Becoming a mom is a wonderful part of life, but the battle scars earned arriving there are not. That’s why the mommy makeover, a combination of plastic surgery procedures aimed at the breasts and abdomen, is one of the most popular trends in cosmetic surgery.
Many women struggle to get back to their pre-baby body, even with diet and exercise. Board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Jim Namnoum of Atlanta explains why a mommy makeover may be the right answer, and why technology is helping to make the procedure easier to understand.
What is a Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover may include a mix or series of surgeries. Some patients may opt to have the procedures all at the same time or separate them by weeks or months, depending on time and financial resources. “The mommy makeover can include alterations to the breast to make it more rejuvenated, to the abdomen to make it firmer, and liposuction,” says Dr. Namnoum.
Namnoum says the procedure often includes fat grafting as well. The goal is to focus on the parts of the body that have been most impacted by pregnancy.
Best Mommy Makeover Candidates
Pregnancy can leave behind sagging skin, stretch marks and other undesirable changes to the body. When it comes to a mommy makeover, the abdomen is almost always problem #1. Pregnancy stretches the abdominal muscles as well as skin, and not always do the muscles bounce back. No amount of crunches nor sit-ups will correct this issue; only a tummy tuck can address stretched muscles.
With this consideration, it’s important to be finished having children before considering a mommy makeover. Dr. Namnoum says the procedure is often for women in their 30’s or early 40’s looking for improvement after their childbearing years are done. “They’ve taken one for the team and perhaps their husband has stayed fit, but their body has changed in ways they didn’t expect,” he shares.
Namnoum says it’s possible to improve many areas of the body, but it’s still important to have realistic expectations about the outcome of a mommy makeover. “It will help rejuvenate and restore the body – including the breast, tummy and thigh areas – as much as possible to what it looked like before having children.” He says that not every result will be the same. “What we try to do is take a set of expectations and reach a realistic goal because every solution is different, because every patient is different.”
Peaking at Results, Before the Surgery
With modern technology, Namnoum says there are ways to get a look at what the final results will look like before a single cut is made, or stitch is sewn – using advanced imaging. 3D imaging has made it possible for patients to see what they might look like following a breast augmentation with a surprisingly high degree of accuracy. During the consultation, Dr. Namnoum uses the 3D imaging system to take pictures, which he then reviews with a now-clothed patient. “I spend more than an hour looking at the image with the patient trying to see what they see,” he explains. He says this arrangement puts the patient as ease because she is fully clothed and feels comfortable and less vulnerable in this setting.
“The patient sits next to me, with clothes on and we look at the images on a big screen, and we can spin the body around.” Namnoum says the patient feels less shame and embarrassment and is willing to open up about the procedure and what she hopes to achieve. He says it is always an educational experience that yields positive feedback and eventually results. “It’s a profoundly educational time that really helps me to craft a solution that is right for the patient,” he notes.
Namnoum calls the mommy makeover challenging, yet one of the most rewarding experiences he is involved in. “It offers me an opportunity to help someone recapture their happiness, along with their sense of wellness and self-confidence – nothing gives me more joy than doing that.”