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| By

Andrew McGregor, MD

After women become pregnant, many physical changes happen to their bodies. Many times after women give birth, separation of their abdominal muscles can occur. Women’s breasts also change after being pregnant. As women begin to produce breast milk after giving birth, their breasts will enlarge. As the breasts become enlarged and return back to their pre-baby breasts, stretching of the breast ligaments will cause relaxation and droopiness of the breast gland and nipple. Many changes occur to a woman’s body after she gives birth. When women are done having children, they often seek the assistance of plastic surgeons to help restore confidence in their bodies.

A “Mommy Makeover” is a combination of two or more procedures usually on the breasts and body. A detailed and personalized approach should be performed on anyone wanting to pursue a Mommy Makeover. Each patient has specialized individual needs to optimize outcomes.

Breast procedures in women undergoing Mommy Makeover can include a variety of procedures including breast augmentation, breast lift (also known as a mastopexy), or a breast augmentation combined with a lift. Breast augmentation alone in Mommy Makeovers is reserved for women with little to no droopiness of the breast and the position of the nipple has not changed after pregnancy. A breast lift will address the droopiness and the position of the nipple to a more natural and aesthetic position, but will not add volume and will not give more upper pole fullness. Many women are candidates for combined breast augmentation with a lift given that many women want fullness and a youthful shape. 

Breast augmentation with a lift can be a more complex procedure. Depending on the droopiness of the breast, an incision around only the areola of the breast may be able to be performed. This is called a donut lift. Women with little droopiness and large areolas may be candidates for this type of breast augmentation procedure. Many patients that have more stretched-out skin will be candidates for a lollipop or anchor-type scars. This is solely based on the clinical exam, and the quality of the skin in the operating room once the breast implant is in place. Many women will trade a scar for a pleasing and full breast. 

Body procedures that are commonly used in Mommy Makeovers include abdominoplasty, liposuction, and body lifts. Liposuction alone to the abdomen is reserved for patients with fat deposits, and no skin excess. Because of the pressure that the uterus places on the abdominal wall during pregnancy, most women will have a separation of the abdominal wall muscles called diastasis. Correction of the diastasis will help tighten the core and correct the boxy nature of the abdomen after pregnancy. 

Correction of the rectus diastasis is part of the abdominoplasty procedure. An abdominoplasty procedure removes the excess skin and tightens the core. This is the most common body procedure performed in the Mommy Makeover type procedure. Abdominoplasty can produce dramatic results, and placement of a low-lying scar is key to optimal outcomes. Adjunctive liposuction can also be performed to the flanks to help optimize the hips and waist.

A body lift is a circumferential excision of skin around the entire torso to contour and provide patients who have excess skin around the entire body. This is usually patients who have given birth and lost a large amount of weight increasing the laxity of the skin. This is an ideal option for patients with excess circumferential skin. Abdominal muscle tightening is also done at the same time during this procedure. 

Patients who are seeking Mommy Makeovers should expect a detailed discussion with their plastic surgeon regarding what their goals are, what is present on physical examination, and ways to maximize outcomes. Your surgeon should go over all your options with you and which procedures you are and are not a candidate for. 

In conclusion, many mothers who are dissatisfied with their appearance after giving birth to children see dramatic and life-changing results after undergoing Mommy Makeover. If you are considering these types of procedures, schedule your consultation today to get expert recommendations on the procedures that will achieve your unique goals. 

Look good, feel good. Discover a healthier, happier you! 

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