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Understanding the Mommy Makeover: Breast Augmentation & Other Procedures

     Many women turn to plastic surgery to address the often dramatic effects that pregnancy, breast feeding, aging, and weight loss have had on their bodies. In general, these women want to address the following issues:

• Sagging, deflated breasts
• Stomach bulges
• Stretch marks and excess abdominal skin
• Areas of fat resistant to diet and exercise

A "mommy makeover" is a group of procedures that can surgically address these issues. The most common mommy makeover procedures typically include a combination of a breast augmentation, breast lift, abdominoplasty, and/or liposuction.

Breast Augmentation

The breasts undergo significant changes as a woman prepares for childbirth. Breast lobules, which are formed by groups of milk-producing alveoli, increase in size and breast skin is stretched as a result. Once a woman finishes childbearing and breastfeeding, dense glandular tissue shrinks and is eventually replaced with less dense fatty tissue. This can cause breasts to lose volume and firmness.

Breast augmentation involves the placement of silicone or saline implants into the breast pocket to replace lost volume, increase size, and improve firmness. The procedure is best suited for patients with minimal sagging (or ptosis) and sufficient skin elasticity.

Breast Lift

While breast augmentation can improve volume and size, excess skin may still be an issue, which a breast lift can address. A breast lift, or mastopexy, can utilize different incisions and techniques, but will typically involve removing excess skin, repositioning breast tissue higher on the chest wall, raising the position of the nipples, and improving breast spacing and cleavage, when necessary.

If a woman considering a mommy makeover is satisfied with her breast volume and size, but is displeased with the degree of ptosis, a mastopexy may be recommended in lieu of breast augmentation. Women who want to address both breast ptosis and volume may elect to undergo both procedures.


Another key component of a mommy makeover is abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck. This procedure addresses excess skin, lax abdominal muscles, and pockets of recalcitrant fat in the abdomen. Similar to a woman's breasts, the muscles and skin of the abdominal region undergo significant changes following weight loss and pregnancy. For example, during pregnancy, a growing fetus can stretch and separate the abdominal muscles, which can cause a bulge to appear in the middle of the abdomen. Additionally, as the abdomen expands during pregnancy or as a result of weight gain, the skin is stretched.

A traditional tummy tuck involves pulling taut and suturing the underlying layer of abdominal muscles through a large incision below the abdomen between the hips. Sometimes an incision around the belly button is made if naval repositioning is required. The skin is then repositioned over the muscles and the excess is removed, creating a flatter, more contoured abdomen.

A less invasive alternative to a full abdominoplasty is a mini tummy tuck, which focuses solely on the lower abdomen in the region just above the pubic bone to the navel. This procedure may be an option for patients with minimal excess skin and fat bulge.


Liposuction is often part of a mommy makeover. This contouring procedure, also known as lipoplasty, removes fat deposits that have not responded to diet and exercise. Liposuction is often used to enhance the results of an abdominoplasty, as well as improve the contours of the arms, lower back, buttocks, and thighs.

Talk to a Plastic Surgeon

A mommy makeover must be carefully tailored to an individual patient's unique needs. Before electing to undergo any procedure, a patient should obtain the surgical opinions of several experienced plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This can not only help ensure that a patient's concerns are properly addressed, but can also allow her to choose the surgeon with whom she is most comfortable and believes can help her best achieve her aesthetic goals.

Katie Perry is an online content editor in the Tampa Bay area. She posts articles about plastic surgery topics and procedures including breast augmentation, breast implants, and more.

Katie Perry is an online content editor in the Tampa Bay area. She posts articles about plastic surgery topics and procedures including breast augmentation, breast implants, and more.

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Katie Perry is an online content editor in the Tampa Bay area. She posts articles about plastic surgery topics and procedures including breast augmentation, breast implants, and more.

Posted on 2013-05-30, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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