I’m not sure how this happened. After 5 years and 400 posts, I have only mentioned Kim Kardashian once. Her often uncomfortable pregnancy has been in the news this year, but the latest rumors have her interviewing Plastic Surgeons for a Mommy Makeover after her son is born.
What is a Mommy Makeover?
The most common Mommy Makeover combination is Breast Augmentation and a Tummy Tuck. Breast Implants are used to restore lost breast volume, while the Tummy Tuck flattens and tightens the abdominal wall.
A Mommy Makeover is a combination of cosmetic plastic surgery procedures that help to restore the breasts and body after pregnancy. A Mommy Makeover frequently consists of Breast Augmentation and a Tummy Tuck, but can include other combos.
Mommy Makeover Breast Procedures
In the above Mommy Makeover, a Tummy Tuck is combined with a Breast Lift. When the size of the breast is satisfactory, and the main problem is sagging, a breast lift can restore the breasts’ shape without making them bigger.
With pregnancy, the breasts enlarge in preparation for breast feeding and shrink when lactation ends. This often leaves the breasts smaller and deflated, so Breast Augmentation and Breast Lifts are very commonly used in Mommy Makeovers. Sometimes, however, the breast enlarge and stay large. In this situation, a Breast Reduction may be a better choice. Click for more about the variety of available Breast Enhancing Procedures.
Mommy Makeover Body Procedures
Mommy Makeovers repair both the breasts and belly. Above, a Tummy Tuck is used to flatten and tighten the post baby belly.
Pregnancy also causes weight gain. Even when a healthy weight is maintained, the belly has to stretch to accommodate the baby’s development. After delivery, the abdominal skin and muscles may not shrink back to their pre-pregnancy weight. This is why the Tummy Tuck is the most common body shaping half of the Mommy Makeover. Mini Tummy Tucks and Liposuction can also be used when the body has partially bounced back. Click for more about the variety of available Body Enhancing Procedures.
What Would Kim Kardashian Do?
According to Life & Style Magazine, Kim K is already planning plastic surgery for her post baby body. Radar Online reports, “She wants to get her boobs done, a tummy tuck and liposuction. She’s not planning on getting the work done the same day she gives birth because her pregnancy has been dicey as it is.”
When Is The Best Time For A Mommy Makeover?
Doing Plastic Surgery the day you deliver is not a great idea. Your body is undergoing massive physiological changes as it transitions from pregnancy to postpartum. Plus, this gives your body zero time to recoil, and your baby zero time to breast feed. Moreover, a lactating breast should not have elective surgery. There is a greater risk of complications including: wound problems, infections and milk leaking through the incision after surgery. So when is the optimal time for a Mommy Makeover?
The most important question to answer is, “Are you done having children?” Mommy Makeovers are a big investment in time, recovery and cost, so it is best to wait until you are not planning more children. A Mommy Makeover will not prevent you from having more children, but it will likely be undone by another nine months of stretching.
If you are not planning more pregnancies, most plastic surgeons recommend waiting at least six months before a Mommy Makeover. This allows the breasts and body to recoil, time for your body to transition from taking care of you baby to taking care of itself and for your nutrition to return to normal. Some Plastic Surgeons recommend waiting a year to be certain you are in optimal health.
What Does Kanye Think?
I have not mentioned Kanye previously in my blog, but his mother was mentioned in one of the early San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog posts. Kanye’s mother, Donda West, an English professor, died at 58-years-old, shortly after an elective cosmetic procedure. In an interview earlier this year, Kanye expressed his grief and guilt over the loss of his mom.
On a positive note, the tragic loss inspired then Governor Schwarzenegger to sign the Donda West Law. The law does not require anything that good doctors don’t already do, and it cannot stop bad doctors from having bad judgment. It does however, codify the need for a proper medical history and physical examination before any surgery is performed.
It remains to be seen how Kanye feels about Kim’s Plastic Surgery Plans, but having good support is important for any elective procedure. It helps to have a team that works well together. Patient, Plastic Surgeon, Family and Friends all have a roll to play, and it’s good to have as many advantages as you can arrange.
Mommy Makeover Consultations
Mommy Makeovers should be performed by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, preferably a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery – a group of Board Certified Plastic Surgeons who have dedicated themselves and their practice to the cosmetic aspects of plastic surgery.
