Plastic Surgical practice has changed over the last 25 years.
For instance, when I first commenced, it was not uncommon for women to simply accept the unwanted changes pregnancy had on their bodies. This includes (but is not limited to) bigger, smaller, empty, droopy breasts and a bigger, bulging, loose, floppy, stretch-marked tummy.
Nowadays, women are recognising they have more choice than ever before and are using that choice to regain or even enhance their pre-pregnancy body.
One of my patients recently said, ‘I have done my bit for the children, it is now time for me!’ This is not an uncommon sentiment and it is where some common Plastic Surgical procedures can really be of benefit.
The rise in popularity of the so-called “mummy-makeover” is one such example. This refers to surgical rejuvenation of the breasts and tummy often performed at the same time.
When I first started practice 25 years ago, operating on 2 or more regions at the same time was rare because it increased the risks of complications. A patient might have undergone 2-3 operations over a 12-month period to get the result they wanted. Improved anaesthetic techniques in particular have had a major impact on the safety of these procedures making combination procedures far more common. Performing one procedure has the added benefit of reduced hospital fees and less downtime when compared with multiple operations.
Rejuvenation of the breasts can include a Mastopexy (where your breasts and nipples are elevated higher on the chest wall) combined with a Breast Augmentation to fill out the emptiness often left after breast-feeding. If an augmentation is desired, most mothers, whilst wanting more volume and fullness, request a ‘natural’ appearance. If you have a B cup or less to start with, a tear-drop shaped implant will give the breast a more gradual ‘take-off’ rather than the round, upper-pole fullness more commonly associated with the ‘fake’ look.
Augmentation/Mastopexy can often be combined with a Tummy-Tuck and Liposculpture. As well as removing flabby skin and unwanted fat, the tummy-tuck repairs the rectus muscle (that has been split apart during the pregnancy) and sometimes an umbilical hernia, thus re-creating a more shapely, tighter, flatter tummy.
Theses procedures alone or in combination, aim to restore your body to the pre-pregnancy state so that even as a mother you can choose the clothes, bras and swimwear you want to wear, rather than have to wear. The greater choice in clothing is one of the greatest benefits my patients often comment on. They feel more comfortable and confident and that makes a major difference. As another patient put it, “I no longer have to hold everything in AND I get to go without a bra if I choose to.”