During pregnancy, your body will undergo many obvious and subtle changes. These changes are all in support of the growing life inside. Most of the internal changes connected to the respiratory system, gastrointestinal system and cardiovascular system will return to their normal functioning after delivery. The physical changes in your body may not bounce back, and the more pregnancies you have the less chance you have of returning to a firm figure. A mommy makeover includes several cosmetic surgical procedures that may help your body look and feel the way it did before you started childbearing. Dustin C. Derrick, MD is the leading plastic surgeon at Cosmetic Surgery of DFW for mommy makeovers; he and his dedicated team encourage you to learn more about this restorative procedure.
Common Physical Changes
The increased levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen during pregnancy may cause your breasts to become larger and tenderer. Just before delivery, your breasts may increase in size as they prepare for breastfeeding.
Usually starting in the second trimester, your abdomen will begin to expand. By the end of the trimester, the top of the uterus will be close to the rib cage. At this time, the abdominal wall and ligaments that support the uterus become stretched and may cause aching on one or both sides.
The skin also stretches to accommodate the added volume in the abdomen and breasts as well as fat on the back and thighs. Stretch marks occur when the skin stretches faster than it can repair itself. This is why the abdomen is the most common place for stretch marks but they may also occur on the breasts and upper thighs.
How a Mommy Makeover Helps
The changes in the appearance of your body can be addressed through cosmetic surgery so it either goes back to the way it looked before or better. A mommy makeover mainly addresses the breasts, abdomen and fat and the surgery can be personalized for each individual’s preferences. For example, you may want your breasts a bit larger than they were before pregnancy. Some treatments are non-surgical and some can even address the appearance of the skin on your face if you have developed hyperpigmentation. You and our cosmetic surgeon will discuss your expectations to help you achieve the figure you want.
It is important to remember than any cosmetic surgery that changes your appearance should be your decision alone. It is not recommended to undergo cosmetic surgery because someone else is pressuring you to change your appearance. Once you have decided what you want, you can make a plan with our surgeon so you will be satisfied with the outcome.
The mommy makeover may improve the appearance of sagging breasts, stretched abdominal muscle, and overhanging skin. The abdomen muscles are one of the most difficult parts of the body to tighten through exercise and there are pockets of fat that do not go no matter how much you diet and exercise. If you have done rigorous dieting and exercising after pregnancy to little or no effect, you may feel like there is nothing else you can do.
The answer is a mommy makeover. While it improves your appearance, it will increase your self-confidence and comfort. You will look better in clothes and no longer be embarrassed to wear a swimsuit. While each person has a customized mommy makeover, the most common goals are one or more of the following:
- Improve breast size, volume and symmetry
- Lift sagging breasts
- Repair the nipple and areola
- Tighten abdominal muscles
- Remove stubborn pockets of fat
- Remove sagging skin from the abdomen
- Improve your overall appearance
What is Included in a Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover is a combination of cosmetic surgical procedures that are performed by our cosmetic surgeon during a single session. This means you get the results all at one time, lifted breasts, flatter stomach and removed fat, when your recovery is over. The main procedures are:
- Breast enhancement includes breast augmentation or a breast lift
- Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck
- Liposuction to remove fat
- Stretch mark removal
- Genital rejuvenation
- Non-surgical procedures
Your surgery can be customized to help you to achieve the results you want. Non-surgical procedures may include laser treatment for stretch marks and hyperpigmentation.
Breast enhancement includes two main options. One is a breast lift and the other is breast augmentation.
A breast lift is not about the size of your breasts but more about the shape. It may restore a firmer, perkier appearance that not only looks more attractive but also fits better in bras, swimsuits and clothing.
The procedure involves removing the stretched, sagging skin and reshaping the existing breast tissue. It also raises the areola and nipple to a more forward position. The results may be a more youthful shape that looks natural.
