After giving birth, women often find their bodies radically altered. They generally notice loose skin, sagging breasts, and stretched stomach muscles. The Mommy Makeover refers to a set of procedures, which typically includes an Abdominoplasty (otherwise known as a “Tummy Tuck”), a Breast Lift/Breast Augmentation, and Liposuction, that is meant to counteract the effects of pregnancy and breastfeeding on women’s bodies. This article discusses several surgeries that can be typically included in a Mommy Makeover.
While liposuction can be performed on a wide range of body parts (including the hips, arms, buttocks, back, neck, and face), new mothers often use it to target fat deposits on their thighs and stomachs, since both areas are highly impacted by pregnancy and breastfeeding. In addition to removing fat, liposuction also involves shaping and contouring of the body. This is accomplished by inserting a thin hollow stainless steel tube (known as a “cannula”) through an incision in the skin and using a vacuum-suction to extricate the undesired fat.
There are numerous liposuction techniques available, ranging from those that are no longer considered safe (such as Dry Liposuction) to those that meet more current industry standards (such as Tumescent Liposuction). Depending on the liposuction technique chosen and the amount of fat removed, the performing surgeon may choose to use either local or general anaesthetic.
Liposuction procedures themselves are often completed in a single day. In the majority of cases, patients spend at least 6 hours in the hospital, but are permitted to return home on the same day. However, hospital time is increased when a general anaesthetic is employed prior to surgery. Apart from exceptional circumstances, doctors will keep patients who received general anaesthetic in medical care at a hospital room overnight. Following the procedure, the patient should try to sleep as much as possible to accelerate the body’s natural ability to recuperate.
An abdominoplasty (or “Tummy Tuck”) is a procedure that flattens your abdomen by removing excess fat and skin, and by strengthening the abdominal wall. It begins with an administering of medication, either in the form of intravenous sedation or general anaesthesia. The option chosen will depend on the surgeon and the unique needs of the patient.
Next, the surgeon will make an incision in the lower abdominal region, between the pubic hairline and the belly button. The size and shape of the incision are contingent upon the amount of the patient’s excess skin. The surgeon proceeds to lift the abdominal skin, which enables him/her to restore and tighten weakened muscles and fascia in the abdominal wall. Loose skin and tissue are removed, and the stomach area is flattened and tightened.
Depending on the distribution of excess skin and the aesthetic objectives of the doctor and patient, a second incision around the navel may be needed to remove loose skin in the upper abdomen. As Abdominoplasty does not specifically target fat cells, the surgery does not involve the use of a cannula or microcannula, as it would in the case of liposuction procedures. Following tissue removal, the surgeon will suture the remaining skin together.
Surgeons have various methods for performing a breast augmentation. One common example is fat transfer or fat grafting: in this procedure, surgeons harvest fat from one part of the body and then transplant or inject it into the breasts. Since the adipose tissue comes from the patient’s own body, volume gain is limited to the amount of fat available for harvest on the rest of the body. Thus, fat grafting is most often recommended for clients seeking modest increases in breast volume. In optimal circumstances, patients can gain as much as two cup sizes. Potential risks of fat grafting in breast augmentation include calcification, scarring, and the development of cysts.
Breast implant surgery is another common method of breast augmentation. Varieties include silicone or saline implants. While silicone implants are comprised of silicone shells that hold silicone gel within them, saline implants use silicone shells filled with sterile salt water. Typically, it takes the surgeon between one and two hours to the complete either procedure. Both procedures include two immediate post-surgery options: 1) “outpatient,” where the patient can return home on the same day, or 2) an overnight stay in the hospital. The option chosen depends on the severity of the procedure and the patient’s comfort level. The benefits that implants have over fat grafting include greater potential for breast symmetry and the possibility for more dramatic volume gain. While saline and silicone implants do not pose some of the health risks that fat transfer does (such as cysts and calcification), it is possible for either of these types to leak. In the case of saline implants, a rupture will cause the breasts to deflate almost immediately; silicone implants, however, do not necessarily deflate after a rupture. Therefore, post-operative patients should be vigilant if any symptoms such as pain or soreness arise, as these may be indicators of a leak. In terms of which of the two implants yield more positive results, women often report that silicone feels more like real breasts than saline.
There are four different types of breast lifts, which are determined by the type of incision the surgeon uses. The type of incision depends on the degree of sagging. The following is a summary of the incision types, from the most to the least drastic:
- The “anchor” method is the oldest method – the surgeon makes an incision around the perimeter of the areola, down the breast crease (the bottom of the breast), and horizontally around the bottom of the circumference. The “anchor” is appropriate for the most severe cases of breast sagging.
- With the “keyhole” method, the surgeon makes an incision around the perimeter of the areola and down the breast crease (the bottom of the breast).
- The “donut lift” only involves an incision around the areola.
- The surgeon will only make an incision on the upper half of the areola for the “crescent” lift.
Potential clients should educate themselves and talk to the practitioner to ensure they are receiving the procedure that best suits the severity of their sagging breasts and their aesthetic desires.
Cellulite is a condition where the skin appears dimpled and lumpy; it is caused by an excess of underlying (subcutaneous) fat deposits. Cellulite can be brought on by an increase of estrogen during pregnancy. This hormone causes fat to accumulate in areas that are already prone to fat increase, and it weakens connective tissues that would otherwise keep muscles firm. Furthermore, the sedentary lifestyle the majority of women lead during pregnancy contributes to the stubbornness of these fat deposits over time.
Women often opt for Cellulite Removal Therapy as part of their “Mommy Makeover,” since it helps counteract the aforementioned side effects of pregnancy. Its objective is to help patients regain the smooth, firm skin they had before pregnancy. The procedure involves the injection of vitamins, amino acids, and homeopathic ingredients into areas such as the stomach, thighs, and buttocks, which are most commonly affected by these subcutaneous fat deposits. The compounds break down and liquefy the fat, which is then eliminated through the body’s internal waste system.
Stretch Mark Removal
Stretch marks occur when the dermis (the middle layer of skin) is stretched beyond its limit. Three out of four women are afflicted with stretch marks after having a child. During pregnancy and childbirth, the skin expands a great deal, causing a number of tiny tears in the dermis of the legs, abdomen, hips, thighs, and buttocks. Eventually, this leads to internal scarring that appears on the skin surface as white, vein-like marks (these are known as “striae”).
These marks can be unsightly and cause new mothers to feel self-conscious. Beyond the more mild forms of remedy, such as creams and lotions, surgery may be an option for removing stretch marks. Another common procedure involves the use of lasers. The cutting edge lasers that Clinic 360 uses encourage skin growth, which will help produce an even and smooth aesthetic for the new mother.
Non-smokers and those in good overall health are the ideal candidates for Mommy Makeover procedures. Smoking is discouraged as it slows down the healing process. Clients are advised to quit smoking at least six weeks leading up to the procedures. Liposuction and abdominoplasty procedures cannot prevent individuals from gaining weight following the surgery. Therefore, it is also crucial to maintain a good diet and exercise regime after a Mommy Makeover.
Prospective clients should be aware that the costs of Mommy Makeovers tend to be substantially higher than individual procedures. Because every woman is different, an individual consultation is the best way to accurately price a Mommy Makeover. It is also important to note that the risks for complications will necessarily increase with each additional surgery. Nevertheless, while performing several procedures together may slightly lengthen recovery time, it can actually put less stress on the body than separate surgeries. Furthermore, the risks associated with anaesthesia, bleeding, and infection is greatly reduced. Finally, Patients should consult the risks for each individual surgery as well as a board-certified surgeon before deciding on the combination that best suits their needs.