If you are near the San Francisco Bay Area and are considering a Mommy Makeover, or other Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Procedures, give me a call at (925) 943-6353 to arrange a private consultation appointment. The best options will be reviewed and safest and most predictable plan created specifically for your needs.
The Mommy Makeover has become the most popular combination Cosmetic Plastic Surgery. The procedure addresses the two areas that women complain about most after childbirth: the belly and the breasts. While Tummy Tuck with Breast Augmentation is the most popular combination, many variations exist.
Mommy Makeover Video Presentation with Before and After Pictures
I’ve appeared on the Bay Area’s News Station, KRON 4 in the San Francisco Bay Area, numerous times over the last eight years. My most recent Body Beautiful appearance, was all about Mommy Makeovers. The following television segment goes over the highlights of what’s involved. It covers many of the most frequently asked Mommy Makeover questions and illustrates results with before and after pictures.
Mommy Makeover Video Presentation on KRON 4
What Can a Mommy Makeover do for Your Belly?
Mommy Makeovers usually include a Tummy Tuck. The tummy tuck cinches the abdominal wall muscles, removes disproportionate fat and tightens loose skin, reversing much of what pregnancy does to the belly.
Sometimes less is needed, and there are several variations of the Abdominoplasty available including the “Floating Belly-Button” Tummy tuck and the Mini Tummy Tuck. When the skin is still tight, but disproportionate fat is the problem, Liposuction may be all that is needed. Click here for more Tummy Tuck Information.
What Can a Mommy Makeover Do For Your Breasts?
The other half of the Mommy Makeovers is Breast Enhancement. The most common enhancement is Breast Augmentation, which fills loose breast skin and enhances both volume and shape. For the loss of breast volume typical after childbirth, Breast Implants can fill the need.
When volume is not a problem, a Breast Lift may be what’s needed. The Breast Lift or Mastopexy, tightens the breast skin without changing the breast volume. Many different breast lifts exists, and the best Mastopexy for you will depend on how much lifting is needed.
Sometimes breasts increase in volume after pregnancy, and remain too large. Breast Reduction Surgery can help. A Breast Reduction, or Reduction Mammoplasty, will remove excess breast volume and tighten the skin, like a Breast Lift. The result is smaller, firmer and perkier breasts. This is especially helpful in cases where your breasts are heavy and causing pain in the neck, back or shoulders.
For mommies who had Breast Augmentation prior to pregnancy, your breast tissue changes with pregnancy, too. While the breast implant will retain it’s volume, sometimes the shape of the breast is impacted with the normal growth and involution of your breast tissue. When the shape is negatively impacted, Breast Implant Revision Surgery can help shape things up again.
Mommy Makeover Consultations
If a Mommy Makeover is in your future, give me a call at (925) 943-6353. We can review the options that address your concerns, and create a personalized treatment plan that fills your specific needs. More information about Mommy Makeovers and the Plastic Surgery procedures that are utilized, is available by clicking the links included in the post above. More videos are coming soon on Breast Lifts, Breast Reduction and Chin Augmentation. See you next week.
When I see a new patient for a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) consultation, I consider all the options. Usually, one method has the clear advantage, but occasionally there are multiple approaches to a good result. A Tummy Tuck may be the perfect fit, but sometimes less is more, like when Liposuction or a Mini Tummy Tuck will fix what’s broken. Other times, more is more, like doing a Mommy Makeover to combine belly and breast rejuvenation, or in case of a Fleur-de-Lis Tummy Tuck after massive weight loss. It’s good to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has experience with all your Belly Flattening options.
Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Before and After Pictures
The full Tummy Tuck is the only true Abdominoplasty. Its triple threat of skin tightening, muscle tightening and lower abdominal fat removal is hard to beat.
The Abdominoplasty is the go to procedure for fixing bellies. The Tummy Tuck removes the excess skin and fat from the lower belly, and it tightens the skin and muscle layers right down the middle, from the ribs to the pubis. For post pregnancy belly and after most weight loss, the Tummy Tuck gets the job of tightening the belly done right. For some patients, the Tummy Tuck is more than is needed, and for others, it is not quite enough.
When Less Tummy Tucking is Needed
For those patients who have less skin laxity there are several options. For the tight bellied person who has disproportionate fat, Liposuction may be the best choice. The procedure requires that the skin tone is good before surgery. When skin is folding on itself, the Tummy Tuck remains the better choice.
