Although pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding are all natural parts of most women’s lives, having children usually changes a mother’s body. Many body parts can be affected, and these changes often occur in a mother’s breasts and belly.
About 40% of mothers end up with smaller breasts after childbirth and breastfeeding than they had before pregnancy. Another 40% of mothers end up larger than they were before pregnancy. That is a long-winded way to say that only one out of five mothers have the same breast size before and after childbirth. The mothers that get smaller usually lose fullness in the upper part of their breasts and become saggy to some extent. Those that end up bigger can also develop sagginess.
Pregnancy and childbirth usually affect a mother’s abdomen in three ways. The abdominal (rectus) muscles get stretched out and make the abdomen bulge more than before pregnancy. Sometimes the muscles become widely stretched out, which is called rectus diastasis. Mothers can also develop a “pooch” of excess skin and fat in the lower part of the abdomen that is very difficult to lose with dieting and exercise. Lastly, mothers can develop stretch marks on the skin of the abdomen. There are two layers in the skin, the outer epidermis, and the inner dermis. Stretch marks occur when the inner dermis tears in response to the stretching of the skin from the rapid growth of the baby.
A Mommy Makeover is a surgery designed to address these changes in the breasts and the abdomen in one stage. The surgery is usually done as an outpatient, which means that you get to go home the same day. It requires the patient to be asleep (general anesthesia) and takes about 5-6 hours. Usually, the breasts are addressed first and the surgery can consist of a breast lift, breast reduction, or breast augmentation depending on the patient’s desires regarding her breasts. The abdominal portion of the surgery is then performed and is usually some form of a Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty).
There are no drains for the breasts and a surgical bra is placed. There are usually two drains for the abdomen and a compression garment is placed. The drains stay in for 1-2 weeks. The drains are a nuisance, but they are an important nuisance and are easy to care for. There are some times when no drains are placed.
As with any surgery, risks include bleeding, infection, problems with healing, and scars. Later revisions or “touch-ups” are needed occasionally.
Recovery is variable depending on the patient, but the advantage is only one recovery for the two procedures. The abdomen tends to be the area of more discomfort. Long-acting numbing medicine, oral pain medication, and oral muscle relaxants are given to aid in recovery. Patients can shower in 2-3 days and are generally back at their activities of daily living within 2-3 weeks. Exercise and strenuous activity are “eased into” starting at 4-6 weeks and the final results are seen in 3-4 months.
Learn more about our Mommy Makeover procedure today, we can answer any and all of your questions. If you are looking for alternative non-invasive plastic surgery methods, view one of our non-surgical procedures. Or choose from one of our various surgical procedures in Wilmington, NC for your specific needs. Contact us today for more information!