After a woman goes through pregnancy, there are permanent changes that affect her body. In the majority of normal women, no amount of diet or exercise can bring their body back to pre-pregnancy contours. Of course, some women do get lucky, and can make it through a pregnancy without one stretch mark. Models and fitness gurus who only gain 10 lbs may not have much to worry about either.
For most of us, however, it is sad to look down and see our once perky, full breasts deflated and saggy, and to see our abdominal muscles bulging with loose skin and stretch marks. Most women never feel comfortable in a bikini again, and those who do can’t bend over in public, or that loose skin wrinkles up and sags and really looks awful.
A “mommy makeover” is a term used to describe a combination procedure involving simultaneous abdominal and breast contouring, the most common procedures women desire after childbearing to restore their figure to their pre-pregnancy state. Breast surgery can involve breast implants, breast lift, or breast reduction. Breast implants restore lost volume, and breast lift surgery tightens skin. For those women who have an abundance of breast tissue and find that their hormones or the extra weight on board has made them large- breasted and matronly, a breast reduction lifts and tightens the breast with varying amounts of tissue removal for better proportions.
For the waistline, options to contour the abdomen include liposuction, and various types of tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedures. Liposuction only removes fat, and does not tighten the skin. So if you happen to one of the lucky ones, have small fatty deposits with no loose skin or stretch marks, liposuction of the abdomen, hips, flanks, and low back may be the way to go. However, most moms have loose skin on their abdomen, and no machine, laser, liposuction technique, or anything other than surgical skin tightening is going to improve the situation. Mini tummy tuck candidates are few and far between. Even though the shorter scar length sounds so much better, only about 1-2 inches of skin above the pubic area can be removed with this technique. Expect a 10-20% improvement at best, and only if you are less than 120 lbs and in great shape. If you have looseness of skin around or above the belly button, don’t waste your time and money on a mini-tummy tuck or you are going to be disappointed.
Most women after childbearing need a full tummy tuck, or full abdominoplasty. This surgery allows the maximum amount of skin and muscle tightening and results are dramatic. Yes, it’s a big surgery with a big scar, but you loose all the stretch marks below the belly button. 96% of women on www.realself.com say it’s worth it, satisfying goals of feeling confident in tight clothes and exposing their abdomen in bikinis.
Doing a combined procedure in healthy patients is safe and makes sense. Most busy moms don’t have time to do two separate surgeries with the time off work and recovery process. Expect a 2-3 week recovery, no heavy exercise for about 6 weeks, and swelling with appearance changes happening under your clothes for months. Time passes quickly and before you know it, you will be feeling self confident, sexy and more beautiful than ever before.