What is the mommy makeover procedure? A mommy makeover usually means that a patient is getting a combination of breast and tummy (also known as abdominal) plastic surgery procedures. But before we get into the details of what the actual options are for each area, let’s have a quick discussion of why these procedures may be wanted.
Change is Normal
As we age, our body undergoes natural changes. It happens to everyone and it’s completely normal. That being said, everyone ages differently and in different ways. In addition to time, other factors influence the way we age; lifestyle, weight loss or gain, child-bearing, genetics, and sun exposure are just a few examples of the various factors.
Whose Body is That in The Mirror?
Let’s discuss some of the specific changes that arise from having children. When a woman becomes pregnant, naturally her breasts tend to enlarge anticipating the need for breastfeeding the newborn. After the post-partum period ends and breastfeeding ceases, women sometimes notice that their breasts are no longer as full as they once were, and often lack their prior volume. Likewise, the breasts have also descended so as to have a lower footprint on the chest wall. In the same way, the abdominal wall (tummy) stretches to make room for the growing baby during the nine months before delivery. As the abdominal wall distends, the different layers of the abdomen stretch as well. Notably, the area between the abdominal muscles that make up a “six-pack” widens and the overlying skin does the same. After having the baby, this can return to near normal in some women; in others, it is now permanently loosened. These changes related to pregnancy are the reason that the combination of procedures restoring the breasts and tummy are called a “mommy makeover.”
Do I Really Need Both in A Mommy Makeover?
Does everyone need both breast and tummy surgery after having children? Not necessarily. Each person is different. Some lucky women return to nearly the same physique. Others only notice a significant change in their breasts or their tummy. However, there is a large number that observes a permanent change in both.
What Are My Breast Surgery Options?
Real Charlotte Plastic Surgery Patient Results
If a woman feels as though she has enough breast volume or “fullness” but does not like the lowness of her breasts, a simple breast lift (mastopexy) is all that is needed. Other times a patient has nearly the same breast and nipple position as prior to pregnancy, but now lacks the volume she once had. These patients benefit from a simple breast augmentation with implants. However, if a patient wants to correct decreased volume and to elevate the lower breast position, she will need a lift (mastopexy) and breast implants (augmentation) together. This is commonly called an augmentation-mastopexy and not only restores volume but places the breast mound and nipple in a more youthful and upright position.
- Breast Augmentation
Silicone or Saline Breast Implants?
There are two main categories of implants: silicone and saline. With both, there are many various different types, shapes, styles and design characteristics. The nuances of each style of an implant can be discussed in greater detail with your plastic surgeon and further exemplified with such technology as the VECTRA 3-D imaging system. With this device, a surgeon can take a 3-dimensional photograph of a woman’s torso and “try on” various shapes and styles of implants to display the aesthetic result. This technology is over 90% accurate and helps make the decision-making process much easier.
- Silicone or gel-filled
- Saline or salt-water filled
Where is My Bikini Belly?
By now you may be asking, “What about my tummy?” As with the breasts, the skin overlying your stomach stretches to accommodate the growing baby. The same happens with the thick tissue (fascia) covering your abdominal muscles. Over a series of months following delivery of a baby, both the skin and the fascia can revert nearly back to where they were prior. However, in a large number of patients, neither of these return to the “tightness” they once had before. This is where a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) comes into play.
Tighten with A Tummy Tuck
Real Charlotte Plastic Surgery Patient Results
During an abdominoplasty, the tissue covering the abdominal muscles (fascia) is tightened, placing the abdominal muscles back into the same position they were prior to pregnancy. This is the reason some patients and doctors refer to the procedure as “tightening your abdominal muscles;” in reality, the fascia (muscle covering) is being tightened and the abdominal muscle repositioned. This helps take care of the “pooch” many women complain of. But what about the skin? As part of the procedure, the skin covering the abdominal muscles and fascia is re-draped, invariably revealing excess skin. This excess skin is then removed giving the abdomen an overall smoother appearance. There are very specific cases where only excess skin needs to be removed, or the fascia needs to be tightened; but most often, both need to be done to get the best result.
An abdominoplasty accomplishes:
- Tightened abdominal wall
- Removal of loose abdominal skin
Explore Your Mommy Makeover Procedure Options
Hopefully this description helps shed some light on what a “mommy makeover” entails. If you would like more information regarding either the breast or the abdominal procedures or both, I recommend setting up an appointment with your plastic surgeon. Each person’s anatomy and goals are different, and should be treated as such. As with any procedure, your plastic surgeon will devise a surgical plan that best fits you. If you would like to schedule a consultation, call (704) 372-6846.
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