MOMMY MAKEOVER

Dr. Zelken agrees that 50 is the new 30. Increasing life expectancy, changes in societal norms, and improvements in healthcare and rejuvenation technologies may provide a second wind to parents approaching middle age. It is not uncommon for moms in their 30s through 60s to say or convey that their appearance is simply not on the same page as how they feel. This is particularly true for postpartum women whose body changed permanently after having kids. Whether it is a pooch under the belly button, stretch marks, loose skin when bending over, or sagging breasts, many women seek treatment to look more youthful, like they did before they had kids. Similar changes can affect younger women in their 20s and 30s who have lost significant weight in a short period of time; mommy makeovers can help women who are not moms.

Mommy makeover is a catchall phrase used informally by patients and plastic surgeons alike. A mommy makeover is not a type of surgery, but rather an assortment of surgeries to address the common signs of the aging postpartum or post-weight loss female form. Generally, it involves one or more operations of the breast, abdomen and trunk, arms, thighs, or a combination thereof. Many mommy makeovers include liposuction to enhance and prolong results. The best candidates are women who are done having kids, in good overall health and a stable weight. If more children are planned, it may be better to wait- particularly for the abdominal surgery, but this is not always the case. To discuss your candidacy, call (949) 432-4730 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Zelken today.

Starting from the top, breasts can be deflated, too big, or too small after having kids. Breast lifts (mastopexy) are often included in a mommy makeover, in combination with breast reduction or augmentation. The goal is to improve both the shape and volume of the breast; both change after childbirth. The abdomen usually stretches out along the midline making the six pack more like parentheses than straight lines, and the skin is often stretched. There may even be hernias found on exam or in the operating room. Abdominoplasty can treat both by tightening the six-pack muscles and cutting out the extra skin. Of course, any hernias found will be repaired. In less extreme cases, less aggressive mini-abdominoplasties can take out skin alone with quicker recovery and a shorter scar. Liposuction and liposculpture can address love handles and improve overall contour. Drains are almost always used in abdominal procedures but can be avoided in certain cases. Ask Dr. Zelken about the tubeless tummy tuck if you truly do not want drains placed.

Mommy makeovers, like most elective or cosmetic procedures are happy surgeries, but there are risks. These risks are similar to many major operations and can include infection, pain, and bleeding. When breast lifts and tummy tucks are performed, hundreds of stitches may be needed to close the wounds, so there is a risk of wound opening, bleeding, and fluid accumulation (seroma). Nerve pain can occur at any operative site, causing long-term pain. Most surgeons place drains at the time of surgery to avoid fluid collections. When liposuction is performed, it is possible to cause injury to the bowel and lung injury. Though uncommon, these risks, and even death, cannot be ignored.

Moms considering a mommy makeover need to establish realistic expectations. Surgery improves contour by taking away extra skin and fat. However, drastic changes may not occur in women who have fat buildup below the six-pack muscles, a protuberant belly and broad shoulders. This comes at the expense of several feet worth of scars along the lower belly and breasts. Scars cannot be avoided, though we have several tricks to optimize scarring during and after surgery. Whether you spend a night or more in the hospital is ultimately up to you and your surgeon, but is generally not necessary. Recovery can take up to four weeks or longer if there are complications like fluid collections. You may have up to four drains for three weeks. Moms who work a desk job usually go back to work after two weeks of recovery and up to six weeks later if the job is labor-intensive.