“Children are a wonder: they make you wonder what happened to your figure.”
Any woman who has had children can attest to the fact that having children can wreak havoc on even the best physiques. Some women are able to bounce back like nothing ever happened. For many women, however, lasting “reminders” of their pregnancy (or pregnancies) are left behind. These include:
- Saggy, deflated breasts
- Stretch marks
- Separation of the abdominal muscles (known as a rectus diastasis – like a hernia, but not a hernia)
- Excess skin and/or fat of the lower abdomen, waist, or thighs
While diet and exercise are a good idea for any woman who is rebounding from a pregnancy, many of the physical changes brought on by pregnancy will not respond to post-partum diet and exercise. In many cases, surgical correction will be necessary to improve or reverse the changes caused by that little bundle of joy over the course of 9 months. You can do as many crunches as you can stand, but loose skin, saggy breasts, and separated abdominal muscles won’t go away without surgery.
What is a “Mommy Makeover”?
A mommy makeover is nothing more than a marketing term that has found its way into the public lexicon. In my mind, a mommy makeover is whatever you and I need to do to address the changes brought on by pregnancy. Usually, it means combining breast and abdominal procedures during the same operation. The big question is: WHY BOTHER DOING MULTIPLE PROCEDURES IN ONE SURGERY?
The answer, in a single word, is RECOVERY. Many women who come to see me and are interested in these procedures are busy. All have children who they care for day-in and day-out. Some work outside the home, as well. For them, time off is precious, and down-time is almost non-existent. By combining procedures in one operation, the recovery time after surgery is much shorter than it would be having the procedures done separately. There is also a cost savings associated with doing things in one surgery as opposed to two (the first hour in the operating room is the most expensive for multiple-hour procedures from both a hospital and anesthesia standpoint). Sometimes, for safety reasons, these procedures have to take place in stages. Sometimes, women request they be done in stages. However, by doing multiple procedures at one time, the recovery downtime is significantly minimized (you can save as much as two weeks off by combining surgeries), allowing you to resume work, exercise, and all of your normal daily activities with less interruption.
An important thing to remember is that a “mommy makeover” is whatever you want it to be. It’s important that you have a detailed discussion with your surgeon during your consultation so that YOUR needs are met and that you aren’t being sold a “package” of procedures that you may not need or want. And, as always, make sure your surgeon is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons.