At the office of Dr. Eric P. Bachelor, MD, FACS in Pleasanton, CA, we proudly offer a number of procedures to help women restore the confidence they had before giving birth. Today, we’re looking at what is involved in a mommy makeover to help you determine if it is right for you.
What Is Involved in a Mommy Makeover?
Women love mommy makeovers because they are completely customizable. Regardless of the concerns you have had about your body since giving birth, we have you covered. For example, we can tighten your abdominal muscles, remove upper arm fat and increase or decrease the size of your breasts. Here is a closer look at some of the procedures we offer new mothers.
Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
Of all the procedures we offer as part of a mommy makeover, abdominoplasty is the most popular by far. Known colloquially as a tummy tuck, this procedure involves the excision of unwanted fat, the removal of extra skin, and the tightening of the skin that remains. One of the reasons abdominoplasty is so popular is that it, too, is customizable. Now, let’s take a look at the three types of abdominoplasty.
Partial abdominoplasty is great for women who are satisfied with the appearance of their upper abdomen. During this procedure, a bit of fat is removed from the lower abdomen as excess skin is excised. However, it is not a fat removal procedure. If you are seriously concerned about the amount of excess fat in your lower abdomen, you will need to combine this procedure with liposuction to achieve your ideal figure. We will talk more thoroughly about liposuction shortly.
For the time being, we find it important that you understand what else partial abdominoplasty doesn’t entail. This variation of abdominoplasty does not tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. Therefore, it is not appropriate for women seeking to treat a ventral hernia or a muscle tear that occurred during childbirth. Furthermore, it will not address urinary incontinence caused by childbirth.
Full abdominoplasty is similar to partial abdominoplasty in that a small amount of fat is removed as excess skin is excised. However, this procedure also includes the removal of excess skin from above the navel. A small amount of fat is removed from the upper abdomen as the excess skin is excised and the remaining skin is tightened. During this procedure, the belly button is repositioned so it does not look positioned inappropriately once the loose skin is tightened.
Extended abdominoplasty is more similar to full abdominoplasty than partial abdominoplasty due to the scope of the procedure. Remember, partial abdominoplasty does not improve the appearance of the upper abdomen. In contrast, extended abdominoplasty, like full abdominoplasty, improves the appearance and functionality of the upper abdomen.
What sets extended abdominoplasty apart from full abdominoplasty is it doesn’t stop at excising excess skin from the full abdomen. It goes further, removing excess skin from the flanks. Furthermore, a bit of fat can be removed from the hips and thighs during this procedure. However, just like other types of abdominoplasty, this procedure can’t be used to remove a lot of unwanted fat.
If you have a significant amount of unwanted fat, you want to include liposuction, sometimes called lipo, in your mommy makeover plan. According to research conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of pregnant women store excess fat during pregnancy. In other words, approximately one out of two women consume too many calories throughout their pregnancy.
Keep in mind, it is perfectly normal to have “excess” fat stored until you are no longer nursing your child. However, it is extremely common for women to finish breastfeeding and still find themselves carrying around too much fat.
What to Expect During Liposuction
During your fat removal procedure, we will make a tiny incision in the targeted area. Through that very small incision, a fine, hollowed tube is inserted. We will also inject a sterile liquid solution into the targeted area to help keep you comfortable and hasten the procedure. The solution we inject includes lidocaine to numb the targeted area and sterile saline to make the fat suctioning process faster.
One great thing about combining liposuction with a sterile solution, a technique known as tumescent liposuction, is it is far more efficient than traditional liposuction. Using the tumescent technique, we can provide satisfactory results in under an hour for most targeted areas. Another great thing about using the tumescent technique is the solution makes the targeted area swell. This firms up the lipid tissues and gives us much more control over the contouring process.
Mastopexy (Breast Lift)
Mastopexy, sometimes referred to as a breast lift, is another incredibly popular procedure. Whether you feel your breasts have become too small or large after nursing, or you’re completely satisfied with the size of your breasts, most mothers feel that they could benefit from a breast lift. The exact scope of your lift will depend on your personal preferences. However, this procedure almost always includes the excision of excess fat and the removal of excess skin tissue.
