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Losing Weight Post Pregnancy Prior to a Mommy Makeover

Article courtesy of Tom Pousti, M.D.
August 10, 2011

Pregnancy can take a toll on a woman’s body and often results in unwanted changes. After giving birth, many women seek plastic surgery procedures to return to their pre-pregnancy state. During pregnancy, mommies suffer from weight gain, changes in shape and size of the breasts, diastasis of the rectus muscles, and stretchmarks on the abdominal area. However, prior to proceeding with any surgery, a board certified plastic surgeon will recommend waiting until you are finished having children. This is an important decision to consider prior to surgery because, unfortunately, plastic surgery does not guarantee permanent results. Factors such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, as well as, weight loss, weight gain, and aging or gravity can all affect the results of plastic surgery.

Many women are motivated to shed post pregnancy pounds as soon as possible through exercise and diet. However, the reality is that no matter how intense and dedicated you are to exercise and a healthy diet, it is frustrating not to see optimal results. Prior to your consultation, it would be in your best interest to reach your ideal weight to allow the surgeon to determine the best and safest possible procedures for your specific case. During the process of weight loss, the body goes through significant changes, which may affect the planned procedure. Weight Loss post surgery may require you to undergo additional surgery to address any major changes of the body. In order to gain the results you would like to achieve, it is crucial that you explain to your surgeon your specific goals. At your examination, the doctor can determine which procedures are necessary to obtain your goals.

In most cases, many women opt for a mommy makeover. Mommy makeovers may involve multiple procedures including a tummy tuck, liposuction, and breast surgery. It is designed to improve all the problem areas for each unique individual. The extent of the type of procedure would be based on the severity and complexity of each case. A tummy tuck involves major repair of the abdominal rectus muscles, which have been stretched from pregnancy. The muscles are tightened with permanent sutures to provide a small waistline. To improve body contours, liposuction is used to remove excess adipose tissue. The loose and stretched skin in the lower abdominal region is removed as much as possible. By removal of the majority of striae below the belly button area, the quality of the skin on the abdomen is greatly improved.

Once mommies have discontinued breastfeeding and signs of lactation have resolved, the breasts may appear saggy or empty. Mommy’s desire more volume and fullness to improve the breasts’ overall shape and size. Based on the look the patient would like to achieve, the board certified surgeon will recommend breast augmentation with or without a lift/mastopexy or breast reduction. While performing a lift, using an incision around the areola, may allow the doctor to reduce the size of the areola as well.

The type of incision used to provide a lift or reduction will depend on the ptosis (droopiness) of the breast and amount of excess breast tissue to be removed. The surgeon may inform you that it is necessary for the procedure to be done in two stages to avoid any healing complications. In any case, make sure to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon prior to proceeding with any surgery to ensure the best results possible. 

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