Breast enhancement usually involves breast implants. In some cases, a breast lift may also involve breast implants. This is something you can discuss with our cosmetic surgeon. Breast implants come in two main types of filling, saline and silicone and several placement options. Saline implants are positioned empty and filled only after they are in place. Silicone implants must be full before they are positioned. For this reason, saline implants can be used for even the smallest openings, but silicone implants can only be placed if the opening is large enough to accommodate the filled shell. Both types of implants have a silicone shell. Saline implants are filled with sterile saltwater that moves a bit inside the shell. These implants are available to women 18 years and older for breast augmentation and any woman for breast reconstruction. Some people think the movement looks more natural than the thicker silicone gel. Silicone gel feels like human fat and some people think silicone implants look and feel more like natural breast tissue.
Also called a tummy tuck and abdominoplasty aims to tighten your abdominal muscles and cut away excess stretched skin in the area. The results are permanent and this procedure can dramatically change your appearance.
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, begins with a surgical opening placed at the pubic bone. Any scar will be hidden by underwear or a swimsuit. The skin and underlying tissue are lifted off the muscles and they are repositioned and tightened. The skin is replaced and the excess is removed. In many cases, some or all of the stretch marks are removed.
In most cases, a tummy tuck is combined with liposuction. This is the procedure that sucks fat out of your body. It may remove the stubborn pockets of fat that never seem to change. Liposuction can be done alone, but it will not remove stretched skin or lax muscles. In conjunction with a tummy tuck, liposuction may bring in the waist and add natural-looking contours to the abdomen. Your waist and enhanced breasts will look in proportion for a natural appearance. Technology has advanced the liposuction procedure for specialized techniques including ultrasound assistance.
Rejuvenation of Genital Tissue
Multiple pregnancies can stretch genital tissue to the point that it interferes with your comfort. It may cause problems such as pain and urinary incontinence. A mommy makeover can help tighten and reshape your genital tissue so it is not lax and sagging.
What to Expect
If a mommy makeover is in your future, you will be given a series of lab tests and have a medical evaluation. We will need to know if you have any pre-existing medical conditions and what medications you are taking. This includes herbal remedies and dietary supplements. If you smoke, it could interfere with the healing of your tissue and put you at risk of infection. You will be asked to quit for four weeks before and after the surgery.
After your surgery, you may be able to go home the same day depending on the procedures you had or you may be asked to remain overnight. Recovery time should be calculated according to the most extensive surgery, which is usually a tummy tuck. The recovery time ranges from one to four weeks. You will not be able to pick up anything heavy for at least a month, so if you have young children, you will need help. You should also avoid strenuous exercise during your recovery time. If you have a desk job, you may be able to return to it after one to two weeks.
When to Have a Mommy Makeover
While the timing may be different for each person, there are some factors to consider before choosing the procedures you want and deciding when to have the surgery.
- Being fully recovered from childbirth is essential since pregnancy and delivery are hard on the body. You need to be fully recovered and normally healthy before considering major surgery. We recommend you use that time to follow a nutritious diet and get plenty of exercise. If you breastfeed, you will need to wait three months after you finish so your breasts can relax into their new shape and size. This is needed for our surgeon to determine how to improve them.
- Non-surgical cosmetic injectable that you may choose as part of your mommy makeover may not be recommended during breastfeeding
- You should be finished having children. As mentioned above, no tummy tuck will withstand another pregnancy.
You will need to be in good overall health to have a mommy makeover including being a healthy weight. A mommy makeover is not a substitute for a weight-loss program. While some fat is removed, it is important that you lose the majority of your pregnancy weight before the procedure. This is why we recommend you have a suitable diet and exercise regimen for at least six months after delivery. You also need to be in good health to undergo general anesthesia. We will give you all the support and instructions you need to have a comfortable recovery.
Get In Touch with Us for More Information
If you are finished childbearing and are disappointed with the appearance of your body, you may be a good candidate for a mommy makeover. If you have any questions about the mommy makeover and would like to schedule a consultation with Dustin C. Derrick, MD at Cosmetic Surgery of DFW in Fort Worth, give us a call at (817) 529-7979!