Mom holding a babyA Mommy Makeover is a term used to describe the correction of changes in the body that occur during pregnancy. Pregnancy, and especially multiple pregnancies, causes some natural, normal—but often less than desirable—changes in the body. The term Mommy Makeover includes multiple procedures that are frequently done at the same time. This means there is just one recovery period, and in Dr. Stephen Herring’s office, a multi-procedure fee adjustment consideration (cost is less than if each treatment is performed separately).  

Two commonly treated areas that are affected during pregnancy include the breast and the abdomen. The changes that occur during pregnancy are a result of hormone stimulation. The breasts become larger as a result of milk production during and after pregnancy, especially with breastfeeding. The result is stretching of the breast skin, the milk glands, and breast ligaments. In addition to stretching of these tissues, there is also a loss of tissue elasticity—that is, the ability of the tissues to rebound when stretched. It is also very common for breasts to develop stretch marks (striae) during pregnancy. When milk production subsides, the breast glands become smaller which results in breast sagging. Once sagging is present, it will not improve without surgical intervention. Patients frequently state: “I loved the way my breasts were when I was pregnant.” The goal is to return the breasts to the pre-pregnancy state, and this may include breast augmentation, breast lift, or both—depending on the patient’s unique anatomical situation and goals.

The abdomen is also stretched during pregnancy as the baby grows. As the baby and the uterus become larger, the skin, muscle, and connective tissue (layer surrounding the muscle and inside the fat layer) is stretched. It is also very common to develop stretch marks in the abdominal skin during pregnancy. As with the breast, stretching of the skin results in “extra skin,” as well as loss of elasticity. Muscle is a dynamic tissue and, with activity, can recover after surgery. The connective tissue (the covering of the muscle is termed fascia) may partially return to its pre-pregnancy state. The condition of the connective tissue varies widely from patient to patient and does not return to the pre-pregnancy state in some patients. When it does not return to pre-pregnancy state, there may be a gap between the muscles above and below the belly button. The condition is termed diastasis recti and can usually be diagnosed by physical exam. In most patients, this can be repaired at the same time as the abdominoplasty. The combination of extra skin and stretched fascia can dramatically change the appearance of the abdomen. When the skin and fascia is excessively stretched, the remedy in many patients is abdominoplasty.

The arms and the legs can also be affected by pregnancy in a similar manner to the abdomen and the breasts. Plastic surgery procedures such as brachioplasty and thigh lift surgery can help improve these areas, as well.

To learn more about Mommy Makeovers, or if you are interested in treatment and wish to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact our practice today. Whether you live locally in the Fayetteville, NC area or are traveling from out of town, Dr. Herring is happy to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.