The Scoop on the “Mommy Makeover”
Posted On Mar 30, 2017
From Dr. Kelly Sullivan, MD, FACS Harvard and MIT trained Plastic Surgeon and Mother of Three
Dr. Kelly Sullivan is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T., her Medical Doctorate for Harvard Medical School, and completed her General Surgery Residency and Plastic Surgery Fellowships at Emory University. She established her practice 14 years ago in Annapolis where she lives with her husband and three children. Both professionally and personally, she is well versed in the anatomical changes that occur in a woman’s body after pregnancy and she has become a specialist in restoring a woman’s form and function after pregnancy. In this article Dr. Sullivan discusses what has widely become known as the “Mommy Makeover.”
We women are very conscious of our bodies; and while we all view pregnancy as beautiful, we often don’t feel so beautiful afterwards when our body doesn’t go back to the way it was. After pregnancy the breasts can become deflated or drop; or instead they may increase in size, becoming very large and uncomfortable. Often the abdominal muscles and skin get stretched to a point where they become weak and sag down. Sometimes the hormones of pregnancy cause weight gain – especially in trouble areas that then do not go away after the baby is born.
In many cases, a new mother is overjoyed to have a happy and healthy baby, but then feels guilty about wanting surgery to “fix” her body. The reality is that in some women, the changes from pregnancy can not only cause psychological and emotional distress, but can also cause muscle weakness that makes physical activity much more challenging. As a new mother, it is ok to love having your babies but to also want to restore your body to your pre-pregnancy condition.
For women who feel this way, plastic surgery provides options for repairing the changes caused by pregnancy. The most important thing to remember, however, is that each person should focus on what bothers her personally and resist letting anyone talk her into doing more than she actually wants. She also needs to make sure that the options she chooses are done safely. That means working with a dedicated and experienced Plastic Surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and who operates in an Accredited Ambulatory Surgery Center with Board Certified Anesthesiologists. There are no short cuts when safety and health are concerned.
This kind of post pregnancy surgery has come to be known as the “Mommy Makeover.” The “Mommy Makeover” is the specific set of procedures that are used to reconstruct the parts of a woman’s breasts and body that have been irreversibly altered by pregnancy. The specific procedures that are done are different for each woman, but the goal is always to address those areas that are causing problems and correct them in the safest and most natural way possible.
The following are the most common five “mommy makeover” procedures and a description of who is a good candidate:
- Breast lift, with or without augmentation
- breast has deflated and dropped after pregnancy or nursing; the lift will bring the breast and nipple higher up on the chest wall and the implant will create a fuller and rounder looking breast
- Breast reduction with lift
- Breast grew with pregnancy but then dropped after baby was born and stayed large and low; this procedure with lift and reduce and reshape the breast so that the fullness is up on the chest wall where you want it
- Tummy tuck
- Abdominal skin and muscle was stretched out so that there is loose hanging skin with or without stretch marks and a bulge of the abdomen, with or without an actual hernia of the belly button; this procedure will remove the excess skin and stretch marks and will tighten the abdominal wall muscle and fix the hernia if needed
- The skin and muscle of the abdomen are mostly ok but there remains a fatty area around the belly button, lower abdomen and possibly the “muffin top” area of the flanks; this procedure will not tighten the skin but will remove the fat so that the skin lays flatter on the muscles of the abdomen
- Brazilian Butt lift
- Weight loss after pregnancy has resulted in a flat buttock but more fat in other areas – the fat can be removed from the unwanted areas and injected into the buttocks to fill and round out the upper buttocks
Most importantly, finding the right surgical plan requires an extensive discussion with a surgeon who is well-trained in all the procedure options and who will really listen to you in order to fully understand what you are trying to achieve. Together you can then formulate a surgical plan that will be safe and will accomplish your goals. Our goal is to help you get back to feeling comfortable and confident so that you can fully embrace and enjoy your new role as a mother.
Contact Sullivan Surgery & Spa to schedule your consultation with Dr. Kelly Sullivan or Dr. Emily Clarke-Pearson.