The Surgeon Minute

Moms, Get Your Body Back

Moms, Get Your Body Back

The two biggest post-pregnancy body image complaints that bring patients in to see a plastic surgeon are sagging breasts and a loose tummy.  As a result, the Mommy Makeover was developed as a surgical approach to address multiple post-pregnancy body issues at the same time.  It typically combines a breast lift or augmentation with a tummy tuck and/or liposuction, restoring mom’s perky breasts and smooth abdomen. 

by Anne Meyer
and Mark Pinsky, MD

Restoring Mom’s Figure

“Most of the patients in my practice are moms,” shares Dr. Mark Pinsky of Palm Beach, Florida. “They spend considerable amounts of time, energy and effort sacrificing for their family and their children, running all over the place, taking little time for themselves. They once enjoyed putting on “that dress” and “that outfit”, looking fabulous.  Afterwards, after all that sacrifice and time, going through pregnancy, weight gain, weight loss, not getting enough sleep, always sacrificing – now it’s their time.  Their turn.  I love doing this operation, the Mommy Makeover.”

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Mommy Makeover Part I: A Mother’s Breasts

“When a woman becomes pregnant, her breasts engorge; they get much larger with milk.  Whether they breastfeed or not, it creates significant impact upon the breast, to the point where breasts begin to drop,” explains Dr. Pinsky.  “The breasts get smaller after pregnancy as well.  The thought process behind re-creating a woman’s breasts following pregnancy is to give her back that upper pole fullness that she once enjoyed, and maybe even make it better than it ever was before.”

Lifting Breasts Also Lengthens Torso

“It’s an interesting perspective,” says Pinsky. “As the breasts come down and the tummy fills out, a woman looks heavier because the trunk gets shortened.  When you lift the breasts and you bring them up on the chest, the trunk gets longer and by relative proportions looks much thinner – whether or not you did anything to the tummy.” 

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Mommy Makeover Part II: Post Baby Belly

“When it comes to the body contouring part of the mommy makeover, it can be multiple different things,” Pinsky discloses.  “Sometimes it’s just excess skin that we remove and some patients require a tummy tuck.”  The tummy tuck removes skin, removes fat and also addresses the layers underneath the skin and fat: the muscles.  By stitching the muscles together that were stretched apart during childbearing, mom’s can achieve a flat tummy.  A third common option to improve a tummy after babies is liposuction – which can address extra fat when there isn’t sagging skin or loose muscles.

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Reclaim Your Figure

Just as a mommy makeover can sometimes provide women with even better breasts than they had prior to babies, it can also sometimes offer a patient an even flatter stomach than they ever enjoyed before having children.  “Lots of beautiful things come with babies,” acknowledges Pinsky, who has a child himself. “But, it takes a toll on a woman’s figure.  We have to do procedures to restore that figure, so that a woman can get into that dress they once enjoyed getting into, that bathing suit they used to look fabulous in.”

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