by Denielle Radcliff
A growing trend in plastic surgery is the mommy makeover. This is a collection of plastic surgery procedures designed to correct the flaws that occur as a result of going through pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. While these body changes once served a purpose, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to get your pre-baby body back.
Mommy makeovers are highly unique to the woman. Not all women will require the same procedures. Some women may need only a few while others may need more.
A common lament of mothers is the loss of their abs. Whether they’re hidden by a layer of fat or the muscles have turned to mush, a tummy tuck can help. Sometimes called an abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck involves an incision along the bikini line. If there is excess skin in the upper abdomen, the surgeon may make a second incision around the navel.
Skin, fat and tissue are removed through the incisions. Since abdominal muscles are often loosened or separated during pregnancy, they are also repaired. For mothers with only a small pooch and no need for repair or strengthening of the abdominal muscles, the surgeon may opt for a mini tummy tuck. For this procedure, there is no incision around the navel and the incision at the bikini line is generally smaller.
The breasts are another problem area for women seeking a mommy makeover. Excess weight gained during pregnancy can lead to sagging. If the mother breastfed their child, the breasts may also appear deflated. Mastopexy (breast lift) or augmentation mammoplasty (breast augmentation) are options for these women. In some cases, both procedures may be needed to return breasts to their youthful appearance.
There are three incisions commonly used for breast lifts. The degree of sagging and the surgeon’s preference will determine which is used. The first is a circling incision around the areola. The second is like the first, but with the addition of a vertical incision from the areola to the natural breast crease. The last option adds a third incision horizontally across the crease beneath the breast.
Once the incisions are made, the surgeon will remove extra skin to lift the breasts. The breasts are reshaped during the procedure, using deep sutures to help them retain shape. Since the nipple and areola are often out of place after lifting, they are sometimes moved to be more aesthetically pleasing. The surgeon may elect to reduce enlarged areolas as well.
Breast augmentation incisions can also be varied. If done as part of a breast lift procedure, the surgeon can use the existing incisions rather than make additional ones. If only the augmentation is to be done, the surgeon will make an incision either on the lower side of the breast, at the armpit or partially around the areola. The type of incision depends on the implants, the patient’s body and the surgeon’s preference.
The implants may be placed either beneath the pectoral muscles or between the muscle and breast tissue. Layered sutures and tape are used to close the incisions.
Liposuction is a common component of a mommy makeover. Unlike diet and exercise, liposuction can spot reduce fat. It is sometimes combined with other plastic surgery procedures. For instance, liposuction can help sculpt the abdomen during a tummy tuck.
A small incision is made in the desired area. A tube called a cannula is inserted through the incision to loosen fat deposits. Finally, a surgical vacuum or syringe is attached to the cannula to literally suck out the fat.
A buttock lift, or gluteoplasty, is sometimes included in a mommy makeover. An incision is made across the top of the buttocks. The skin and tissue is pulled up and excess is removed. Since this sometimes results in a flat appearance, augmentation may be needed.
Augmentation may be through fat injections or implants. If fat injections are used, it is referred to as a Brazilian butt lift. Using liposuction, fat is removed from another area of the body, purified, and then injected into the butt.
While fat injections give more flexibility with shaping, the fat tends to dissolve over time, as much as 30%. With implants, a small incision is made in the middle of the buttocks. The implants are inserted through this incision, generally being placed between the layer of fat and muscle. In some cases, the implant may be placed in the main buttock muscle. The incisions are then stitched closed.
Many of today’s moms, especially those who have had a vaginal birth, are opting for genital rejuvenation procedures as part of their mommy makeover. Giving birth to a child can stretch the genitals, both the visible areas and the areas inside. Genital rejuvenation procedures include labiaplasty and vaginoplasty.
Labiaplasty treats the visible external areas. During the procedure, the surgeon will use a scalpel, special scissors or a laser to reduce the size of the labia majora and/or labia minora, better known as the vaginal lips. In some cases, liposuction may be used to remove excess fat. The incisions are then closed with dissolvable stitches.
Vaginoplasty treats the internal area where only you and your partner feel the difference. The stretched vaginal muscles are pulled taut at the end of the vagina and secured with dissolvable stitches. Any excess skin and tissue is removed.
As a parent, you give up a lot of things for your children. Your body doesn’t have to one of things. With a mommy makeover, you can enjoy your children and be the hottest mom on the block.