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Mommy Makeover: Postpartum Body Contouring

Media 21 November 2011

Dr. Greg Pataki plastic surgeon about Mommy Makeover reconstructive procedures.

I will never be the same again – think many moms looking in the mirror. Childbearing causes changes in the body shape of new mothers that are uncomfortable and permanent in some cases. You do not have to live with these consequences!

The women’s body changes during and after pregnancy and lactation. Hormonal changes and giving birth means extreme stress for the body of the expectant mothers – says Dr. Pataki. „Beside the weight gain, the skin and connective tissue flexibility changes, the breasts and the abdomen start to sag. What is more, there may be changes in the internal and external genital organs as well. The body proportions may also change, which often leads to loss of confidence and other psychological problems. A mother should not be ashamed at all because of these. Pregnancy and the subsequent months are the most beautiful period of the female existence. It often happens that dieting and sports do not help to achieve the pre-pregnancy shape. Based on a reasoned request, plastic surgical interventions may be needed to achieve the desired results. It is indisputable that the plastic surgeries provide a lot of help in cases such as a completely „flattened” breasts or badly drooping stomach after a bigger weight loss. A reconstructive surgery can improve well-being and the quality of life.

What is a Mommy Makeover?

The American term means complex aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery after giving birth, which is designed to offset undesirable effects of childbirth and lactation, improving the physical appearance.

„According to the patient’s condition and needs, we correct the shape and firmness of the breasts with Breast Lift or Breast Augmentation, often combining these two. In case of excess tissue growth a Breast Reduction leads to excellent results, which also gives the opportunity to correct the size and the position of the nipple and areola. Excess fat from the bottom, waist, abdomen, thighs and arms can be removed with Liposuction. The abdominal wall is exposed to enormous strain during pregnancy: the straight abdominal muscles may separate from each other, and the connective tissue in the midline can lose its firmness. When this happens, we tighten the tissues below and above the navel, bring the straight abdominal muscles closer, and take care of the common umbilical hernia if needed. Finally, we remove excess sagging skin. Thigh and arm sculpting is also possible during the same intervention – says Dr. Greg Pataki. Labia minora reduction and labia majora lipofilling with autologous fat are often a part of Mommy Makeovers.

„The pregnancy leave marks on the face, too. Chin and nose can also change because of the level of hormones. As the skin loses elasticity, new wrinkles and pigmentation spots may appear. We recommend additional treatments for these. Hyaluronic Acid Treatment is a perfect solution to smooth out static wrinkles, but Laser Therapy is also highly effective.

1. Facial Treatments 2. Breast Lift 3. Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) 4. Liposuction 5. Vertical scar of Breast Lift 6. Horizontal scar of Abdominoplasty (Drawing: Dr. Pataki)

When should a new mother lie on the operating table for aesthetic surgeries after giving birth?

„About six months needed after the end of the breastfeeding period to restore hormone balance. It is definitely advisable to wait for this time in case of major interventions” – emphasizes the doctor. „Conscious eating and doing sports are recommended get back your ideal body weight, because plastic surgery techniques are not a substitute for weight loss programs. Minor adjustments can be done after the first child, but a full Mommy Makeover is recommended when no more babies are in the plan. Of course you can also give birth after a Tummy Tuck, but getting pregnant is not recommended for one and a half year after surgery to regenerate the abdomen stitched together. Breast Augmentation with implants usually allows breastfeeding without a problem. However, breastfeeding difficulties are more common after Breast Lift or Breast Reduction.

Multiple interventions at the same time?

„The first consultation is particularly important because of complexity of figure correction after weight loss. During this, the patient gets personalized advice on the possible interventions. Surgical elements can be performed separately, but for a perfect transformation they should be combined with each other. Those who decide to have a single, combined, multiple-area surgery session must choose their plastic surgeon and hospital very carefully. It is worth to carry out the corrections simultaneously because of several reasons. The total recovery time is faster than when doing them separately. Last but not least, the overall price is much lower this way.”

Quick Recovery, Small Scars

Of course, Mommy Makeover also involves some discomfort.

„Thanks to the small incisions and modern surgical techniques, the healing process is very quick. The patients may get up from the bed on the day of the surgery and do some grooming. The pain is well-controlled, and fades away in a short time” – explains Dr. Pataki. „Due to the rapid development of techniques, plastic surgical scars are much smaller than in the past. We tend to achieve the greatest change from the smallest scar possible. The surgeries cause less pain and heal faster, so the lasting results can be seen quickly. Even a 6-7 cm incision may be enough to perform the so-called Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty) and the correction of caesarean section scars. Stitch removal usually takes place two weeks later. A special medical corset belt should be worn 4-6 weeks after Tummy Tuck, compression dress after Liposuction, and postoperative bra after Breast Cosmetic Surgery. Light sports are allowed 3-4 weeks after suture removal, but wait 6-8 weeks for a more serious workout. Take extra care of yourself until the stitches are removed! It is important to know that all surgery has its general and specific risk, which should be discussed during the consultation. Depending on the number of body areas affected, mothers spend 1-3 days in the hospital. In case of Abdominoplasty, Liposuction, and Breast Cosmetic Surgery it is usually 2 days, but if this is coupled with Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery, we talk about 3 days.

Intimate Areas Are Not A Taboo!

In addition to the mentioned aesthetic plastic surgery interventions, Mommy Makeover also contains Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery procedures, such as Labiaplasty and Vaginoplasty. The treatment of incontinence is also possible. The complex surgical package of Premium Plastic Surgery includes not only aesthetic, but gynecological restoration as well.

Contradictory Expectations

A significant number of women are dissatisfied with their bodies after giving birth. Mothers are ashamed of their shape, have issues with their body-confidence, and find themselves  in a constant struggle due to biological changes during pregnancy. The ideal of the society that we know from the media is very contradictory. On the one hand it declares that omen after childbirth should no longer yearn to be „hot”, and be proud of the irreversible changes gained during pregnancy and childbirth as the symbols of maternity. On the other hand, it would be mandatory to leave the delivery room in a perfect shape. The truth is in the middle, as always: those who cannot accept the change and therefore became unhappy, do not be afraid to consult a plastic surgeon because help is available. If the mother’s self-esteem is restored, she will be more balanced, which brings a positive change in the life of the children and the whole family.

Good To Know

  • Visit your chosen plastic surgeon a couple of months before the planned surgery, and ask their opinion about the possibilities.
  • High doses of vitamin C, zinc, and chromium promotes regeneration of collagen fibers.
  • The price of the Mommy Makeover package is much cheaper than in the case of separate interventions.
  • There were 400 000 Mommy Makeover producers in the U.S. in 2010, and this number grows from year to year.

Source: Kiskegyed Fitt magazine (November 2011)

More information about Mommy Makeover >>


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