Through a low horizontal incision, skin with stretch marks below the belly button is removed. Muscle tightening may also help improve the muscle tone. The abdomen gains a new look.

• Liposuction. The abnormal contours of the hips and thighs are improved by a less invasive procedure, liposuction. Although usually combined with abdominoplasty, it often can be done by itself.

Most patients requesting the mommy make-over program have completed their childbearing. Occasionally, if a surprise pregnancy occurs, the baby will have no ill effect from the surgery, although the components of the mommy make-over may need a revision.

Each individual component of “mommy make-over” is a well accepted surgery. Combining all three procedures requires careful consideration and experience by your surgeon. Using a team approach, the surgeons of ASI are able to offer the surgical combination as an outpatient procedure as a safe, private, and affordable option.

Images are not actual patients.