Motherhood can be a rewarding experience in many ways. Pregnancy and the effects it has on the body can leave many new moms with lowered self-esteem and self-confidence. If you’ve experienced similar feelings, know that a mommy makeover can help rejuvenate your post-pregnancy body and restore your body contours. If you’d like to know more about the procedure, call Burt and Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology in Burr Ridge, IL.
What Is a Mommy Makeover?
In a nutshell, this is a combination of procedures designed to address the areas of your body most negatively affected by pregnancy. These areas include the breasts, abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. The combination of procedures is intended to meet the specific and varying needs of each individual patient and, as a result, can be slightly different for each person.
The procedures most often performed during a mommy makeover include any combination of a tummy tuck, liposuction, breast lift, breast reduction, and breast implants.
Are You an Ideal Candidate for a Mommy Makeover?
As mentioned, this combination of procedures is intended to address the cosmetic effects of pregnancy on a woman’s body. Since pregnancy doesn’t affect every woman’s body in the same way, there are certain signs to look for that indicate this might be the right choice for you.
You’ve Reached a Body Weight You’re Happy With
It’s important to achieve a satisfactory body weight before undergoing the procedures. Significant post-surgery weight loss can have a negative impact on your results, and these procedures aren’t designed to remove a large amount of fat from your body.
For example, the tummy tuck portion of the procedure is intended to tighten loose skin in your abdomen. If you undergo the procedure and then lose more weight, this could result in additional loose skin in the treated area. If loose skin returns, the only way to remove it would be to undergo another procedure.
You’re Finished Having Children
If you’ve just had your first child and aren’t sure if you’re done, you may want to wait for surgery. Getting pregnant again after undergoing the procedure will reverse its effects, creating additional loose skin, affecting breast size/placement, and causing you to gain additional weight. Once you’re sure you’re finished having children, you can start considering the procedure.
You Have C-Section Scarring
A C-section often results in scarring around your abdomen that can be corrected during the procedure. If you have other scars on your lower abdomen, such as those from hernia surgery, an appendectomy, or stretch marks, these too can be addressed.
You’re at Least Six Months Past Giving Birth
Childbirth is not an easy experience and can be very traumatic on your body. Before cosmetic surgery can be considered, a period of at least six months after giving birth should be observed to allow your body time to heal.
Another reason for waiting at least six months has to do with breastfeeding. When a woman breastfeeds, it alters the shape of her breasts, and it is important to wait until they settle into a permanent shape before making any alterations.
You’re Physically and Mentally Healthy
This makeover is elective surgery, meaning that it isn’t medically necessary. However, it’s still serious. Your surgeon will want to make sure you’re in good physical and mental health if you decide to undergo surgery. If you have any current medical conditions that may interfere with the procedure, this could not only affect your results, but also your health.
Regarding your psychological health, it’s important that you undergo the makeover for the right reasons and that you’re well-aware of what it can and cannot do for you.
What Procedures Are Available?
Since a mommy makeover is designed to address multiple issues, there are several procedures that can be performed depending on what your individual needs are.
Pregnancy causes the skin of your abdomen to stretch, often resulting in poor skin elasticity, excess skin, and stretching of the connective tissue and your abdominal muscles. The treatment area extends from the bottom of your ribs to your pubic bone and is referred to as the inner girdle. Your inner girdle holds your organs in place and gets stretched out during pregnancy.
A tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) surgery addresses those issues by removing loose, excess skin and fat while also tightening the connective tissue. The result includes the removal of stretch marks and excess skin below your belly button.
How a Tummy Tuck Is Performed
Your surgeon will make an ovular incision and remove most of the skin and fat between your belly button and pubic hair. The stretched out connective tissue overlying your abdominal muscles is tightened with sutures, and the skin surrounding your belly button is repositioned. Your belly button is then brought out through a small incision and sutured in its natural place on your abdomen.
Your incision will probably go from one hip to the other. It will be closed with sutures but will result in a scar that your surgeon will strategically place along the natural crease within your bikini line.
Liposuction (or lipoplasty) is a procedure that can greatly improve the contour of your flanks or hips: two areas that often end up with excess pockets of fat post-pregnancy. Your surgeon may recommend liposuction of the flanks and hips at the same time you undergo a tummy tuck procedure. Liposuction can also be performed on the chest, thighs, neck, upper arms, and knees.
