The concept of a Mommy Makeover has become a very popular plastic surgery procedure in the past decade. While sounding like a novel procedure, it is really nothing more than combining traditional breast and abdominal reshaping procedures in a single one-time operation. When put together they change the two body parts most affected by pregnancy and the birthing process.
The trend towards more women having Mommy Makeovers done is affected by numerous factors. As more women become aware of what can be done to restore their bodies, they are wanting to embrace those changes for an improved self-image. Some do it sooner after their pregnancies than others depending upon how quickly they can lose their baby weight and how much exercise can help with some non-surgical reshaping.
Magazine articles with celebrity examples has also helped create a style trend that has popularized (and sometimes sensationalized) how to bounce back after having a baby. Many famous moms and how they look afterwards has created awareness of what is possible, although whether they have had surgery to do so often remains more mysterious. The suspicion is that many have had surgery and clearly some have. And just like those celebrity moms that are on the cover of the magazines in the checkout counter of the grocery store, average women want to also look and feel great.
A major factor that has also created the modern-day Mommy Makeover is that combined breast and abdominal procedures can be safely done together. Often taking three to five hours of surgery time, the procedure is still done as an outpatient with little reason to stay overnite for most women. Careful attention to anti-thrombolytic prophylaxis, avoiding indwelling bladder catheters, and early ambulation has led to decreased risks of DVT, PE and urinary tract infections. While one should never underestimate the at home recovery process, within four to six weeks one can return to all normal activities. Depending upon the type of abdominal reshaping procedure, this recovery period could be even less.
Embarking on a Mommy Makeover should not be done until every effort has been made on your own to change one’s body. The timing will be different, however, between the breasts and the abdomen. There are no exercises, creams or potions that are going to restore breast volume or lift up sagging breasts. One only has to wait until one has stopped breast feeding and any breast engorgement is gone. The abdomen is a different story as clearly everyone can lose some of their baby weight. But loose skin, stretch marks, misshapen belly buttons and rectus diastasi are not going to be improved by exercise, no matter how hard one tries. You are not going to exercise loose skin away. When you put these two issues together, the earliest that most women should undergo the procedure is around six months after delivery.
Dr. Barry Eppley