Carrying a child is a beautiful and natural part of life. However, this process may leave behind some unwanted physical changes in a woman’s body. A woman’s breasts often lose fullness and shape after hormonal changes and breastfeeding. Furthermore, the abdominal muscles lose integrity and shape due to the stretching and protrusion of the lower abdomen from carrying a child. Loose skin and stretch marks also develop around the lower abdomen. A “mommy makeover” is a general term used to describe procedures aimed at reversing the aesthetic changes that occur with pregnancy.
What is involved with a mommy makeover?
Specifically, it involves breast surgery and abdominal surgery. Each woman is evaluated individually when discussing a mommy makeover, as the effects of pregnancy can vary. Specifically for the breasts, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the breasts often enlarge and can increase several sizes during this time. After breastfeeding, breast tissue volume decreases and can occasionally decrease to an amount even less than prior to pregnancy. Some women’s breasts are able to bounce back to their previous shape and volume. However, the vast majority will notice that their breasts have lost both shape and volume. Therefore, a breast lift or a breast augmentation, or the combination of both, may be considered to restore the breasts to their more lifted and full pre-pregnancy appearance. Some women’s breasts gain volume throughout the pregnancy and breastfeeding and this is maintained afterwards. Therefore, these women may be in need of a breast reduction alone to restore shape and desired volume.
The next area that is addressed is the trunk and abdomen. Obviously as the baby continues to grow throughout the pregnancy, the abdominal wall, musculature, and skin have to expand to accommodate the growing baby. This has an effect on both the skin and abdominal wall that many times is not fully restored after the pregnancy. The abdominal wall musculature itself becomes stretched and loses integrity regardless of abdominal and core strengthening exercises. Therefore, the muscle tightening portion of the tummy tuck allows restoration of this abdominal integrity. Furthermore, the skin itself is stretched often times beyond its normal limits of elasticity. This causes the skin to lose its elastic recoil; thereby promoting the typical excess loose skin along the lower abdomen that is seen after pregnancy. In addition, areas like the flanks and lower back tend to become more notable problem areas in weight loss after a pregnancy. The abdominoplasty or tummy tuck procedure is ideal at restoring both the abdominal wall integrity, as well as removing excess loose skin and stretch marks from the lower abdomen with the addition of contouring the trunk with liposuction. This procedure will allow a woman to attain a similar shape and waistline to her pre-pregnancy state.
What type of anesthesia is used for this procedure?
General anesthesia is essentially always used for a mommy makeover procedure, specifically because of the abdominoplasty portion of the case.
*What should I expect after surgery?
The recovery period for a mommy makeover can be thought of in similar fashion as recovering from a tummy tuck procedure. Most of the limitations and time to healing expectations are related to this portion of the procedure. Therefore, an abdominal binder and/or a compression garment will be worn for approximately six weeks to help reinforce the abdominal wall repair, as well as help to decrease swelling and improving contour of the trunk. Activity restrictions for six weeks will also be instructed throughout this time. The breast recovery will vary according to the specific procedure performed. A surgical bra will be worn for approximately six weeks. You will see Dr. Coscia multiple times throughout your recovery time to receive instructions, monitor your progress, as well as to make sure all of your questions are answered. Most women will typically take approximately two weeks off from work initially after surgery.
I am interested. What do I do next?
If you are considering a mommy makeover and want to talk about your areas of concern and how they can be addressed, please call our office and set up a consultation with Dr. Coscia. He will gladly explain the procedures to you and answer any questions you may have.
*Individual results may vary