How Liposuction Is Performed
During your procedure, your surgeon will inject a sterile liquid that combines a local anesthetic and epinephrine to help control discomfort and minimize excess bleeding. After that, your surgeon will make small incisions near the area where excess fat is to be removed.
A liposuction tool known as a cannula (a thin, hollow rod) will be inserted through the incision and suction will be used to force the fat up through the cannula and out a powerful vacuum hose. Once completed, the treated area will be dressed and you’ll be fitted with a compression garment to ensure your body holds the proper contours.
A breast lift (or mastopexy) is the procedure designed to treat sagging and uneven breasts, a decrease in breast volume, drooping nipples, and large, stretched areolas. This surgery can be tailored to either enlarge your breasts or reduce their size, but the intended result is a return to a youthful shape and lift.
How a Breast Lift Is Performed
The type of anesthesia used will depend on what you’re comfortable with and your surgeon’s recommendation. The incisions your surgeon makes will vary depending on how much excess skin you have, the positioning of your nipples, your personal preference, and what your surgeon suggests.
Once the incisions are made, your surgeon will remove excess skin and surgically reposition and reshape your breast tissue into a more physically-appealing shape. Your nipples and areolas will be repositioned to a more youthful location and can be reduced in size if stretching is a concern.
The remaining skin will then be tightened while your surgeon closes the incisions. The sutures will be placed deep within your breast tissue to better support your newly-shaped breasts. Skin adhesives and/or surgical tape may also be used to help close the skin and support your breasts.
With pregnancy, the breasts often swell and become fuller. For some women, this increase in size is temporary. For others, it becomes permanent. Larger breasts can be a welcome change for some women, but sometimes breasts can become disproportionately large, resulting in significant discomfort and even skeletal deformities.
Breast reduction surgery can address these issues by removing some of the fat and glandular tissue that has accumulated over the course of your pregnancy and tightening the skin to produce breasts that are smaller and lighter.
How a Breast Reduction Is Performed
Through incisions on your breasts, your surgeon will remove fat, glandular tissue, and excess skin. For some patients, excess fat can be removed via liposuction. If the increased size of your breasts is due mainly to extra fatty tissue and doesn’t involve excess skin, it’s possible to have your breasts reduced via liposuction alone.
Your surgeon will reduce excess tissue and then lift and shape the remaining underlying breast tissue into a smaller, lighter, and more youthful shape. Much like with a breast lift, the sutures will be placed deep within your breast tissue to help shape and support your breasts. The skin is then closed and your breasts will be wrapped in surgical gauze. You may need to wear a surgical bra for a while post-surgery to ensure the best results.
Breast augmentation refers to the increase or restoration of breast size using implants, whether they’re silicone, saline, or fat grafts.
How a Breast Augmentation Is Performed
Your surgeon will make an incision in your breasts and lift the breast tissue, creating a pocket in one of two areas. The first is underneath the pectoral muscle located between your breast tissue and chest wall. The other is underneath the breast tissue and on top of the muscle. Which area your surgeon places the implants will depend on the results you’re looking for as well as their recommendations for the best outcome.
Once the implants have been placed, the incisions will be closed and your breasts will be wrapped up in surgical gauze or possibly a compression bra. In some cases, drainage tubes are inserted for a short time to ensure against the buildup of fluid at the surgical site.
How Long Do the Results Last?
The results of your makeover are intended to be permanent. Provided you do not get pregnant again or gain significant weight, you shouldn’t have to worry about losing your results. However, while the surgery is effective at restoring and rejuvenating your post-pregnancy body to a more youthful, aesthetically pleasing contour, it cannot stop the normal effects of aging.
Is a Makeover Right for You?
A mommy makeover is a set of procedures intended to address the effects that pregnancy can have on your body and restore your youthful look. These procedures can be altered depending on your specific needs, the results you’re looking to achieve, and what your surgeon recommends.
Most women make excellent candidates for surgery, provided they have achieved a stable weight, are not planning on having additional children, and are able to follow a healthy lifestyle to ensure the longevity of their results. If you think a mommy makeover might be right for you, speak to us at Burt and Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology in Burr Ridge, IL today.