If you're a woman who's been through one or more pregnancies, you don't need us to tell you all about the toll it can take on your body. Pregnancy can affect the breasts, tummies, and even the legs. After nine months—or more, if you're a breastfeeding mom —chances are you've caught yourself longing for your pre-baby body a time or two. Unfortunately, sometimes even a healthy regimen of diet and exercise can't turn back the hands of time, and that's where our Mommy Makeover comes in.
Many plastic surgeons, including our team here at Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis, offer what we call the Mommy Makeover, a single-session surgery that specifically addresses a woman’s post-pregnancy body issues. This procedure typically combines the following:
Let's take a more in-depth look at each part of the Mommy Makeover procedure.
Women tend to put an exceptional amount of stress on their midsections throughout their lifetime. Pregnancy, weight gain and loss—it’s little wonder that the shape and size of our stomachs change as we age. When diet and exercise aren't providing the results you want, a surgical procedure like a tummy tuck can be an excellent option.
A tummy tuck will permanently restore firmness to the stomach and remove any loose skin. During the procedure, an incision is made at the pubic bone, through which your plastic surgeon will tighten up the muscles. Small pockets of fat can then be removed with liposuction. Once the muscles are tightened, the excess skin is removed.
There are a variety of tummy tuck procedures available, depending on the extent of your particular post-pregnancy concerns. These are:
Traditional Tummy Tuck – full abdominoplasty
Extended Tummy Tuck – belt lipectomy
Mini Tummy Tuck – short scar or small incision abdominoplasty
Reverse Tummy Tuck – the incision is made from the breast bone to the stomach
Nonsurgical Body Contouring – using liposuction, lasers, or injectables
Women who have had C-sections (or Cesarean sections) are in luck here—your plastic surgeon can often either use or remove that incision while performing the tummy tuck, so you will have only one scar.
As joyful as motherhood can be, the physical effects of pregnancy can sometimes be drastic, changing your body in ways you never anticipated. Some women are lucky, and bounce right back to their pre-pregnancy bodies, but many others struggle to get close to what they looked like before babies.
A typical post-pregnancy problem is breasts that were a perfectly acceptable size and shape before and during pregnancy, but after breastfeeding, they seem to sag or to have lost tissue. This happens because during pregnancy and into breastfeeding, the breasts are affected by hormonal changes. Once these hormone levels even out and decrease, the tissue deflates.
There are two different types of breast enhancement to choose from, based on your own post-baby body and what kind of look you're hoping to achieve.
Breast lift: This can be a long-lasting solution to sagging breasts or loss of breast volume, but just lifting the breast won’t solve the problem in everyone. If there's a significant loss of volume and sagging skin, a lift and implant might be more effective in recapturing the shape. However, if you’re satisfied with the size of your breasts but just want them to sit a little higher, a breast lift may be the best surgical solution for you. To help restore pre-pregnancy perkiness, a breast lift reduces excess skin and remodels the breast tissue so it can assume a higher position.
Breast implants: Most post-pregnancy patients just want to be the same breast size they were before, or possibly a little bigger. If you’re happy with the position of your breasts, but you’d like them to be a little fuller, implants can help replace the breast tissue that diminishes after having a baby. They may even be able to eliminate the need for a breast lift as long as you have healthy, elastic skin and no excessive sagging. In addition to enhancing actual breast size, implants can help restore some pre-pregnancy firmness.
Liposuction on its own can remove fat, but it can't do anything to treat stretched muscles or extra skin. While a tummy tuck takes care of the stretch marks, excess skin, and stretched abdominal wall, liposuction is often performed in conjunction with it to accentuate the waist and add definition to the abdomen. This is a crucial part of any Mommy Makeover! A contoured waist blends into the flattened abdomen in a more natural way, and a narrowed waist complements the proportions created by a breast procedure. The result is a body that looks much like what the patient had prior to pregnancy.
All liposuction is essentially the removal of fat from the body through the assistance of some form of suction. Fat removal involves the use of a cannula (a thin hollow tube that is inserted below the skin) to manually loosen fat. Suction is then applied through the cannula to remove the fat from the body with specialized vacuum-powered equipment.
Improvements in liposuction in recent years include the ability to use smaller cannulas, leading to smaller incisions and more precisely sculpted contours.
Who Mommy Makeovers are for
It's generally recommended to let your body heal for three to six months after delivery before attempting any surgery. You’ll also need to be done breastfeeding so our doctors can get a good idea of the true size and position of your breasts. If you're done having children and are no longer breastfeeding, it's safe to go ahead with planning a Mommy Makeover.
Who should avoid a mommy makeover
If you're planning on having more children, you may want to wait to have your Mommy Makeover. No plastic surgeon can guarantee that the results of surgery will be retained with any additional pregnancies. Tummy tucks especially shouldn't be done for women who are still having or wanting to have more children. If you're not sure you're done having children, or that you're ready to stop breastfeeding, it would be better to wait until you're certain about both of those before planning on a Mommy Makeover.
Mommy Makeovers with the Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis
If you are doing having children and breastfeeding, and are looking for a way to get back to your pre-baby body, our experienced team of plastic surgeons are here to help you do just that. From your initial consultation to your post-treatment care, Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis will offer cutting edge techniques and equipment to ensure less scarring, less downtime, and more effective and lasting results. Get in touch with us today to start the journey back to your body!