Liposuction Before and After Pictures
Liposuction removes disproportionate fat through very small incisions that can be placed away from the contouring. When the skin is tight, Liposuction is an excellent way to reduce belly bulge and muffin tops.
The Mini Abdominoplasty
One step above Liposuction on the Plastic Surgery stairway to a better belly is the Mini Tummy Tuck. A Mini Abdominoplasty combines Liposuction with repair of the muscle below the belly button and some skin excision. Small amounts of lower abdominal skin redundancy and muscle laxity respond well to the Mini Abdominoplasty. If you have loose skin above the belly button, you will want to explore other options like a “floating belly-button” Tummy Tuck or a full Abdominoplasty.
Mini Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures
When there is less tummy to tighten, the Mini Abdominoplasty or Mini Tummy Tuck can give great results with a shortened recovery.
When More Tummy Tucking is Needed
More than a full Tummy Tuck is needed when the skin above the belly button is very loose. This is seen primarily in patients who have lost a large amount of weight. Whether you have lost weight from diet and exercise or after Bariatric Surgery does not matter. When the upper abdominal skin is very lax from side-to-side, a vertical scar is used down the middle of the abdomen to remove the excess. This is called a Fleur-de-Lis Tummy Tuck, and more about these Tummy Tucks and Lower Body Lifts (Belt Lipectomies) can be found here: Fleur-de-Lis Tummy Tucks, and on my Post Bariatric Plastic Surgery Page.
Sometimes, the Tummy Tuck will fix the Tummy, but more is needed elsewhere. A little Liposuction can be added around the sides and the back to reduce the Muffin-Top, or Breast Enhancement can be added for a full Mommy Makeover. When desired, other procedures are combined with the Abdominoplasty to help keep your body balanced.
Mommy Makeover Before and After Pictures
The Mommy Makeover combines abdominal and breast repairs in the same operation. The advantage is that there is only one recovery period.
Belly Flattening Consultations
If you are considering Plastic Surgery to flatten your belly, be certain to visit a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon near you. In the San Francisco Bay Area, you have many excellent Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons to choose from. If you would like to schedule a consultation appointment, call (925) 943-6353, and I can review the options that are most suited to your body. You can explore your options fully, so that you will know that the decision you are making is the best one for your needs. If you have questions, many frequently asked questions are answered here on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog and my other websites, or you can ask via the contact form in the side column.
Tummy Tucks are designed to fix flabby bellies. After pregnancy or weight loss, the abdominal skin and the muscle beneath can get stretched out. To get back to a tight tummy, the Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty may be just what the doctor ordered.
Tummy Tucks Do What Diet and Exercise Cannot
Diet and Exercise are important to a toned body, but after pregnancy and weight loss, diet and exercise may not get us all the way to the goal. Once over-stretched, the abdominal wall cannot recoil. The abdominal skin often remains flaccid, even with vigorous exercise. Being close to an ideal weight can reduce abdominal girth, but it cannot fix loose skin.
Tummy Tuck Video on KRON 4’s Body Beautiful
Abdominoplasty means abdomen changing, and San Francisco Bay Area Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Joseph A. Mele, MD, has all the details in this Tummy Tuck Video Segment from the Bay Area’s News Station, KRON 4, in San Francisco, CA.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Video Presentation in San Francisco
Each of the above Cosmetic Plastic Surgery procedures has specific benefits, and when indicated, each should be discussed during the Abdominoplasty Consultation, so you can make a well informed decision about the options.
Tummy Tuck Consultation
An in-person consultation appointment can help sort through the Tummy Tuck Options, and find the procedure that best fits your tummy. Call (925) 943-6353 to schedule a personalized consultation, or use the contact form in the margin for further Abdominoplasty Information.
Facial Plastic Surgery is designed to provide you with a more rested and youthful appearance. Blepharoplasty, or the Eyelid Lift, can do this and more.
Blepharoplasty on KRON 4 Body Beautiful in San Francisco
I recently had the opportunity to discuss Blepharoplasty with Bay Area New Station anchor Janelle Marie. The show, entitled Body Beautiful, aired live on KRON 4 last month. We discussed many of the details of eyelid aging, and how to fix it. The information on the video is supplemented below and on my main web site with more general information. If you are considering eyelid surgery, the best thing to do is visit an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon near you, so that the details are covered too.
