It is obvious that pregnancy and childbirth has a tremendous effect on a woman’s body. These changes are the result of the weight fluctuation and hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy. Commonly, women complain of abdominal laxity and stretch marks, increased fat of the lower abdomen, thighs and hips. Women also complain about the changes in their breasts. Breasts commonly decrease in size and become “droopy”, often accompanied with stretch marks around the nipples.
A “Mommy Makeover” refers to the surgical correction of these common post-pregnancy changes. It usually involves an abdominoplasty, liposuction of the hips and thighs, and a breast lift with or without breast implants. Depending on the skill of the surgeon and the motivation of the patient, these procedures may be combined into one surgical operation.
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, will remove the excess skin of the lower abdomen. Pregnancy stretches out the skin and no amount of diet and exercise can “shrink” this lax skin. As I often tell my patients, you cannot diet or exercise away skin. This skin laxity often gets more pronounced after each pregnancy. More importantly, an abdominoplasty will tighten the underlying abdominal muscles that have been weakened from the pregnancy.
The hormonal changes of pregnancy also stimulate the body to increase its fat reserves. As a result, an increased amount of fat is stored in areas such as the hips and thighs. This fat is extremely resistant to exercise, making it almost impossible to eliminate through diet and exercise. Liposuction can permanently remove this fat and improve the shape of the lower body.
The breasts are extremely sensitive to fluctuations in weight and hormone, two things that commonly accompany pregnancy. Most women experience an increase in breast size during pregnancy and during breast feeding. However, the breasts often decrease rapidly in size. This can result in breasts that are smaller and sag more than the woman’s pre-pregnancy breasts. The rapid change in breast size may also result in stretch marks. A breast lift will lift the breasts and eliminate the “sag”. A breast implant may also be placed during this breast lift in order to increase breast size.
A “Mommy Makeover” is increasing in popularity as women look for ways to reverse the effects of pregnancy and return their body to a pre-pregnancy state. This is a commonly performed procedure for woman in their late 30s to mid 40s who are not planning future pregnancies. While many women prefer to undergo multiple procedures in one operation, it is not necessary. The individual components of the “Mommy Makeover” can be performed in separate operations.
If you are interested in breast and body contouring procedures, be sure to have a consultation with a board certified New York City plastics surgeon.