THE MOMMY MAKEOVER...WHAT WOMEN SHOULD KNOW
SOKY JULY 2016
New baby can also mean “new body” for many women as pregnancy certainly can take its toll, causing undesired changes in areas such as the breasts, tummy, legs and skin. After nine months of pregnancy, and sometimes several more of nursing, many women long for their “pre-baby” bodies back. In recent years, the term “Mommy Makeover” has become popular, and women have become less afraid to admit that although they love their children, they also wish their bodies looked at least somewhat like they did prior to having children. And as we have often seen in our office, women desire a little extra help after adhering to a healthy diet and exercise regimen. While one may assume that “Mommy Makeover” is a new term in plastic surgery, the procedure, in fact, consists of a combination of surgeries that address the breasts, tummy and excess fat. These individual procedures such as breast augmentation, tummy tuck and liposuction have been used for decades in plastic surgery, and have long, successful and safe track records. Because each woman’s body will respond differently to pregnancy and nursing, deciding what type of procedures your “mommy makeover” will consist of is something that you should take seriously and discuss at length with a board-certified plastic surgeon. After careful consultation and examination, your plastic surgeon may suggest a combination of several procedures. One of the most common complaints following pregnancy is loss of a flat tummy. This is a result of poor skin elasticity, excess skin and stretching and tearing of the abdominal muscles. An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, will address these issues, and permanently restore firmness to the stomach. If stretch marks are evident below the belly button, they can usually be excised during the procedure. Abdominoplasty is often performed in conjunction with liposuction if pockets of fat are also evident. Although abdominoplasty may narrow your waist, it does not affect fat in other areas of the body. A surgeon may suggest liposuction to restore contour to areas such as the flanks, or love handles, and thighs. Another common complaint following pregnancy is loss of shape, fullness and evenness in the size of the breasts. Your surgeon may suggest a breast augmentation using implants, a breast lift, also known as mastopexy, or a combination of both. If your breasts remain larger than desired and cause problems such as rashes, pain and poor posture, your surgeon may suggest a breast reduction. So when should a woman consider having a mommy makeover? Most surgeons will suggest that you wait at least six months after pregnancy or breastfeeding to have any combination of these procedures. It is also recommended that you have achieved a healthy weight as none of these procedures address weight loss. If you intend to have more children, a surgeon will likely suggest that you wait to have one or more of these procedures until you are done with all your pregnancies. Careful selection of your surgeon is imperative for a pleasant experience and satisfactory outcome. Your decision should be made based on the surgeon’s training and certification, experience with this particular procedure and your comfort level with him or her. Board certification and membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons should be highly considered when choosing your physician. Although many non-plastic surgeon doctors may offer one or more of these procedures, they have not gone through the rigorous training that a board certified plastic surgeon has. Dr. Atalla, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, has over 15 years experience in a broad range of cosmetic procedures, including all of those mentioned above. Consultations are available by appointment, and may be made by calling 270-796-8960.