A Mommy Makeover is a combination of body contouring procedures that helps mothers return to their pre-childbearing, girlish figures. Most commonly, a Mommy Makeover is performed in one stage and consists of a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), and breast enhancement with implants (breast augmentation). However, a Mommy Makeover can also be split into two operations (staged) and can include other procedures such as breast lifting (mastopexy), breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) and liposuction of the abdomen, hips, thighs and back. Each Mommy Makeover is unique and is tailored to your individual needs.
What happens to your body during pregnancy?
Many mothers are concerned that breastfeeding their baby will destroy the youthful look and shape of their breasts. The truth is breastfeeding alone is not the only culprit. Changes in the breasts actually occur during pregnancy whether or not a mother chooses to breast feed her baby. As the body prepares for lactation (milk production) themilk glands in the breast swell, replacing the other fatty tissue. After childbirth, these glands frequently shrink. What is left is a loose “skin envelope” that lacks enough breast tissue to fill it. A woman’s breasts are frequently less full, tend to sag lower than they did prior to becoming pregnant, and commonly develop stretch marks.
Nowhere else are the bodily changes of pregnancy more evident than on a woman’s abdomen. The hormonal changes that women experience during pregnancy are normal and serve mainly to allow the abdominal wall muscles to relax. This frequently creates a separation of the abdominal muscles (rectus diastasis) to accommodate the size of the baby as it grows within a woman’s uterus. Although some women’s abdominal tissues will return to their pre-pregnancy state, most do not and end up having loose, sagging skin, disfiguring stretch marks (striae), bulging lower abdominal muscles or possibly a combination of all of these. Many women undergo C-section delivery or have had previous abdominal surgery, both of which can leave thick, unattractive and painful scars. These problems will not disappear with weight loss or with physical training.
Although most women are able to lose the weight that they have gained during pregnancy, many notice that they have a few stubborn areas of fat that simply “won’t go away;” even with aggressive exercise regimens. Again, many of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy create permanent defects such as these localized fatty deposits on the hips, back and thighs.
What procedures are possible in a Mommy Makeover?
Plastic surgery offers safe, natural-looking implants that return breasts to their youthful contour. Options for breast implants now include saline and silicone breast implant devices. Dr. Brenner can perform breast augmentation on an outpatient basis, either alone, or in combination with other body contouring procedures. The small incisions are carefully placed so as to be minimally detectable. Access incisions are usually made under each breast (in the fold) or around the nipples. Implants may be inserted just under the gland of the breast (sub-glandular) or beneath the muscle tissue (sub-muscular). Choice of location depends both on each individual’s breast anatomy, as well as each patient’s preference.
Some women experience extensive enlargement of their breasts during pregnancy, which subsequently subsides following delivery. In addition to the postpartum loss of fat tissue, swelling can cause the skin to stretch and sag. No amount of exercise will re-tighten this skin. An outpatient procedure called “mastopexy” can remove excess skin, raise the position of your nipple and areola and reduce sagging. The type of scars that result from this operation can differ for each patient, and largely depends on the extent of excess skin that is present.
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3) Breast Reduction
For women whose breasts are excessively large and do not atrophy after childbirth, a breast reduction operation may be helpful. This operation is very similar to a breast lift, except that it involves removal of a portion of the breast tissue as well. Again, the scars that are created differ from patient to patient.
Tummy Tuck (also known as abdominoplasty or dermal lipectomy) is a procedure that can remove the “pooch” of excess skin that lies below your navel. It can get rid of stretch marks and turn a very visible vertical C-section scar into a small bikini line that’s easy to conceal. For most women, this procedure can be done on an outpatient basis with a one night stay at a nurse-supervised surgical recovery facility. Dr, Brenner can also perform this operation at the same time as a tubal ligation, labial rejuvenation (labiaplasty) or hysterectomy, in conjunction with a patient’s obstetrician. This combination of procedures may require a short in-patient hospital stay.
The abdominoplasty procedure most commonly involves a curved incision in the bikini line that extends from hip to hip. The length of the incision depends greatly on each individual’s body shape and habitus. The excess skin that exists between the bikini line and the belly-button (umbilicus) is removed. The skin and fat of the abdominal wall is then carefully separated from the underlying muscle. This requires a circular incision around the belly button (umbilicus). The underlying muscle is then sewn together to tighten it and flatten the abdominal contour. The skin and fat is then pulled snugly down to the bikini line and a new hole is created for the belly-button in order to keep it located centrally. Frequently, Dr. Brenner will be able to conceal a portion of the umbilical incision so that it is less visible to observers. Two plastic tube drains are placed underneath the abdominal wall to help remove any fluid that normally would accumulate after this operation. The drains are usually removed after one or two weeks following the operation.
For women who have a hernia through their navel (umbilical hernia), this can usually be repaired at the same time as the abdominoplasty procedure. Umbilical hernias can lead to serious health risks if left untreated (chronic pain, bowel obstruction, small intestinal damage), so they should be repaired. A hernia repair is a medically indicated procedure and is usually covered by most health insurance plans. Dr. Brenner will work with your insurance carrier to help you learn if this operation is a covered benefit within your plan.
5) Mini-Tummy Tuck (Mini-abdominoplasty)
If you have only a small amount of excess skin, you may be a candidate for a Mini-Tummy Tuck; a less extensive procedure that still yields an impressive improvement. It is best for patients with subtle skin and fat excesses of the lower abdomen or unattractive lower abdominal scars from previous surgery. It is possible to tighten the muscles, but only below the belly button and in smaller amounts than with a full abdominoplasty. Only a small percentage of patients are good candidates for a mini-tummy tuck.
In a minority of patients, it may be possible to “float” the belly button. This means that the belly button will remain intact and will be pulled downward with the advancing abdominal skin. The belly button, however, is not moved so far as to require a circular incision for repositioning. Floating the belly button may result in significantly improved abdominal contour, but the results are not as dramatic as with a full tummy tuck.
Now the most commonly requested cosmetic surgery procedure, liposuction can especially benefit women after pregnancy. Liposuction is an outpatient procedure, and for small areas, can be done under local anesthetic. Dr. Brenner can re-sculpt your body, removing fat deposits from the hips, back and thighs. Liposuction is not appropriate as a weight loss tool for women who are generally overweight, but it does work exceptionally well for contouring certain areas. For this reason, it is recommended that you be as close to your desired weight before having the procedure.
If you are seriously considering a Mommy Makeover in Beverly Hills, your next step is to contact Dr. Brenner for a comprehensive evaluation. During the consultation you will meet personally with Dr. Brenner and learn if you are a good candidate for surgery. Dr. Brenner will thoroughly review your concerns and design an operative plan that meets your needs.