What is a Mommy Makeover?
More women are expressing interest in plastic surgery to restore a more youthful figure after having children. An update on combined procedures for postpartum body contouring—addressing the abdomen, breasts and other problem areas is gaining in popularity.
Sometimes called the “mommy makeover,” postpartum body contouring combines a “tummy tuck“(abdominoplasty) with breast lift surgery (mastopexy) and may include other procedures.
Postpartum Body Contouring—Goals, Methods and Outcomes
The growing interest in “mommy makeovers” may reflect the increase in pregnancies at later ages and increased multiple births. Women seeking postpartum body contouring want to regain a more youthful appearance, improving all areas of the body affected by pregnancy, with the least conspicuous scarring and the least amount of discomfort and recovery time.
For postpartum women concerned that they have “lost their waistline,” abdominoplasty can provide a firmer, trimmer abdomen. Liposuction is added to address specific problem areas. Ideally, abdominoplasty is postponed until the woman has completed planned childbearing. However, recent studies suggest a “positive outlook” for women with unplanned pregnancies occurring after abdominoplasty.
“Breast lift surgery can restore a more youthful appearance of the breasts. Additional procedures can be performed to address issues in adjacent areas such as the pelvic area, back, hips, flanks, or legs.”
For plastic surgeons, performing multiple aesthetic procedures in combination can entail some challenges and risks. Many surgeons strive to keep surgical times to a minimum, and advise that detailed examination prior to surgery and realistic outcome expectations are very important.
Plastic surgeons also need to address patient concerns regarding “drains, pain, and scars” after abdominoplasty. Experience suggests that most women will accept some abdominal scarring as the necessary tradeoff for achieving the desired improvement in body contour, the researchers note. They also emphasize the importance of evaluating the patient’s psychological status—especially during the emotionally vulnerable first postpartum year.
With advances in surgical techniques and patient care, combination procedures as part of postpartum body contouring can meet women’s desires for maximal cosmetic results, while minimizing downtime and controlling costs.