Mommy Makeover 2013
Article by Michele A. Shermak, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
A “Mommy Makeover” is plastic surgery performed to bring a woman’s body back to where it was prior to childbirth, or maybe to an even better place than it ever was. With pregnancy and childbirth, women experience changes throughout the body, most specifically in the breasts and the abdomen. Breasts may lose volume and “perk.” They may sag more, and develop mismatch in size and shape, particularly after breastfeeding. The abdomen can lose the pre-pregnancy “spring” and tautness it had. The belly button might have a hernia. The abdominal muscular support may be lax, particularly after Caesarian section and other abdominal surgical procedures. Skin may have stretch marks, known as striae. The pubic area may even need some lifting and tightening.
So what to do? Women come in all shapes and sizes, so treatment is individualized.
For the breasts, typically Augmentation and/or Lifting, also known as Mastopexy, are necessary. Breast Augmentation with either silicone or saline implants may improve volume and cleavage. A combination of both Mastopexy and Breast Augmentation may be necessary to achieve desired lift and fullness. Today Fat Transfer is another option, moving fat from an undesirable area like the abdomen, waist, or thigh into the breast area. Fat grafting, implant augmentation and lift can rejuvenate and better match the breasts.
For the abdomen, contouring procedures like Mini Tummy Tuck or a Full Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) may be necessary to treat all of the components involved, namely the abdominal muscles and skin. Belly button hernias can be repaired at this time too, so no need for an additional procedure! In fact, it is actually better to repair hernias at the time of abdominoplasty to protect and preserve the belly button.
There is no magic in erasing stretch marks – neither creams nor lasers will reverse the damaged collagen and elastin. The only way to alleviate stretch marks is to surgically remove them. During Abdominoplasty this can happen, but ask your surgeon if all of the stretch marks will go or just some of them. It may be impossible to get them all out.
The pubis, while less of a focal point, also suffers with redundancy. A lifted pubis is a youthful pubis. Pubic redundancy and laxity may actually impact urination and sexual intercourse. The pubis is improved with abdominoplasty. Labiaplasty is something else that might be of interest after hormonal changes and delivering a baby take their toll on the genital area.
While pregnancy and childbirth comprise the most precious, miraculous experience a woman can have, they take a serious toll on the body, on some women more than others. Procedures like Mastopexy, Breast Augmentation, and Abdominoplasty can bring the old body back, or create an even better one! Check out the Photo Gallery under the subjects Breast Augmentation, Breastlift, Abdominoplasty, and Beauty after Baby to see some real results! And arrange an appointment with Dr. Michele Shermak to discuss your options.