PLASTIC SURGERY AFTER PREGNANCY:summary of information about postpartum plastic surgery
Becoming a mother doesn’t mean you can’t look as good or better than before pregnancy. Most women enjoy being pregnant and are happy to become mothers. But for some, the physical changes caused by pregnancy can take away some of the joy. If you feel this way, you’re not alone. Fortunately, you don’t simply have to “learn to love” your post-partum figure as women of earlier generations were told. Today, there are exciting options in plastic surgery to help you regain your pre-pregnancy form – or even improve on it. This area explains not only how your body changes during and after pregnancy, but ways to counteract these changes that won’t interrupt your busy lifestyle or compromise your privacy. You see, many cosmetic procedures can be done on an outpatient basis. That means you’re back home with your family the same day. Knowing your options can help give you peace of mind so you can relax and enjoy your pregnancy or the newfound pleasures of motherhood without worrying you’ll never look as good as before.
Breast Enlargement (Augmentation)
One dilemma mothers-to-be face is whether or not to breastfeed. Many worry that breastfeeding will ruin the shape of their breasts. The truth is breastfeeding is not the culprit and it offers women and their babies numerous health benefits. Changes in the breasts actually occur during pregnancy. As the body prepares to nurture a child, milk glands in the breasts swell and replace fatty tissue. After childbirth, these glands shrink. What’s left is a skin “envelope” with little to fill it. This causes the breasts to look less full or sag. Plastic surgery offers safe, natural-looking implants that return your breasts to their youthful contour. Your plastic surgeon can perform breast augmentation on an outpatient basis, with either local or general anesthetic. The small incisions are virtually undetectable, usually made under each breast, around the nipples or in the armpits. Implants may be inserted just under the gland of the breast or beneath the muscle tissue. Stitches are removed after approximately one week.
Breast Lifting (Mastopexy)
Some women experience extensive swelling in their breasts during pregnancy. In addition to the postpartum loss of fat tissue, swelling can cause the skin to stretch and sag. And no amount of exercise will re-tighten this skin. An outpatient procedure called “mastopexy” can remove excess skin and reduce sagging. Your plastic surgeon can use local or general anesthetic to tighten skin on the lower half of the breasts, which lifts and firms them.
Stomach Tightening (Abdominoplasty or Lipectomy)
Nowhere else is pregnancy more evident than a woman’s abdomen. It was the nine-month home to your infant. It’s also the place where stretch marks, C-section scars and loose skin may linger long after childbirth. These “badges of motherhood” can frustrate and depress a woman even as she rejoices at the life her body helped create. Lipectomy is a procedure that can remove the “pooch” of excess skin that lies below your navel. It can get rid of stretch marks and turn a very visible vertical C-section scar into a small bikini line that’s easy to conceal. Many women have this operation done at the same time as a tubal ligation or a hysterectomy. Your plastic surgeon may admit patients to the hospital for one or two days. If you have only a small amount of excess skin, you may be a candidate for a mini-lipectomy (a less extensive procedure often done under local anesthetic) that still yields an impressive improvement.Click here to see some examples
Stomach Tightening for Muscle Bulges
For many women, excess skin is not the only abdominal change they experience after pregnancy. It’s not uncommon for the stomach muscles to separate when holding an expanding uterus. Often those muscles fail to reconnect after childbirth, even with endless sit-ups. This condition can only be repaired with surgery and is sometimes covered by health insurance. Women having difficulty regaining their pre-pregnancy weight can benefit from the immediate and dramatic improvement a lipectomy can make on their figures. It frequently provides the emotional boost they need to commit to a healthy dieting and exercise regimen.
Spot Fat Reduction (Liposuction)
Now the most commonly-requested cosmetic surgery procedure, liposuction can especially benefit women after pregnancy. A slower metabolism, less time to exercise, whatever the reason, some new mothers complain they just cannot lose fat in certain spots like the thighs, buttocks and upper arms. Your plastic surgeon can re-sculpt the body, removing fat deposits that contribute to flabby underarms or bulges in the thighs. Liposuction is an outpatient procedure, and for small areas, can be done under local anesthetic. It is not appropriate for large fat deposits or for women who are generally overweight. However, it can be the impetus to encourage a healthy weight loss. When larger amounts of fat are involved and in special cases ultrasonic liposuction is needed.
Changes in skin pigmentation Changes in skin pigmentation, called chloasma, are common on the face during pregnancy. Some studies suggest that up to three in four women may develop these changes which are characterized by a blotchy brown increase in pigment. If the pigment is in the epidermis it is often helped by bleaching agents such as hydroquinone.
Deciding What’s Right for You
Just as having a baby takes careful planning and lots of thought, having a cosmetic procedure should be carefully considered. Women today have many options that won’t disrupt their busy lifestyles or compromise their privacy.