Recently there has been a rapid increase in the number of patients requesting single or multiple procedures that have come to be commonly known as mommy makeovers. Targeted at new moms, Mommy makeovers range from a single one day procedure to a package where combinations of procedures are used to help moms regain their pre-pregnancy figure and self confidence. The most common procedures involves some sort of breast procedure in combination with a tummy tuck or liposuction.
Pregnancy and childbirth, while bringing with it the joy of children, also takes its toll on the mom’s bodies and self image. Amongst the undesirable attributes of pregnancy, the most challenging to overcome are weight gain and loss of muscle mass. Once the child is born, it is easy to wish one had their pre pregnancy body back and to feel helpless over the changes that the body has undergone. Most women undergo tremendous physical and psychological changes during pregnancy and childbirth. The physical stress of childbirth combined with the emotional toll it takes on women, results in depression and post partum anxiety. In such a state, loss of confidence and a feeling of being unattractive usually accompany post partum depression.
Society has certain standards that expect women to look their best and regain their figures soon after childbirth. This is no mean task as coupled with the physical changes; women have almost no time on their hands with a newborn around the house. It is sometimes difficult for new moms to convince themselves to take the time to undergo surgery itself as they view this as time apart from their family. It is therefore an important step to be able to take time for themselves and be able to regain some self confidence in the way they look.
Dr. Van Natta has noted an increased interest in mommy makeovers and one of the biggest concerns of new moms are the condition of their breasts post pregnancy. Due to breast feeding, rapid weight gain and loss, breasts are often deflated, loose elasticity and also begin to sag. His patients are often confused as to which procedure to undergo – whether to go in for a breast implant or an augmentation or both. With the large gamut of options available today, it might seem daunting to decide what procedures are necessary and which procedures to choose from. Dr. Van Natta tells us that often times, it is impossible to determine what procedures a mom should undergo just by speaking to them. He feels that each mommy makeover is different and it is not a generalized procedure but a highly personalized one. He therefore, insists on meeting his patients and conducting a thorough physical exam before advising them on which procedures might be the most beneficial for their body and their goals. He feels that it is difficult to give moms generic advice and the choice usually depends on individuals and their personal choices. The physical exam is also important in order to assess tissue quality and genetics.
The most vital question to be answered while deciding on a breast procedure is whether it is only the fullness which has been lost or whether the skin envelope has stretched to a point where something needs to be done to correct the same. In case only the fullness is an issue, a simple implant may solve the problem, but in cases where the skin has stretched, a series of smaller procedures may be required.
Dr. Van Natta’s approach is one of innovative smaller lifting procedures which he pursues aggressively. One of the unique procedures which he talks about is a nipple lift where the nipple areola is taken and a crescent incision is made and pulled up and the skin is tucked below it. He suggests that a good way for women to assess how drastic a procedure they need is to check whether the nipple has settled below the fold or not. If it has, they might need a more aggressive procedure to tighten the skin in conjunction with an implant.