What is a Mommy Makeover?
The term “ Mommy Make-Over” gets used often, but some of my patients are a little confused as to what it actually means. And while any procedure that makes Mom look younger could essentially be included, a true Mommy Make-Over more specifically applies to those procedures designed to correct the changes that occur with child birth. And the two areas of the body that change the most are the abdomen and the breasts. So let’s start there.
A Tummy-Tuck or Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to restore a flat abdomen. Two things happen with child birth. First, the skin gets stretched, often resulting in stretchmarks. Second, the space between the abdominal muscles (rectus adominus) gets wider to accommodate the fetus. After delivery, the skin laxity often remains, and bulging of the muscles per sist. Contrary to patients wishes, there exists no good treatment to remove stretch marks or tighten the skin laxity other than a tummy-tuck. And sit ups will not restore or shorten the stretched muscles, only suturing them together will restore the flatness. A tummy tuck addresses the two main issues: extra skin is removed, and the abdominal wall is tightened. Of course a scar will result, but I keep it below the bikini line. All of my patients get scar therapy to ensure the best looking scar possible. Recovery is about 3 wks, and varies with each patient.
For patients that lose breast volume after having children, a Breast Augmentation can effectively restore the desired shape and size. This is performed in approximately one hour at the same time as the tummy tuck under general anesthesia. Either silicone or saline implants can be used. I will discuss the advantages of each at your consultation, and together we will make the decision which is best for you. Recently Anatomic Shaped Implants have become available. Again, we will discuss the merits of using this type of implant at your consultation. The implant will be placed under the chest muscle (pectoralis muscle) to minimize capsular contraction (hardening) or rippling. The incision utilized will most likely be at the breast crease (inframammary fold) or along the junction of the inferior areola. I perform the procedure so that the breasts look great immediately. There is no “waiting for the implants to drop”, but I do have you wear a special breast band for two weeks to keep the implants in the right space.
A Mastopexy (Breast Lift) can be performed at the same time as the augmentation if the breast tissue is droopy. The nipple should be positioned so that it is centered over the breast mound.
I typically perform a Vertical Mastopexy that results in a lolli-pop type scar. But the real surgery lies in reshaping the actual breast tissue so that the skin is passively redraped. This leads to no tension on the skin closure and results in the best possible scars. I utilize breast pillars as described by the French surgeons Lajoure and Lassus. I find this technique to yield the best, most reproducible results.
Finally, Liposuction of the Flanks, Bra-Line, or Thighs can be performed at the same time if necessary. But if we decide to do this later, it can be performed under local anesthesia only in my office utilizing Tickle Lipo. Otherwise known as Infrasonic Nutational Liposculpture, Tickle Lipo vibrates in a way that allows it to be less painful. In my experience, Tickle Lipo causes less bruising, and therefore less recovering than traditional liposuction. The procedure takes about two hours. A garment will be worn after surgery for two weeks, and it will take a few months to see the final results. The fat can be washed and injected into the face (Autologous Fat Transfers) to restore or enhance a youthful facial appearance.
Please feel free to contact us with any further questions.
by Dr. Brian J. Reagan San Diego – Carlsbad – La Jolla