As a female plastic surgeon and mother, Dr. Kirby has a unique perspective on the changes brought about by pregnancy and the desire to return the body to its youthful contours.
“I have many moms visit me with frustrations because they just can’t quite obtain their goals despite diet and exercise," says Dr. Kirby. "Moms often say, ‘If I need to work harder, just tell me I need to work harder.’ The truth of the matter is that many of the body’s changes caused by pregnancy are permanent and won’t improve with focused exercises.”
Pregnancy changes the body in a number of ways. The breasts enlarge and the skin stretches during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, which can lead to subsequent loss of volume, sagging breasts, or drooping nipples. The skin and muscles of the abdomen are stretched by the growing baby, which can result in stretch marks, loose skin, and lax muscles. Weight gain can affect both breasts and tummy, and fat deposits can stubbornly remain long after the baby has arrived, despite losing weight and adopting an exercise regimen.
While each of these concerns can be addressed by a mommy makeover, the combination of procedures and the extent of each surgery must be determined on a patient-by-patient basis. Any of the following procedures can be part of a personalized mommy makeover:
Breast augmentation. A breast augmentation creates fuller breasts and restores volume from pregnancy-related changes. Many moms enjoy the larger breasts they experience during pregnancy and wish to retain this fuller look.
Breast lift. If sagging breasts are a post-baby concern, a breast lift restores a youthful profile. An augmentation is often combined with a breast lift procedure.
Breast reduction. Although many women lose breast volume after pregnancy, some moms experience the opposite effect. While excessively large breasts can be a cosmetic concern, they can also cause physical discomfort. A breast reduction alleviates the back, neck, and shoulder pain created by heavy breasts.
Tummy tuck. An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, removes excess skin and fat from the abdominal wall, as well as tightens the abdominal muscles. This procedure restores a flat, toned pre-pregnancy abdomen.
Mini-tummy tuck. For the mom who has retained some muscle tone with minimal loose skin, a variation of the standard tummy tuck may be suggested, with a shorter incision and less tissue removed.
Liposuction. Localized fat deposits can be addressed through liposuction, which is often used to complement the effects of a tummy tuck. Liposuction can also be used in conjunction with a breast reduction, as well as to contour hips or thighs.
Dr. Kirby says that the correct combination of procedures is determined during a thorough pre-surgical consultation, during which the mom should be sure to share her goals for post-baby rejuvenation. A thoughtful approach to the mommy makeover is important because it has both health and financial repercussions for the mom. Safely combining some of the desired mommy makeover procedures into one operation can eliminate the need to recover from separate surgeries and save on the facility and anesthesia costs that are incurred from multiple operations.
About Kirby Plastic Surgery: Dr. Emily J. Kirby is a fully trained aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon. Her practice is located at 7250 Hawkins View Drive, Suite 412, Fort Worth, TX 76132. Contact her at 817.292.4200 or http://www.kirbyplasticsurgery.com.