Motherhood is perhaps the best thing that happens to a woman. It is a magical experience when a woman brings forth a new life, well almost single handedly. While it changes her mentally, it also brings about physical changes not always desirable by her. Modern medical advances have reduced maternal mortality and made deliveries much safer, but some of the other issues still remain. For instance there are many women who suffer from muscle separation [not just weakness] in the abdomen and also from vaginal laxity [see section on female genital rejuvenation]. Others accumulate stubborn fat in all the wrong places or experience drooping or deflation of their breasts. There are also changes on the face such as pigmentation. Not all of these changes improve with exercise and proper diet. By cleverly combining several plastic surgery procedures, it is now possible to restore the health and physical attributes of the woman and correct much of these undesirable changes. One may call it the mommy make-over.
In traditional societies most women went through pregnancy as a routine function and recovered quickly from it mainly due to quick return back to strenuous work and mandatory breast feeding. Of course a minority suffered horrible complications or died. This aspect has improved remarkably with modern medicine. But modern sedentary life style and lack of exercise has completely changed the recovery of many women after pregnancy. Today there are many women who find that they have lost their figure, have piled on a lot of fat in ‘wrong’ places, suffer from protruding belly, sagging breasts and sometimes even stress incontinence in their urinary bladder after one or two pregnancies. Such women need not suffer or feel condemned to their lot. Proper coordinated care between gynecologist, plastic surgeon and diet and fitness specialists can help the woman to regain her former health, physical attributes, figure and confidence. There has been some excitement in media about this so called “mommy make-overs” especially after celebrity moms bounced back as leading ladies on screen and as “Yummy Mummies” off screen. Admittedly this is as a result of severe self-discipline with exercise and dieting but plastic surgery also helped in no small measure to achieve the transformation.
While most women are not aspiring to emulate the celebrities, many do struggle with severe bodily changes post pregnancy and are looking to ways of solving their problems. For many such severe changes, plastic surgery has a lot to offer. Combined with exercise and nutritional advice such surgeries help the woman a lot to regain beautiful figure, feel more confident and comfortable. Further, this results in better exercise ability, self-esteem and positive outlook. For many other women who have fortunately not suffered more severe problems, there are still areas where subtle improvements may be desired, this can be delivered by in-office procedures. Laser procedures can help in reducing the pigmentation on the face for example.
I do a full consultation and examination of the patient and if necessary get the gynecologist to see her. Depending on the individual case one may advise ‘in-office’ procedures, fitness and diet regimes or surgery or a combination of all these. Surgery is necessary to fix any of the problems that are unlikely to improve with exercise alone. For example if the muscles are widely separated, surgery is really needed to restore the ab-muscles to their correct position; only then can exercises help to build up muscle tone. We often see many women frustrated by lack of progress with exercise precisely because their muscles are separated and nobody has diagnosed this problem. Similarly vaginal laxity due to muscle tears during delivery must be corrected. A carefully selected bouquet of procedures is combined together during this operation to completely rejuvenate this area of the body, thus restoring sexual health. Sagging breasts can be uplifted and the gland tissue tightened, re-shaped or augmented as needed. Consultations are best done around the second month post-delivery or even any time before or during pregnancy in order to learn the preventive aspects.