Pregnancy and childbirth can cause a woman’s body to completely transform and sometimes not in the way we wish for. Oftentimes the physical changes that occur are not easily fixed through diet and exercise alone. Luckily, a combination of procedures known as a mommy makeover can help you transform you back to your pre-baby body.
Dr. Burke, a plastic surgeon in Barrington, IL, recommends that you wait a full six months after giving birth before considering moving forward with a mommy makeover surgery. This time allows for your body to heal naturally. Childbirth is a stressor on the body and you want to make sure you are giving yourself adequate time to heal. It is important that you are in overall good health and have a healthy BMI (under 30).
A mommy makeover addresses the abdomen and breasts and, if needed, a patient’s love handles. This is usually in the form of breast augmentation with or without a breast lift (mastopexy), a full abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), and possible liposuction to love handles (flanks).
Pregnancy can cause a lot of stress and changes to a woman’s body. It can lead to loose skin and damaged muscles in the abdomen. Only an abdominoplasty can address the muscles in the abdomen. Unfortunately, exercise alone will not correct this issue. The incision for an abdominoplasty is hip bone to hip bone. We keep it as low as we possibly can. Most women are able to wear a bikini cut of underwear and easily hide their scar. After the incision is made we tunnel up to the sternum. We then stitch the abdominal muscles back in their original place. We then remove the excess skin and close the incision. We also re-create the hole for the belly button to come through. After this surgery, the patient is pulled so tightly that you will not be able to stand completely upright or lay completely flat for a few days. There is a drain that comes out of each end of the incision. These are removed as quickly as possible after surgery.
Some women also need some liposuction on their lower back to help reduce their whole waist. Liposuction to the flanks can be done at the same time as the abdominoplasty. There are often two small incisions that are made on the back during the liposuction procedure. We go in with cannulas and remove unwanted fat. This, in conjunction with the abdominoplasty, will give the patient the best result because we are circumferentially reducing the entire waist line. Dr. Burke will assess each patient at their initial consult and make a plan specific to every patient.
Breastfeeding and pregnancy can also dramatically change the appearance of a woman’s breasts. Some women experience a loss of volume and breast sagging after breast feeding. If your nipples are pointed down, that it a good indication that a breast lift is needed. An implant alone will add the needed volume. Some women just need an implant and others need a lift and an implant to help give them the best result possible. Dr. Burke uses Vectra 3D imagining system in our office that allows her to simulate what a patient’s breast will look like with different implants. Dr. Burke can also show patients how their breasts will look with or without an implant. Patients leave with printed pictures of the implants they liked the best.
It is equally important that you have adequate help after your mommy makeover. You will be restricted from lifting over 10 pounds for 2 weeks after surgery. You will need some help after surgery for a period of time. It is important that you take some time for yourself after surgery to fully heal and have adequate time for rest. Lean on family and friends for support. Make meals ahead of time and stock up the house to limit unnecessary errands.
These procedures are all done at our fully accredited operating room with a MD anesthesiologist. Breasts, abdomen and, if needed, flanks can all be done at the same time. Mothers are superheroes, but you are allowed to take a break to take care of yourself.