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Post-Pregnancy Procedures Can Help Get Your Body Back to Its Original Appearance

Sep 9, 2008
Having a baby is truly a blessing and one of the most fulfilling journeys a woman can take. A new child brings so much happiness, but having babies takes a toll on your body. Some women feel self-conscious about the effects that pregnancy has had on their bodies. The stretching of the stomach muscles and skin, breasts, thighs, and other areas during pregnancy can lead to stretch marks, loose and sagging skin and excess fat deposits. Surgeons understand the changes that occur during pregnancy and the effects that breast feeding has on the body. Many women are choosing to have babies at an older age and often it takes more of a toll on the body.

To counteract the effects of pregnancy on their bodies, some women choose to have a "Mommy Makeover." These procedures are meant to address the effects of pregnancy that cannot be reversed through diet and exercise. The "mommy makeover" is not one specific procedure; it is a combination of procedures performed at the same time to correct the problems that have occurred as a result of childbirth and breast feeding. A mommy makeover isn't just for recent moms; some women wait several years before treating themselves.

There are many factors to consider before undergoing a "mommy makeover," such as your current health, the areas of your body you want to improve, and how post-pregnancy plastic surgery will affect you and your family. If you have successfully lost weight after your pregnancy but cannot get rid of stubborn areas of fat and/or sagging skin, you are probably a good candidate for these cosmetic procedures. Your surgeon will assist you in the decision regarding what kind of procedures you want to include in your makeover, and in developing realistic expectations for your results.

Post Pregnancy

Post-pregnancy surgery should not be done until you have allowed time for your body to fully recover. It is amazing what time, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle can do to improve your body. However, there are typical changes are common, such as deflated appearing breasts or the dreaded shelf that appears after a c-section, which cannot be fixed by diet, exercise or creams. Surgeons can assist you in evaluating your choices and determine the plan that is best suited for you. Plastic surgery after pregnancy isn't necessary for every woman. But for many, it allows women a way to reclaim their bodies after having babies. The benefits to self-esteem and sexuality can be very rewarding.

Breast Enhancement

The type of corrective breast surgery best suited for you depends on what changes have occurred. Many women become unhappy with the shape and size of their breasts after having children, and look to post-pregnancy plastic surgery for help. Pregnancy can cause the breasts to sag and lose their former perky appearance and can also cause an increase or decrease in cup size. For women who want their breasts to look as good as they did before having kids, there are several types of breast surgery available, including breast augmentation with breast implants, breast lift and a breast reduction. These procedures can be performed in addition to other procedures as part of a full mommy makeover.

Breast Augmentation

If you are a woman who has small or deflated breasts that are not drooping then breast augmentation is the right choice for you. Breast implants (either saline or silicone) are an ideal way to give back your volume, lift the breasts, and give some shape back to the breast tissue itself. A breast augmentation is the ideal way to increase the volume and improve the shape with a simple surgery that requires only a small scar.

Breast Augmentation and Lift

If you have small breasts with sagging skin then breast augmentation is still a good choice for you. However, you may also require a breast lift or mastopexy. The issue for women who have sagging breast tissue is that a breast implant may not correct the drooping by itself. You may need to do a lift in order to tighten the skin and breast tissue around the implant. A common story told by women who breast fed their babies is, "I liked the size that I was during pregnancy and breastfeeding. After I stopped breastfeeding I was left with small, sagging breasts." A breast implant with a lift can give you back the appearance of full, perky breasts.

Breast Lift

If you feel that your breasts are sagging but the volume is ideal then a breast lift is the correct choice for you. When you have enough breast tissue, the best option is to lift your own volume of breast tissue in order to achieve a more lifted, perky appearance. Not all women need to have an implant to achieve full, perky breasts.

Breast Reduction

Breast reduction is the operation for you if you have large, drooping breasts. The tradeoff with this operation is the scarring. In order to achieve smaller, lifted breasts there are scars on the breast. Scarring will fade with time and most patients feel that the scars are worth the result of smaller breasts.

Body Contouring and Correction

During pregnancy, the skin and muscle tissue in the abdominal area will inevitably stretch, often causing a looser, "flabbier" tummy. Sometimes even weight loss and rigorous strength training will not restore that flat, firm tummy that you had before pregnancy. A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) can help regain a firm, smooth tummy by removing excess skin and tightening the abdominal muscles.

The degree of skin loosening depends on genetic skin tone, how much weight you gained and how many times you've been pregnant. These factors can lead to hanging skin, stretch-marks, or just excess loose skin. This excess skin is often referred to as "the muffin top." It is the annoying skin that hangs over the waist of your jeans, even though your jeans are not too tight. Yes, this even happens to thin women. Unfortunately there is no cream or exercise that will improve skin tone or elasticity. The best way to tighten the abdomen is to remove the excess.

Liposuction, tummy tuck, and mini-tummy tuck offer solutions to many of these problems. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a two layer approach that tightens the underlying muscles and the overlying loose skin. Mini-tummy tuck addresses the skin below the belly button and can be combined with liposuction. A smaller amount of skin is removed with a mini-tummy tuck and does not leave a scar around the belly button.

The stretching of the stomach muscles and skin, breasts, thighs, and other areas during pregnancy can lead to stretch marks, loose and sagging skin and excess fat deposits. Many women complain that they just can't lose the last ten pounds even with diet and exercise. The body procedure that is best suited for you will depend on which areas have been most affected by your pregnancies.

Liposuction

If you have excess fat and good skin tone your optimal choice is liposuction. Liposuction can effectively remove pockets of fat that will not respond to a healthy diet and frequent exercise.

Tummy Tuck

If you have excess fat and poor skin tone your optimal choice is an abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck. This can be combined with liposuction on other areas of your body (if needed) to give you a smooth, natural contour.

Mini Tummy Tuck

Many women have excess fat and some loose skin, but their skin is not so loose as to require a full abdominoplasty. This tends to be the category where women who have the 'muffin top' or the stretched out skin near the belly button, fit in. It's enough to be annoying, but sometimes not enough to warrant the scar that will be left by a full tummy tuck. These patients tend to choose liposuction alone or liposuction with a mini tummy tuck.

In summary, determining the best option for you requires a careful evaluation of your goals and expectations. Your surgeon will discuss this in detail during your consult. The surgery is usually done in an outpatient surgery center. Surgeries can frequently be combined when desired. There are benefits to combining surgeries, such as being under anesthetic only once, having one recovery period, and some cost savings. You will need someone else to help you with your children immediately after the surgery. With surgery, safety is the first priority. With some larger surgeries an overnight stay is required, and for some a two-stage procedure may be necessary.
About the Author
LookingYourBest.com is an online resource for plastic surgery in Irvine. To learn more, please visit http://lawtonmd.com/mommymakeover.asp and http://www.lookingyourbest.com/breast/articles/.
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