Exciting News!

As of March, 2016 Dr. Bharti joins Hunstad Kortesis Plastic Surgery + MedSpa in Charlotte, NC. New and existing patients are welcome to call 704-659-9000 to set up consultations with Dr. Bharti's new office.

Case of The Week: Mommy Makeover

What is a Mommy Makeover?

A mommy makeover represents the surgical rejuvenation of a woman’s body following the tremendous changes that can occur following the process of childbirth and childrearing.  Multiple plastic surgery procedures are available that restore and improve post-pregnancy bodies.  Procedures are typically combined in a single setting to improve the appearance of your breasts as well as your abdomen.  A mommy makeover can dramatically improve how you look and feel, and may actually be easier to fit into your schedule and budget than you may think.

Breasts can be given a more youthful volume and rejuvenated appearance by using an implant made from either saline or silicone.  Women who have had children and those that nurse will often have breasts that have dropped and have a sagging appearance that may need a breast lift (aka mastopexy) which can be performed alone or combined with an augmentation with an implant to give you added volume and fullness that has been lost in your upper breast. 

Your abdomen is rejuvenated with an abdominoplasty (aka tummy tuck).  There are many variations of an abdominoplasty. A patient may elect to get anything from a mini short scar abdominoplasty to a circumferential abdominoplasty that lifts your buttocks and tightens your abdomen at the same time.  The core concept for an abdominoplasty revolves around removing excess fat and skin that is present in your lower abdomen.  Often the majority of stretch marks of your lower abdomen can be removed as well.  Your abdominal muscles are also tightened to help give your waist more definition and regain your hourglass figure. Liposuction is often used in conjunction with an abdominoplasty to contour your flanks. 
Labiaplasty is becoming a popular surgical procedure for mommy makeovers.  The procedure is performed for functional and aesthetic reasons.  It involves the removal of excess tissue of the labia minora.  Patients report decreased discomfort with exercise, decrease discomfort with intercourse, and an overall improved aesthetic appearance both in and out of tight fitting clothing.  

These changes of aging and pregnancy do not necessarily affect all women the same, and there can be different levels of severity of the changes.  Each woman is unique in her needs and desires.  A patient contemplating a mommy makeover should begin the process by searching for a plastic surgeon that offers these procedures.  She should not be afraid to get more than one opinion.  She should feel educated by her surgeon, and take an active role in the decision making process.  Clear communication and understanding between the patient and her plastic surgeon is an absolute to get an ideal result.   Prior to a mommy makeover you should be done having children.  In addition, you should be close to your goal weight and stable at your weight for 3-6 months.  Prior to the surgery there should be a plan made to ensure that you will have the support to recover at home during the immediate post operative period.  It takes between 4-6 weeks before you can perform aggressive aerobic activities and weightlifting.  You should be up and walking within the first day after surgery.  It is very important to walk after your surgery, but you will not be able to lift heavy objects or participate in rigorous activity while you heal.  Moms, this means that you will potentially need some help with your kids if they are young and need to be picked up often or chased around! 

I always tell my patients that to make a good result a great result requires patient effort.  This is especially the case for any body contouring procedure.  After the recovery period an aggressive aerobic and fitness program along with a healthy balanced diet will only further your transformation and make you look even better. 
Case Presentation: 
The before after pictures in this article are of a 50 year old 157lb 5 foot 5 inch female who wanted to improve the appearance of her tummy and breasts.  She did not want to have increased breast size and therefore did not wish to have breast implants placed.  After multiple preoperative planning visits she had a simultaneous abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and bilateral mastopexy (breast lift). 

She was taken to the operating room at the hospital as an outpatient.  The first part of the procedure was the tummy tuck.  This was performed under general anesthesia.  During this procedure Dr. Bharti removed the excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen (pannus).  He also tightened her ab muscles (rectus abdominus muscles) using permanent plication sutures.  This serves the purpose of narrowing the waste and getting rid of her abdominal bulge.  Once he finished these portions of the procedure he then flexed her bed to be able to perform closure of the incisions using all absorbable sutures.  Liposuction was then performed of her flanks to further improve her contour.  She had temporary drains that were left in position to remove excess fluid in the immediate healing period. 
After the tummy tuck was complete, Dr. Bharti performed the breast lift procedure.  Using the marks that he made before surgery, Dr. Bharti repositioned the breast and nipple areolar complex on the chest wall to a more youthful position and removed excess skin.  All absorbable sutures were used in this portion of the procedure as well.  She was then admitted overnight to observe her and make sure her pain was controlled.   Dr. Bharti saw her the night of surgery, and the following morning prior to her discharge home. 

While recovering she had to wear compression at all times on her abdomen and her breasts for a period of 6 weeks using an abdominal binder and surgical bra.  She walked the night of surgery, but avoided any aggressive aerobic activity or heavy weight lifting for 4 weeks.  In addition, for the first 2 weeks she had to walk around in a flexed position and she slept in a beach chair position.  

She was seen for follow up at a number of visits after the surgery including: 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months follow up.  She has healed very well and she is thrilled with her result.  We are very proud of her!