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How Can I Get Rid of Loose Sagging Skin After Pregnancy?

will a mommy makeover take care of all the loose skin from pregnancy?

Doctor Answers (118)

Mommy Makeover

+6

Eliminating loose sagging skin form the abdomen and breasts following pregnancy by means of a breast augmentation and / or breast lift and a tummy tuck is often called a mommy makeover. In many women both surgeries can be performed together, although some women elect to have them performed separately.   Even if you do have the procedures together, look very closely at each individual procedures and be sure the plastic surgeon you select can demonstrate through photographs many, many examples of the kind of results you want. There is of ten a very significant "wow" factor in a mommy makeover as the changes can be so significant. Look at the details. The objective of most of my patients is to look more like they did before pregnancy, but looking natural is of the utmost importance. 

After checking a surgeon’s background, training and experience look at before and after photos. Scars around the belly button are a dead giveaway of a tummy tuck. There should NOT be visible scars around the belly button. Fullness in the upper abdomen is a result that would not be the ideal for most patients. Plastic surgeons who are unable to create natural looking belly buttons, or who rush through surgery without addressing upper abdominal fullness may charge lower prices than plastic surgeons who have the training, ability and interest in providing the very best possible result.  

Breast augmentation should be in proportion with the rest of the body and breasts should be placed in such a way that the result looks and feels natural. Even appropriately sized breast implants can look unnatural is they are too high on the chest wall, too far apart or too close together.   

If you are concerned about a recovery, you could stage the procedure. The biggest savings is in taking less time off work for women who wrk outside the home. Most surgeons will offer a reduced fee for secondary proceeders as a way to show patient appreciation and also as a means for not making patients feel pressured into more surgery than they feel comfortable undergoing at one time.
Breast Lift and Augmentation (Augmentation Mastopexy):
The 'top half' of many 'mommy makeovers'
Augmentation mastopexy is designed to correct the two most common changes that occur in breast appearance following pregnancy: loss of breast volume, and stretching out of breast skin. While there are some moms who can get an acceptable cosmetic result from augmentation alone or from mastopexy alone, many moms have a combination of breast volume loss and skin excess that requires simultaneous augmentation and mastopexy (breast lift). I frequently perform this surgery in concert with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), and this combined breast and tummy rejuvenation surgery is sometimes referred to as a 'mommy makeover'.
Augmentation mastopexy is also commonly performed for major weight loss patients, including those who have had bariatric surgery including gastric banding and gastric bypass. Obesity followed by major weight loss usually produces breast changes that are very similar to those seen after successive pregnancies, and often the effect on breast skin is quite severe. Additionally, as a North Carolina breast implants surgeon, I regularly see patients with significant breast ptosis (the medical term for 'droopiness', pronounced TOE-sis) in young adulthood, without any history of pregnancy or major weight loss. Some breasts are just naturally droopy, and I have performed mastopexy and augmentation mastopexy for patients as young as 21 years.
This surgery is a potentially challenging one which requires thoughtful preoperative evaluation and planning, and careful attention to detail in the operating room. Many surgeons have traditionally performed breast augmentation and mastopexy surgery in stages, usually mastopexy first followed by augmentation at a later date. In the recent past more and more surgeons have adopted a non-staged, single surgery approach to augmentation and mastopexy, and that is what I propose for the vast majority of patients who I see in consultation that need both procedures. I believe that the results of simultaneous augmentation mastopexy are as good or better than a staged approach in most cases, and of course patients quite naturally prefer a single trip to the operating room if at all possible.
Some patients I see in consultation are primarily interested in a breast lift procedure. For those with a significant amount of existing breast tissue, a breast lift alone may produce an aesthetically ideal breast appearance. However, it can difficult to achieve significant fullness in the upper poles of the breasts (the upper aspect of the breasts, above the nipple-areola area) in many patients by means of a breast lift alone. I ask patients who are considering a breast lift procedure how important it is for them to have the appearance of some fullness in the upper part of the breasts, and to thereby achieve a significantly more youthful breast profile. For patients who confirm that this appearance is important to them, and who do not have enough natural upper pole breast tissue to achieve this appearance with a mastopexy alone, I recommend an augmentation mastopexy.
Other patients are primarily interested in increasing their breast volume, but have enough breast ptosis to make the appearance of breast augmentation alone odd and unappealing. Placing implants behind breasts with significant ptosis creates the appearance of breasts hanging off of a pair of implants, which looks distinctly unnatural and aesthetically unappealing. These patients are also best served by augmentation mastopexy, which in addition to increasing breast volume restores the position of the nipple-areola complex to the top of the breast mound, tightens the lower pole and lifts the breast.


Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Tummy tuck or Mommy Makeover can help remove loose tummy skin after pregnancy

+5

A tummy tuck is the procedure that is most commonly used to remove excess skin and tighten the tummy after pregnancy.

The "Mommy Makeover" also includes a breast lift and sometimes a breast enlargement or breast augmentation to lift and improve the breast profile.

If your only concern is loose tummy skin then a tummy tuck is all that you need. If you only have loose skin on the lower abdomen below the belly button, then a mini tummy tuck may well suffice.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

How Do I Get Rid Of Loose Skin After A Pregnancy?

+2
The Mommy Makeover addresses the three main areas in which loose skin is seen after one or more pregnancies.  The tummy tuck is the quintessential piece of the Mommy Makeover, but very often stretched out, droopy (ptotic) breasts also need some skin resection to make them perky again, and stretched out vaginal internal labial tissue, can be corrected by the excellent and versatile wedge technique. 
The tummy tuck normally consists of removal of loose skin between the belly button and the pubic area, a repositioning of the belly button, and a correction of separated muscles (rectus diastasis).  Tummy tucks come in various flavors.  There can be a mini tummy tuck or umbilical slide for women who don't have that much skin, or a full tummy tuck or an extended tummy tuck. 
With reference to stretched out or ptotic breasts, the choices of surgical correction include implants, a dual plane mastopexy with implants, a Benelli mastopexy with or without implants, or a full on traditional breast reduction/lift with or without implants.
Labiaplasty has gained significant popularity in recent years as women find out there is a surgery to correct both discomfort and appearance in this area of the body.
Obviously, with the complexity of the surgeries in these three areas of the Mommy Makeover which can often be accomplished in one surgical procedure, choosing the right plastic surgeon is absolutely essential.  Minimum criteria for your Mommy Makeover plastic surgeon is Board Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, membership in the Aesthetic Society, and years of experience not only in each individual surgery, but experience in combining these surgeries in a safe and professional environment.  Your surgeon must perform his or her surgeries in a certified surgery center or hospital and NOT in a doctor's office, have privileges at a local hospital, work with a Board Certified anesthesiologist, and have a dedicated staff of nurses and technicians.

S. Larry Schlesinger, MD, FACS
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 232 reviews

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Sagging skin after pregnancy

+2

Unfortunately, daily trips to the gym do nothing to tighten skin, I certainly wish they did. If it is an abdominal concern usually surgical removal (a panniculectomy) resolves the issue of sagging skin. Every one has heard of a tummy tuck-that includes muscle tightening with skin and fat removal. This is done under general anesthesia, and usually can be accomplished through a c-section like incision extending depending on the amount of skin to be removed to a hip to hip incision. There is also, again depending on the amount of redundancy to the skin a circular incision just inside the belly button. (we don't take it off)

 

If it is a saggy skin concern involving the breasts, some can be resolved with an augmentation, but more often than not, some sort of lift is also involved, either a limited incision lift or a full mastopexy with an implant. But again, it depends on the amount of sagging you are having. Good luck to you.

Thomas B. Lintner, MD, FACS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Loose and hanging abdominal skin, bulging muscles and excess fat are trimmed during a Mommy Makeover

+2

Many women find their abdomens have permanent changes following pregnancy, including stretch marks, loss of abdominal tone, excess skin and extra fat deposits that have accumulated since having babies.

Because the muscles of the abdominal wall are permanently separated after pregnancies (particular after multiple children or twin pregnancies), a million sit-ups will not help!

A "mommy makeover" surgical procedure should only be considered at least 6 months after the birth of your last child so that your body has the chance to recover as much as possible and to enable you to achieve as much as you can on your own, with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Two main Plastic Surgery procedures apply to the post-pregnancy tummy:

(1) Liposuction will remove excess fat in areas that are stubborn to weight loss, such as the abdomen, flanks, pubic area, and thighs. Liposuction will not address excess skin or stretch marks, and will not help to tighten abdominal tone.

