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As a plastic surgeon, I get asked a lot: “What exactly is a mommy makeover?” There’s been a ton of recent press for the procedure; from Kim Kardashian to ‘Teen Mom’ Briana DeJesus, famous (and infamous) women have been in the news for the catchy-sounding surgery.

But what kind of surgery is it? The Mommy Makeover is basically just a set of plastic surgery procedures performed together which can be seen to enhance areas of the body typically affected negatively by childbirth. That’s it!

The idea behind the Mommy Makeover was to create a package of surgeries that could help women to reclaim their bodies after the stresses of pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, all of which can take their toll. Each of these surgical procedures focuses on toning, re-contouring, and enhancing the body in some way.

Given the name, many women assume it is a surgical package designed only for women who’ve had children. The reality is that “Mommy Makeover” is not a medical term, and there is no postnatal prerequisite involved at all.  While these surgical designs are perfect for women who have had even one baby, there is nothing about the procedures themselves that makes them exclusive to mothers.

Every single one of the surgeries included in a Mommy Makeover is chosen by women of all ages and walks of life almost every day. The beauty of the Mommy Makeover is the benefit of having them performed together for one complete body restoration.

Below, I’ll go into the individual procedures and what they entail, and whether a Mommy Makeover -- whether you’re a mommy or not! -- is right for you.

Breast Lift/Breast Augmentation

Many women will experience saggy and uneven breasts following pregnancy weight gain/loss and breastfeeding.  A breast lift, medically termed mastopexy, can provide a firmer looking appearance by removing excess fat while tightening breast tissue and ligaments.  If women desire to truly enhance their breast size, a breast augmentation procedure can be performed with saline or silicone gel implant insertion.  

Many women can also experience enlarged areolas due to breastfeeding or stretching of the nipple tissue.  This can be treated with an areola reduction procedure in conjunction with the breast lift and/or breast augmentation.

Breast Reduction

While more women experience a loss in breast volume after pregnancy, some women are left with undesirably large breasts.  Excessively large breasts can lead to a variety of problems, including breathing complications and skeletal deformities.  A breast reduction surgery removes excess fatty tissue to reshape and lighten the breasts, providing both health benefits and a more proportionate physical appearance.

Liposuction

Why liposuction? These are stores that the body has created in inconvenient places, like the upper arms or the back of the knees. After pregnancy, these stored fat deposits are common around the abdomen.

Unfortunately, neither exercise nor dieting can rid the body of some stubborn fat pockets.  Most women who have undergone cesarean section delivery are left with a layer of fat that drapes over the incision scar and plastic surgery is the only long-term solution.  

Liposuction techniques utilize small incisions through which a cannula is inserted to excise and suction out fatty tissue.  Liposuction can help remove stubborn fat from the stomach, hips, buttocks and thighs, offering a more sculpted and contoured appearance.

Abdominoplasty

Pregnancy stretches the abdomen wall leading to loose, saggy skin and weakened abdominal muscles.  Abdominoplasty, simply known as a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and tightens the abdominal muscles to provide a slimmer and more toned appearance.

Butt Lift

Also known as gluteal augmentation, this procedure can help firm, tighten, and lift the buttocks. Sagging and inelasticity is common in this area after pregnancy, weight changes, and aging. Improve the contour of your entire body with targeted changes to the buttocks.

Another procedure in fashion is known as the ‘Brazilian Butt Lift,’ named after the country that pioneered the procedure. The Brazilian Butt Lift is actually a combination of liposuction and gluteal augmentation, by suctioning out one’s fat and injecting into the buttocks, creating a rounder, more shapely rear.

Who Else Can a Mommy Makeover Help?

Any of the procedures listed above can women to reverse the damage done to their bodies by weight gain and weight loss, age, and heredity. While pregnancy and breastfeeding play a significant role in stretching out the muscles of the abdomen or creating fat deposits around the hips, they aren’t the only causes for these common problems.

A Mommy Makeover can benefit any woman who is displeased with her body shape and would like multiple procedures to correct it. Breast surgeries, for starters, are performed on women of various ages who would like to lift, enhance, or reduce their breasts. This is not dependent on a pregnancy, as many other factors can affect your breasts.

Tummy tucks, liposuction, and butt lifts can also help patients of all types achieve the body contour they desire.  These are considered body contouring procedures that can tone and trim key areas of the body. The tummy tuck focuses only on the abdomen with a fully comprehensive approach to fat, muscle, and loose skin. Tummy tucks are not only ideal for women who have had children, but also for patients who have recently lost a dramatic amount of weight.

For other prospective Mommy Makeover patients, such trouble spots can be almost anywhere, creeping up over time. It’s not necessary to have a history of weight gain to accumulate this stubborn fat. Almost anyone can become a candidate for liposuction surgery.

Mommy Makeover surgeries can be uniquely designed to address problem areas, from hips and tummies to breasts and buttocks. While the physical benefits of a Mommy Makeover may be the most obvious, the procedure can do even more for women emotionally and psychologically.

Mommy Makeover Tips

  • As everybody is unique, so will every Mommy Makeover be.  It is important to discuss your cosmetic concerns and goals with your surgeon to define realistic outcomes.  Your surgeon may recommend one procedure or all to realize the full potential of your mommy makeover transformation.The body is a single unit; it only makes sense to ensure that everything is done with a single vision for the final shape.

  • To maximize and appreciate the long lasting benefits of your procedure, your surgeon will likely recommend that you postpone your mommy makeover until you are done having children.

  • No matter which of these procedures interests you, it’s important that you are in good physical health before undergoing any plastic surgery. After childbearing, breastfeeding, and aging have changed your body, the procedure can help you regain a more youthful and toned appearance.

  • Love your beautiful post-baby body! Being a mom can be exhausting and draining, but you deserve to feel good about yourself. In fact, being confident and loving the way you look can work wonders for your mood and energy levels.

Post written By Dr. Douglas Steinbrech

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