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Mom Plastic Surgery

Posted Jan 24, 2010 by Stephen Greenberg, MD

 

Mom Plastic Surgery

Surgery for the New Mom


Tummy tucks, breast augmentation and breast lifts


*originally posted in Long Island Press

There is no question that children are wonderful and worth every bit of inconvenience. There is also no question that kids can take a lot out of you, in many ways; pregnancy, and especially repeated pregnancies, stretch and distort the breasts and belly. Fortunately, there is something you can do about it: a combination of cosmetic surgeries we call the "Post-Pregnancy Tune-Up."

The effects of pregnancy on your belly are fairly obvious. Although a woman's uterus is usually about the size of an orange, during pregnancy, the baby grows inside the uterus, stretching the uterus and ultimately the abdominal wall. As the baby grows, the uterus presses on the inside of the muscle wall of the abdomen. At the front of the abdomen, the two vertically oriented "six-pack" muscles get pulled apart, and actually separate, often causing what many women refer to as the post-pregnancy, post-40-year-old pouch. Once this has happened, nothing other than surgery can bring these muscles back together.

In addition to the muscle, a woman's skin gets stretched as the baby grows. This is especially notable in the center of the abdomen, near the belly button. Stretch marks may develop. Once the baby is delivered, the skin collapses, and may leave loose, hanging skin.

The effects on the breasts are no less dramatic. Due to hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy, the breasts start to grow, especially as the baby is getting ready to be born. Following delivery, breast feeding causes the breasts to repeatedly stretch. Once breast-feeding is complete, the breasts typically decrease in size, often to a size smaller than they were before the pregnancy.

While even a single pregnancy may cause these effects, repeated pregnancies can do the most damage. Often, women who have had little trouble after their first and second child find that the third child causes a tremendous amount of abdominal stretching and breast tissue loss. Extra collections of fat, which might have been present but much less obvious, become apparent. The frequent combination of these problems: breast tissue loss and drooping, abdominal stretching of muscle and skin, and local collections of fat, led us to develop the Post-Pregnancy Tune-Up.

Modern surgical technology allows us to safely combine several cosmetic procedures to get Mom back into shape and feeling even better about herself. The most common procedures are a tummy tuck and breast augmentation with or without a breast lift.

 

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