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Golden Isles Center
for Plastic Surgery

1015 Arthur J. Moore Dr.
St. Simons Island, GA  31522


Tummy Tuck - Abdominoplasty by Dr. Diane BowenMommy Makeovers

Getting back what the babies took


Does your post baby body keep you from wearing the latest summer fashions? Does even Victoria Secret lack the uplifting technology you need to fit into those cute cross over V neck dresses that are this season’s fashion?  Do your “grandmother’s hips” keep you from trying on a bathing suit?


While plastic surgery is not the answer to all your fashion issues, it can play a role in helping you feel more comfortable in your clothes. Body contouring and breast enhancement and lifting are all common surgeries which if used correctly can help a woman harmonize her shape without resorting to uncomfortable industrial strength undergarments or weighty water bras.


Reshaping after Baby…

In general it is best to wait 4 -6 months after pregnancy before deciding to proceed with any major elective surgery. This allows your body to reacclimate and for you to loose baby fat, otherwise you may have a surgery to fix something that would have fixed itself. Some ladies have contour issues which bothered them before pregnancy and that pregnancy has only aggravated. These can include large breasts, saggy breasts, stretched out tummy skin and muscles. You should complete breast feeding for 6 weeks prior to any breast surgery. Remember also that your new infant is not going to understand that you are too sore to snuggle after a major breast or tummy surgery. It is common especially after several pregnancies for a woman to feel that she no longer looks like herself, her breasts have deflated and she now has a “belly roast” that didn’t exist before. Other ladies are able to eliminate those residual areas of baby fat, but have been left with tummy skin that looks like a runny pair of stretched out stockings. For all of these situations, surgery is a reasonable and maybe the only way to restore your pre baby appearance or to match your top contour into your bottom contour.


So what surgeries are the most frequent? Many women find that an augmentation happily restores volume lost after pregnancy and breast feeding. Augmentation may also provide an opportunity to provide a little lift. In situations when babies and gravity have really caused a case of the “saggy, draggies”, breast lift along with augmentation can provide a lovely solution. Just as technology has advanced in all areas of our lives, advances in plastic surgery allow for a quicker recovery and improved results. One of the advances in plastic surgery, is the availability of cohesive silicone gel implants for use in breast enhancement or breast lift surgery. Earlier gel implants were taken off the market in 1992, except for use in breast reconstruction. That is no longer the case. Unlike their predecessors, these new gel implants contain a gel which has the consistency of Jello. Like Jello, this gel is cohesive and can not leak. The new implants are overdesigned to take the stress of an 18 wheeler running over them. Now that is strong! Gel implants have always had a more natural breast-like feel, which is why they have always been a breast reconstructive surgeon’s first choice for breast reconstruction. When a lady is very thin, then the implant probably needs to be placed behind the muscle to get satisfactory coverage. Also if a lady has a very strong family history of breast cancer, she should consult a breast cancer specialist to determine her risk as that may influence her choices in breast enhancement surgery. Please note that while it is helpful to use the internet for general information, it is important to keep an open mind so that you can get the most out of your consultation. Remember what may be best for a similar sized lady you see on the internet may not be what is suitable for you.


So as not to neglect your lower half, let’s talk about what can be done for that post baby tummy.  Help can come in the form of lipocontouring, lipocontouring and a mini tummy tuck or in some cases  a full tummy tuck. Remember liposuction should not be used as a weight loss tool, but rather for those fatty areas resistant to sensible eating and exercise habits. Many of us have those areas that we can trace back to our grandmother! Some people have asked about “lipodisslove” or mesotherapy which is perported to be the removing of fatty deposits through injections. The American Society of Plastic Surgery has written a position paper which expresses concerns that the medicines which are used to “dissolve” the fat are not regulated by the FDA, therefore the purity of the ingredients is unknown as is the exact mechanism of action behind this technique. There is also a lot of marketing regarding other non invasive techniques to reduce fat. While some of these devices have been FDA approved as safe, they do not have the proven track record of effectiveness that lipocontouring does. Just remember that if something is “too good to be true” that it usually is.  Until these areas are further studied, lipocontouring offers the most safe, reliable, and controllable technique for reshaping problem fatty areas. It remains a powerful tool for reshaping with a limited recovery time because of its minimal incisions.


Some ladies have only some lower tummy fullness and skin excess. This is nicely treated with a combination of lipocontouring and a lower tummy tuck, which allows for maximum result with a limited incision. Finally for those ladies whose pregnancies have resulted in the “hanging belly roast”, the full traditional tummy tuck offers the opportunity to address excesses both above and below the belly button and to recapture the pre baby appearance. The recovery time is longer than the more limited surgeries, but new methods of pain management allow for a quicker return ( 2-3 weeks)  to usual daily activities.


So as we move down…What about your “grandmother’s hips”?  Lipocontouring gives a lady the ability to reshape those problem areas so that her figure is more in harmony. Using a technique called tumescent liposuction, the problem area is hydrated with a numbing saline solution. This results in less swelling and bruising which makes recovery quicker. It is important to wear a shaping garment as the swelling dissipates to optimize your results. Most ladies can start appreciating their new shape within a few weeks of their surgery, although it may take several months for all healing to be complete.


What is on the horizon in the world of plastic surgery? Other advances include harvesting fat during lipocontouring for use in breasts, body and sometime face.  Fat grafting has been done for many years to help optimize the results of breast reconstruction. Plastic surgery is an exciting field as new technologies and new developments in surgery allow us to accomplish more with a quicker recovery than in the past.


Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life and of course the gift of a child is a special blessing that only the Lord can give. Regaining your pre baby shape will take some time and for some ladies, surgery may be a reasonable option to assist in that goal. Remember that a healthy mother means a health baby and child, so eat sensibly, exercise regularly, count your blessings daily and listen to your mother’s advice. When all else fails, call your plastic surgeon - they may not be able to help right away, but they are good listeners! ©

Call today to schedule a consultation! (912) 634-1993




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