Mommy Makeover: A Plastic Surgery Trend

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When Lisa Brock, of Lebanon, Pa., decided to get a breast lift and augmentation one year after delivering her fourth child, she had no idea she was embarking on phase one of her “mommy makeover.” She just knew she wanted her old plastic surgery procedures that restore, or improve, their post-pregnancy bodies.

While it’s difficult to come by exact numbers for mommy makeovers because it’s a marketing term, not a surgical one, Douglas Mackenzie, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Santa Barbara, Calif., says that mothers are by far his largest demographic. He attributes the trend to our obsession with youth as well as the public’s acceptance of tucks jumped a whopping 4,384% and buttock lifts increased 174%.

Even cosmetic genitoplasty, which often includes modification of the labia minora or labia majora, has come into vogue.

Laurie Casas, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon and the co-author of a textbook on cosmetic exercise and have good nutrition. If you want me to artificially suture your [abdominal] muscles, that’s fine. But you can blow it out again by overeating or overdoing it. So why not just work on it before the surgery?”

Casas offers these recommendations to women considering mommy makeovers, so that they’ll attain the best possible outcome — and maintain those results. She suggests that postpartumplastic surgery patients:

  1. Achieve their desired target weight first.
  2. Make sure they are exercising at least 30 minutes per day: a minimum of 15 minutes of interval training and 15 minutes of resistance training, alternating different body parts, on different days of the week.
  3. Practice superb nutrition.
  4. Keep alcohol consumption at less than 2-3 drinks per week.
  5. Quit smoking.
  6. Establish a no-fail support system for the full recovery period dictated by your surgeon.

This last requirement, she says, is critical.

“The biggest problem with mommies is that they don’t have someone to take care of their babies and their kids, and they don’t take care of themselves,” Casas explains. “I won’t operate on a mother with kids under 5 unless she has someone to take care of her children for at least two weeks. It just doesn’t make sense if you’re going to be lifting and driving and doing the laundry and cleaning house. You’re just going to ruin your results.”

So far, neither Brock nor Malone is complaining about their results — or doing anything to jeopardize them.

“Oh, my gosh!” Brock says. “My self-esteem is amazing! I can look in the mirror again without cringing.”

Malone says the experience has given her a renewed sense of self.

“I just love being a girl and a woman again,” she gushes. “I’m feeling more and more like an individual. My old personality is creeping back.”

Casas reminds those who have had mommy makeovers that nothing is permanent. In addition to the inevitable aging process, some procedures need ongoing surgeries.

“Breast implants, like all medical devices, require maintenance,” she says.

Which is precisely why women like Probasco insist it’s far better to forgo postpartum plastic surgery entirely than begin the never-ending fight against time.

“Everybody ages,” she says. “Hopefully, at some point, our society will honor those changes instead of stigmatizing them.”