Once the extra skin tissue is removed, we will reshape the breast tissue beneath the skin if you feel your breasts are misshapen. This will leave you with a firmer, rounder, more youthful shape. We urge you to be completely honest with us during your initial consultation. We can shrink your areola and reposition your nipple if you are self-conscious about the appearance of your areola and nipples.
We also commonly perform breast reduction to help mothers feel more self-confident. When excess fat and skin are removed during mastopexy, assuming liposuction is not also performed in the area, your breasts will decrease by approximately half of a cup size.
If you want to reduce the size of your breasts by more than half of a cup size, you may be an ideal candidate for breast reduction. This procedure focuses more on the removal of excess breast tissue rather than fat and skin tissues.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Mommy Makeover?
To find out if you are a good candidate for a mommy makeover, you need to come in for an initial evaluation. You will probably be considered a good candidate if you are in fairly good health and you feel self-conscious about multiple parts of your body.
It is essential that you come in for an initial evaluation because we need to discuss your medical history with you. We also need to discuss any acute medical issues you may have. Once we ensure you are currently healthy enough to receive cosmetic procedures, we must determine which procedures are appropriate for you. Here are some of what we look for in women seeking some of our most popular procedures.
What We Look for in Women Seeking Abdominoplasty
To be considered a good candidate for abdominoplasty, you must have skin that is simultaneously fairly elastic and a little lax. It is important to have pretty elastic skin because the more elastic skin your skin is, the sooner you will be able to see the final results of your procedure. However, it is also important that your skin is a little lax because the more lax your skin is, the smaller the incision we can make.
We also need to consider the musculature of your upper and lower abdomen carefully. The state of your abdominal muscles plays a major role in determining which type of abdominoplasty is appropriate for you. For example, even if you like the way your upper abdomen looks, you may benefit the most from a full tummy tuck if your abdominal wall is weak or damaged.
What We Look for in Women Seeking Liposuction
If you have more than a little excess fat, a small amount of excision during abdominoplasty or mastopexy may not be adequate. You may be a good candidate for liposuction. However, the best candidate for liposuction has not nursed in the past three months and is at or almost at her ideal weight.
You must be at or close to your goal weight to be considered a good candidate for this procedure because only eight to 11 pounds of fat can be removed during the procedure depending on your body mass index. If, for example, you are 35 pounds away from your ideal weight, you won’t be satisfied with the removal of less than ⅓ of your excess fat.
What We Look for in Women Seeking Mastopexy
When we determine who is a good candidate for mastopexy, we assess the natural resting position of the breast. However, you can easily perform the pencil test on yourself to see if you will probably be considered a good candidate for this procedure. To perform the pencil test, stand in front of your bedroom mirror and lift your right breast with your right hand. With your left hand, place a pencil in the inframammary fold.
Release your right breast and allow it to settle on top of the pencil. If the pencil is above your nipple, you have what is known as ptotic breasts. Mastopexy may benefit you greatly. If your nipple is roughly the same height as the pencil, you may want to perform the pinch test on yourself. To perform this test, pinch your breast lightly with your thumb over the front of your breast and your middle finger in your inframammary fold.
What We Look for in Women Seeking Breast Reduction
To be considered an ideal candidate for a breast reduction, you should be a non-smoker who does not plan to become pregnant in the future. The best candidate is a non-smoker because nicotine consumption can affect the procedure and slow postoperative healing.
An ideal candidate has also finished adding to her family because the most common technique used to perform the procedure may affect the ability to nurse. Let us know during your initial evaluation if you’re not sure if you will try to become pregnant in the future. We will not separate your nipple from the underlying breast tissue so there is no risk that your ability to nurse will be affected.
Learn Today How You Can Improve Your Contours
Pregnancy and nursing can lead to unwanted changes in the way you look. A mommy makeover can help you restore the self-confidence you had before becoming pregnant. The procedures we perform most commonly include liposuction, mastopexy, and abdominoplasty. However, your makeover will be customized to address all of your aesthetic concerns.
Contact us today at the office of Dr. Eric P. Bachelor, MD, FACS in Pleasanton, CA to schedule your initial mommy makeover evaluation and learn more. We are also pleased to serve the Danville, CA area.