What is a Mommy Makeover?
A “Mommy Makeover” is actually just a term that seems to have come from the media that describes a combination of plastic surgery procedures that might include a breast lift with or without implants (mastopexy), a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), SmartLipo or VASER Hi Def liposuction, Cellulaze for cellulite and perhaps breast augmentation. No two mommy makeovers are the same.
Having a family is a wonderful experience that like many things in life is different for women and men. For men it means commitment, time and money. For women it means a completely different level of commitment… one that permanently changes their bodies. Pregnancy and breast-feeding create permanent changes in a woman’s body. These are not just the changes that can be reversed by going to the gym and dropping a few pounds. The changes are cumulative and progressive with each child and in some women, can dramatically change the breasts, abdomen and body. A mommy makeover can serve to reverse these effects.
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With pregnancy the breasts begin to swell and fill with more circulation. Then the actual breast tissue begins to expand and grow. When the breasts fill with milk they swell and engorge With this weight the effects of gravity become more noticeable. This causes the breasts to sag and stretch out. If breast-feeding continues for a long time its effects are even more noticeable with more sagging and stretching. In addition, breast tissue atrophies with each each pregnancy. This means that some of the breast tissue is used up with each pregnancy. After breast-feeding is over and the milk dries up there is actually less breast tissue in many women. After several pregnancies, the breast tissue virtually disappears like those women many of us have seen in National Geographic photos with very flat, or empty breasts sometimes referred to as “pancake breasts” but medically the term is “breast ptosis.” Part of what a mommy makeover includes is a breast lift and maybe breast augmentation to solve this issue.
If that this reality doesn’t sound unpleasant enough, things aren’t any better in the abdomen. With pregnancy there is weight gain which means more fat. Depending on how much fat and how long it stays, and a woman’s genetic elasticity of the skin, this will determine how much loose skin will be hanging in the lower abdomen afterward. Another factor is the size and number of babies. Large babies, twins and triplets (or more) and increasing number of children all contribute to this stretching and loss of elasticity. In addition the abdominal muscles which run up and down the abdomen separate vertically to make room for each baby. After delivery, they tend to come back towards each other but not always. With large babies and multiple births, the muscles tend to stay separated. This makes the abdomen stick out no matter how hard you try to suck it in. It gives the appearance of being several months pregnant. No amount of sit-ups or crunches will improve it. In fact, in some cases can make the problem worse by increasing muscle separation.
The last problem with pregnancy involves diet resistant fat or “genetic fat.” These are the areas where fat tends to accumulate and is near impossible to remove with diet and exercise. This includes the hips, outer thighs, inner thighs and abdomen. Some of these areas are energy storage areas for breast-feeding and after the first pregnancy the body doesn’t want to release the fat just in case another pregnancy is on the way.
These changes in breast abdomen and body are often irreversible without surgery in many people. So what is a mommy makeover? It is a relatively new term for correcting these changes. Because it sounds rather catchy and completely innocuous it has caught on with many plastic surgeons and their patients. The term mommy makeover usually refers to a combination of breast and body surgery done together. This may involve any number of combinations: breast augmentation , breast lift or mastopexy, breast reduction with tummy tuck and / or liposuction or VASER Hi Def Liposculpture. The goal is to give the patient back to her pre-baby body as much as possible by lifting and filling breasts, tightening abdomens, removing skin and tightening up muscle as needed.
Throughout most of history, women would have multiple babies and it was not uncommon for a woman to die during childbirth. Also, she wasn’t expected to live many years beyond her child bearing years. Today a woman can have children and possibly live another 70 years. With a mommy makeover she can live with the body that she’s happy with, not one that has been permanently damaged simply because she wanted to have a loving family.
A mommy makeover will be different for each woman because no two women have the same issues after childbearing. At Advanced Concepts in Plastic Surgery, we take the time necessary to give each woman all the information she needs to make an educated decision about how to move forward to get her “pre-baby body” back so she can be as proud of her body as she is of her children.