What is “Plastic Surgery”?
The word “plastic” derives from the Greek word “Plastikos,” which means to mold or change form. Plastic surgery involves both reconstructive procedures and cosmetic surgery.
“Cosmetic surgery” is plastic surgery designed to improve the appearance of the body or counteract the effect of aging. It can often improve body image, self-esteem and help to restore a more youthful appearance.
What is “Mommy Makeover” Surgery?
A Mommy Makeover is a cosmetic surgery procedure aimed at making a mother look the way she did before she had children, or perhaps even better than before!
Pregnancy affects each woman differently, with age and genetics playing a role in how the body recovers. Most women have permanent changes after pregnancy such as stretch marks, breast deflation/drooping, extra abdominal skin and loss of abdominal muscle tone. Repeated pregnancies and magnify these changes.
This article will briefly review surgical options available for moms to rejuvenate their bodies when they have finished childbearing.
Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
A breast lift, or mastopexy, reshapes the breast, removes excess skin, lifts the breasts and raises the nipples and areolae.
In some instances, an implant is also inserted at the same time to achieve more projection and volume with the lift. Surgery takes two to three hours on average and may be done as an outpatient procedure (no overnight stay).
During breast augmentation, an implant is placed inside the breast to add volume lost from pregnancy or breastfeeding. Implants come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are filled saline (salt water) or silicone gel-filled.
Breast implants are safe, and are the most extensively tested medical device available. There has been a significant amount of controversy over the use of silicone in breast implants, with sensationalization of these devices by the media.
More information about breast implants can be found at www.breastimplantanswers.com.
Breast reduction treats symptoms of hypermastia (back pain, neck or shoulder pain, shoulder grooving, rashes beneath the breasts). The breasts are made smaller, lifted and reshaped. The areola size is also reduced.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
In an abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”), lower abdominal skin and fat is permanently removed.
Abdominal muscles weakened or separated by pregnancy are also “corseted” together on the inside.
During liposuction, excess fat in localized areas (hips, thighs, abdomen and flanks) is permanently removed. Compression garments gently compress the area and to encourage skin contraction after surgery.
Liposuction treats only concentrated pockets of fat resistant to diet and exercise, and is not a weight-loss method.
Summary and a Word of Caution
Your Plastic Surgeon should be Board-Certified in Plastic Surgery. Remember that any surgery is a major procedure! There should be a good “fit” in personality between you and your surgeon. Visit a number of doctors until you feel you have found the very best fit for you!
Moms should wait at least six months after completing their last pregnancy and breastfeeding before considering any surgical procedure.
Women should be in good physical shape—a healthy diet and regular exercise regime should be optimized for at least six months before surgery.
How you feel about yourself as a mother and a woman is integral to the strength of your family. It is not self-centered or vain to take care of yourself or to want to feel youthful, sexy and self-confident. Having a positive self-image certainly benefits you, but it also can improve your interactions with loved ones.
You may be a Mommy, but never forget that you are still your own person.
Surgery is not for everyone, and should be taken very seriously. By learning about procedures such as the Mommy Makeover, you are empowering yourself as a Mom to make informed decisions about your body.