(2) Abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" addresses both the inside and the outside of the abdominal wall, in a three-dimensional manner:

Tummy tuck surgery not only removes excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen (including some stretch marks), but it also tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall through "rectus plication". This step of surgery "corsets" the fascia overlying your abdominal muscles together in the midline and truly decreases the diameter of your waist from the inside! The bulge of pregnancy ("rectus diastasis", separation of the rectus abdominis muscles) is an integral part of this operation.

Depending on your particular situation, either liposuction or a tummy tuck, or both, may be recommended to achieve your specific goals.

An abdominoplasty has major downtime and recovery, and will require 4-6 weeks off of exercise and heavy activities that raise your heart rate or blood pressure, including carrying your children. You will need to have help with the activities of daily living during the immediate postoperative period, and ensure that you take care of yourself during this time, with others helping to care for your family!

Karen M. Horton, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Mommy Makeover to treat loose skin and remove stretch marks after pregnancy

+2

When plastic surgeons refer to a "mommy makeover," we are generally referring to tummy contouring (tummy tuck) and breast contouring (breast lift, augmentation, or a combo lift and augmentation). These procedures are very powerful in restoring the shape and volume of your breasts and restoring the contouring of your abdominal area. I perform about 1-2 mommy makeover procedures each week. Many moms have told me after their surgery that their breasts and tummy look even better than before they had kids.

My point: Moms are extremely happy with their transformation after these procedures.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 128 reviews

Mommy makeover

+2

The "mommy makeover" is a constellation of procedures to correct the changes that occur with pregnancy. They are chosen and customized to the needs of each patient and include tummy tucks, liposuction, breast augmentations and lifts primarily. These combinations of surgeries can return an hourglass figure from one that has become lax and pear shaped. Check my website for many examples.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Mommy Makeover

+2

SEE VIDEO BELOW BY CLICKING "MORE":

It sounds as if you are referring to a tummy tuck, either full or even extended, rather than a mommy makeover which typically refers to a tummy tuck in combination with breast procedures.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

What is a mommy makeover?

+2

A mommy makeover is something for the tummy, something for the breasts.

What that something is varies widely.  Just an implant?  A full lift with an implant?

For the tummy, a minimal revision of an unsightly C-section scar?  A mini tummy tuck?  A hybrid tummy tuck?  A full tummy tuck?  

How can a patient get a 'sneak preview' of what they might need and whether surgery might be appropriate for them?

The first step after pregnancy is to determine if you are done with children, and about 6 months done with breast feeding. You want to avoid possibly having to redo your breast surgery if you become pregnant right away!

Next, what breast size is necessary? If a larger size is needed, an implant is indicated to bring you up to the size you need to have.

Last, the distances you have from the breastplate to the nipples will give a good indication of whether or not a lift is needed, and if so what type of lift. Avoid getting a really large implant to overcome droopiness; this may just leave you with large breasts with a low positioned nipple-areolar complex.

This is a straightforward triage system that treats loss of volume with an implant and droopiness with a lift.

Many artistic decisions go into the surgery itself, of course, such as how much tension is put on the incisions, which breast lift techniques are used, how the breast is shaped, etc.

Also, when both an augmentation and a lift are done at the same time, you might put pressure on the blood supply to the nipple. When both procedures are performed together, it is extremely important to select a surgeon with a great deal of experience in determining "how much" is safe. A skilled surgeon minimizes bad scarring and nipple-areolar disasters by not exceeding the ability of the tissues to supply blood to the operated areas. In some high risk cases, such as a previous above the muscle implant, it may be better to stage the surgeries.

Next to the tummy.

Which parts of the tummy need help?  The lower and the upper abdomen?  Most women have loosening of the fascia (diastasis recti) well above the belly button, so tightening of this layer is advisable (that's why a mini tummy tuck, while initially appealing, is not right for most patients).

The type of tummy tuck depends on how extensive the damage is and where it is.  There are now many tummy tucks available, everything from mini to in between to full.  Are there hernias also present (midline, belly button, incisional, even inguinal)?  A tummy tuck is a great time to fix those hernias as well.

So that's the mommy makeover in a nutshell.  Next step is to consult with several reputable board certified plastic surgeons.  Besides the price and the actual surgery being done correctly and tailored specifically for the patient, the patient wants to know they will be taken care of.  Chances are you will know the moment after your consultation that you have found Dr. Right.

 

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Mommy makeover

+1
The mommy makeover operation is ideal to address the loose skin of the abdomen and breasts that results from pregnancy.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.