Eyelid Lift (Blepharoplasty) Video Presentation
Eyelid Lift Before and After Photos
If you already watched the video, you may have noticed the usual Before and After Pictures were missing. This Body Beautiful show was the last live broadcast from the old San Francisco Van Ness Avenue Studios. Maybe it was the studio ghosts way of saying she’ll miss us, but just before going live, the video editor ate the before and after pictures. You can see them here on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog in my post from earlier this month: All Eyes on You – SF Bay Area Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty), or visit the DrMele.com Plastic Surgery Photo Gallery.
What Happens to the Eyelids?
The Eyelids aging is due to intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The Intrinsic Factors we are born with. For example, the eyelids have the thinest skin on the body, and they move a lot. The amount of fat around the eyes is also genetic. Thicker, elastic skin and the proper amount of eyelid fat, contribute to the appearance of fewer wrinkles and smaller bags.
Extrinsic Factors are the environmental influences that change the appearance of our eyelids. Sun exposure and smoking are two areas over which we have some control. Using sunscreen, hats and moisturizers can protect the eyelid skin, prolong a youthful appearance and prevent skin cancer. Not smoking is good idea for many reasons.
How Blepharoplasty Works
Blepharoplasty is a facial plastic surgery procedure that literally means eyelid changing. Though both the upper and lower eyelids can have excess skin and fat, the most common problems corrected are excess skin of the upper eyelid and bulging fat bags of the lower eyelids. Both these features make us look older and tired.
Upper Eyelid Lifts
The Upper Blepharoplasty can be performed for both cosmetic and functional reasons. Sometimes, insurance will cover upper eyelid surgery when the excess skin is blocking your vision. Each insurance company has its own rules defining what is cosmetic and what is covered, so it is important to check with your insurance before having the surgery if your vision is compromised.
Lower Eyelid Lifts
The Lower Blepharoplasty is used to remove bags from under the eyes. Excess fat and skin are removed, and the eyelid is tightened. Fine lines can also be treated with chemical peels or laser skin resurfacing.
Eyelid Rejuvenation Consultations
As mentioned above, the best, if not the only way to find out if Blepharoplasty is right for you is via an in-person consultation appointment. A brief history and physical examination is necessary to be certain the procedure is appropriate for you. To schedule a private cosmetic eyelid surgery consultation, call (925) 943-6353, or use the contact form in the margin to contact my San Francisco Bay Area Plastic Surgery office.
These Mommy Makeover before and after photos display the most popular combination of belly and breast enhancement: The Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) with Breast Augmentation (Breast Implants).
What’s a Mommy Makeover?
A Mommy Makeover is any combination of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery procedures that restore what pregnancy takes away: perky breasts and a flat belly. Pregnancy can be hard on the breasts and the belly, so the most common combination for a Mommy Makeover is Breast Augmentation with a Tummy Tuck. This combination of procedures is also useful after massive weight loss, which also often leaves women and men with deflated sagging breasts and a loose stretched-out tummy.
Other Mommy Makeover Combinations – Upper Half
Another Mommy Makeover is the Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift. If you are happy with your breast size, but not the shape, sagging or looseness, a Breast Lift may be all that is needed.
Breast Implants are not always necessary for a Mommy Makeover. If your breasts are a good size, but have dropped, a Breast Lift may be enough to restore your Breast Aesthetics and Body Confidence. There are many options for your Breast Lift, or Mastopexy. If the breasts have dropped and volume is missing, a combination of Breast Lift and Breast Augmentation (Augmentation Mastopexy) is utilized.
Other Mommy Makeover Combinations – Lower Half
With severe muscle laxity, diet, exercise, even Liposuction is futile. The Tummy Tuck is the only way to fix this. Lesser problems, on the other hand, may improve with smaller procedures.
The Tummy Tuck repairs skin laxity, lower abdominal disproportionate fat, and it is the only procedure that effectively tightens the abdominal muscles. For the belly above, muscle laxity is the primary problem, so only a Full Tummy Tuck can provide the optimal result. It works like an internal corset to flatten the tummy.
Sometimes, a smaller procedure is enough. If you only have disproportionate fat, and have maintained good skin and muscle tone, Liposuction may be a better option with a shorter recovery and lower cost. If your muscle and skin laxity is confined to the area below the belly button, a Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty) may be enough to achieve the desired look.
