Your children are your pride and your joy. They’re becoming a little more independent and you know you’re not going to have any more. Unfortunately, it is painful to look in the mirror and remember what you used to look like and how much you would like to have your old body back in time for the upcoming family beach vacation.
Many women don’t realize how much their body can be restored after the changes caused by pregnancy. The usual term for this surgery is “Mommy makeover.” It can encompass several different procedures depending on your goals and the severity of the problem areas. All mommy makeovers are highly individualized by the surgeon taking into account the specific area, the severity and your individual goals.
Laxity and reduced volume of your breasts can be improved with safe, natural appearing and feeling cohesive gel implants. Sometimes, if the sagging is more severe, a lift may also be required (mastopexy). There are several different lift procedures and these would be discussed during your consultation. The bad news is that the surgery will not improve on your stretch marks, but the good news is that it won’t make them worse either.
The most common second part of the mommy makeover is the abdomen. Sagging and laxity of the skin, stretch marks, and sometimes even a bulge down the center of the abdomen. No matter how many well-wishers (including husbands) tell you these things can be improved with exercise, they’re wrong.
The springy component of the skin is called elastin. When this has been destroyed by the pregnancy, there is no way for the body to rebuild it. The only treatment is to remove the excess skin (abdominoplasty) and repair underlying damage.
The abdominoplasty incorporates liposuction to remove any deposits of fat and to mobilize the skin. Many women, especially those with multiple pregnancies, have some midline separation of the abdominal muscles called “diastasis”. This is easily repaired at the time of the surgery. After lipo and diastasis repair, the skin is revised. The belly button is replaced in the correct location and the excess skin is lowered and repaired.
Other possible additions to the surgery can be liposuction of any other small areas of fatty deposits and revision of the labia if they have been stretched or deformed by the pregnancies.
In spite of an average time of four hours, the majority of these procedures are done as an outpatient and you will be home for the evening. You should anticipate needing assistance for the first 3-4 days and expect to take off work for two full weeks. If you have the ability to work on a computer from home, you can anticipate that you will be able to do this during the second week. Discomfort is moderate, but relieved with narcotics and muscle relaxants.
The overall result is a return to your pre-baby figure and sometimes with improvements. Improvement of your muscle core, and depending upon the extent of your stretch marks, many women will choose to wear bikinis after the procedure.