A “mommy makeover” is when two or more plastic surgery procedures are combined to restore a woman’s figure after pregnancy. Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding can take a serious toll on a woman’s body. It is common for women to gain weight after pregnancy and develop permanent stretch marks over the skin on their breasts and/or abdomen.
During pregnancy, the breasts and nipple areola complex enlarge secondary to increased glandular tissue and later milk engorgement. Once the circulating hormones leave and moms are no longer breastfeeding, the breasts shrink in size. The stretched out skin remains, leading to saggy breasts with no upper poll fullness and a disproportionately large nipple areola complex. With more than one pregnancy, the “damage” can be cumulative. Some moms find their body bounces back after one pregnancy, but not after multiple.
Genetics play a significant role in how our body handles a pregnancy. Some mothers will develop stretch marks over their entire abdomen while other will develop none. Stretch marks are permanent damage to the skin (thinning of the underside of the dermis) which leads to loose skin that is not able to tighten when the pregnancy is over. To allow the baby to grow, our abdominal muscles irreversibly separate in the midline. The resulting separation of muscle is called diastasis. This muscle laxity can leave women looking permanently bloated or even “pregnant”. Because of this, many moms find that no amount of diet and exercise can bring back their pre-baby figures.
Other characteristic changes seen after pregnancy include changes in the appearance of the belly button, also known as the umbilicus. An “innie” belly button can become an “outie”. This change may or may not be associated with an umbilical hernia and can repaired as part of your mommy makeover. An Umbilicoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that is designed to improve the appearance of an unsightly belly button.
After a cesarean section, many women (even thin women) find that they develop a “pouch” at their lower abdomen. The loose skin and/or excess fat from pregnancy overhangs or sticks out further than the tethered flat scar, almost as though the scar magnifies the “poochy” lower abdomen. Because every pregnancy affects each woman’s body differently, Dr. Bhatt customizes the mommy makeover procedure for each individual patient.