Schedule Your Mommy Makeover Consultation
Mommy Makeovers are as unique as mommies, so the best way to learn your options is during a personalized consultation appointment with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. To schedule a private consultation appointment in our San Francisco Bay Area Plastic Surgery office call (925) 943-6353, or ask a question via the contact form in the left margin of the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog.
My favorite part about being a Plastic Surgeon is fixing stuff. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. I was one of those kids who loved taking things apart to see how they worked, and putting them back together like new, but improved. The ability to combine fixing stuff with helping people makes being a Plastic Surgeon the perfect profession for me.
Why Plastic Surgeons Like to Fix Stuff
I received the nicest email this week. A patient, who is a decade or so out from her Tummy Tuck, made my day by dropping a little note about how her Tummy Tuck is holding up. Rather than paraphrase, here are her words:
Hi there! I am a former patient who had a T-Tuck I think ten years ago. I was getting dressed this morning and still ADMIRING the work you did an how great I still look so I wanted to send you an updated “after” photo so your patients can see what really can be achieved with this procedure. I’m 56 now and I … look this good in a bikini. So, I just wanted to share this with you. If you can respond with your email address I will forward it – – and come by you have time to prove its not a fake!! ; )
The Proof is in the Selfie
Of course, I responded. And here is the proof:
Ten Years After Tummy Tuck at 56-years-not-so-old.
The Before Picture
To make her feel even better about taking care of the “work,” I sent her the before picture:
The “infamous” before Tummy Tuck picture at 46-years-old.
Plastic Surgery is a Partnership
It takes two to get a great Plastic Surgery result. At 46, my patient was in pretty good shape, but a lot can happen in 10 years. I suspected my patient was doing more for herself than getting an Abdominoplasty. When I inquired she responded with:
Well ok – I work out 6 days a week running and doing strength training also and I am in better shape now at 56 than I was in my 40’s when I had the procedure done. Here is the key – -Getting the surgery gave me a whole NEW level of confidence that inspired me to take it all to a new level! I don’t think I would have been motivated to really change my whole “lifestyle identity” if I had gotten from the surgery a glimpse of the potential I could reach. So thank you so much for everything! ; D
Make My Day
I hope you can see why this made my day. It is a privilege to be a Plastic Surgeon. Plastic Surgery is a lot of work, and it takes a lot of ongoing training, but the rewards are wonderful. Just like many of the things I took apart in my youth, my patients are not “broken.” In fact, many of them look very good without my help. While the changes we see in these Tummy Tuck Before and After Photos are physical, the changes that I often see go beyond that.
Excellent Plastic Surgery is a Partnership between the patient and the surgeon.
Improved Self Esteem?
It is often said that Plastic Surgery can improve self-esteem, and there are numerous studies that bear this out. Since most of us do not have best friends who are also Plastic Surgeons, it takes gumption to present your least favorite body part to a complete stranger. I think Plastic Surgery can remove some physical barriers, but the psyche and the body must be healthy to start with. Removing an uncomfortable physical barrier can awaken a healthy self-esteem like it did for my Tummy Tuck patient above.
San Francisco Bay Area Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
If you are considering Plastic Surgery in the San Francisco Bay Area, call (925) 943-6353 to schedule your person consultation appointment. There is a lot of information available about the many Cosmetic Plastic Surgeries I perform here on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog, and the other web sites listed under “Useful Links” above. Also, feel free to ask questions via the contact form located in the column.
Liposuction remains one of the most popular Cosmetic Plastic Surgery procedures. Unlike weight loss, liposuction allows you to choose the areas where fat is removed. It is not a method of weight loss, or even weight maintenance, but it can remove those stubborn, disproportionate pockets of fat that just won’t leave despite a good diet and exercise.
Dr. Mele Discusses Liposuction on KRON 4’s Body Beautiful
The lastest television video segment from the Bay Area’s New Station, KRON 4’s Body Beautiful is included below. Liposuction is discussed, as well as the recovery.
Liposuction Video with Before and After Pictures
Before and After Pictures of Liposuction
Before and After Pictures of Liposuction are reviewed including:
Liposuction literally means fat suction. A cannula is placed under the skin via a small incision and fat is vacuumed out. The concept is simple, and maybe that’s why everyone thinks they can do it. There are many methods, but choosing the right Plastic Surgeon will always be more important than picking the “right” method. Just like a great musician playing Classroom Instruments will always sound better than an amateur playing a Stradivarius. Besides, fat is soft, so a bigger, hotter, stronger hammer is unnecessary, and is yet to be proven better.
