Pregnancy and childbirth can create drastic changes to a woman’s body. Loose abdominal skin, stretch marks, unwanted fat deposits all seem to go with the territory of being a mom. Guys have it so easy! You’ve had your kids and now you are ready to get your body back! From many years of experience in helping moms with these issues I have learned one important thing, women want and need to feel confident about their bodies. Even if no one gets to see their body except their significant other, lack of confidence in a woman’s appearance can significantly effect her mood and outlook on life. Over the years, I’ve had many patients tell me after their surgery, “The sun seems to shine brighter”.
At the heart of most of the changes women experience with pregnancy are changes to the stomach and waistline. Three issues are usually of major concern, excess fat, excess skin and muscle stretch. Although a lot of women present to my office just requesting a “tummy tuck” their true problem is much more fluid and circumferential in nature. The changes from pregnancy are rarely limited to the abdomen. Pregnancy can wreak havoc on the stomach, the flanks, the back and a woman’s inner and outer thighs. The surgical approach for correction of all of these problem areas needs to be just as all encompassing.
The body changes from pregnancy effect each woman differently and their surgical plan to correct these problems needs to be personally tailored to these individual needs.
In my practice, I meet with each patient personally and closely listen to their concerns about their postpartum body changes and their hopes and surgical priorities. Options are reviewed and possible combinations of procedures are discussed. Often time, patients choose to address multiple problems in one trip to surgery such as circumferential liposculpture of the waistline, abdominoplasty, fat transfer to the buttocks and when needed liposculpture of the inner and outer thighs. In healthy patients who are good surgical candidates many body contour problems can often be solved in one day.
Postoperatively patients often wear compression garments for several weeks to encourage the operative sites to mold to their most ideal contour. Patients are able to return to their work and exercise programs in a very short period of time. My body contouring patients are followed frequently in my office to monitor their progress and address any concerns. After three months patients are photographed from multiple angles and presented with composite side-side photographs to allow them to clearly see these postoperative improvements.