Pregnancy is a time of excitement and anxious anticipation, but many women are significantly less excited about the changes in their bodies that pregnancy can bring. While the effects that pregnancy can have on a woman’s body are generally well-known, many women are unaware that specific cosmetic plastic surgery procedures can help minimize and in some cases even reverse those effects.
Obviously, the most noticeable changes to the body during pregnancy occur in the midsection. It can often take many weeks before the uterus alone has returned to its pre-pregnancy size, but other effects may linger far longer. Although proper exercise and a healthy diet during pregnancy and after delivery can go a long way towards restoring the body to its original shape, the expansion of the uterus can, in some cases, cause the abdominal muscles to separate completely. This condition, known as diastasis recti, can result in a sagging belly that can only be repaired with a full tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, procedure.
Most women also know to expect an increase in breast size during and immediately after a pregnancy. Surges in the production of key hormones, like estrogen and prolactin, can result in dramatic changes to both the size and shape of the breasts. Blood flow to the breasts increases as milk producing tissues grow and multiply. All this new tissue, combined with the increase of insulating fat to keep everything protected and nourished, can cause the breasts to grow by as much as two pounds each. Unfortunately, this extra mass does not last, and the rapid shifts in size can take a significant toll. Pregnancy can leave the breasts stretched and saggy, particularly if the skin’s elasticity has been compromised by age or a history of smoking. A breast lift, or mastopexy, can restore a more youthful and lifted look to women with sagging breasts, stretched skin, and loss of breast volume, and in some cases women undergoing a breast lift will choose to have the breasts enlarged as well.
Finally, many women have found that overall surgical downtime and even secondary hospital costs can often be significantly reduced by combining multiple plastic surgery procedures into a single operative session. Many women seeking to restore their bodies after the effects of pregnancy have taken advantage of this with a combination procedure known as a mommy makeover. Most mommy makeover procedures include some form of body contouring, generally through a tummy tuck and liposuction of problem areas along with a breast reduction, breast lift, or breast enhancement. Because each patient is different, and has been affected by pregnancy in different ways, the specific combination of procedures involved in a mommy makeover can vary somewhat from patient to patient.
With so many different options available, it is important that you consult with one of our experienced, board certified plastic surgeons in order to determine what approach is best suited to your particular needs. If you are interested in learning more about any of the cosmetic plastic surgery procedures we perform, or about how the variety of financing options, including Alphaeon® and CareCredit®, that we provide can help you, please contact Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. at one of our Atlanta, Alpharetta, Cumming, or Newnan offices. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest news in plastic surgery.