A sculpture is defined by what remains, not the chips of marble left on the floor. Liposculpture is Liposuction, but emphasizes the importance of what is left behind rather than what is removed. The goal with Liposculpture is to create a better shape, not to remove as much fat as possible.
Additive Sculpture – Fat Transfer
Fat Transfer is currently a hot topic. It is probably best known as the Brazilian Butt Lift. A Brazilian Butt Lift is a procedure where fat is removed from an area that is disproportionate and is used for Fat Transplant to the Buttocks. The added volume not only enlarges the buttocks, but can reshape them too. The biggest limitations for fat transfer are the amount of fat available elsewhere in the body, and the nature of the buttocks’ skin.
Fat transfer is not as predictable as sculpture because fat is not as predictable as stone. The volume of fat transferred can change. Initially 50% to 100% of the fat may take. Obviously, this is a bigger problem if 50% takes on one side and 100% on the other. After the fat grafts have healed, they continue to behave like the area they where taken from. If you gain weight, the grafts will get bigger.
Another area that Plastic Surgeons are investigating is fat grafting to the breasts. Fat grafts are not as predictable as Breast Implants, and still are not ready for primetime when it comes to Breast Augmentation. However, after breast biopsies, lumpectomies or other traumatic changes to the breasts that effect breast contour, Fat Grafting to the Breasts can provide dramatic improvement.
Liposuction Consultations in the Bay Area
If you are considering Liposuction, and would like to schedule a private consulation appointment, call (925) 943-6353 today, or use the contact form in the margin. We are located in the San Francisco East Bay Area City of Walnut Creek, just over the Oakland/Berkeley Hills on 680 between San Ramon and Concord.
No matter who you choose, be certain to research your doctor. The following links, will make it easier. Just click on what you want to do:
Mommy Makeovers exist because babies are hard on their mommy’s “B’s”: Breasts and Bellies. The physiological changes that are necessary for a healthy child are not always beneficial for a healthy mommy’s body.
How to Repair the Aftermath of Pregnancy
The television video segment below is from this month’s Body Beautiful. I discuss Mommy Makeovers, the alternative to living with the results of pregnancy for both the Breast and Belly, from the perspective of a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has taken care of many mommies.
For the Breasts, options include: Breast Augmentation, Breast Lifts, Breast Reduction or a combination of these. Reduction of hypertrophied (overly enlarged) nipples and areolae is also possible. For Bellies: Liposuction, Mini Tummy Tucks and most commonly, Full Tummy Tucks are available. The video provides an introduction to many of the options available, including fat grafting to the buttocks (Brazilian Butt Lift), but cannot substitute for an in depth consultation with an experienced and Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Mommy Makeover Video from this month’s Body Beautiful on KRON 4
Breast Enlargement for lactation is necessary, but when breasts shrink after breast feeding ends, the result can be empty, saggy breasts. Recent evidence points to pregnancy itself as the main culprit. Breast feeding, on the other hand, may instead offer benefits to both breast shape and baby wellness.
Why Breasts Sag With Pregnancy
Breasts are attached to the muscles behind them by long thin bands called Cooper’s Ligaments. When the breasts engorge, these ligaments elongate and cannot support the breasts as well. Immediately after breast feeding stops, the breast lose volume, which leads to further drooping. Some improvement occurs during the first six months after the cessation of lactation, so it is best to give the breasts a chance to recover, before planning your breast intervention.
There are many options for Breast Enhancement. The most common is Breast Augmentation, which restores lost volume and can help deflated breasts. When the breast enlargement that comes with pregnancy does not resolve, and the breast remain too large, Breast Reduction may provide relief from the excess weight and size of the breasts. If the size is good, but the breasts have dropped too low, a Breast Lift may be all that is needed.
What happens to the belly is a little simpler to understand. As the baby gets bigger, the belly stretches. This includes the skin and the muscle of the abdominal wall. Furthermore, the rectus muscles, which are a pair of muscles running down the middle of the belly, can separate and drift away from the midline causing abdominal weakness and diastasis.
What is Diastasis?
Diastasis is a separation of the rectus muscles. It is not a hernia and is usually not symptomatic or dangerous. A simple test for diastasis is to lay on your back, raise your shoulders off the bed/floor, and look at the center of your belly. Normally, when the shoulders rise the abdominal muscles tighten, and the abdomen flattens. With diastasis the mid-line, especially the area just above the belly button, will bulge upwards as the muscles tighten.
