Few events in life are as important as the birth of your children. And few events in life have as many effects on your body. The breasts swell with pregnancy, even more so with breast-feeding. The abdomen stretches to accommodate the size of your child and the placenta. Hormones scream for more nutrition as the baby develops and your weight increases. The body wall stretches. It’s a physiologic and anatomic challenge that’s repeated with each pregnancy. As the tissues retract toward their original size and shape, they often stop short of that starting point. You gave your body to make it all possible. Now it may be time to get it back.
Mommy Makeover is a term that means the combination of procedures designed to restore the body and breasts to how they looked before pregnancy. The procedures most often used are breast augmentation, breast lift, liposuction and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).
The effects of pregnancy on the breasts and body affect each tissue area differently. The breasts are typically softer and have less glandular tissue and relatively more fat. This changes some of the technical details of the operations, particularly if mastopexy is performed at the same time as augmentation. In the abdomen, the skin is often less elastic than it was before, there are often stretch marks, and the body wall is looser. All of these characteristics make the previously pregnant abdomen different from one who has never been pregnant.
Combination procedures have inherent risks. Studies tell us that when operations last too long, the risk of complications rises. The balance of risk versus result is an important one. When multiple body parts are operated on simultaneously, recovery can be difficult. It’s tough to find a comfortable position to sit, and movement can be limited. It’s very important to plan the operations with recovery and duration in mind. Sometimes, the best option is to stage the surgeries so that the arms are free to move even when the abdominal muscles are limited. Other times, it’s best to leave the backside alone when everything on the front side is addressed. In some instances, we plan the surgery so that one goal is maximally addressed, as in fat transfer to the behind. We might leave the breasts alone for another day if our effort involves fat harvesting, abdominoplasty and simultaneous fat transfer to the buttocks.
Patients have their own restorative and esthetic goals in mind. It’s important to prioritize those goals and discuss them honestly. As with any medical procedure, we begin by identifying the problem, posing a solution and making a plan to ensure success. As no two patients are alike, no procedures are totally alike. Certainly with the potential complexity of Mommy Makeover procedures, time spent outlining goals and planning the operation can yield gratifying results. With Dr. Geldner’s superior skill, 25 years of experience, and his experienced and compassionate staff, we exceed our patient’s expectations.
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“Love my kids… but couldn’t wait for a Mommy Makeover! I have had 4 children and just wanted my body back. We were convinced that [Dr. Geldner] was the right choice. Boy, was he ever… I have my shape back and am so proud of how I look again.”