Plastic Surgery after Childbearing
By Dr. Alan Stephens, plastic surgeon at Bronson Plastic Surgery Specialists
Pregnancy and childbearing can result in changes to a woman’s body. Sometimes with time or diet and exercise, those changes to the body can be reduced. Other times, it may be worth seeking consultation with a plastic surgeon for assistance. There, you can have a private discussion with a doctor about options, such as breast rejuvenation/augmentation or abdomen wall contouring.
The effects of pregnancy on the breasts can be significant. During pregnancy, altered hormone levels cause the breasts to enlarge, which stretches the skin. Once breastfeeding stops, there is a loss of breast volume. Volume loss or loose skin can give a deflated appearance to the breast.
Women may choose to see a plastic surgeon to discuss options for restoring upper breast volume and/or removing breast skin that has lost elasticity. Restoring volume and shape to the breast after pregnancy most often involves the use of an implant. Different sizes, shapes, volume and surface type to accommodate each person’s different needs, goals and budgets.
Mastopexy, or breast lift, is best suited for those concerned with nipple position and tightening loose skin. Frequently, patients will choose a combination procedure where a breast implant is used to restore volume to the upper breast and a mastopexy is done to tighten the skin and reposition the nipple.
Pregnancy can also affect the skin and muscles around the abdominal. An abdominoplasty operation, commonly known as a tummy tuck, removes loose skin between the navel and pubic area. This tightens the skin above the navel. With the addition of internal sutures, the abdominal wall can also be tightened. Though not as common, patients with little skin sagging may benefit from liposuction alone.
Both breast rejuvenation and abdominoplasty surgeries are done on an outpatient basis, under a general anesthesia. Recovery is generally two weeks for light activity and a month for more strenuous work.
Though minimal, patients are left with permanent scarring. It’s important to get specifics from your surgeon. Like with any surgery, complications are possible, and your surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits of the procedures.
Women may choose plastic surgery procedures to change their body’s appearance after pregnancy. These are just a few of many options out there to help women achieve the look they desire after the childbearing years are complete.