The bulge occurs because the muscles are no longer next to each other. As they are pulled apart with pregnancy, or weight gain, the middle of the abdominal wall is left unsupported. When the abdominal muscles tighten, the guts are squeezed and look for more room. The soft midline gives and provides additional space.
Repairing Diastasis is part of a Tummy Tuck, and one of the reasons that Abdominoplasty works better than diet and exercise for many mommies.
The most common abdominal component of the Mommy Makeover is the Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty. This provides repair of the muscle, tightening of the skin and removal of excess lower abdominal fat. If the problem is residual fat, and the skin is tight, Liposuction, alone may be all that is needed. When there is mild skin laxity isolated to the lower abdomen, a Mini Tummy Tuck could be a good compromise.
The Mommy Makeover has Lots of Options
Hopefully, the video and post above gives you some guidance. While information above is accurate, it may be specific to your needs, because every body is a little different, and individual needs and results will vary.
The best way to find out what the Mommy Makeover can do for you is during an in-person appointment with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. To schedule a private consultation, call my office at (925) 943-6353, and get the details you need to decide if the Mommy Makeover is the right procedure for you.
This week, research proving long term scar improvement with Embrace scar treatment is published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Scar Therapy That Works
A few years ago, I was a primary researcher for a new device designed to improve the appearance of scars after surgery. The clinical trial, “A Study of a Novel Silicone Dressing to Minimize Scar Formation (REFINE),” was sponsored by the manufacturer Neodyne Biosciences. This month, the research is published in the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons – Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The results demonstrate that the Embrace device significantly reduces scarring following Abdominoplasty surgery. To the authors’ knowledge, this represents the first level I evidence for postoperative scar reduction.
How the Scar Reduction Research was Performed
Silicone Impregnated Gel Sheeting has been used for years to improve the appearance of scars. The Embrace device is novel because it also incorporates stress-shielding to protect the operative site. For the trial, patients having Tummy Tucks were prospectively randomized to have one side treated with Embrace and the other side treated in the usual manner of the plastic surgeon. All researchers were experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. All patients were treated with the Embrace patch for 5 to 13 weeks and followed for a year after Abdominoplasty. Very specific and reproducible photographs were taken at 6 and 12 months after the Tummy Tuck for comparison.
How Much Better Were the Tummy Tuck Scars?
The operative scars were rated by investigators and patients. Both found that embrace-treated scars demonstrated significant improvements in overall appearance at 12 months using the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale evaluation (p = 0.02 and p < 0.001, respectively). Importantly, no serious adverse events were reported.
Investigator Scores – Plastic Surgeons consistently rated the appearance of the Embrace treated side higher throughout treatment.
Highlights of the REFINE trial data include:
Highly significant statistical difference between treated and control (p value < 0.02)
Met Primary and secondary endpoints vs. standard of care (Steri-Strips, Mederma, silicone gel, silicone sheeting)
High level of patient and physician satisfaction
High likelihood to recommend therapy by both physician and patient
Patient Scores – Patients also agreed that the appearance of the Embrace treated side was better than the untreated side.
Limits of Embrace Scar Therapy
I most commonly use Embrace Scar Therapy for Tummy Tucks and (Arm Lifts) Brachioplasty. In my practice, and in the trials, the most common reason for stopping Embrace was skin irritation. Since the device is occlusive and is pushing the skin edges together, the mild glue or traction alone can cause redness around the edges of the patch in some patients. The device will only work on straight incisions that are on a relatively flat surface. Embrace can also be used for scar revision, provided the scar is straight and on a flat surface.
Considering a Tummy Tuck or Arm Lift?
If you are considering a Mommy Makeover, Tummy Tuck or Arm Lift, be certain to ask about Embrace Scar Therapy for your recovery. Many patients find the dressing comfortable and reassuring, because it supports the surgical repair. Many San Francisco Bay Area Plastic Surgeons are offering Embrace, and we should since it was invented and proven effective by Plastic Surgeons from around the SF Bay.
More information on Cosmetic Plastic Surgery is available here on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog, but there is no substitute for an in-person consultation. When you are ready to learn specifics about what a Mommy Makeover, Tummy Tuck or Arm Lift can do for you, give me a call at (925) 943-6353, or use the contact form in the margin to obtain more information.